Food made from hemp – superfood or questionable?
Hemp-based edibles have long had a niche existence, but they have become increasingly popular in recent years. In the meantime, they have arrived on the supermarket shelves, drugstores, organic shops and even beverage markets. But can they be safely consumed by anyone? And what is so special about food made from hemp? In this article you will find the most important information about the often underestimated superfood.
Intoxication caused by food made from hemp?
Industrial hemp, which only has a very low THC content, is used for food production. This tetrahydrocannabinol is the substance responsible for the intoxicating effects that hemp is so well known for.
The hemp varieties that can be grown in Europe are therefore not suitable for the production of marijuana or hashish. In addition, the Federal Institute for Consumer Health Protection and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV) has set guideline values.
Hemp foods sold in Germany should not exceed these THC limits.
There is therefore no need to worry about getting high from hemp foods. Especially not if they are consumed in normal amounts. Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that high consumers, children and pregnant women can experience health problems if the guideline values for a product are exceeded.
Efficacy of foods containing hemp
While foods made from hemp are not intoxicating, they can still have pharmacological effects. In this context, the active ingredient cannabidiol, CBD for short, contained in hemp, is of particular interest. It is said to have a soothing effect on a wide range of ailments. According to various suppliers, it has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antibacterial, immune system-boosting and blood pressure-lowering effects. It can be used for nausea, inner restlessness, psoriasis, epilepsy, arthritis and many other diseases of the body and soul. Products containing CBD are usually offered as dietary supplements and can be bought over the counter. Often these are drops, capsules or teas with different dosages that are intended for ingestion.
In addition, cosmetics for external use are offered. Products with higher dosages are usually only available in specialist shops. Low-dose chewing gum and candy are also available at many drugstores.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein and have a high concentration of amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and fibre. They are very healthy and taste great in salads, smoothies or muesli, but also as a snack between meals. Hemp seeds can also support intestinal function. In terms of taste, they are similar to nuts, which, from a botanical point of view, also include hemp seeds. You can also grind hemp seeds and use them in baking. In some stores, already ground hemp seeds are available as hemp flour.
Hemp oil is also obtained from hemp seeds and, like the seeds themselves, has a nutty taste. It is characterized by a particularly large number of unsaturated fatty acids, the supply of which the human body depends on.
Hemp oil also contains various vitamins, proteins and minerals. The healthy hemp oil is not suitable for frying, as the heat breaks down the unsaturated fatty acids. Instead, it can be used excellently for refining salads, smoothies and cold dishes.
Because hemp is so trendy, more and more food manufacturers are offering hemp-infused products. Lemonades, beers, biscuits, lollipops, muesli bars, bread, spreads, cheese and even grilled sausages with added hemp are now available. There seems to be no limit to creativity. Often, however, this is more of a marketing gimmick and the hemp can hardly develop its healthy effect in these products. It is therefore worthwhile to examine every product advertised as containing hemp for its ingredients.