Can hemp seeds get you high?
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Raw hemp seed chocolate fudge balls are a high-protein snack. Photo: Supplied
- Should this superfood be illegal?
Hemp seed sales are on the rise. The seeds taste delicious, are highly nutritious yet come with a whiff of illegality.
Two stockists contacted by Fairfax Media were too nervous to be named in this article.
”I’ve heard of recent crackdowns on retailers,” said one.
Hemp seeds are readily available in shops, but trade occurs on a ”don’t ask, don’t tell” basis. It is illegal to sell them for human consumption. They can be sold as ingredients for a facial scrub, for example, but a shopkeeper can’t sell them to a customer who divulges an intention to sprinkle them on cornflakes. This is despite no evidence that you can get high on hemp seeds or hemp-seed oil.
”Drink as much hemp-seed oil as you like. It’s not going to happen,” says one retailer who is often asked about its powers.
”Hemp contains no or very low levels of THC, the chemical associated with the psychoactive properties of marijuana,” according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand. The authority says hemp seeds do, however, contain protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. FSANZ considers hemp to have THC levels sufficiently low to make it safe for consumption.
A ministerial review about the legality of hemp seed, taking into account the FSANZ position, was due to conclude last week, but is now expected to go on until later this year. The last review was in 2002, when health ministers rejected a bid to legalise food derived from hemp, saying it could send a confused message to consumers and could affect drug-testing results.
”We have to position them at a certain place in the store,” explains one retailer. ”That’s why they’re with the cleaning products, rather than with the rest of our superfoods.”
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Hemp seed tastes delicious and are highly nutritious. Here’s a recipe for raw hemp-seed chocolate fudge protein balls. But beware, they come with a whiff of …
Can you get high off hemp? We’ll help clear the fog about marijuana’s ‘kissing cousin’
A look into the various uses for hemp.
The Ananda Hemp product known as Full Spectrum Extract is powerful enough to require only a few drops to be effective. 10/9/17 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to CJ) Buy Photo
It’s possibly the No. 1 question about hemp: Can you get high?
So we’ll weed out the myths. And, uh, clear the fog.
Even if you smoke it, gulp its peppermint oil and munch on nutty hemp heart seeds and chocolate hemp bark until your belly aches, you’re not gonna binge your way to a buzz. Ever.
You can throw a party with hemp-laced brownies, but the most your guests can hope for is an extra dose of protein and omega 3’s. Or maybe a more restful sleep.
Hemp and marijuana are often confused.
That’s because they’re “kissing cousins,” said Brent Burchett, head of value-added plant production for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Both come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. They have the same pointy leaves and pungent smell.
The key difference can’t be seen.
Industrial hemp grown in the United States since 2014 must limit the level of mood-altering Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol — a psychoactive compound better known as THC — to 0.3.
That amount is minuscule. Even ridiculous, according to some hemp advocates who are pushing to increase the legal amount.
Pot is much stronger.
How much? Marijuana on the streets today has an average of 42 times more THC, according to drugs seized by federal agents last year and analyzed for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Today’s pot is much more potent than what was available decades ago. The average pot seized by law enforcement in 1995 had about 4 percent THC. Even that was 13 times the current legal amount in hemp.
What hemp does offer is powerful cannabidiol oil, better known as CBD, extracted from the flower of the plant. For years, pain sufferers have touted its power to ease headaches, arthritis and other pain and inflammation. New research shows it has even lessened violent and potentially deadly seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy.
But taking CBD can cause you to fail a drug screening if it simply tests “positive or negative” for the chemical and doesn’t measure the amount. So you might want to take a doctor’s note to your employer.
Many hemp products in stores today are derived from hemp seeds, which don’t contain THC. The seeds have been called a “superfood” since they are rich in protein and omegas.
So go ahead and drizzle your salad with hemp-seed oil dressing, chomp on a hemp burger and guzzle a hemp beer. You can snack on hemp products until the hemp-fed cows come home — without getting high.
Hemp and marijuana are often confused because both come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa, and have the same leaves and pungent smell.