Can hemp seeds get you high?
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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 stockist Francesca Boch urges change. ”If there’s a debate, there will be a bombardment. People want to make up their own minds. Eighteen months ago, I sold one packet every three to four weeks. Now I’m selling 10 packets a week.
”We could get into trouble if we sell it as food, so we are very diplomatic about how we term it.”
Out of earshot of customers, a staff member launches into an enthusiastic description of her hemp-seed protein balls. The nutty-flavoured seeds can be sprinkled on salads, and hemp-seed milk (a blend of seeds and water) can be added to smoothies.
Recipe: Raw hemp-seed chocolate fudge balls
1 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
dash of vanilla extract (organic and cold extracted, if possible)
1/4 cup extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
6 medjool dates, pitted
1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth.
2. Roll the mix into balls.
3. Roll them in your choice of coating, such as cocoa powder or desiccated coconut, and set them in the fridge until firm.
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 …
Here’s Why Edible Hemp Will Never Get You High
Hemp seeds have long been a staple in health-food stores, being prized for decades for their nutritional benefits ― they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a complete protein source, and a rich source of essential minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
In the past few years, hemp seeds have gained popularity and have started moving into mainstream markets. These days, you can even find them at Trader Joe’s. People sprinkle them on their salads, blend them into their smoothies, bake them into granolas and even turn them into hemp milk.
But there’s something many people just can’t get over: hemp’s link to marijuana.
As we sprinkle the seeds on top of our salads, we can’t help but wonder: what’s the deal with hemp seeds and THC?
What are hemp seeds, actually?
Hemp seeds are cultivated from the hemp plant, which is grown predominantly for its seeds and fibers.
Here’s where the confusion comes from: The hemp plant looks a bit like the marijuana plant and it actually come from the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa L, but there are major differences between the two.
For one, the marijuana plant is stalkier, while the hemp plant is taller and thinner. But more importantly, the hemp plant contains low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana can contain anywhere from 5 to 30 percent.
The seeds of the hemp plant are housed in small, brown hulls that are removed before we get our hands on them. The white seeds we buy at the store are the inner seeds, sometimes called the heart, and they’re soft enough to eat and cook.
Will hemp seeds get you high?
The short answer is no. As mentioned above, hemp seeds are not cultivated from the marijuana plant, but from the hemp plant, which contains minute amounts of THC. According to Jolene Formene, staff attorney at Drug Policy Alliance, “Hemp seeds are non-psychoactive, meaning that consumers cannot get high by eating them.” In other words, it’s impossible to get high from them.
They also won’t cause you to fail a drug test. We know that other foods like poppy seeds, which contain trace amounts of opiates, can make you fail a drug test. Certain places actually ask that you don’t eat poppy seed bagels or muffins before testing. But hemp seeds won’t cause the same confusion. A study found that eating hemp seeds had little effect on a person’s THC levels ― and never enough to exceed the levels looked for in federal drug testing programs.
So, now that you know you can pass a drug test and eat hemp seeds, here are a few recipes you should try.
There’s one key reason.