Hemp: The Resurrection of a Real Superfood
It has been over two years since the Australian government removed restrictions on commercial hemp farming. It can now be supplied for use in products made in the health, beauty, nutrition, medical and industrial sectors.
The team here at Leawood are happy to finally be able to share the tremendous health, ecological and economic benefits that hemp-based products can offer to all Australians.
The domestication of hemp
Domestication of hemp can be traced back to at least 8000 BCE and has been used for both industrial and nutritional applications across many cultures.
In a time where the term "superfood" gets thrown around so recklessly, hemp could be one of the foods that actually does deserve such a title.
Interest in plant-based foods and medicines is at a modern-age peak, and hemp is being warmly embraced for its medicinal, nutritional and sustainable industrial applications. The potential for further product developments and industry growth looks very promising.
Hemp is incredibly eco-friendly, offering the potential for producing a vast myriad of different products from one source. So if hemp is good on so many metrics, why has it been illegal for so long? Hemp seed is derived from a non-psychoactive strain of the cannabis Sativa plant, meaning it was labelled as a narcotic by default.
Still, its strain and association have had it locked away from nutritional and industrial use in Australia for the better part of the 19th century, and up until the legislative changes in 2017.
Finally, after careful and rational consideration, we can now continue to develop this exciting industry and offer all Ausrlailians the many health benefits found in quality hemp derivatives.
Hemp: A real superfood
The word 'Superfood' has had a lot of traction of late; but out of all of the supposed superfoods, there may be one reigning champion, and that is the humble hemp seed.
Hemp has a very impressive macronutrient profile, rivalled by few other whole plant foods. Just two tablespoons; or 20-grams of hemp seed, contains over 6-grams of protein and includes all 10-essential amino acids vital for human health.
Hemp also offers some other vital nutrients that were traditionally sourced from meat and fish - the three essential omega fatty acids.
Hemp contains impressive levels of omega three, six and nine; more than most legumes, nuts and seeds; great news for vegans and people who are shifting to a partial or entirely plant-based diet.
That's not all; this impressive little plant seed is more or less a natural multi-vitamin. Hemp seed is also nutrient-dense in a myriad of other essential vitamins and minerals, including:
As an added bonus, this natural nutrient powerhouse throws in trace elements of Vitamin-C, some B-vitamins as well as vitamin A and E. In fact, hemp is so nutrient-dense, several world health and charity organisations say it could be a key to ending world hunger.
A key to a sustainable Australia
Growing hemp is one thing; growing quality hemp is another. Hemp grows all over the world in many different climates, and Australia is rapidly catching up with other leading nations with high-quality hemp growing across most states.
Australia's climate is perfect for hemp cultivation nationwide, and Australian hemp is already getting recognition for its high-quality produce and eco-friendly, sustainable farming models. Aside from nutrient-dense seeds for food, oil and medical products, every other part of the hemp plant can also be used for commercial and industrial applications.
Hemp fibre can be utilised for a diverse range of applications, including:
- Housing materials
- Medical treatments
- Healthcare products
- Beauty and skincare
- Farming and gardening
- Insulation and more
It is also significantly more sustainable than wood like pine. Hemp harvests reach maturity around 70 to 90 days after planting; that is in comparison to large pine logs taking around 30+years; a significant difference.
Hemp is more environmentally friendly and sustainable on several other metrics. Compared to cotton, hemp could save approximately 9-million litres of water while providing significantly more uses; it also absorbs five-times more CO2 from the air than trees.
This could make hemp a major player in helping Australia significantly reduce its carbon footprint and reach its international carbon reduction targets. Engineering is also catching up with new separation technologies being developed and released like the HempTrain™ system by Canadian Greenfield Technologies.
This revolutionary system efficiently separates the fresh, high-CBD faction for oils, as well as the green microfibre, bast fibre, herd and seed, with much less waste in comparison to other traditional methods.
Leawood: At the forefront of Australian hemp
The team here at Leawood has been waiting for the opportunity to supply Australia with controlled, sustainable, high-quality hemp for decades; and we have wasted no time in the last two years pushing forward.
We control every element of our hemp production and supply chain from farming and processing, to marketing and distribution, and we are now proudly ACO certified organic, free from GMOs, Gluten, herbicides and pesticides.
Canada is a world leader in the development of hemp production techniques. All clones and seeds used in our harvest are sourced from one of Canada's leading producers, ensuring our Australian grown hemp is on par or exceeding global quality standards.
We continue to broaden our vast product range and innovate new methods to remain a driving force in the further development of an eco-friendly, carbon-neutral and sustainable Australian hemp industry.
As Australia begins to recover from the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, we do not doubt that the growing hemp industry will play a vital role in helping the country develop effective solutions for the economic recovery plan that now needs to be implemented. We couldn't be more excited to be involved.