It is now possible to legally buy and consume hemp products in Australia and New Zealand.
Hemp is one of nature’s true superfoods that comes with a list of health and beauty benefits, yet, until today you couldn’t find it on your local supermarket shelves without labels warning against internal use.
Today, Australia and New Zealand join the rest of the world in allowing consumption of “low THC hemp seed foods”, according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand. It is an industry worth $570 million in the US and Canada alone¹.
Long deemed illegal for human consumption in Australia and New Zealand, hemp is a darling of the holistic health and beauty industries in most countries thanks to its high fibre, protein, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc content, as well as its abundance and balance of good fats: Omegas 3 and 6. Yet, despite these benefits, Australians and Kiwis have missed out on one of nature’s most healing and beautifying plants.
“Australia is one of the only countries in the world where eating hemp (was) prohibited, while New Zealand (allowed) the consumption of hemp oil only,” says holistic health coach, model and natural beauty advocate, Elise Carr. “Unfortunately the packaging of hemp products (had to) be covered up with stickers stating you agree to only buy powder, seeds and oil for external use or eat them in a country where it is legal.”
While getting your daily dose of health-promoting hemp once posed the risk of becoming a criminal, the Australasian laws governing the use of it have changed as of today, November 12, thanks to a review undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council.
We (can) finally see the consumption of hemp entirely legalised and deemed safe in Australia and New Zealand, (a long time coming, since) extensive research has already proven the myriad of benefits that come from consuming hemp products.
“We (can) finally see the consumption of hemp entirely legalised and deemed safe in Australia and New Zealand, (a long time coming, since) extensive research has already proven the myriad of benefits that come from consuming hemp products in our food and applying it on our beautiful bodies,” says Carr.
Knowing Hemp from Cannabis
While hemp is often confused with cannabis–which also is known to contain powerful health-supporting properties–hemp is different variety of the same plant, says Paul Benhaim, CEO of Australia’s only manufacturer of hemp seeds, oil and protein, Hemp Foods Australia (hempfoods.com.au).
“Hemp must contain 0.3 percent or less of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Most varieties contain five to 10 percent,” Benhaim says of the compound that’s responsible for cannabis’ trademark high.
The controversial plant is also known to remove more CO2 from the air than trees do and is highly pest, weed and drought resistant.
“Unlike corn, cotton, soy, wheat and rice, hemp uses a lot less water and doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides. It also yields food that is more nutritious than all these others combined and isn’t plagued by their allergies,” Benhaim says.
Hemp Seeds are the second highest source of whole vegetable protein, containing all 21 essential amino acids, and the optimum Omega 3 : 6 profile (1:4).
- Nutritious, whole protein, containing all 21 essential amino acids.
- Whole hemp seeds contain more than 30 percent healthy fats and are exceptionally rich in Omega 3, essential for brain function, growth and development. A diet rich in Omega 3 has also been shown to contribute to reducing inflammation, heart disease, blood pressure and depression.
- High amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc
- High amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, which may benefit digestive health
- Contains more protein than both chia seeds and flaxseeds
- Hemp seed oil has been used as a food/ medicine in China for more than 3000 years
Hemp for Beauty
The protein is easily digestible with 65 percent globulin edestin and 35 percent albumin protein–more than any other plant. This means its nourishing properties benefit from the inside out, infusing its good fats, vitamin and mineral content more readily than those plants that aren’t as easily digested, such as soy, which is known to contain natural toxins and can be troublesome for digestion.
“These substances aid digestion and assimilation, and are in a form similar to that found in blood plasma. They are also nourishing for dry hair and skin,” explains Benhaim, who has worked within the industrial hemp industry for 18 years, while also assisting governments with legislation.
Applying hemp directly to the skin allows the good fats to penetrate the outer layers.
“It is wonderful for moisturising, repairing and soothing skin and hair… it helps regenerate the skin’s protective layer,” says Carr. “It’s also very safe, as it is toxin free and does not harm your body. It is also sustainable–no need for herbicides, pesticides or fertilisers to grow hemp, so you are looking after Mother Earth as you take care of yourself too!”
DIY HEMP BEAUTY RECIPES
Hemp Body Scrub Hemp
• 1 cup hemp protein
• 1/3 cup hemp seed oil
• 20 drops vanilla essential oil, (optional)
• Add essential oil to the hemp protein in a glass or ceramic bowl, stir thoroughly.
• Gradually add the hemp seed oil, stirring continuously. Stop when the scrub reaches the consistency of moist sand.
Hemp Oil Shampoo
• 1/4 cup grated soap (castile soap is a common choice)
• 1/4 cup hot water
• 1/2 teaspoon hemp oil
• 2 tablespoons glycerine
• Few drops of essential oil (optional, for fragrance or therapeutic properties)
• Dissolve the soap in the hot water.
• Stir in the hemp oil.
• Add the glycerine and any essential oils you might want. You can add more if more fragrance is desired.
• Pour the shampoo into your bottles and seal the caps tight.
• Shake well and let them sit for 24 hours before use. Shake gently before each use to blend the oils through the shampoo.