The history of CANNABIS SATIVA
Peeled Hemp Seeds
Archaeological finds suggest that the cultivation of hemp is one of the oldest industries founded by humans. A piece of hemp tissue, dating back to about 8000 BC, marks the beginning of the long and varied history of this incredible plant, originating from Central Asia and extended to China, India, Europe and eventually the rest of the world. With the last part of its Latin name, which literally means 'useful' (sativa), hemp plays a fundamental role in the production of textiles, paper, rope, oil and mortar. Its importance for 16th century Britain was so great that Henry VIII passed a law obliging farmers to grow it. The medicinal qualities of hemp have also been known for thousands of years. The legendary emperor Shen Nong (The Divine Peasant) described hemp as a 'superior herb' in what is considered to be the world's first medical texts.
Hemp is a resilient plant that can be grown in almost any ecosystem on the planet. Fully grown it reaches a height of about four meters, consisting of a sturdy central stem with protruding buds where the leaves attach. The hemp seeds are small nuts in separate holders that are located in the female flower of the plant and grow together in clusters. When hemp is grown for its seeds, about half of the dry weight of the female plant consists of fruits. These are called achenes, a term that refers to a fruit that is small and dry and usually contains a soft, oily germ.
Hemp is a member of the cannabis family, just like marihuana. Although they belong to the same plant genus, they are two different strains with different characteristics, namely their THC level (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). High levels of THC in marijuana (up to 20%) are responsible for the known psychoactive properties. However, our hemp products do not contain more than 0.001% THC, which is well below the legal limit of 0.2% in the EU. These hemp seeds, therefore, have no (harmful) side effects. On the contrary, hemp is gaining more and more publicity because of its exceptional healthy properties: its amino acid profile is unmatched compared to other sources of protein such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. Hemp is, therefore, an ideal replacement for vegetarians and vegans and is an important component of healthy eating.
Our hemp seeds are sourced from Romania, one of the leading commercial producers of hemp in Europe. By focusing on just one raw material, our supplier has become highly specialized in every step of the production process, from the early selection of hemp seeds to the storage and packaging of the final product.
The hemp plant grows very fast, the plant is fully grown after about 100 days. Because of this fast growth (and regrowth), hemp is considered an important crop in sustainable agriculture. In addition, due to its strong character, hemp does not need any form of pesticides or chemicals. It protects itself against weeds and vermin. Hemp is therefore ideal for cultivation in full biological conditions.
The harvest starts when seeds reach their characteristic colour and shine. After their removal from the plant, they are carefully selected and cleaned to remove unwanted particles. The seeds must then be dried in hot air dryers, at temperatures below 35 °C. After this phase, the seeds go to a sorting system, where the smaller seeds go to the cold pressing process (used to make hemp oil and powder) and the larger ones are peeled. The peeling process includes a mechanical effect that tears and removes the outer layer of the seed.
Interestingly: when the peel is removed, the percentage of essential nutrients in the peeled seeds increases. The protein content increases by 8% (to more than 30% in total). A husked kernel contains 40% more nutritional value than a whole one, making our product an ideal choice for obtaining maximum nutrients from hemp.
The great advantage of hemp compared to other seeds lies in the composition of the oil, i.e. the fatty acid composition and the protein that contains all the essential amino acids in the optimal ratio. Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that cannot be produced by the body and must, therefore, be obtained through the diet.
While Omega-6 is readily available, Omega-3 is conspicuously lacking in Western diets. Hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, with an Omega -6 / omega-3 ratio of 3:01, which is considered optimal for health. Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, has been proven to maintain normal cholesterol levels.
Another striking feature of hemp is that 65% of the protein is a globulin, called edestine: a protein that also occurs in our blood.
As well as a sustainable source of protein with hardly any cholesterol-increasing saturated fats, hemp is known for its highly digestible properties. It has not been associated with intolerances that often go hand in hand with other vegetable proteins such as wheat and soya.
Our organic hulled hemp seeds are an excellent way to increase protein intake. Unique in the composition of essential fatty acids, hemp seeds offer the optimal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 nutrients. Their pronounced nutty flavour makes them a delicious and healthy addition to any salad, dressing or smoothie.