The bare bones of the plants we eat


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Scientific name – Cannabis sativa

hemp seed showing the variation in colour and size. Although Hemp is notorious for its association with the drug cannabis, which is produced from wild strains of the plant, special low drug content strains are nevertheless widely cultivated for food and fibre uses.

The marijuana plant has many uses. Its stiff, fibrous stalk can be used to make lots of products, from food to ship sails. Other parts provide pulp to make paper, oil to make paints and varnishes, and seed for food. Marijuana plants produce a high-protein, high-carbohydrate seed that is used in granola and cereals. Hemp oil and seed contain only trace amounts of psychoactive chemicals. Owning hemp products, such as hemp rope or a hemp shirt, is legal. However, it is illegal to grow or possess marijuana in plant or drug form. Possession of the cannabis plant or marijuana seeds is punishable by fines and possible jail sentences. Hemp seeds are best roasted as this brings out their nutty flavour and they are used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. The most common way to use the seeds is to grind them into a porridge called “gruel”. Hemp seeds are also made into hemp milk, prepared as tea and used in baking. Products include cereals, frozen waffles, hemp tofu, and nut butters, to name a few. Hemp is also used in some organic cereals, for non-dairy milk somewhat similar to soy and nut milks, and for non-dairy hemp “ice cream.” Hempseed is usually very safe for those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten lactose and sugar.