Hemp Uses And Care: Learn How To Grow Hemp Seed
Hemp was once an important economic crop in the United States and elsewhere. The versatile plant had a host of uses but its relation to the vilified Cannabis plant caused many governments to ban the planting and sale of hemp. The primary method of propagation of the plant is hemp seed, which is also useful nutritionally and cosmetically. Growing hemp from seed requires a carefully prepared seed bed, plenty of nutrients, and plenty of space for these large and fast growing plants.
What is Hemp Seed?
Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of Cannabis. It has great potential as a grain and fiber material. There are approved varieties for planting depending upon where you live, so it is best to consult with your municipality to determine which, if any, varieties are permitted.
There are also species which are noted for best grain or fiber production, so selection will depend upon the purpose for the crop. Some tips on how to grow hemp seed will then send you on your way to a vibrant, rapid, and prolific crop.
Hemp seeds contains about 25 percent protein and over 30 percent fat, especially essential fatty acids which have been shown to promote optimal health. This makes them invaluable as animal fodder and in human consumption. Some studies even tout the seeds as reducing heart disease, minimizing PMS and menopausal symptoms, aiding digestion, and relieving the symptoms of common skin disorders.
Hemp seeds are also pressed to garner beneficial oils. Seeds are harvested when at least half the visible seed is brown. Seeds attain a cracked appearance as the outer layer dries. Hemp seed is heavily regulated and attaining viable seed within the confines of federal guidelines can be difficult in some areas.
Hemp fiber is a tough, durable product that can be made into textiles, paper, and construction materials. The oil from seed shows up in cosmetics, supplements, and more. Seeds are used in food, as animal fodder, and even beverages. The plant is considered to be useful in over 25,000 products in areas such as furniture, food, automotive, textiles, personal products, beverages, construction, and supplements.
More and more states and provinces are permitting growing hemp. It has been surmised that the plant could have global economic impact where governments allow the plant to be cropped.
How to Grow Hemp Seed
Be aware that many locations specifically forbid any hemp growing. In areas where it is permitted, you will likely need a license and adhere to a rigid set of rules unique to each locality. If you are lucky enough to be able to obtain licensing and certified seed, you will need to provide the crop with deeply tilled soil with a pH of 6 or higher.
Soils must be well draining but should also have enough organic matter to retain moisture as hemp is a high water crop. It requires 10 to 13 inches (25-33 cm.) of rainfall during the growth period.
Direct sow seed after all danger of frost has passed in soil temperatures a minimum of 42 degrees F. (6 C.). In optimum conditions, the seed can germinate in 24 to 48 hours, emerging in five to seven days. Within three to four weeks, the plant may be 12 inches (30 cm.) tall.
Due to the rapid growth and extreme vigor of hemp, few pests or diseases are of major concern.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for educational and gardening purposes only. Before planting hemp in your garden, it is always important to check if a plant is allowed in your particular area. Your local municipality or extension office can help with this.
Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of Cannabis. It has great potential as a grain and fiber material. There are approved varieties for planting depending upon where you live. Learn more about hemp seed here.
Everything You Need to Know About How to Eat Hemp Seeds
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods
As far as the nut and seed world goes, hemp seeds are like the straight-A student who’s also captain of the football team. A couple of spoonfuls of hemp seeds packs a serious amount of essential nutrients, they’re easy to eat and cook with, and they have a pleasantly nutty taste, like a cross between a sunflower seed and a pine nut. And no, they won’t get you remotely high. Here’s everything you need to know about how to buy and eat these little seeds.
Although hemp and marijuana are members of the same species, Cannabis sativa, they’re in effect completely different plants. There are about a dozen varieties of hemp plants that are grown for food, and all of them contain about 0.001 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. This means you can eat as much hemp as you want and you’ll never have to worry about getting high or failing a drug test. Although certain states have begun to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in the last couple of years, the hemp seeds you can find at your grocery or health food store were likely grown in Canada or China.
Hemp plants grow brown popcorn kernel-sized hard seeds. Inside these hard seeds lie soft, white or light green inner kernels that are packed with essential amino acids, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can’t really derive a lot of nutritional value from the unhulled seeds, so when you see a bag at the store labeled “hemp seeds,” what you’re actually buying is those soft inner kernels, also known as hemp hearts. Hemp hearts can be pressed to make hemp seed oil, leaving behind a byproduct that can be turned into hemp protein powder. You can find all of these hemp products at health food stores, or a well-stocked grocery store like Whole Foods.
Eating shelled hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, is as simple as sprinkling a spoonful or two into smoothies or on top of cereal, salads, or yogurt, says Kelly Saunderson of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, the world’s largest hemp foods manufacturer. People with gluten sensitivity can use hemp seeds as a substitute for breadcrumbs to coat chicken or fish. Just like you can blend almonds and water to make almond milk, you can do the same with hemp seeds for hemp seed milk, which you can use as an alternative to dairy milk in drinks and recipes. And because of its nutty flavor, hemp seeds make a great substitute for people with nut allergies—you can dry-toast them over low heat to bring out even more of that nuttiness.
Hemp seed oil should be used as a finishing oil, rather than a cooking or frying oil, since the delicate omega fatty acids will break down during the cooking process, stripping the oil of its nutritional benefits. Instead, use it to make salad dressings, or drizzle over pasta, grilled veggies, or popcorn.
Hemp seeds are considered one of the most valuable plant-based proteins out there. Here's what you need to know about how to eat them.