Hemp milk is the latest non-dairy milk product to hit Australian pantries.
The milk, which is made by blending hemp hearts, salt, filtered water and date paste, has hit shelves just six months after Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved the sale of low THC hemp seed foods.
Hemp seeds are not only a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals, they also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, according to FSANZ.
The main difference between hemp and marijuana is that marijuana has a substance called THC, or delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the component which has psychoactive properties.
Hemp contains no, or very low levels of THC and therefore does not have hallucinogenic effects.
Hemp seeds are like a little nut, with a crisp shell and a soft heart and are very nutritious.
Nutritionist Jennifer May told Daily Mail Australia hemp is ‘very similar to a flax seed or a chia seed in that it does have a lot of really beneficial anti-inflammatory oils.’
‘So these are the Omega-3 oils. And these oils are very beneficial for mood and also for reducing inflammation and pain.
Ms May said it is also a good source of protein.
‘When we compare hemp to many other seeds on the market, it actually has quite a bit more protein and it’s actually more of a complete protein,’ she said.
While hemp seeds and milk do not contain THC, Ms May said that it may still have a mood boosting effect due to other nutritional qualities.
‘Some people do still report that they have some mood improvement and even some reduction in pain in using it, but my nutritional assessment of that would be that it is actually the beneficial oils that we have in the hemp,’ she said.
Liam O’Neil from Refresh Juice is a local manufacturer of hemp milk in Western Australia.
The company sources their hemp seed from the United States, which has a more mature industry than Australia.
‘Whatever you would do with cow’s milk or soy milk, 100 percent do it with hemp milk as well,’ Mr O’Neil told Nine News.
The environmentally friendly product is relatively unattractive to insects, he said.
‘The thing about the hemp plant is bugs aren’t really attracted to it, so there are minimal to no pesticides and it doesn’t need much water,’ he said.