As the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) moves towards legalising hemp as food, the issue of Hemp vs. Marijuana continues to stall progress.
Hemp seeds and hemp food products may soon be legalised in Australia and New Zealand. A decision could be made by the end of 2016.
If hemp as food is legalised, Australians would be able to add hemp seed hearts and other hemp food products to their daily meals. Hemp seeds make a tasty and nutritious addition to breakfast cereals, sauces, desserts, smoothies and salads, to name just a few.
Although FSANZ has agreed to move towards legalising food made from hemp, there are still issues that could effect the final decision. Issues that are due to a lack of knowledge about the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana.
For example, Australian police are concerned that eating hemp will affect roadside drug tests, but hemp contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. And the Federal Health Department believes that legalising hemp for food would send the public a message that cannabis is safe to consume, which it is. Hemp is extremely nutritious, contains protein, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
It is important to know the facts; although hemp and marijuana are both in the Cannabis family, hemp seed does not contain the psychoactive compound, THC, that marijuana does. Hemp is grown for industrial purposes: food, fiber and fuel. It is similiar to the difference in poppies that are grown to make opium narcotic and the poppies that are grown for the poppy seeds that are used in food products such as bagels.
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