As marijuana continues its path toward nationwide legalization, it is gaining more publicity than ever. But another strain from the same plant is also making headlines for reasons other than the famous marijuana high. Hemp, also from the same plant Cannabis sativa that produces the THC laced recreational and medical drug, contains low to no cannabinoids (the compounds famous for marijuana’s intoxicating effects). Instead, hemp has proven to be useful in many applications, but most notably as a health food and in textiles such as fabrics. Because of its lack of cannabinoids (technically, hemp can carry up to 0.3% THC, thus nearly none) hemp has been able to bypass the laws surrounding the marijuana strain, despite a failed attempt in 2001 by the Drug Enforcement Administration to ban the plant.
According to acclaimed physician Dr. Andrew Weil, “hemp seeds have high levels of vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene and are rich in protein, carbohydrates, minerals and fiber. What’s more, a recently published study from Spain’s University of Seville found that hemp has an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to providing some compounds thought to lower high blood pressure.”
Some of the most popular sources of hemp foods today come in the form of whole seeds, hemp oil, hemp milk, granola, protein powder, nut butter, hemp nuts and now even beer. Duhbe (pronounced doo-bee) Imperial Black IPA from the Uinta brewers of Salt Lake City Utah has produced a beautiful, hop-driven IPA with roasted malts, brewed with hemp seed. Prominent notes of coffee, vanilla and pine are first to speak up in Uinta brewery’s most hop-laden beer yet. Lively yet strong, while you may not get high drinking it, at 9.2% alcohol by volume, it’s sure to be intoxicating.