Hemp FAQ – Protein, Seed, Oil and more
Q. Are Nutiva’s hemp products raw?
A. Yes, Nutiva’s hemp products are cold-processed (under 104°F) from raw, live hemp seeds. Nutiva utilizes a mechanical process to remove the hard shells, yielding our delicious shelled hemp seeds. Our hemp oil is expeller-pressed from the seeds without the use of hexane or other toxic solvents. Our hemp protein powder is made from specially milled hemp seed cake with the oil removed.
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Q. Why is Nutiva’s commitment to Fresh Is Best important?
A. Everyone knows fresh foods and oils taste better and are more nutritious. Nutiva is committed to offering the freshest products available. We guarantee this by utilizing the optimal manufacturing and storage methods for each product. We also mark the production and “Best Before” dates on all our products.
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Q. How should I store my hemp seed, hemp oil, and hemp protein powder?
A. It is best to keep hemp products refrigerated or in the freezer and to use them within 8-12 weeks of opening. You can also store unopened hempseed products in a cool dry place such as a basement.
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Q. Are hemp foods legal to import, buy and consume in the United States?
A. Yes. The case HIA v DEA established that hemp foods are exempt from control in the Controlled Substances Act. An excellent overview of the case can be found on the Vote Hemp web site on their DEA Hemp Food Rules page. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion invalidating DEA final rules can be downloaded here.
Q. If I recently consumed hemp foods, could I fail a drug test?
A. If the only source of the psychoactive THC in your body is from hemp foods, produced from Canadian grown hemp seeds and eaten in reasonable quantities, it is virtually impossible to fail a drug test by ingesting hemp foods due to the fact that THC levels in our products are barely measurable.
The TestPledge program is a voluntary commitment by the North American hemp food industry to limit THC concentrations to levels where they cannot result in positive drug tests. Nutiva joined the TestPledge program in 2001. Nutiva’s hemp food products meet Canadian government and TestPledge standards for hemp foods.
We recommend that you read the TestPledge Answers page first. If you need more technical information please download and read the study summary “Evaluating Interference of THC in Hemp Food Products With Employee Drug Testing,” which was prepared by Gero Leson, D.Env. and Petra Pless. Please click here to download. (PDF file 21k)
Here is an e-mail we received about Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein powder and drug testing from a Department of Defense employee:
I work for the Department of Defense and was finally selected for random urinalysis after 18 years. I wasn’t the least bit worried – until that night when I went home to fix a fruit shake in which I use your hemp protein powder. As I took it out of the refrigerator, it suddenly occurred to me that it has a very small amount of THC in it. Having been a drug/alcohol abuse officer in the Air Force years ago, I understood the potential implications, including the fact that THC is detectable far longer than many drugs of abuse. I called Nutiva the next day, and was told that because you can’t ever know what other behaviors a customer may be engaging in, you cannot say for certain that your products could not cause a positive urinalysis for THC. However, I was assured that it was HIGHLY unlikely by itself – especially the protein powder because of the way it’s processed (i.e. lower oil content than some other products). I promised to provide you with feedback either way my test turned out. My understanding is that the Department of Defense uses state-of-the-art testing. I passed, despite using your hemp protein powder multiple times every week for months. I know it’s no guarantee, but it may relieve others who are not using illegal substances but who may be using your products, and become concerned about drug testing. Thanks.
Q. What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
A. Marijuana and hemp both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L., but from different varieties. There are different varieties of Cannabis, just as Chihuahuas and St. Bernards are different breeds of dogs, Canis familiari.
Marijuana is the flowering tops and leaves of psychoactive varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their high THC content.
Hemp, also referred to as industrial hemp, are low-THC varieties of Cannabis that are grown for their seeds and fiber. Hemp is grown legally in just about every industrialized country except the USA. For more detailed information see Hemp 101.
Q. What is the recommended daily intake of hemp seeds?
A. Health practitioners suggest three to five tablespoons of shelled hempseed per day.
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Q. What is the difference between hemp hearts and hemp seeds?
A. Nothing! Hemp hearts are the same shelled, nutritious, organic, raw food as shelled hemp seeds. Some people refer to them as hemp hearts and some refer to them as shelled hemp seeds, where the hard outer shell of the seed has been removed. Whatever you call them, they are tasty and nutritious!
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Q. What is the recommended daily intake of hemp oil?
A. Health practitioners suggest one or two tablespoons of hemp oil per day.
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Q. Why is hemp so nutritious?
A. Hemp oil contains the most essential fatty acids (EFAs) of any nut or seed oil, with the omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs occurring in the nutritionally optimal 1:3 ratio.
Q. Why are essential fatty acids (EFAs) important?
A. Essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the human body; they must be obtained from your diet. As the name implies, they are essential to your health and well being. Seventy percent of adults who eat a typical Western diet do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids, and at the same time, they get too much omega-6 fatty acids. This imbalance can cause a wide range of health problems.
Q. What are the benefits of hemp vs. flax?
A. Shelled hempseed is more easily digested than ground flax seed, while whole flax seed passes through your body undigested. Hemp seed and hemp oil also contain higher-potency omega derivatives, GLA and SDA, which flax seed lacks.
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Q. I would like to know more about hemp and hemp foods. What are some good sources of information?
A. To learn more about hemp food, please read The Amazing Hempseed and an article, “Hemp and Flax Seeds and Oil in Modern Nutrition” by Gero Leson, D.Env. (PDF file 305k)
For an even more in depth look at hemp we suggest that you read:
“A Renewal of Common Sense: The Case for Hemp in 21st Century America” by Erik Rothenberg
“Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity” a CRS Report for Congress by Jean M. Rawson
“Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America” by Ernest Small and David Marcus