The Hemp plant is not
only one of the oldest cultivated plants, it is also one of the most
versatile, valuable and controversial plants known to man. The industrial
Hemp plant has a long history, which has proven its innate worth and its
stalks and seeds can serve as raw material for an exciting array of many
diverse products. The plantís Latin name "Sativa" means "useful Hemp" and
it definitely measures up to its name!
The potential contribution of the Hemp
Seed to human nutrition is gaining world wide recognition. Like no other plant
resource, the Hemp seed has both a high content of easily digestible,
complete protein and a rich endowment of oil providing the most favourable
ratio of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) required for proper human nutrition.
In addition, the Hemp Seed provides a significant contribution of Gamma-Linolenic
acid which has potential therapeutic efficacy.
Hemp Seeds are pressed to obtain oil, crushed to create flour or eaten as a
nut substitute. The various grades of this EFA rich oil can be used as a
nutritional supplement, in aromatherapy, in the manufacture of body care
products and cosmetics, as a lubricant, in the manufacture of alkyd resins
Hemp Cake (which is the remains of the seeds once it has been through the
oil press) can be used as animal feed, in plant fertilizer, in bait and much
is currently not grown in South Africa. It is regulated and can only be
grown under license. All licenses to date have been issued for research
Hemp products available in South Africa are therefore imported.