One of the most controversial meal ingredients has been legalised as a food in Australia.

On November 12th 2017, the Australian government legalised the consumption of Hemp, joining a growing global industry.

Acknowledged by Food Standards Australia New Zealand as a highly nutritious food, hemp has many health benefits. Furthermore, hemp as a plant is one of the most versatile of crops with a wide variety of uses in fibre, fabrics, building materials, paper and bio plastics.

We touched base with CEO of Hemp Foods Australia, Paul Benhaim to get the latest on hemp. It has been a very celebrated topic and point of conversation with everyone recently.

Paul says legalisation of the plant will pave the way for Australians to reap the health, economic and environmental benefits of a healthy local hemp food industry, with legalisation a key step towards more sustainable farming in Australia.

“As a food, hemp is a highly nutritious source of plant-based protein and can be used as a snack food as it is (hemp seeds are great for kids lunch boxes), salad sprinkle and smoothie topping as well as an awesome food ingredient.

“‘Hemp also removes more CO2 from the air than trees do and is highly pest, weed and drought resistant’ Paul says.

“Unlike corn, cotton, soy, wheat and rice, Hemp uses a lot less water and doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides. It also yields food that is more nutritious than all these others combined and isn’t plagued by their allergies.”


Hemp seeds come from the same plant species as cannabis (marijuana), however they contain little or no THC, so you won’t test positive on a drug test. They are in fact highly nutritious and exceptionally rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals. With a mild, nutty flavor, Hemp is a delicious and nutritious addition to many foods.

Hemp Seeds are the second highest source of whole vegetable protein, containing all 21 essential amino acids, and the optimum Omega 3:6 profile (1:4).

Health Benefits
  • Nutritious, whole protein, containing all 21 essential amino acids.
  • Whole hemp seeds contain over 30% healthy fats and are exceptionally rich in Omega 3, essential for brain function, growth and development. A diet rich in Omega 3 has also been shown to contribute to reducing inflammation, heart disease, blood pressure and depression.
  • High amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc
  • High amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, which may benefit digestive health
  • Contains more protein than both chia seeds and flaxseeds
  • Hemp seed oil has been used as a food/ medicine in China for over 3000 years

The hemp plant is as versatile as it is nutritious, and can be consumed as a seed, oil, flour or protein powder. It can be used to bake, can be added to a smoothie, salad or meal ingredient.  The seed is fully digestible, and can be consumed directly without heating or soaking.


Hemp Foods Australia’s mission is to provide the very best raw certified organic hemp products for their customers, and a safe, sustainable, high omega source and highly digestible protein, (both essential for health and well-being).

Founded by Paul Benhaim in 2000, he also founded the UK Hemp Industry in 1993. Located in Bangalow on Australia’s east coast, the facility is 100% Australian Certified Organic and employs purely mechanical, low-temperature processes to seal in nutrition. Hemp Foods Australia proudly support the growth of a local hemp farming industry in Australia.

Each year, Hemp Foods Australia uses more than 200 million Hemp plants.

This production process:
  • Removes 5 million kg of CO2 from the atmosphere;
  • Creates over 2000 hours of employment for farmers;
  • Saves more than a billion litres of water
  • Hemp Foods Australia currently use over 200 million hemp plants annually
  • THC levels in hemp are extremely low (or non-existent), ranging from 0 – 0.3%
  • 25% of hemp seeds’ total calories are from high-quality protein
  • Hemp plants reach maturity after approx. 100 days
  • The Market for Australian Hemp is expected to quadruple over the next 2 yrs.

*Sources: ABC, 2017: Globe Newswire, 2017: PR Newswire, 2016

For more information visit Hemp Foods Australia:  www.hempfoods.com.au

*These claims are made from various other sources. This article is for educational purposes only. Always seek health advice from your healthcare professional.


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