Superfood, hemp


Hemp fits right into the category of the
that are garnering increasing attention in the marketplace because of their nutritional properties. Following are some insights.

Hemp, the plant

Hemp is aflowering plant in the Cannabaceae family (or Cannabinaceae), a subsetof Urticales. There are three species
, Indica and Ruderalis

and several subspecies.


a plant
annual cycle, germinating in spring and flowering in late summer. While there is also considerable variation. It develops up to a’average height of 1.5-2meters and is characterized by palmate leaves on a Straight and hairy stem. Lpollination is anemophilous, that is, it occurs through wind transport.

Its origin
has long beenattributed to theCentral Asia, where traces of dicrops già as earlyas 5,000 BC .Recent studies, however,haveshown theexistence of wild hempin Europe even before the aforementioned period.

In Italy

hemp farming
has developed since the Middle Ages, with prevalence in the areas between Bologna and Ferrara, as well as Rovigo and Padua. A famous painting by Guercino, 1615-1616, effectively depicts the faticosa extracting bundles of plants from the maceratoio and placing them in conical piles to dry. Italy was the second largest producer of hemp in the world, after Russia, and its cultivation was far more profitable than the wheat it was alternated with. Until, in the immediate postwar period, hemp farming collapsed. (1)

, in recent years, has since revealed the plant’s ability to absorb heavy metals and thus reclaim land polluted by heavy industry. Successful experiments have been conducted to this end. in Taranto and Cava dei Tirreni.

Hemp, the


Industrial hemp
(2) has always been used for the quality of its fiber, which is useful for producing cordage, paper and textiles.

Its use in food production
and cosmetics-as well as in green building and biofuels, however, dates back only to recent decades.

Hemp seeds and hemp flour,



hemp seeds can be consumed as is, to dress salads, vegetables and other dishes. That is, in the form of Hemp flour, for use in both baked goods and pasta production.

La composition of the seeds of canapa distinguishes them as a complete food, constito by more than 30 percent dfats (mostly polyunsaturated), about 25% from protein and as many carbohydrates. In addition to significant quantityà of dietary fiber and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), as per the tables which they follow. (3)

Values nutritionalaverage Of whole, decorticated, and post-pressing residue (raw panel) hemp seeds.

The quality of the proteins found in hemp seeds is also noteworthy . Indeed,edestincombinedwith albumin promotes the availability ofessential amino acids in a perfect proportion, which ensures that our bodies have the necessary elements for the construction of immunoglobulins, which perform the function of antibodies.

Hemp oil




The oil
hemp oil
, derived from cold-pressed seeds, is composed of more than80 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). It is therefore a matter of an excellent source of antioxidant substances and in particular essential fatty acids (AGEs), such aslinoleicacid (ω6, Omega6) andalpha-linolenicacid(ω3, Omega3).

The hemp seed is
food that naturally contains Omega3 and Omega6 fatty acids in a ratio of 2.5:1, i.e. ‘perfect’ for being assimilated byhumans (Simopoulos et al., 2000).

Hemp for food use, what rules?


Ministry of


, by its own circular 22.5.09, allowed in Italy theuse of hemp seed For human nutrition. (4) DDeclaring that, based on the guidance of theSuperior Institute ofHealth,
the possibility


of detecting traces (of THC) in processing products (flours and oils) is solely due to contamination of floral organs and the

adoption of unsuitable seed hulling practices.

Stay firma the needà to adopt eligible Self-control plans to ensure product safety, also in the terms of substantial absence of psychoactive substances, by farmers and operators in the industry food.

The varieties

of industrial hemp
that can be legally cultivated in Italy are those included in thelist ofvarieties certified at the European level. It has been defined what is meant by industrial hemp and therefore the varietiesà registered in the Community Register, with regular tags and THC values not exceeding 0.2 percent. (5)

Laura Pontassuglia and Dario Dongo


  1. An interesting read on this subject at this link

  2. Industrial hemp is defined as thevariety substantially free of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive active ingredient)

  3. source
    140: 65-72, 2004. J.C. Callaway,
    Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kuopio, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland.

  4. V.

    ministry of health circular May 22, 2009.


  5. See c.d. Hemp Law, law 242/16

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Originally from Puglia, he has lived in Cesena for several years. He has two children and a cute dog that he adores. After a long experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he became aware that pharmacology is as important as nutrition in the treatment and prevention of diseases. In 2007 he began his career in the food industry dealing first with gluten-free foods and then with functional foods. She is a great supporter of organic food and a conscious diet.

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.