Monday, September 17, 2007

Hemp milk to debut in Canada

The two hemp milk products to be released in Canada are Living Harvest Hempmilk and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Bliss. Both are going to be available in original, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. Hemp milk is somewhat similar to soy milk. It is made from the seeds of the industrial hemp plant, the cousin to the illegal or unlawful psychoactive plants known as marijuana (cannabis sativa and cannabis indica), that folks smoke to get high. Industrial hemp contains such minutely low levels of THC and other cannabinoids, the substances in marijuana that get you buzzed, that it has basically no psychoactive effect on consumers. In Canada hemp farming is legal, as are products made from industrial hemp. Interestingly enough the US is the only industrialized country where hemp is illegal to grow, although some products made from it are legal. Some of the benefits of Hemp milk are: it is high in protein and is a good source of balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and has lots of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, thiamin, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and iron. It is the only product made from seeds that contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a controversial substance that may help fight cancer, treat problems with inflammation, and auto-immune diseases. It does not contain trypsin inhibitors (trypsin is an enzyme essential to nutrition) or phytic acid which is a strong chelator of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc and can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies (although research shows that phytic acid may prevent colon cancer.)

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