Hemp vegetables: the new super foods


The use of hemp for therapeutic purposes, and of CBD as a daily use for the treatment of various ailments, from migraines to menstrual pain, to insomnia, is now consolidated. However, a real super food could also be born from hemp. Not a food produced with hemp flour or baking oil, but microgreens, microgreens in English, i.e. to hold little leaves not to be confused with i sproutswhich could give rise to a new diet: the hemp plant could be eaten whole, when it is larger than a shoot but not yet developed. A study has highlighted the many beneficial nutritional aspects of these microgreens, destined to become real super foods.

Hemp microgreens: new super food

Hemp microgreens that boast numerous benefits, when the plant's cycle is still in the initial vegetative phase, i.e. in the germination phase following that of common shoots that are just a few days old. For this reason it is wrong to talk about hemp sprouts (which are ready in 2 or 3 days, and should be consumed with the seed), and it is correct to define microgreens as those plants grown in starting from the week and up to three weeks of life. The nutraceutical properties of the small green leaves of hemp are multiple, and like all baby vegetables, much more beneficial than the sprouts and the fully mature plant.

What are microgreens?

I microgreens, are vegetables in the initial growth phase that are obtained from horticultural plants, herbaceous and aromatic species of various types. They are widely used by great chefs to enrich various dishes: they are beautiful to look at and good to eat. Not only that, they are good for your health because the content of mineral salts, vitamins and nutrients is even higher than that of sprouts and adult plants.

The study on hemp microgreens

A scientific study published in Food Research Internationaledited by a group of Italian researchers from the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the Federico II University of Naples, analyzed 6 diverse cultivar of certified industrial hemp, highlighting its nutritional components of these varieties as microgreens.

The results, directly from the study summary: “Six cultivars were evaluated for yield and composition of organic acids, amino acids, polyphenols and phytocannabinoids. The bioactive composition was strongly correlated to the hemp variety. The variety Silvana demonstrated the highest total amino acid and essential amino acid content, high concentrations of cannflavin A and B, and moderate levels of cannabidiol and cannabigerol. Finola it stood out for the highest concentration of cannflavins and total polyphenols and for the lowest levels of Δ9-THC. Regardless of the varietal differences, hemp microgreens have proven to be largely safe in terms of Δ9-THC content”.

Beneficial properties

Hemp microgreens could become the food of the future (a maximum consumption of 100 grams per day would have no side effects), because from a nutritional point of view they are really interesting. For example, they contain amino acids, phenolic acids, flavonoids e phytocannabinoids non-psychoactive. Hemp microgreens have a concentration of oxalates decidedly lower than other species. They also contain high quality proteins with all essential amino acids.

CBD: what is it and what properties does it have?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical substance found in the plant Cannabis sativa. The two main ingredients in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. THC is the intoxicating and psychotropic substance, while CBD is not, and would have a beneficial function for the body by acting on the brain to control pain, stress and mood. Under strict medical supervision, CBD is prescribed for the treatment of seizures, multiple sclerosis, psychosis, anxiety attacks, but also Crohn's disease, diabetes, sleep disorders, withdrawal from heroin, morphine and opioids.

An uncontrolled, do-it-yourself intake of CBD could seriously damage the liver and compromise liver function. Do not use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

European regulation

Can hemp microgreens be consumed in Italy? To date only in the state of New York, as also confirmed by scholars of Frederick II, some farmers are growing hemp microgreens, selling these tender, strong-flavored “baby salads” at a price of more than $60 per kilo.

At a European level, the regulation of foods with CBD and their inclusion among Novel foods is still underway, which saw the process stopped in the middle of last year by the European Commission, and it is still waiting for a position on the issue. In Europe, however, the road may be uphill due to a legislative problem which would hinder the marketing of hemp in the form of vegetables.


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