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are hemp seeds cannabis

The short answer is no. As mentioned above, hemp seeds are not cultivated from the marijuana plant, but from the hemp plant, which contains minute amounts of THC. According to Jolene Formene, staff attorney at Drug Policy Alliance, “Hemp seeds are non-psychoactive, meaning that consumers cannot get high by eating them.” In other words, it’s impossible to get high from them.

As we sprinkle the seeds on top of our salads, we can’t help but wonder: what’s the deal with hemp seeds and THC?

For one, the marijuana plant is stalkier, while the hemp plant is taller and thinner. But more importantly, the hemp plant contains low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana can contain anywhere from 5 to 30 percent.

What are hemp seeds, actually?

They also won’t cause you to fail a drug test. We know that other foods like poppy seeds, which contain trace amounts of opiates, can make you fail a drug test. Certain places actually ask that you don’t eat poppy seed bagels or muffins before testing. But hemp seeds won’t cause the same confusion. A study found that eating hemp seeds had little effect on a person’s THC levels ― and never enough to exceed the levels looked for in federal drug testing programs.

But there’s something many people just can’t get over: hemp’s link to marijuana.

The seeds of the hemp plant are housed in small, brown hulls that are removed before we get our hands on them. The white seeds we buy at the store are the inner seeds, sometimes called the heart, and they’re soft enough to eat and cook.

Hemp seeds have long been a staple in health-food stores, being prized for decades for their nutritional benefits ― they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a complete protein source, and a rich source of essential minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Read about industrial hemp and the regulations that control its use:

Hemp seed food products have been produced from hemp seeds for example, hemp seed protein powder and hemp seed cookies. A licence from Medicines Control is not required if your activities start with hemp seed food products.

The only part of the hemp plant that can be used for food is the seeds.

Hemp seeds and hemp seed food products are not medicines

You need a general licence issued by Medicines Control under the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006, with cultivation listed as an activity:

Hulled hemp seeds are seeds with the outer coat or hull removed that are not able to germinate. A licence from Medicines Control is not required if your activities start with hulled non-viable hemp seeds.

While there is interest in the use of THC and CBD for medicinal uses, the level of THC and CBD allowed in hemp seeds and hemp seed food products is too low to have a medicinal effect. THC and CBD are present in these products as a ‘natural contaminant’, fortification of products with CBD is prohibited under the Food Standard. The Food Standard that allows the sale of hemp seeds and hemp seed food products does not permit health or nutrition claims to be made about the CBD content of these food.

To sell whole hemp seeds you must: