A recent study has revealed that there is much more of the psychoactive cannabis compound THC in hemp seeds.
That’s right. Those small hemp hearts that you can buy at health shops across the UK, with their abundant healthy omega 3 fatty acids and high protein count, may contain up to 3.8mg of THC per gram.
That means if you consume just 10g of hemp seeds, you could be consuming 38mg of THC (assuming you get a particularly potent batch). This is especially startling when you consider how most legal edibles in the US and Canada start at around 10mg doses or lower. It is logical to assume that THC is also present in hemp seed oil in higher amounts than previously thought.
It is worth noting, however, that the THC present in hemp seeds is probably the acid precursor to THC, which is known as THCa and does not induce a mind-altering effect unless heated.
Anyone else considering baking a hemp seed cake? I certainly am.
The authors of the study, who are based at the University of Toronto in Canada, investigated three different brands of consumer-grade hemp seeds using four different procedures to extract the cannabinoids and measured the total amounts of THC and CBD in the final product.
They discovered that THC concentrations in the hemp seeds could be as high as 1250% of the legal US limit (all cannabis seeds, whether high-THC or hemp, are legal to buy and sell in the UK).
“These quantities of total THC may reach as high as 3.8 mg per gram of hemp seeds,” the study says. Although the hemp seeds were presumably purchased in Canada, there is no reason why their results should differ when it comes to hemp seeds from anywhere else.
The authors also mentioned a case in Switzerland, where four patients suffered psychological and gastrointestinal issues due to consumption of hemp seed oil which had higher concentrations of THC than thought, prompting a public health inquiry.
Low doses of cannabinoids THC and CBD have been shown to have therapeutic effects on humans, and this study suggests that hemp seeds could be a viable source for these so-called microdoses of THC.
Therefore, being legal and readily available in the high street, hemp seeds could offer a cheap and effective health boost to many.
This just another example of how the cannabis plant (hemp is cannabis grown for industrial purposes) can help mankind.