If you started out 2020 thinking "You know what, this will finally be the year that I explore this whole hemp thing!" - well you, fine reader, are in luck! It is I, your friendly wellness writer, here to guide you through the slightly confusing and oddball world of all things healthy in the hopes that perhaps you feel a bit more informed and way less confused. Let’s dig in.
Today I’m talking about hemp, specifically Humming Hemp - a local company that slid into my inbox recently. Humming Hemp is, in their own words, a “NW female-founded hemp food company navigating the emerging and recently legalized hemp industry, and growing exponentially.”
When I read the description I was intrigued. Local? Women-owned? Did we just hit the jackpot? Is this a sign that I should go out and buy a lottery ticket? All this in to say that I was intrigued, and curious to know how they stood up against what seems like hundreds of similar hemp-centric businesses coming onto the scene this year.
Hemp has infiltrated the health and wellness world so swiftly that I’m convinced it’s only a matter of time until cute little kids in vests try to sell it to me at the grocery store, Girl Scout style.
So what’s the deal with hemp? And why should we care? To start off: hemp and CBD are not the same thing.
According to Harvard Medical School; “CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.” So hemp is the non-psychoactive, happy and slightly more reserved relative of the cannabis plant. Make sense? Hemp as a plant can serve all sorts of purposes like being fashioned into a stylish necklace at sleep-away camp, turned into eco-friendly housing insulation, made into textiles, and used as a replacement for plastic, to name a casual few.
I’m going to be honest, even though I write about CBD a lot, I knew embarrassingly little about hemp, and had haphazardly lumped it into the CBD family. I knew that I sometimes put hemp hearts in my smoothies, and I knew that hemp necklaces were very cool in the nineties.
To get to know Humming Hemp, I listened to this podcast featuring Humming Hemp CEO, Hilary Kelsay. During the podcast I learned some crazy facts, like that hemp hearts have four times as much protein as chicken and 50% fewer carbs than almonds. Umm what?! Why aren’t people, I don’t know, screaming this from their rooftops? Why isn’t every Instagram fitness model talking about this instead of skinny teas? The Humming Hemp website is also packed with lots of helpful tidbits.
Then, I did the true work.
After my morning workout I ventured across the street to Fred Meyer, where legend (read: the internet) told me I would be able to pick up Humming Hemp products. This, I should mention, is a huge plus about hemp. Unlike some CBD products, you don’t need to venture into a pot shop. Rather, you’ll find hemp products at your favorite grocery store, right next to other healthy things like coconut oil, protein powder, and chips made of kale that we convince ourselves are as good as Doritos.
At Freddie’s I was able to easily find the Humming Hemp products, like hemp oil, protein, hearts and the new hummingbars - WITHOUT EVEN ASKING FOR HELP. Guess that college education was worth it. I decided on the Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Hemp Oil and Hemp Hearts and ventured on my way, feeling that feeling that only comes from buying health foods and supplements: I am about to be the most fabulously healthy version of myself. When I got home, I took a few shots of hemp oil and chased them with green juice.
I mean, I guess that you could go home and take a shot of hemp oil if you’re feeling like getting wild with your morning smoothie, but nobody expects you to be that hardcore. Hemp oil has a slightly nutty taste, so my favorite way is to use it as dressing on a salad or mixed into a morning smoothie, two of the regular staples in my diet. This isn’t just for fun either - healthy fats like that found in hemp oil have a ton of benefits. In my own body I notice that my brain feels more “awake” when I eat healthy fats regularly which makes sense because, duh, your brain is literally made out of fat.
With this knowledge in mind I have been trying to incorporate more healthy fats into my diet in 2020, leading me to venture beyond the wonderful world of guacamole. I even enjoyed putting hemp oil on my popcorn (plus nutritional yeast and sea salt - try it and thank me later), which meant that I could pat myself on the back for eating healthy fats while watching "The Bachelor". IDK guys, I think I’m kinda inspirational.