The use of hemp seed as a human food spans back thousands of years and it was actually a staple food of the Chinese diet prior to the 10th century. In fact, The Record of Rites or Li Chi, an ancient book of classical Confucian works, places hemp among the five grains of ancient China, along with barley, rice, wheat, and soybeans.

Hemp seed contains all nine essential amino acids, both essential fatty acids, and a wide spectrum of vitamins including A, B1, B2, B6 and E. This makes hemp what is known as a nutraceutical, in other words a food that is as beneficial as a medicine.

A variety of products can also be derived from the hemp seed. When pressed, the seeds yield a nutty oil and what remains is a high-protein cake that can be ground into a highly nutritious flour.

Hemp oil holds all the essential fatty acids while the flour has all the protein. Eating the hemp nut , or heart, yields both. Always be sure to use and store raw hemp oil in a cool and dark place as exposeure to heat will damage its fatty-acid profile. Hemp oil makes an excellent oil for salad dressing.