In 2016, Natalie Moubarak began tracking the legislative journey for hemp-based foods. She personally banked on her belief that hemp will be legalised as a food and when it was, she spotted an opportunity to launch Australia’s first true hemp water – a nutrient rich addition to your fridge called +hemp.
This November, it will be two years since hemp was legalised as a food in Australia. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of edible hemp products. Apart from hemp food newcomers, plenty of existing brands have begun expanding their range to incorporate hemp into products, such as peanut butter, parmesan and protein powder – which often uses hemp seeds or hemp seed oil.
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I developed an interest in hemp food after being introduced to a concoction of hemp and moisturiser as a solution to my psoriasis. This turned out to be more effective and safer than steroid creams and the like, and if hemp was improving my skin condition, I wondered whether it would help with my general health by consuming it? I sought to answer this question and began an 18-month journey into developing +hemp, Australia’s first-to-market hemp water.
Hemp as a nutrient food source
When hemp became legalised, it was often misunderstood – and it is still at times – with many not aware of its benefits. Plenty still associate it with recreational drugs. Little did people know that hemp used in foods is extracted from hemp seeds, which is a strain of the cannabis plant and contains no traces of tetrahydrocannabinol. This chemical is what gives the hallucinogenic and psychoactive effects.
Instead, hemp seeds have plenty of nutrients. It has amino acids, and boasts high levels of omega-3, omega-6 and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Foods that contain hemp, whether its in seed or oil form, will have these added health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which decreases cholesterol and has been linked to cardiovascular health.
What is hemp water?
While hemp is most commonly incorporated in food, it has also made its way into beverages, namely hemp water. Unlike hemp-infused water products that are already on the market, +hemp uses a reverse-osmosis filtration method that mixes hemp oil with water and other natural ingredients, making it the first true hemp-based beverage.
+hemp uses high-quality Australian-grown hemp and a natural process to mix the hemp oil with water. In addition to this, vitamins and nutrients are also added to this to make it just as hydrating and refreshing as water, but with the added benefits and natural fruity taste.
Hydrate, +hemp’s original flavour, has vitamin C added to it to provide an extra vitamin boost and a citrus burst, while preserving the natural, nutty flavour of hemp. Restore, a new flavour that we released in August, has a natural raspberry and coconut flavour.
By combining all the nutrients from hemp oil into an accessible, everyday drink, it allows people to enjoy these benefits on the go. +hemp beverages are also versatile – it can be incorporated into your diet by using it as a base for protein shakes or just by drinking it regularly as is. There is no limit as to how much you can consume.
Given that it’s only been two years since the legalisation of hemp foods, we’re spoiled with choices on the many ways we can include hemp into our diets. From hemp milk to hemp flour, this once-misunderstood ingredient is slowly making its way into more Aussies’ pantries. Additionally, with more people understanding its health benefits and being readily available in supermarkets and food stores, consuming hemp products can be just as easy drinking water.