Hemp is a close relative of the cannabis plant, but it is non-psychoactive and has earned a reputation as a superfood in recent years. It is not related to wheat, barley, and rye gluten grains, and it can be used to manufacture a wide range of products. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago. It can be refined into paper, ropes, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Systematic characterization of the inherent nutritional and functional properties of hemp seed flour, protein fractions, and hemp seed oil obtained through various processes has been conducted. When cultivated for non-pharmacological purposes, hemp is called industrial hemp. Comparative studies of different processes for extracting hemp seed oil have been conducted considering physical, chemical, and economic aspects on an industrial scale. The use of hemp as a fabric was mainly focused on the countryside and higher quality textiles were available in cities.
The properties of hemp allow resistance to mold and its porous material makes the building materials that compose it breathable. Hemp activist Jack Herer brought agriculture and commerce to light in the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes. The ash content recorded in samples of bread containing hemp flour shows a slight increase compared to the control sample. The use of the industrial hemp plant and its cultivation were common until the 1900s when it was associated with its genetic brother marijuana.
Virgin hemp seed oil produced only by screw pressing is green due to chlorophyll extracted together with the oil. The addition of hemp flour to bakery products had the side effect of reducing their elasticity and porosity. A study has shown that typical analyses could underestimate the cannabinoid content in hemp seeds and in some cases exceed the legal weight limit by ten times. Hemp plants can be vulnerable to several pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses, and other diverse pathogens. Therefore both the elasticity and porosity of the samples decreased with the increase in the proportion of hemp flour added.
There is significant potential for hemp-based ingredients to be used in a variety of food applications. Hemp is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products such as rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulators, and biofuels.