Cooking with Hemp: A History

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With so much focus on healthy and clean living, people have been paying much closer attention to the ingredients they use in their meals. Consumers are now looking for ingredients that not only taste great, but also offer health benefits. One ingredient that has been getting attention as of late is hemp oil, but here’s the thing – using hemp oil in cooking is nothing new.

Hemp has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years, where it originated in what we now know as Taiwan. In fact, many believe it was one of the first agricultural crop found in sustainable civilizations. This means people have long since been using this ingredient as a way to get that health boost for their body. So, let’s take a closer look at the history of cooking with hemp.

Originally Used to Condition the Soil

As you look back into the history of cooking with hemp, it’s interesting to discover that one of its original uses wasn’t actually to cook with it, rather it was to condition the soil for the farmers. This conditioned soil was then perfect for legumes and corn, yielding incredible crops that were so vitally important. The hemp plant itself is rather large, growing up to 20 feet in height, which also meant that it could offer some sort of shade for other plants, thereby increasing its usefulness.

Hemp as Medicine

Hemp has also long been used for its medicinal qualities as well. The hemp leaves could be used in food and then used to treat a variety of ailments. Some of the earliest medicinal uses of hemp were to help with intestinal constipation, rheumatic pain, malaria, and to help with disorders of the female reproductive system. By turning hemp into hemp oil, it made it easy to incorporate the ingredient into other food and dishes.

The Result of Cold Pressing

The hemp oil of today is the product of cold-pressing hemp seeds. Unlike many assume, there are absolutely no psychoactive properties of hemp oil. It is completely different than hash oil, which can cause a fair amount of confusion with people today. This could be the reason it still isn’t as popular to cook with as olive oil and coconut oil.

Why It Has Continued to Stay Popular

When cooking with hemp oil, it has a very low smoke point, which means very little heat is needed when cooking with it. You don’t want to be using it in deep fried dishes as it won’t taste very good.

Hemp oil is even referred to as a superfood since it is high in omega 3 and 6. For those who are vegan and vegetarian, it can act as a replacement for fish oil. You can think back to its original uses in history and understand that the fact it is so high in these omega essential fatty acids must have played a huge role in why it was so celebrated. Not only that, but it’s low in saturated fat, making it an excellent choice from a health perspective.

As for how people can use it in dishes, that part hasn’t changed much. It can be substituted for other oils in things such as sauces, dips, dressings, and marinades. Just one tablespoon is all you need in a day in order to meet your daily quotient of essential fatty acids.

A Product that Has Stood the Test of Time

Looking back on how long hemp oil has been used in different forms and capacities shows just how powerful this ingredient is. Thanks to its medicinal and health properties, civilizations all over the world have been benefiting from it for well over 10,000 years.

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OCC Staff

Oregon Cannabis Connections capable staff or contributors. Contributors names will be noted. OCCNewspaper.com, covering the Oregon Cannabis Community and beyond, since 2010!

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