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cheda

Growing Hemp Seeds (The edible kind!)

16 posts in this topic

My mum eats hemp seeds... That's right hundreds of 'em - she mixes them with other nuts & grains as a healthy snack.

The seeds she buys come in a 250g bag... you literally get thousands of them - available from any good health food shop. The seeds are sterilized (and therefore made legal to sell) by heating until they crack... this obviously makes them impossible to germinate... OR DOES IT?

As a little experiment (brought about through intense boredom) I decided to sift through a fresh pack my mum purchased the other day. Sure enough they are cracked... I'd say about 99% of them are anyway, however, If you look close enough, you can find a very small percentage that are perfect.

After picking out about 40 or 50 seeds, (pinching them slightly to check they are not hollow) I narrowed them down to about 10 by selecting the most healthy looking ones and planted them... some in the garden... some in my window in pots. 48 hours later they have ALL germinated.

Now, through a bit of Googling, I've found that hemp for human consumption and bird feed has a typical THC content of around 0.03 percent! Obviously this is not enough to get a gnat stoned... but my question is... how do they do this? Is it a male only crop? Is it simply grown from Ruderalis strains with very low THC percentages...?

If anybody can shed some light on how they regulate the THC content in these seed and plants, please drop a reply! In the meantime, I'm gonna let the buggers grow and see what happens...

P.S The bag states "Produce of France" :cheers:

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Hello m8. I hope the seeds your mum is buying aren't sterilized because they will then be nutritionally worthless. If from a mainstream UK health food shop, your Mum's probably buying Biona brand (?) which is a Swiss company. Shame no one in the UK seems to quite have it together after all this time, although Suma did market some UK grown organic hemp seed a couple of years ago and if you Google 'uk hemp seed' you'll see that there's various online suppliers, although it's not clear where their seed is coming from. The seeds I'm currently using are Hungarian, I think. A mate gave me a couple of kg from a sack full he imported. I make hemp milk - look, here's my recipe from 2002! - or just soak them and put them through the juicer with my morning juice. Hemp is nature's most abundant source of essential fatty acids and a very good supplement if you don't eat animal fats.

Varieties that are licensed to be grown in the EC are 'distinct and stable' which means they won't suddenly start producing loads of lovely resin. In this country, crops are carefully monitored, I think it's by the Rural Payments Agency (formerly the Intervention Board). My information is a bit out of date, I'm afraid, and I'm not even sure that hemp crops still attract an EC subsidy as they did back in the 1990s when Hemcore were instrumental in re-introducing hemp to British agriculture after 30 years by pointing out that France has an unbroken tradition of hemp cultivation and French farmers were receiving subsidies. Anyway, men from the Ministry come along and test your crop, at your expense, and if the THC content creeps over about 0.03%, they order you to burn the field! Hemcore did set out to be a UK hemp-growing coop, but as you can see from their web site, these days they focus mostly on using the fibre for horsebedding.

Likesay, you're technically breaking the law by germinating them, but their nutritional potential is optimised if you do (tell your Mum!) and hemp sprouts are v.tasty and good for you.

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Thanks for your input ninorc... that's some good info, I'll be sure to try your recipe too!

When I say sterilized, this simply means the 'cracking' process... and as I said above, they do this to stop you growing new plants from seed... from what I can gather, all comercially available seeds go through this process...

You mention 'distinct and stable' varieties... This is exactly what I'm looking to find out... How is this done? Sensi plants are obviously used to make THC content higher, but how the hell do you create a lower THC content? The question still remains.

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This is exactly what I'm looking to find out... How is this done? Sensi plants are obviously used to make THC content higher, but how the hell do you create a lower THC content? The question still remains.

Man has not created lower THC plants they have always existed. Man has merely selected different types of cannabis to suit his own ends. Weedy hemp or ditch hemp is grown for a purpose and that is seed production or for fibre. These plants have absolutely no value in smoking terms. Hemp grown for fibre has been selected because it grows tall and puts its effort into growing substantial stems which is desirable for fibre production.

By the same token man has discovered plants that produce abundant and resinous flowers that have psychoactive properties. Once again these plants have been selected, seeds have been saved and the the line has developed from there.

For certain you will find that quite a few seeds will germinate out of your mums pack of edible seeds but you will need a lot of plants to make a T shirt or to keep your mum in seeds for more than a couple of weeks. Their value lies in areas other than smoking.

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When I say sterilized, this simply means the 'cracking' process... and as I said above, they do this to stop you growing new plants from seed... from what I can gather, all comercially available seeds go through this process...

If you mean the seeds are phsycially crushed, this will destroy their viability: because of its EFA content, the seed will rapidly oxidise and go rancid. This is why it's important to buy hemp seed for eating from a reputable source, so that you know it's been properly stored. Most of the stuff sold as fish bait or bird seed is rancid.

You mention 'distinct and stable' varieties... This is exactly what I'm looking to find out... How is this done? Sensi plants are obviously used to make THC content higher, but how the hell do you create a lower THC content? The question still remains.
Further to what chrisesq says, the Fédération Nationale des Producteurs de Chanvre (FNPC) in Le Mans has a viritual monpoly on the regulation and supply of industrial hemp seed across Europe.

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I was buying a well branded bird seed mix from Tesco last year and it contained lots of nice stripy hemp seeds. I too thought they would be sterilised, but was shocked to see seven or so little seedlings growing around the base of my old apple tree where the bird feeder hangs after a couple of weeks of rain back in the spring. I left them for a month or so and they actually started to resemble nice broad leaf dark green indica type plants. Never let them come to anything as they got mowed down with the rest of the undergrowth. Still interesting to see, goes to show you cant keep a good plant down!

Bud Brother :ouch:

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Slightly off topic.

But germ'd some normal canna seeds the other day in my kitchen, but dickhead here managed to drop 4 of them on the floor. No probs, find 4 seeds on the floor and so bung em into paper towels to germ.

Then I realise that 2 of the seeds are infact hemp seeds, and on closer examination, there's quite a few of em scattered around the kitchen floor. So pick em all up to germ as dont know whats what

Now have ended up with 6 seedlings, thinking they were all canna seedlings as the hemp suely wouldn't of popped , but after reading this, I hope i've got no hemp seedlings as well.

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My mum's nuts ain't rancid! - :unsure: Yes that sentance in wrong on so many levels... but on a serious note, the seeds are from a reputable UK health food shop and they taste great...

They do come in a vacum sealed bag and have a 'best before end' date printed on them so I guess they can go rancid... Some more info on the 'sterizling' process can be read here: http://www.hempseed.ca/why-sterilize-hemp-seed.ihtml

C.

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Some more info on the 'sterizling' process can be read here: http://www.hempseed.ca/why-sterilize-hemp-seed.ihtml

Dude, that's an American site, from the land where the DEA has deemed hemp to have no nutritional value and the dirty perverts insist that hemp seed sold in the States be irradiated. That's why it says: 'Though we would love to be able to sell unsterilized live seed, we are able to produce ALL of our other products from live seed, it is just the whole seed we must sterilize.' Happily, no such regulations exist in Europe (yet!)

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Dude, that's an American site, from the land where the DEA has deemed hemp to have no nutritional value and the dirty perverts insist that hemp seed sold in the States be irradiated. That's why it says: 'Though we would love to be able to sell unsterilized live seed, we are able to produce ALL of our other products from live seed, it is just the whole seed we must sterilize.' Happily, no such regulations exist in Europe (yet!)

are the DEA saying that the actual plant or is it the seeds that have no nutritional value?

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are the DEA saying that the actual plant or is it the seeds that have no nutritional value?
I'm not entirely sure. Maybe the DEA is just concerend with residual amounts of THC in hemp product. If you really burn to learn, Google is your friend. Look here or here. Edited by ninorc

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@ninorc...

Your right mate... upon closer reading, the info does state that the heating process does have an effect on the vitamin & oil values of the seed. I should really pass this info onto my mum when I next call round...

It seems strange that her seeds, a produce of France, appear to have been cracked/sterilized when EU regs don't require this? Maybe I should advise her to shop elsewhere for her hemp seeds... somewhere selling whole/unsterilzed?

To be honest, she creates a huge mix with a various assortment of nut & grains, and doesn't get through a massive amount of them... she'll probably not be worried by the so called 'minimal damage to the whole seed'.

On a side note: I find it hilarious how the US DEA deem 0.03% THC worthy of blacklisting... Dumb or what? Thats zero tolerance gone mad!

Cheers for the info folks!

C.

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Holland and Barrett sell a 500gram pack of hemp seeds. they dont seem to sterilize/crack/crush or whatever process it is, i picked a random handful, germed them fine too.

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i would have thought that these type of plants would have to grow very big flowers to grow an ammount of seeds for the nut market ? not leggy and fiberous or smokable , but big flower sites

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If you hunt about, it should not be beyond the bounds of possibility to source organically-certified hemp seed, although it may not be produced in the UK. I had a quick gander at the Suma web site and didn't see 'em, but you could give them a ring. So far as UK seed producers go, various folks have tried it over the years, but the only ones that have managed to stay in business are those like the Good Oil/Seed folks, who process their seeds into products (and theirs is a boutique business, anyway, supported by succesful media careers). I'm pretty sure Biona brand seeds are organic and grown in Switzerland. Maybe I'll have a look in my local wholefood store tomorrow. As I said, I've got quite a supply and haven't bought any hemp seed for a year, probably.

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