Let this sink in for a moment. In only a little over a year after passing the 2018 Farm Bill, the US had issued nearly 20,000 licenses to grow hemp, and firms had committed over 500,000 acres of land to its use. By the end of 2019, the 479% growth in licensed acreage was almost entirely 1 dedicated to targeting only one part of the plant – The aerial leaves and buds used to extract phytocannabinoids for CBD products. While that market appears to have a seemingly endless appeal to consumers, left on the table are tons of hemp stock and seeds that are still grossly undervalued. The fiber from hemp alone has thousands of uses, but perhaps a more significant opportunity exists even deeper within the plant.
Inside every hemp seed is the precious inner core, appropriately called the ‘hemp heart,’ and it is a nutritional powerhouse. Hemp hearts net two intriguing ingredients: a potent plant-based protein and a highly nutritional oil. Hemp oil has tremendous appeal for foods and skincare products due to its powerful makeup of Omega-3 fatty acids and other micronutrients. While most hemp oil comes from pressing whole hemp seeds, the resulting product tends to be dark green with pungent off-notes. Hemp hearts are the lesser-known dehulled center of the hemp seed, and this little detail can make a world of difference to the flavor and appearances of hemp oil when it comes to product development.