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New Zealand Hemp

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

New Zealand Nutritionals is a leading and exclusive supplier of hemp-based consumables to international markets, both buying and producing hemp products (oils, powder, hearts and protein). In New Zealand, the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of hemp is permitted for production of hempseed oil, fibre, powder and hemp seeds, and has been gaining significant visibility and traction in recent years.

For approximately eight decades, New Zealand farmers were banned from growing this multi-purpose ‘miracle’ plant. However, from 2006, research into growing hemp proliferated, and since then the industry has grown in popularity, with more New Zealand farmers becoming engaged in utilising and developing their land with hemp.

For decades, linked with little differentiation from “marijuana” (cannabis), hemp struggled to ‘find its own voice’ and reveal its many gifts. Despite belonging to the same species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family, a key difference between “hemp” and cannabis is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content – the part (largely derived from the flowers) that provides the human “high”.

The legality of industrial hemp varies internationally. Within the New Zealand hemp industry, the term “hemp” is defined to mean cannabis that contains less than one percent THC by dry weight (in the leaves and flowering heads). Because the THC level in hemp is so low, its deemed unlikely to create a “high”.

Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants, along with bamboo, and 50,000 years ago it was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fibre. Commercially, it has excellent variety for refining into a wide range of products, including paper, rope, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, biofuel, insulation, animal feed, and food.

In a rapidly transforming world, hemp addresses and supports many aspects of environmental concern and sustainability and has been called a ‘carbon negative’ raw material. As increasing numbers of people turn to vegetarianism, plant-based diets and food products, hemp offers multiple solutions. Hemp seeds are high in complete protein (providing 64% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein per 100 gram serving, and they are also a great source of iron, B vitamins, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc.

Hemp seeds contain comparable amino acids to other sources of protein such as eggs, meat, milk and soy, with high nutritional value. They can be eaten raw, ground into hemp meal, sprouted, or made into dried sprout powder. Hemp seeds can be made into oil or liquid, and the leaves of the hemp plant are edible and can be used raw as leafy vegetables in salads or pressed to make juice.

Given increasing law changes to allow human consumption of hemp products, along with the plant’s huge economic potential and its ability to help meet global sustainability goals, hemp has been drawing away from the shadows of its cousin cannabis, and is becoming the bedrock of multiple ‘miracle products’ in a shifting world age.

For enquiries into the manufacture or distribution of hemp-based powder, protein, and oil products for human consumption, please enquire at NZ Nutritionals: or telephone 03-358 7899

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