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Medicinal use of hemp seeds and hemp seed oil in Australia

We have been receiving a larger than normal volume of enquiries from customers about the medicinal qualities of the hemp seeds and hemp seed oil in our store. I am assuming there's been something online that I have missed. I'm not sure where the enquiries are generating from, but it's definitely a hot topic right now. There are very strict regulation about the consumption of hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and other hemp products in Australia, so I wanted to clarify.

In accordance with Food Standards Code 1.4.4 Clause 1 of the NSW Food Act 2003, it is not legal to sell or promote hemp seeds and hemp products as a food in Australia. All the products in our store are food grade, and in all countries of the world (besides Australia & New Zealand), they are legislated as safe to eat. They are not here.

FSANZ (Food Safety Australia New Zealand) declared them safe to eat in 2002 and again in 2012 and the industry has been trying to get them legalised. Earlier this year, sadly, they failed again.

The questions about the medicinal properties of the hemp seeds are entirely another matter, and we want to be very clear about our response, so I have decided to put it in to one of our blogs for easy access to everyone.

To my knowledge, the hemp products in our store are not medicinal quality

We have never asked the question, and because of legal issues and my own moral line of what's appropriate for me to discuss with our customers as someone without formal medical training, I have decided not ever ask. The hemp as medicine is a question, even hypothetically, I don't feel comfortable answering. Why?

As a retail store, it is not appropriate for us to be selling or recommending products like this for medicinal purposes. We can't even tell you that you can eat them, which is sad, but it's the law, so we don't. Ever. They make a lovely body scrub though and the hemp seed oil is really great for your skin.

If you wish to find out any details on the medicinal qualities of the hemp products in our store, I would highly recommend you speak to the manufacturers or your natural health care practitioner. To the best of my knowledge, the information on the internet about using hemp products for medical treatment is actually the use of cannabis. Hemp and cannabis are completely different, they have different properties and should not be confused with each other. It is this confusion that is stopping the government from allowing people to eat hemp seeds legally in this country. Hemp is a complete protein source and is an excellent and well balanced source of Omega fatty acids, but we are being denied the right to eat them. Activists have been trying for a minimum of 12 years to change the law. They haven't succeeded yet. Don't hold your breath either. It's a long process and the 2012 attempt has only recently ended.

For the record, we do not think that it's safe to self treat any ailment or medical condition with food or any other product. While we're a firm believer that the right diet can be an integral part of the treatment of many health issues and symptoms, it should only ever be done in conjunction with a qualified medical professional. Finding what that 'right diet' is for you is a large amount of trial and error. One person's food is another person's poison. The one diet does not suit everyone. And even when you do find the right diet for you, it may be the right diet now, but later in life, your body may want something else. I have been through it myself, for 20 years now, and I am still going through it today. The diet that suits my body changes.

At Shop Naturally, we also believe in the power of natural medicine and the medical profession working towards a common goal of healing their patients. This philosophy has been the core of my treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the past 20 years and will continue to do so.

Questions about the medical properties of hemp products should be directed towards your health care practitioner and the manufacturers of the products, both of whom are in a much better position to accurately answer your questions. They are not something we can answer for you. Thank you for your understanding.

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