Recently, I’ve become very interested in the detail of how CBD is extracted and measured, (lots of chemistry, HPLC columns and frankly processes I don’t fully understand!). This got me thinking about where CBD comes from and whether there are more natural forms of these compounds available.
I came across an Irish company called Kama Hemp, who produce an organic cold pressed Hemp Juice supplement from hemp they grow on their farm in Co Monaghan. It’s a unique product (certainly in Ireland, but also possibly in the world!) and it’s practically the only way of obtaining CBD in its natural form (CBDa). But interestingly it also contains all the other cannabinoids and phyto nutrients that the hemp plant contains, which are often discarded when CBD is extracted and purified in other processes.
Kama hemp was founded by Kate Mullaney and Marcus McCabe, and in order to get a fuller picture of what Hemp Juice is and how it might benefit us, I had a chat with Kate, and asked her all about how she got into the Hemp farming business and why.
Before they started farming and juicing Hemp, Marcus and Kate did a Permaculture Course, here in West Cork. This led them to building a straw bale home in Co Monaghan, where they started a business growing reeds for Permaculture Reed beds. Then they started growing Hemp, first as an alternative building material. They quickly realised that the hemp plants nutritional properties far exceeded its importance as a building material and they began to explore how they could develop it into a food business.
When did you first start your business?
In 2013 Kate and Marcus started getting involved in the food side of hemp. This was before the benefits of CBD were well known in Ireland – they were a bit ahead of the rest of us! They grew a lot of their own food, and had a strong interest in raw food and in juicing so when they learned about the benefits of hemp as a food it seemed like the obvious move to start juicing hemp. They did a lot of research about what others were doing around the world and they came across William Courtney (MD) in California, who was juicing hemp and getting excellent results with his patients. Dr Courtney is still a strong advocate of raw hemp juice (or cannabis juice as they call it in the US) – he thinks it could be argued that hemp juice is so important it should be considered an essential part of a healthy diet, particularly for anyone over the age of 40.
In the standard processes that are employed to extract CBD, the plant is dried and then the CBD is extracted in a purification process that involves heat. Dr Courtney believes that this denatures the compounds and that it is far better to extract the compounds from the raw plant thus keeping all the enzymes and nutrients in their original state. So Kama Hemp juice their hemp using slow, masticating juicers. This is a hugely time consuming process but the results are vastly superior to a fast juicer which tends to heat the juice and denature the sensitive enzymes.
What is special about Hemp Juice?
As well as CBDa, Hemp contains a huge array of other nutrients that are beneficial for health, along with the alkalizing properties that fresh juice has. Kate told me ‘for us it’s the whole plant that works together, all the elements are important’.
Is hemp juice calming or energising?
Interestingly, Kate says people find Hemp Juice both energising and calming – it can take the edge of people’s anxiety, so they feel less stressed, and it also gives them the energy to get through their day because of the concentrated nutrition it provides.
What are the benefits of Hemp Juice?
Because it is such a nutritional powerhouse, Kama Hemp juice contributes to normal blood clotting; the normal release of energy; the reduction of tiredness and fatigue; normal sleep patterns; normal digestion; the maintenance of bones, skin, nails, hair and vision; the normal function of the immune system; and electrolyte balance.
Kate also said: ‘Hemp juice feeds our brain and nervous system, and nourishes our endocannabinoid system. It gives the body the nutrients it needs to help keep inflammation under control. People with minor joint issues can see huge improvement in their aches and pains – once they don’t just buy it and leave it in their freezer!’
Kate and Marcus have a lot of people coming to them for support with ongoing health issues. ‘We always advise people that it’s not a magic bullet, it’s part of a diet and lifestyle change, but it’s great because it’s so alkaline, and it can help with bone regrowth. It does not help everybody, but people who are prepared to make a change – we always advise giving up tea and coffee, and sugar and white flour – most people who follow basic good nutritional advice and take hemp juice daily will notice a huge difference in their health’.
In terms of the benefits of taking raw hemp, certainly CBDa is important, but the juice is also very alkalizing, and contains lots of phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients) and has all the other benefits of consuming a fresh raw food.
How do people take the juice?
Kate advises people to take one to two cubes a day if they are mostly healthy but looking for a boost, of three to four cubes a day if they are trying to improve a health condition. You can take it neat (if you are hardcore!) or mixed with juice, water or in a smoothie. You can find the Juice in our Freezer or ask if you’d like to try the poster – the bags are quite large so we are splitting them up for people to be able to try smaller amounts to start off with. Also available on www.organico.ie.