Health & Fit: inspectors complain about every second hemp food

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Ein Mann hält Hanfsamen in seiner Hand. © Martin Schutt / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa / Symbolbild A man holds hemp seeds in his hand.

hemp is more than just a drug, but according to the Baden-Württemberg inspectors it is not yet suitable as a component in food by far in all cases. Of a total of 49 food samples examined, more than one in two was criticized as unsafe last year, as the new annual report on food surveillance shows. "The reason was too high levels of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most important psychoactive substance in the hemp plant," the report says. Minister of Consumer Protection Peter Hauk (CDU) wants to present further details in Stuttgart on Monday.

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According to the report, 29 samples were classified as extracts from the hemp plant and cannabinoid-containing products derived from them. They are therefore considered to be unauthorized new foods. The labeling was incorrect for a further 32 samples. "Only twelve samples were unobjectionable," says the report.

The product range of hemp-containing foods ranges from baked goods and pasta, to confectionery and herbal teas, to soft drinks, beers and nutritional supplements. A distinction is made between THC-rich (drug hemp) and THC-low hemp varieties (fiber hemp). Hemp plants that contain less than 0.2 percent THC are considered low-THC varieties. That means hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can be obtained from them.

tetrahydrocannabinol occurs in dried cannabis leaves, flowers and inflorescences. Early cultivated hemp varieties as well as most wild stocks have a rather low THC content, while this has been increasing for years in plants specially bred for hashish or marijuana production.

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