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Some common questions regarding industrial hemp

Is it legal to grow hemp in Australia?

Hemp as a food crop has been legal since 2017 in Australia. Hemp has numerous benefits and the future is looking bright with the applications of this crop in food, fibre, medicine with the added benefit that it is also incredibly sustainable.

How to grow Hemp in Australia? 

Growing hemp in Australia can come with its challenges due to the varying climates across the country. However, the AHC are working alongside many state organisations to produce a growers guide or a Best Practice Manual that will help facilitate a more productive growing environment through sourcing the right strains for the right regions and understanding the requirements of the crop in this landscape.

Can hemp sequester carbon?

“Throughout the 120 day crop cycle, hemp begins sequestering carbon the moment it is seeded. Conservatively, hemp cultivation on average yields a sequestration ratio of 1.5 units of sequestration per unit produced, therefore one tonne of harvested hemp fibre should sequester 1.62 tonnes of CO2. As hemp sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, it is filtered back into soil through a process called biosequestration.

How many states in Australia currently grow hemp?​

Crops grown in 2021* (ha)
Tasmania: 700
New South Wales: 327
Victoria: 105
Queensland: 17
Western Australia: 161
South Australia: 25
* figures approx

What is industrial hemp?

In Australia, industrial hemp is a plant or any part of a plant (including seed) from the genus Cannabis that has been specifically bred to have tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in the leaves and flowering heads of not more than 1%.

Where can I buy bulk hemp seeds in Australia? 


You can buy bulk hemp seeds in Australia through our Hemp Xchange link which lists leading hemp seed suppliers across Australia.

What is industrial hemp used for?

Industrial hemp is cultivated for seed or fibre production. Hemp fibre and pulp can be used in industrial and consumer textiles, paper and building materials, while hemp seed and hemp seed oil can be used in industrial products, cosmetics and food products.  

Can hemp be used as a food?

The sale of food derived from the seeds of industrial hemp in Australia became legal on 12 November 2017.  Food Standards Australia and New Zealand approved that industrial hemp seed foods are safe for consumption provided they contain no more than the prescribed THC level.

Hemp seed is a highly nutritious source of protein and essential fatty acids such as omega 3,6 and 9. These long chain fatty acids are the building blocks for our body and cell growth.  Milk made from the seeds of Hemp is free from dairy, lactose and is a great source of Omega 3. Hemp seed protein closely resembles protein as it is found in the human blood and therefore is well documented as supporting muscle growth and maintenance.  Hemp seed foods may provide a useful alternative dietary source of nutrients and polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. 

Leaves, flowering heads and other parts of the low-THC hemp plant must not be sold as food for human consumption.

Is hemp seed oil a source of THC?

Hemp seed oil is an increasingly popular product, used for an expanding variety of purposes.  The tiny amounts of THC contained in industrial hemp are in the glands of the plant itself.  No one can get high from using hemp seed oil or eating Hemp seed.

Hemp seed oil is an extract of cannabis seeds and does not contain any extracts from the cannabis plant. In addition, hemp seed oil does not contain anything more than trace amounts of cannabinoids. If the label of a ‘hemp seed oil’ product states that it contains cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), it is not hemp seed oil. The product may have been mislabelled, mixed with hemp oil or adulterated with other cannabinoids.

Hemp oil that is a medicinal cannabis product may only be accessed by prescription from a medical specialist who has been granted Special Access Scheme Approval or is an Authorised Prescriber. 

Products must be legally produced and manufactured to appropriate quality standards. Commonwealth approval to supply and, where necessary, import a medicinal cannabis product is granted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Office of Drug Control (ODC).

Are industrial hemp and marijuana the same?

No.  Industrial hemp grown in Australia has little or no THC (less than 1%). There are over 2,000 varieties of cannabis of which the vast majority are classified as industrial hemp.  

How is industrial hemp different to medicinal cannabis?

The term medicinal cannabis covers a range of approved, quality-assured cannabis pharmaceutical grade products intended for human therapeutic use, such as tablets, oils, tinctures and other extracts. The cultivation, production and manufacture of medicinal cannabis is regulated by the Commonwealth Government under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 by the Office of Drug Control.