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Cannabis leaves and inflorescences as the basis for tasty and healthy food


The materials will be used by specialists of the information-analytical platform Hemp Consulting , as well as the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association, in informing government officials of our country about the need to regulate the possibility of using industrial hemp leaves and inflorescences for industrial purposes .

Hemp and hops belong to the same family of Cannabaceae plants and if no one doubts whether any components of hops can be used for industrial purposes, then at the moment the use of technical hemp leaves and inflorescences is not regulated under the current legislation of Ukraine , therefore it is interpreted law enforcement officials as an unlawful act . In order to begin work aimed at consolidating the possibility of using the “green mass” of hemp plants for industrial purposes at the level of the regulatory framework of our country , we will consider the historical aspectthe use of cannabis leaves and inflorescences as food , cosmetics , biologically active or feed additives , which are immortalized in various historical documents , inscriptions on buildings, etc. Given the fact that the most detailed use of hemp leaves and inflorescences is described from the point of view of use as a food product , we start with this category of marketable products . 

Italy / Vatican

The inscriptions on the ceiling and floor of the Tower of Salvation in Bologna. The building, dated 1220 and which is the repository of the Cantona de Fiori, contains a Latin entry on the floor and ceiling of the following content: Panis Vita / Canabis Protectio / Vinum Laetitia - Bread - Life / Hemp - Protection / Wine - Joy. Those. Positioning the plant between bread and wine, as well as focusing on the healing / protective properties of the plant, suggests that hemp plant was used as a tasty and healthy food product with significant therapeutic potential in Europe at the beginning of the 13th century .


Cannabis flowers and leaves form a whole trend in Italian cooking , described in the form of a huge number of recipes , covering a period of more than 500 years. In particular, the chef of Pope Martin V (1368–1431), Bruno Laurioux, believed that the “ green mass ” of hemp plants is such a valuable food product that it is necessary to write down a special recipe for using hemp leaves and inflorescences to prepare delicious dishes for the head of the Holy See. The above recipe gives instructions on how to cook “ hemp broth ” - “Boil hemp flowers and leaves in water and then squeeze them. Add bread crumbs, cooked onions, saffron and spices to the resulting broth . ”

Recipe Brono Loria, which indicates how to cook broth from the leaves and inflorescences of hemp

In the first cookbook in the history of mankind, “De Honesta Voluptate Et Valetudine” written in Latin and published in 1475, several recipes were described at once , using hemp leaves and inflorescences as their basis for preparing tasty and healthy culinary dishes : 

- “Use a hammer to chop leaves and inflorescences after a good harvest. It is eaten in the form of wine or pie ”;

- “Add the detailed leaves and inflorescences of hemp to the oil and place in an iron pot. The resulting hemp juice or nectar is a useful food product for the stomach and head. ”

  A recipe that uses cannabis leaves and inflorescences from the book "De Honesta Voluptate Et Valetudine"

The book was very popular among women of that time, so it was often reprinted over the next century and translated into French , German and Italian .

Another fragment of a 14th century cookbook published as a description of the Carducci-Gnacarini wedding describes another Italian recipe used to make tortellini ( Italian dumplings made from unleavened dough with meat, cheese or vegetables) with a “ green mass ” of hemp plant . “To fill tortellini, use hemp flowers as a vegetable filling (like ruccola is used today). When the minced meat toppings are almost cooked, add hemp flowers before you finish cooking. Cut everything and add the grated cheese. ”

A recipe for tortellini with hemp leaves and inflorescences in a cookbook in 1887.

In his book, Dr. Carlo Erba mentions the research of Dr. Valersi (from the University of Naples). It describes how in July 1887 Valeriza went to the Veneto region in Italy and collected leaves and inflorescences of industrial hemp . Distilled water, syrups, liquors, alcohol tinctures are produced from the harvested leaves and inflorescences .


Regional studies of medieval cuisine provide a recipe that uses cannabis leaves and inflorescences for the preparation of hemp soup by the monks of Tegernsee . It is described that for one person per day the recommended daily dose of hemp seeds is 30 g of "densely seasoned with leaves and inflorescences of the plant ."

The cannabis soup recipe for the Tegernsee monks described in the book "Regional Cuisines of Medieval Europe "


“Maltos Cannabis” is a nutritious beverage widely sold throughout Scandinavia . It was advertised as a health- improving drink used to prevent and treat various types of ailments .

Drink Label "Maltos-Cannabis"

In particular, at the World International Expo held in Antwerp in 1894 in the official catalog "Alimentaires" (which means " Food Industry ") was presented "Maltos Cannabis". Various advertisements of the time show the prize awarded at the World Expo to the above drink. 

Catalog of the World Expo held in Antwerp in 1894 


The book on Polish cuisine in 1904 (Peszke 1904, No. 9, pp. 133-134) points out as the most popular vegetables - red beets, onions, horseradish, garlic, peas, cabbage, hemp flowers , carrots, cucumbers, parsley, turnips, radish, lentils.

An excerpt from the Domova newspaper describing Old Polish cuisine

Excerpts from the book " Cuisine of the First Polish Republic " 

Another culinary book says that during the famine, which affects the Polish Siberian villages and the north-eastern Polish outskirts, people are saved using various wild plants. These "edible herbs", with which the population can survive in the "hungry years" among other things, indicate nettle and hemp . 

Excerpt from the Polish cookbook


The official use of cannabis leaves for making tea can also be demonstrated by the example of legal acts in Slovakia. In particular, Decree 09/2015 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic, contains the novel “konopa siata” - Cannabis sativa L. Those. technical hemp leaves and inflorescences are included in Appendix III, Table 1 of the “List of plants and their parts suitable for tea production ”, without recommendations in any restrictions on the amount of raw materials used for its preparation. 


In one of the culinary books of Lithuania , dated 1984, a dish called šnitka is mentioned, which was prepared by a population living in the northeastern lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania . The main ingredient of the above dishes used cannabis leaves , which have been used, including for improving general well-being of persons who regularly consume «šnitka». 

Another Lithuanian cookbook , dated 1986, states that “herbal teas are as old as time. Patients with pneumonia should be given tea from hemp leaves and inflorescences . ”

In yet another culinary book , dating back to 1992 states that the " Tea of hemp flower given to children with measles, fright, cough, and all kinds of pain. Adults drank this tea to help cure pneumonia. Hemp tea is known to help with kidney disease and inflammation of the bladder. ”


In Georgia, in the event that hemp leaves and inflorescences are added to khachapuri, the tortilla with salted cheese is already called “kupdari”. The delicacy of the Armenian national cuisine is “ Cabbage rolls in hemp leaves ”.

Official documents of EU officials


A letter from the European Commission dated 03.02.1998 to the representative of Öko-Handels GmbH, Mr. Kreutner, states that " hemp flowers used to make drinks like beer cannot be classified as additives , but are considered food ingredient, as they are used in the same way as hop flowers . ”In addition, the above document states that“ Food containing any part of the hemp plant does not fall within the scope of Regulation (EC) 258/97. Technical hemp flowers are not cannabis in polo value eny UN Security Council, otherwise enter into force contradiction with the definition of food products regulated by Directive EC 178/2002.


A letter from the European Commission dated 03.03.1998 to Mr. Dupetit states that “the Standing Committee on Food agrees that food products that contain different parts of the hemp plant are not subject to Regulation ( EU ) No 258 / 97 governing the concept of “new food product ”. In addition, the letter states that " hemp flowers used to make beer drinks are considered food ingredients." 

Commentary experts of the Association "Ukrainian industrial hemp"

At the request of the EU Commission , a study was conducted to obtain data on the volume of sales of hemp products in Europe until May 1997. Of the 40 companies that were able to contact, 23 responded, showing that about 115,000 liters of decoctions of hemp flowers and leaves were used in the EU for the production of drinks and about 2 tons for the manufacture of various snacks . In total , up to 55 tons of finished products were produced in the EU , which included technical hemp leaves and inflorescences until May 1997.

The above  materials will be used by specialists of the Hemp Consulting information and analytical platform , as well as the Ukrainian Technical Hemp Association, in informing government officials of our country about the need to regulate the possibility of using industrial hemp leaves and inflorescences for industrial purposes . In this regard, we ask our readers if there is additional information about how cannabis leaves and inflorescences were used as ingredients for the preparation of various tasty and nutritious dishes , in the formulation of cosmetic preparations or as part of dietary supplements or feed additives , they would ask tell me where to look for this kind of information in order to better prepare for work on regulating the possibility of using hemp leaves and inflorescences for industrial purposes with state foreigners of 

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