Although the nutrient composition of hemp products provides evidence that these potentially serve as valuable livestock feed ingredients and may enhance human health, the cultivation of hemp was prohibited due to the high content of the Δ-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Recently, regulatory changes by several countries allowed the cultivation of industry hemp under a license that permits plants and plant parts of the genera Cannabis with a THC lower than 0.3%. The concern of a higher THC value still remains; thus, it is justified to test the nutritional and safety properties of Hemp Seed Cake (HSC) in animal feed. The objectives of this study were to determine the nutritional (proximate principles, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids), and safety properties (mycotoxin, heavy metals and cannabinoid profiles) of HSC and feed manufactured with the ingredient for use in animal feed. Three replicate samples of HSC and two replicate samples of each feed manufactured with 0, 10%, 20 and 30% of HSC were analyzed by reference laboratories for parameters identified under study objectives. The results of the nutritional values were consistent with published results. Similarly, the safety parameters were below the detectable levels and maximum legal levels. The results of this study confirm that HSC can safely be used as animal feed ingredient.
Key words: Hemp, Δ-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinoids, safety, heavy metals, hemp seed cake.
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