Calls for a return to hemp farming to save rural Ireland

Calls for a return to hemp farming to save rural Ireland

IRISH HEMP farmers are calling for a return to an ancient practice to save rural Ireland.

Kim Kindersley and Michael Ó Lionsaigh are hoping for a revival of the hemp farming business in Ireland as a way to help struggling farmers , calling for a 'return to roots' of sorts.

Hemp farming was once a booming industry in ancient Ireland, but the practice largely died out more than a century ago.

But with cannabis becoming legalised in more and more countries, and the medicinal qualities of CBD and hemp oil being researched by top scientists across the globe, Kindersley and Ó Lionsaigh believe the practice could "bring life back to rural Ireland".

Their hemp plants contain less than 0.3 percent THC, the compound that causes the user to feel high, and is strictly regulated to ensure it remains non-intoxicating.

Speaking to The Farming Independent, Ó Lionsaigh says cultivating the plant "with family and friends fives us all a connection to the land", with evidence of the plant in Ireland dating back to at least 850AD.

Hemp cultivation was once a major part of Irish farming life

According to the outlet, hemp was widely grown in Dublin between the 18th and 19th centuries, and while the practice died out it is currently undergoing a revival, in particular due to the perceived medicinal benefits of CBD oil.

"CBD oil has remarkable properties," Kindersley explains. "More and more people who were sceptical have taken it and it has changed their lives."

With Kindersley stating that their industry is "preserving our natural farming heritage", Ó Lionsaigh adds: "Hemp can bring people back to their roots-- this plant is in our DNA."

His plan is to expand his hemp farm and transform the farm's cottage and outhouses into a healing centre for those who can be helped by the medicinal benefits of CBD.