Corkman turns hemp-growing into an organic business

Corkman turns hemp-growing into an organic business

Youghal man Diarmuid O’Riordan in his hemp field. 

A CORKMAN who went in search of CBD oil has transformed his findings into a fully fledged business.

Diarmuid O’Riordan, who is originally from Youghal, was on a mission to find pure cannabidiol derived from the hemp plant.

The use of CBD oil has been brought to the public’s attention in recent years thanks to campaigns from people like Vera Twomey who uses it to treat her daughter who suffers from seizures.

Diarmuid and his wife Kaya lived in London and in the last few years, he has been working tirelessly to build his new business CB1 botanicals.

One of Diarmuid’s biggest struggles to date was finding organically certified land.

“There are still a lot of misconceptions around Hemp,” he said. “When you go into an estate agents saying you are interested in land to grow hemp they are a little taken aback. The process to find organic land took around a year and a half. A lot of people have this misconception that the plant is illegal but it’s not. You can’t grow it close to schools or the main road. It has to be a very secluded area.”

The venture is a labour of love for Diarmuid.

”We looked at every process in the supply chain from seed to soil to the fertilisation process. We examined the entire eco-system within the soil and how it could be optimised.”

He said it can be difficult to source pure CBD oil: “Hemp used to clean oil fields and brownfields. It absorbs every pesticide and heavy metal in the soil. There are so many types of CBD out there that claim to be organic. However, a lot of time companies are just using clever marketing. In some cases, a label will state that the product is grown organically. A lot of customers don’t realise that this same product is not organically certified.”

Diarmuid spoke about the benefits of CBD oil. “When you go for a walk in the woods or forest you start feeling good. It’s not just that you’re in nature, you are actually inhaling a material from plants and that’s what leads you to feel good physiologically.”

“Everybody talks about CBD but the substance itself is not that effective when isolated. This is where something called an entourage effect comes into play which involves all the compounds working in synergy with each other. It is for this reason important that we take into account the full plant spectrum.

“We currently have an innovation partnership with Pharmaceutical Molecular Biotech Research Centre Ireland. The partnership is funded by Enterprise Ireland.”

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