Legal hemp production and history in Ireland

legal hemp

Modified on: 04/01/2024


Legal weed in Ireland is still a novelty: the law in this regard was approved in December 2016 and entered into force on the 14th January 2017.

There are so many questions about it, especially about the uses of cannabis CBD and legal hash.

Furthermore, the difference between hemp and marijuana is unknown to most.

Yes, you didn’t read well, but very well: hemp and marijuana are not real synonyms, although in the Italian language they are often used to indicate the same product.

Want to learn more about the subject?

We go in order, first of all stating what hemp is (and what it is not).

differences between hemp and marijuana cbd

Legal hemp: what is hemp

Hemp, in Latin cannabis, is a plant belonging to the angiosperm genus, included in the Cannabacee family and cultivated since ancient times.

Currently the taxonomy of this plant is controversial, but the main currents of thought are two:

  • There are those who affirm the existence of a single species of cannabis, Cannabis Sativa L., which is divided into two subspecies:
    • sativa
    • indica
  • The second current of thought divides the plant into 3 different species:
    • sativa
    • indica
    • ruderalis

The species / subspecies that designates hemp is cannabis sativa, whose use is concentrated especially in the textile sector, in the paper industry as well as in the production of oils and fuels.

This cannabis variety has a low THC content (less than 1%) and its psychotropic effects are very mild. Indeed, below 0.2% they are considered as zero.

Not surprisingly, legal weed in Ireland can contain a rate of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) up to 0.2%.

But what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Read also: Where does cannabis come from?

Difference between hemp and marijuana

Marijuana means the cannabis variety with psychotropic properties, therefore from 0.6% THC onwards. It may be either sativa or indica, but the latter has considerable tetrahydrocannabinol percentages.

Therefore sativa cannabis, due to the higher content of CBD (cannabidiol, metabolite with a relaxing effect) compared to THC, is generally used by those who simply want to taste the flavor of ganja and / or want to relax.

The use of indica cannabis, on the other hand, has a psychotropic effect: it tends to cause an euphoric, lively and hilarious state.

The main difference between hemp and marijuana is therefore the following: marijuana has a psychotropic effect, hemp not (or, if the THC exceeds 0.2%, very mild).

So much that the Law 242/2016 only speaks of hemp and Cannabis Sativa L., never of marijuana or synonyms.

Let’s now turn to the details of this law.

Read also: All the effects of legal CBD cannabis

Hemp cultivation and history

Hemp, derived from the cannabis plant, particularly Cannabis sativa, is an agricultural plant species with a rich history in Ireland. Archaeological evidence attests to the production of hemp and his utilization here for well over 1000 years. One of the oldest hemp artifacts, an 850-year-old piece of hemp fibre cord, is housed in the Dublin City archives.

The history of hemp in Ireland is deeply intertwined with agriculture, migration, global trade, war, politics, economics, and social policy. Many historical references highlight the cultivation of hemp seeds, particularly in works like the ‘Topographia Hibernica’ by Gerald of Wales in the late 1100s.

During British rule in Ireland, the cultivation of hemp was actively encouraged. Settlers were prompted to allocate land for growing hemp, and during the 19th century, drained Irish bogs were proposed for hemp cultivation to counteract Napoleon. Hemp’s connection to the Irish linen industry, which utilized hemp fibre along with other crops like flax, played a pivotal role in the island’s economy.

The association of hemp with wars and rebellions is evident, such as the use of hemp bales during the 1916 rising. Hemp shortages during World War II in Ireland mirrored challenges faced by other Western countries. The historical relevance of hemp is also reflected in the USA’s Hemp for Victory campaign, inspired by shortages experienced during the war.

Hemp research in Ireland dates back to the 1930s when University College Cork delved into the properties of hempseed oil. An Foras Taluntais, the predecessor to Teagasc, conducted hemp research in the 1960s. The return of hemp cultivation to the European Union in the 1990s saw individuals in Ireland growing hemp under license, with 2017 witnessing around 200 hectares of hemp grown by 17 farmers.

This year, with the assistance of the Hemp Cooperative Ireland, the aim is to surpass these figures, further establishing hemp as a valuable agricultural plant species. The versatile nature of hemp, encompassing hemp seeds, hemp fibre, and hemp oil, positions it as a crucial fibre crop. Its potential in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with its association with natural fibers and novel food, underscores its significance in contemporary agriculture.

It is worth noting that while hemp is legally recognized, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) in Ireland does not presently categorize CBD, derived from hemp, as a medical product. Nonetheless, the multifaceted role of hemp in Ireland’s history and its resurgence in recent decades underscore its resilience as a valuable and sustainable crop.

Industrial hemp production

Industrial hemp production is a rapidly expanding sector in the agricultural landscape, with hemp farmers and enthusiasts alike actively engaging in hemp cultivation. This agricultural plant species, scientifically known as Cannabis sativa, is distinct from its psychoactive counterpart, commonly associated with marijuana. The focus of industrial hemp production lies in harnessing the diverse applications of the hemp plant, ranging from hemp fibers to hemp-derived products.

Hemp cultivation involves the careful cultivation of hemp plants, strategically growing hemp for various purposes. Hemp farmers play a pivotal role in ensuring a successful hemp crop, which includes the production of industrial hemp for applications such as hemp paper, hemp oil, and hemp twine. The versatility of hemp-derived products extends to whole hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp fibers, making it a valuable agricultural commodity.

The hemp industry has witnessed significant growth, driven by the removal of hemp from the list of controlled substances in the 2018 Farm Bill. This federal law opened up new possibilities for the production of hemp, encouraging farmers to explore the potential of this crop without the legal constraints associated with controlled drugs.

From an environmental perspective, hemp cultivation offers various benefits. Hemp plants are known for their dense canopy, providing opportunities for carbon sequestration and reducing soil erosion. The use of hemp fibers as building material contributes to the sustainable practices in the building sector, minimizing the environmental impact associated with traditional materials. Additionally, hemp’s rapid growth makes it a promising crop for bio-based alternatives, potentially reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The hemp market continues to expand, with a growing demand for hemp products in various sectors. Hemp-derived CBD, in particular, has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. However, regulatory bodies such as the Food Safety Authority and the Health Products Regulatory Authority play a crucial role in overseeing the safety and quality of hemp-derived products, ensuring compliance with health and safety standards.

As the hemp industry evolves, ongoing research, such as that conducted by Oregon State University in integrative plant science, contributes to the understanding of hemp cultivation practices, fiber quality, and novel applications. The exploration of hemp’s potential for medicinal purposes, human nutrition, and animal feed underscores the breadth of possibilities within the hemp sector.

In conclusion, industrial hemp production represents a dynamic and multifaceted aspect of modern agriculture. The growth of the hemp industry, propelled by changes in legislation and increased awareness of hemp’s environmental benefits, positions hemp cultivation as a promising avenue for sustainable and diverse agricultural practices.

Hemp Uses: A Versatile Agricultural Marvel

Industrial hemp is garnering attention for its myriad applications, captivating the interest of hemp farmers and enthusiasts alike. As an agricultural plant species, specifically Cannabis sativa, industrial hemp stands out for its versatility and eco-friendly qualities.

Hemp production encompasses a range of valuable outputs, from nutritious hemp seeds to robust hemp fibre. Hemp farmers play a pivotal role in the cultivation of this sustainable crop, contributing to the increasing global interest in environmentally friendly alternatives.

One of the noteworthy uses of industrial hemp lies in the creation of hemp paper, a resource that reduces reliance on traditional tree-based paper production. Additionally, the extraction of hemp oil and hemp seed oil provides essential fatty acids, contributing to both human nutrition and animal feed.

Growing hemp has proven to be environmentally advantageous. The dense hemp stalks contribute to carbon sequestration, mitigate soil erosion, and offer potential solutions for the building sector as a natural building material. The removal of hemp from the list of legal substances in the last Farm Bill has paved the way for increased hemp growing practices and allowed for the exploration of its full potential.

Apart from its ecological advantages, the hemp industry has embraced technological advancements, leading to the creation of hemp-derived products like hemp twine and hemp oils. As an industrial production material, hemp offers an eco-friendly alternative to conventional fibers and materials.

Hemp’s environmental benefits extend beyond its growth cycle. The use of hemp CBD, recognized for potential health benefits, adds a layer of diversity to the hemp market. Regulatory bodies, including the Food Safety Authority and the Health Products Regulatory Authority, ensure the safety and quality of these products.

As the hemp industry continues to flourish, ongoing research, such as that conducted by the United States Department and the European Union, explores innovative uses for industrial hemp. From its potential in medicinal purposes to its efficacy as a food ingredient, hemp’s diverse applications underline its significance in contemporary agriculture.

In conclusion, the multi-faceted utility of industrial hemp transcends traditional boundaries, making it a compelling choice for sustainable farming. The versatile nature of hemp, from fibres to oils, positions it as a key player in the global shift towards more environmentally conscious and diverse agricultural practices.

respectcannabis indica cause an euphoric state

Hemp Seeds: A Nutrient-Rich Superfood

Hemp seeds have emerged as a nutritional powerhouse with a myriad of applications, from culinary delights to sustainable agriculture. These tiny wonders are the heart of the cannabis plant, known as hemp (Cannabis sativa), and have been cultivated for various purposes for over a millennium.

Growing hemp for its seeds is a practice deeply rooted in history. Hemp grown for its nutritious seeds is distinct from its use in producing hemp fibre or hemp paper. The cultivation of hemp seeds involves nurturing robust plants, each producing a bounty of these wholesome seeds.

Whole hemp seeds are packed with essential nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, and a spectrum of vitamins and minerals. The balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seed oil is particularly noteworthy for promoting heart health.

In recent years, the nutritional benefits of hemp seeds have propelled them into the spotlight as a popular ingredient in various dishes. From sprinkling them on salads to blending them into smoothies, the versatility of hemp seeds in the kitchen is unmatched.

Despite the tremendous potential of hemp seeds, regulatory considerations have played a role in their journey. The European Union has designated them as a novel food, reflecting the evolving understanding of their nutritional value. This acknowledgment opens new avenues for incorporating hemp seeds into mainstream diets.

The federal government and agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have historically scrutinized various aspects of the hemp plant, including THC content, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. However, as the focus shifts towards the non-psychoactive and nutritionally rich aspects of hemp, barriers have been lifted.

From an agricultural perspective, hemp growing has experienced a resurgence. Hemp stalks, traditionally valued for their use in producing hemp fibre, are now being recognized for their role in sustainable farming practices. The cultivation of hemp contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving overall fibre crop quality.

Farmers venturing into hemp growing also explore the potential benefits of crop insurance. Understanding the intricacies of plant density and ensuring compliance with regulations become critical components in successfully integrating hemp into crop rotations alongside other crops.

The narrative surrounding hemp seeds extends beyond nutrition and agriculture. The association of hemp with narcotic drugs in the past has overshadowed its numerous benefits. However, with increasing awareness and scientific validation, health claims related to hemp seeds are gaining credibility.

In conclusion, hemp seeds symbolize a convergence of nutrition, sustainability, and agricultural innovation. As the world reevaluates its stance on this versatile plant, the journey of hemp seeds from being merely seeds to influential superfoods reflects a broader shift in perceptions and possibilities.

Legal CBD Marijuana – legal hemp: what are the effects?

As you could read in the previous paragraph, the use of legal hemp does not produce psychotropic effects, therefore it does not alter the psychic tone.

Precisely for this reason, even if inhaled or swallowed, legal CBD marijuana is not considered a drug, neither light nor heavy.

However, its consumption has beneficial effects on our body.

So here is what Cannabis Sativa L. can do for you:

  • Relax, thanks to the high percentage of CBD it contains, hemp relaxes the muscles. Consequently…
  • Reduces the onset of involuntary muscle spasms. It is not a coincidence that CBD is considered an effective antiepileptic and anti-dystonic (caution, however: legal weed is different from therapeutic cannabis. Its use cannot therefore replace a therapy prescribed by a doctor and is not a marketable product in pharmacies!).
  • Reduces pain, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. Perfect therefore to relieve joint pains, menstrual periods, headaches and much more.
  • It helps you sleep better. It is therefore strongly recommended in case of insomnia, nightmares, sleep apnea etc.
  • Limit anxiety and panic states.
  • It is an excellent supplement of Omega 3 and 6 (obviously if ingested). These fatty acids are perfect allies for the well-being of circulation and brain tissue.

Now you know you can’t find CBD weed in the pharmacy. But where can you buy it?

Is the legality of CBD affirmed in Ireland?

Certainly, CBD is legally recognized!

Irish authorities acknowledge that CBD (cannabidiol) lacks psychoactive effects and does not induce a ‘high.’ Consequently, the law permits its sale, provided that THC levels remain below 0.2%. It’s not uncommon to find CBD oil available in health shops throughout the country.

However, it’s noteworthy that CBD is currently not categorized as a medical product by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). Consequently, doctors are presently unable to prescribe it as a treatment option.

The legislation addressing the control of cannabis is straightforward in its structure. Section 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, as amended, delineates the definition of cannabis for the Act’s provisions. It includes any plant of the genus Cannabis or any part thereof (by any designation), excluding cannabis resin. The definition also excludes specific products separated from the rest of the plant, such as mature stalk, fiber produced from such mature stalk, or seed.

What are the legal hemp farmers in Ireland?

In Ireland, the legal landscape surrounding industrial hemp has evolved, providing opportunities for authorized retailers to engage in the sale of hemp-derived products. The production and retailing of such products are governed by regulations that distinguish industrial hemp from the psychoactive strains of cannabis.

Authorized hemp retailers in Ireland typically offer a variety of products derived from industrial hemp, including hemp seeds, hemp fibre, and hemp oil. These products are sourced from the agricultural plant species Cannabis sativa, specifically grown for industrial purposes. The cultivation of industrial hemp, aimed at producing non-psychoactive derivatives, adheres to regulations set forth by the government and regulatory bodies.

Hemp production in Ireland is subject to guidelines that ensure the cultivation of industrial hemp within legal parameters. This includes stringent controls on the THC content, the psychoactive component found in cannabis plants. The cultivation of industrial hemp is overseen by regulatory bodies, such as the European Union, and compliance with these regulations is essential for retailers operating within the legal framework.

Retailers focusing on CBD weed products, derived from industrial hemp, cater to the rising demand for natural alternatives. These products often contain cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. CBD hemp products are recognized for their potential health benefits, and retailers must adhere to standards set by the government and health regulatory authorities, ensuring product safety and quality.

The legal status of industrial hemp in Ireland has been clarified through the removal of hemp from the list of narcotic drugs, emphasizing its distinction from psychoactive cannabis varieties. This change has facilitated the growth of a legal and regulated hemp production, with authorized retailers contributing to the availability of hemp-derived products.

Moreover, the recognition of industrial hemp’s environmental benefits, such as its contribution to mitigating soil erosion and its potential for reducing ghg emissions, further emphasizes the importance of legal and sustainable hemp cultivation.

In conclusion, authorized hemp retailers in Ireland operate within a framework that recognizes the legal distinction between industrial hemp and psychoactive cannabis. Compliance with regulations set by government authorities ensures the legality and quality of hemp-derived products available to consumers, contributing to the growth of a legal and regulated hemp production in Ireland.

At we select the best sativa cannabis crops in Europe, choosing organic and indoor grown productions, therefore strictly controlled.

Our products are carefully analyzed by the Laboratory of chemical-toxicological analysis of the University of Milan.

You are probably wondering if you can buy CBD cannabis and CBD cannabis-derived products, such as CBD oil, even in tobacco shops.

The answer is, albeit provisionally, no. The FIT (Italian Federation of Tobacconists) strongly advises against selling to tobacconists and is awaiting clarification from the authorities.

The reason for this provision is simple: the hemp plant cannot be assimilated or related to that of the genus Nicotiana tabacum, from which the tobacco leaves come. So tobacco shops may not be allowed to sell cannabis sativa.

But don’t worry: our deliveries are very fast, as well as free for orders over €60.

Thanks to us you can enjoy the best European legal hemp and receive it comfortably at home in very short times.

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