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Why did you start cultivating hemp/cannabis?
I started at the age of 13 because I found out it was a great remedy for my nearly chronic partial epileptic disease. Taking cannabis had a good effect on me, the episodes were less and less strong, so as soon as I could, I started to grow my own and to treat myself like this.
Who did you start with?
I started cultivating with my father.
Where does your love for hemp/cannabis come from?
Cannabis is a sacred plant.
It has helped me a lot throughout my life: as I said, at the age of 13 I could feel as a normal kid again, lead a dynamic life, thanks to the effects of the plant.
I felt devoted to structuring a method to cultivate my own medicine, and fight against the system, against the social banning and taboos around it. The plant continues to be illegal in many parts of the world, generally out of situational interests.
Since I discovered it was a great medicine for me I have been growing it and making it my passion, my main life focus.
How did you discover the therapeutic benefits of hemp?
I discovered its therapeutic use on myself actually. As a kid, well teenager let’s say, I was just a regular random kid going for new experiences, this: “let’s smoke a spliff, let’s try this”, and randomly I discovered that weed for me was a total blessing!
I would have one epileptic crisis every two days, and with the weed consumption it started decreasing: once a week, once every two weeks, then once a month… you know? When you are doing so bad and this makes you feel so good… of course, you can only go forward, totally go into it.
How do you think hemp can help people? And the planet?
Well, hemp can help most of the people who have diseases related to the nervous system.
From epilepsy, to multiple sclerosis, anxiety… it can help so many people!
Actually, discoveries of its properties are still being carried on. There is so much to come. This plant has been so banned, put away in a corner, that we are nowadays rediscovering its many uses. Hemp has 140 cannabinoids, so 140 different molecules…
I think we have only isolated about 20-25! That’s the tip of the iceberg in research. You know? There exists significant research work on it, but only from these few cannabinoids, we still have so much more to investigate on the plant. There is a long way to go, to understand.
Still we have 120 cannabinoids left to investigate to the fullest. I’m talking about not mere supposition, but the real factual effect of cannabis. So there is a long, long, long way to go.
About the planet? Well, hemp produces more (well an hectare of hemp), when it reaches 1 meter of height, it produces more oxygen than the rainforest.
It also takes out all the heavy metals in crops, in the fields, you know? I’m talking about land in bad condition, that needs to be restored. An excellent example of this is Chernobyl. In the last ten years they have been growing hemp in radioactive land and it’s really good. it works amazing!
They are even doing research on this process. Not many people talk about it, its not really part of regular news (obviously), as it’s something they would try to ban for more than 70 years, so… but well yeah, the information is coming out slowly.
Hemp is such a big thing, a sacred plant that is why it’s being banned: it’s too good!
You have to know also, that you and me, regular people can grow hectares of hemp without a traditional process of industrialisation. This is a fear for big companies working against it. It can be easily grown by common people, like you and me.
Which methodology do you use for cultivating? Why this method?
We use biological cultivation. We want to respect everything that surrounds us. We like to be aware, conscious of Mother Earth and be an example to others. This is our way to offer premium products, to keep the standards high, and to live in harmony with the planet.
Has it changed during the years? And How is it like to work in a grower community?
Yes, it’s a constant evolutionary process. Bringing in innovative ways to do things. As a core value, in the team, we like to exchange ideas, find alternative ways to do our own fertilizers, for example, so we try to grow with elements we find close to the fields, close to us, in harmony with nature, with the environment around us.
Where do you have the fields?
Our fields are based in Italy, in Reggio Emilia. In Viareggio, Sardegna and Cremona.
How does the extraction process work for the oils?
The extraction process we use is CO2 to obtain the cleanest and purest extraction from the plant, throughout the whole process. We also do a maceration process, which is still in its beginning stages, but we are working hard, investigating how to make it excellent.
At last, there is a distillation process. We distill our oil to have the lowest level of THC as possible and still the most high spectrum of cannabinoids.
What do you think of cannabis? And of CBD?
Cannabis is an amazing plant which has been used for centuries, millenia I would say, by all kinds of people, tribes… it’s not a wonder that it’s banned because it’s too good and I hope we can make as much as possible out of it.
CBD has been a great discovery in the last 20 years, especially for people who cannot handle THC or cannot take it.
I feel it’s just the beginning of a new era, a new reality around it, because mainly it has been just associated with drugs, euphoria, fun… more than anything else, cannabis is a medicine.
Finally we are taking the direction for it to be considered a medicine, something more concrete, more real, a healthier and conscious use of it.
What do you enjoy the most about the cultivation process?
What I enjoy the most is looking at the plants, seeing the evolution from being a tiny seed to an alive plant. I follow them as small babies.
I am totally passionate about them. I like to see them grow, how they go towards the sun, how they explode, how they bloom, transform… the smell, the strength they have.
I also really enjoy what you can extract from them, the resin, the crystals. It’s like seeing a red shiny, juicy delicious apple growing out of a little seed. Then making juice, or an apple pie out of it. It’s kind of magic, right?
How did CBD Alchemy start? (what are CBD Alchemy’s roots?)
CBD Alchemy starts from a dream.
I have been growing since 1996 to 2003 in a legal way in Switzerland. We have been banned, I actually had to flee; but it has always been my dream to build a cannabis farm, and you need to stick to dreams for them to work out. That’s what I did basically.
So CBD strongly came back in 2016, and 2017 I opened the first version of CBD Alchemy in Spain to start my green revolution and to contribute to the global revolution.
My idea is to make people aware of its benefits, spread the information, get it to the mainstream exchange of information. This was my opportunity and I jumped on it, and it’s going faster than I thought (laughs). I think we are on the right path.
How is the shop going?
The shop is going great, taking into account the global pandemic. Everyone needs to tighten up their belts… but we are doing great.
Locals enjoy it alot, people like to come in, to see the shop, get some good CBD products. We have a great spectrum of customers, everyone is so welcome at CBD Alchemy, so I couldn’t be happier.
What are your future plans for the cultivation?
Yes, we have great plans for the future.
We recently got our official organic certification for all our crops, warehouses and the extraction processes. We want to continue in this direction.
We are thinking maybe to triple our cultivation in the next few years. Our aim is to grow into a pharmaceutical direction, so we would like to totally go into GACP (Good Agricultural and Collection Practice) in our fields.
We grow step by step, slowly, steady, so this takes time to make the best out of it. But we are growing in fact, and we want to grow more as the plant also comes to light, there exists a real market for it, and the plant has so much potential.
CBD Alchemy is an alive project, so we are looking for innovation, new practices and follow the stream: it certainly has a strong and healthy root.
What are your future plans for the shop?
It would be ideal to have all products biologically certified. Quality has to be our main asset always, so we definitely want to improve it. Try to keep it small and always improve the price-quality ratio where possible ; of course stay respectful with nature. Less is more, right?
Interview conducted on 03/02/2021