Acceptance Of Cannabis In India

Acceptance Of Cannabis In India

Historical & Cultural Significance of Cannabis in India

The use, cultivation and distribution of Cannabis in India has been a topic of debate since long ago. Ayurvedic doctors have been using the herb cannabis (vijaya) for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions. It has been a part of India’s medicinal & recreational history, hence known internationally as Indian Hemp.

The medical and scientific use of Cannabis in India is regulated under a complex legal framework. The Great Legalisation Movement India Trust has argued that there have been studies suggesting that cannabinoids have assisted in reducing COVID-19's negative effects.

Legal Framework for Cannabis in India

The petition, which is listed for further hearing in March, has challenged provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances (NDPS) Act which prohibit the use of cannabis in India and has contended that the drug has medicinal and industrial benefits.

The petitioner has sought directions to the central government to frame rules permitting and regulating laws making Cannabis legal in India, especially for medicinal purposes.

In its affidavit filed last year, the center urged the court to dismiss the petition with costs and claimed that it has adopted a balanced approach on cannabis by empowering the state governments to “permit, control and regulate the cultivation of any cannabis plant, production, manufacture, possession, transport, import inter - state , export inter-state, sale, purchase, consumption or use of cannabis for medical, scientific and industrial purposes.

Regulations of Government on Use of Cannabis

“There is no complete ban on cannabis under NDPS act but can be used for medical, scientific, industrial, horticultural purposes by taking requisite permissions from respective state governments, '' the affidavit filed by director, Narcotics control, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance said.

“The state governments are empowered to license cannabis cultivation in India for industrial and scientific purposes. On the similar lines, it may be inferred that the cultivation for industrial/ horticultural purposes, as provided in section 14 of NDPS Act, can be considered by the state government, it added.

According to the petitioner trust, which is based in Karnataka and is at the forefront of the push to decriminalise marijuana usage, there is not a single document that demonstrates that it was lethal to humans and clarifies whether is cannabis legal in India or not. 

Hemp Gets Recognition As Food

Hemp as an Industrial Crop

There has been a lot of chaos and uncertainty around the use, sale and cultivation of cannabis in India. However, the future of Cannabis in India appears promising because authorities like the FSSAI are taking the appropriate steps to regulate the hemp business.

Hemp, a cannabis derivative, is largely grown for industrial purposes. Under colonial rule, where other substances like OPIUM were illegal, cannabis derivatives were not deliberated that a ban was likely to cause social unrest, and decided to tax it instead.

Ayurvedic Importance of Hemp

Ayurveda literature like charaka samhita mentions properties of Vijaya as digestive, which makes the cultivation and usage of the plant a religious and cultural phenomenon. Cannabis oil for cancer treatment in India is being used since ancient times. It has been proven to some extent help in the treatment of cancer.

SCIENCE-cannabidiol and delta -9 tetrahydrocannabinol(THC) are the two important chemicals found in cannabis.

Your body has a biological mechanism called the endocannabinoid system that aids in controlling your mood, hunger, sleep, memory, and pain perception.  Both THC and CBD hijack this system, but in different ways. THC initiates a psychological response in your brain and has psychotropic effects- think-pleasure, euphoria, relaxation. CBD, the non-psychoactive component, may have an effect on your body instead. Think-pain, fatigue, appetite. So, between the two, it is THC that can make you high in the conventional sense.

Health Benefits of Cannabis

All things considered, it wouldn't be too incorrect to say that the value of cannabis is slowly hitting the government. As an antiemetic against chemotherapy-induced vomiting, for glaucoma (intraocular pressure), insomnia, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and other ailments, this plant has recently drawn the attention of numerous researchers.

Reference of Cannabis in India as Vijaya has been found in various ayurvedic granthas –as samhitas, samgraha grantha, chikitsa grantha, rasa granthas and nighantus.

It is observed that after processing, cannabis is used as a single or ingredient of 191 formulations, which are effective in more than 29 disease conditions.

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