Cannabis also known as ganja, hemp, bhang, marijuana, pot, weed and grass is the most versatile plant on the planet. It has the potential to cure several chronic and lifestyle diseases which have remained elusive to even modern medicines and treatments. Cannabis was an integral part of Indian life. It has been used extensively for thousands of years in India. It is believed to have originated in the Himalayas before it spread to other parts of the world. Cannabis has more than 25,000 commercial applications. The compressive strength of cannabis is 6 times that of steel. Plastic derived from hemp is completely biodegradable. 1 acre of 6-month-old hemp crop can produce as much paper as 4 acres of 20 years old trees. Hemp is the strongest fibre in the world and requires very less water, maintenance, resources to produce a double the yield of cotton. Cannabis can produce biodiesel. Hemp seeds are the best source of omega fatty acids. Cannabis plant can suck the heavy metals and radioactive material thereby resolving land pollution as well air pollution by sequestering CO2 (1 acre can absorb 10 tons of CO2).
Why did such a beneficial plant get criminalized under narcotics category even when the number of people who experienced direct fatal overdose of cannabis in the history of mankind is 0? The Marijuana Stamp Tax Act passed in 1937 by USA spurred the covert “war on plants”. Capitalist greed has ensured that this plant was kept away from the masses for more than half a century and has forced us to believe that modern and advanced mean the same. India has been the only country to never allow a full ban on cannabis even when the 1985 NDPS Act came into place. Bhang (drink from cannabis leaves) was allowed to remain legal in several states. Cannabis is called “Vijaya” in Sanskrit which means conqueror of diseases. Cannabis has been used in more than 200 formulations in Ayurveda. It is referred to as one of the 5 most essential plants in the world as per Atharva Veda. India was the primary supplier of medical cannabis globally including USA till the criminalization began. And now, the tables have turned. Over the past few years there has been a spate of legalization of cannabis globally. World Health Organization (WHO) on 2nd Dec 2020 removed cannabis from Schedule IV drugs and India was one of the countries that voted in favour of the rescheduling. CBD is a compound derived from cannabis. CBD is now a multi-billion-dollar industry with US, UK, Germany and Australia being the largest consumers. Ayurvedic cannabis is completely legal in India and can be obtained from the manufacturers or aggregators with a valid prescription online and offline. Several prominent scientific researches have shown that cannabis holds the key for chronic ailments such as cancer, auto-immune disorders, diabetes, high BP, cholesterol, rheumatism, acidity, chronic pain and inflammation besides disorders related to sleep, immunity, digestion, neuro, osteo, liver, kidneys, respiratory, cardio, reproduction, autism, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and psychological such as stress, tension, irritation, anxiety, fear, insecurity, depression, schizophrenia, mania, dementia, addiction, etc. Eminent medical studies have also explored its efficacy and potency in quickly addressing chronic COVID-19 symptoms especially respiratory complications since medical cannabis is an effective immunomodulator and bronchodilator. The human body naturally secretes cannabinoids through the Endo Cannabinoid System (ECS) which in turn regulates and impacts all other systems, particularly the endocrine system that secretes hormones, to achieve homeostasis (internal physical and chemical equilibrium). Deficiencies in endocannabinoids can be compensated with phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant.
India is home to both cannabis and Ayurveda. It is only natural that Ayurvedic cannabis holds more potential than any other unnatural form of delivering value from this super natural plant. Any compound when taken stand alone as an API (synthetic, semi synthetic or plant derived) could pose some harm to the body. This is the very reason why Ayurveda emphasizes on the complete extract of the plant. The cannabis plant has more than 100 cannabinoids besides terpenoids, flavonoids and several other active compounds. When all these compounds are present in a medicine the “Entourage Effect” kicks in. This is the divine intelligence wherein all the compounds together as a whole suppress the ill-effects and amplify the positive effects of the individual compounds. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This explains the reason why natural medicines have relatively far lesser harmful side effects than synthetics. Ayurveda is time tested. We have seen many times that something that has been established safe now turns out to be harmful a decade later. So, it is safer to rely on formulations that have been used for millennia and stood the test of time. The entourage effect is further amplified when the appropriate herbs are used in conjunction with cannabis. There are several Ayurvedic cannabis formulations as well as cannabis strains that are non-psychoactive and hence can be safely consumed anywhere and anytime. Ayurvedic cannabis gives quick symptomatic relief and hence comparable with modern medicines. But more importantly, Ayurvedic cannabis also addresses the root cause of the ailment thereby making it more sustainable by preempting relapse, withdrawal or dependence. Ayurvedic cannabis balances our physiological, psychological and emotional pillars harmoniously at the same time. Ayurvedic cannabis thus holds the key to revolutionizing the face of the medical industry