The use of cannabis has been reported since time immemorial, from classical Ayurvedic texts, to the history of Central Asia to its use in the present day, the herb is has been used for its therapeutic nature. As per the development of science, we are able to distinguish between the distinctive active compounds present in the herb, their mode of action and their effects on the body and brain. Hemp, referred to as medicinal cannabis, is a similar plant to cannabis pertaining to THC 0.3% or less.
“Two active components of hemp, which affect the body and brain differently are Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They react to the endocannabinoid system and help regulate your mood, appetite, sleep, memory and pain sensation. THC has psychotropic effects on the brain through this biological pathway, whereas CBD, the therapeutic component targets overall health and wellness of the individual,” says Dr. Aanandita Budhiraja, Medicinal Cannabis Practitioner, BAMS, PG Diploma in Mental Health.
Cannabis also finds its mention in classical ayurvedic texts as ‘vijaya’ and has been recommended for its healing properties, restoration of respiratory and digestive health, correcting skin and hair, nervous system stimulant, aphrodisiac and pain reliever. These salutary properties of the plant entitle it as a religious and cultural herb. About 200 formulations, and 15 dosage forms use cannabis as a key ingredient in Ayurvedic practice.
Benefits of medicinal cannabis
The seeds of the plant are used to make nutrition supplements, they are rich in amino acids, Omega 3, 6 and 9, can be bought and consumed as an OTC product. “The leaves of the cannabis plant are used directly or extracted to make various cannabis leaf extracts (CBD) medicines. Although any medicine made in India with the leaves will have to prescribed by a certified ayurvedic medical practitioner. Medical cannabis has a plethora of medical benefits, it helps reduction of inflammation, reduction of chronic pain, seizures, mental disorders to name a few,” says Harshal Goel, Founder, The Trost.
“Inculcating hemp in our daily life, as approved by FSSAI, or as medicine, as approved by the AYUSH Ministry, has proved beneficial in keeping the consumers focussed and staying head-on with the pace. Thus, people are able to make time for their spouses, families, kids, and most importantly, themselves,” adds Dr Budhiraja.
Is it legalized in India?
Leaves of cannabis, collected from the regulatory body, under governmental laws, for medicinal purposes are not covered under the NDPC Act, and can be legally used as an Ayurvedic drug.
Under Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940, Medicinal cannabis is mentioned under ‘Schedule E1’ drug. The use of hemp leaves, in any form is allowed, with the use of prescription issued by a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner.
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