Medicinal Cannabis: What is traditional significance of hemp plant, how it contributes to wellness

It is only recently that Cannabis was made legal in India for medicinal purposes. However, its roots can be traced long back to the Indian Vedas. Cannabis, as one of the four sacred Hindu texts, Atharv Veda, describes is one of the most five sacred plants on the Earth. The text acknowledges Cannabis as a herb that helps reduce Anxiety.

For centuries, Cannabis has been part of Indian culture and ancient literature and these texts define Cannabis as a ‘liberator’ and a ‘source of happiness’.  In most places in India, it has been linked with Lord Shiva in Hindu culture. But with the recent legalisation of the medicinal plant, India is ready to look back at its long association with Cannabis.

Gradually, within the country, there has been a shift from the traditional outlook that associated Cannabis with only recreation purposes; the drug now has a multi-dimensional prism to it. Cannabidiol (CBD) or hemp are the by-products of the Cannabis plant and are extracted from the leaves and seeds of the Cannabis plant, separated from its flowering or fruits because the number of intoxicating agents present in leaves or seeds is significantly less.

From diseases to neurological problems and to lifestyle disorders, CBD and hemp have taken a front row in driving conversations on wellness, mindfulness and healthy solutions.

When consumed or applied, CBD oil interacts with the neuroreceptors present in our endocannabinoid system which further send messages to the body to balance hormones, mood and the immune system. CBD oil works effectively in treating inflammation in the body and in reducing pain in diseases like arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Since, CBD holds the ability to connect with serotonin receptors in the brain, studies have also linked it to antidepressants. CBD oil is able to regulate activities like anxiety, mood swings and other social behaviour. Hence, it is used in the treatments of insomnia, anxiety, depression, or any post-traumatic stress disorder.

CBD’s anti-oxidant properties make it an effective drug in bringing down blood pressure, and anxiety and reducing the cell death associated with the heart. Thus, it helps in promoting a healthy heart. Symptoms like nausea, pain, or cognitive issues are common during chemotherapy treatment. CBD helps bring down chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and CBD itself also carries cancer-fighting properties.

Hemp, comes in various variants. It contains only traceable amounts of THC and is grown for non-drug use. Hemp leaves and seed are used to make different products, Different parts of the hemp plant are used to make different products. Hemp is highly nutritious in nature and holds high concentrations of fibre, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are nutrients that are vital for a healthy heart and skin.

Recently, hemp rollens have also been introduced as an interesting cross-over between hemp-based products and innovations. These cigarettes are free of tobacco and other addictive substances such as nicotine. There are studies indicating that smoking hemp cigarettes help replace tobacco and nicotine addictions, maybe even quitting smoking altogether.

Hemp-based rollens are made out of  hemp and other herbs such as lavender, verbena, peppermint and chamomile. Hence, support combating asthma, dyspnoea, insomnia, anxiety, brain fog, pain, inflammation, and indigestion. It is highly recommended to use the products as per the doctor’s advice.

The Indian youth is slowly warming up to the health benefits of Cannabis. With CBD and hemp infusions across industries and products, there lies so much potential as to what this industry can achieve thin line that could bring a transformation in this industry and also take Indians closer to their roots.

The author is founder, The Trost. Views are personal.

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