“So will India legalize Cannabis?” This question has been a hot topic of discussion among hopeful Cannabis enthusiasts here over the past couple of years. Recently, Minister for Women and Child Development, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, won over our hearts when she stated her support in favor of Legalization. And now, what’s making new is – India finally taking a decisive step towards it.
The Government of India issued the first ever license to grow medical cannabis for research purposes. The official (lucky) license holder is the Council of Scientific and Medical Research (CSIR). CSIR has collaborated with the Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO) and have spent two years collecting over a hundred different accessions of Cannabis, from different parts of the country. Twenty of these variants shall be grown in Jammu & Kashmir, before ultimately developing the cannabis-based pharmaceuticals.
Unlike the United States, the product will be in the form of extracts, pills, and patches. (Yes, overlooking the rights of recreational users) In his statement, Dr. Vishwakarma of CSIR emphasized how this project intends to work on CBD – Cannabidiol; one of the components of the plant that was researched to have important medicinal properties, differentiating it from THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol; the component that was researched to have important recreational properties. But then infamous for the same reason – Because everything that we love is banned.
Dr. Vishwakarma (that’s not a made up name) stated “The research coming out of USA and Europe over the last decade confirms that most of the pharmaceutical activity comes from CBD, while the habit-forming psychoactive properties come from THC.” Although a breakthrough, many activists believe excluding THC out of the study will still deprive consumers (patients) of the medicinal properties and the amazing effects of THC.
As of today, more than 20 countries that had been studying and researching its medicinal properties have legalized Cannabis. The ray of hope for us being, most of these Cannabis-friendly countries only legalized the use of CBD, before opening their hearts and lungs to the awesomeness of the plant.
Fingers Crossed. That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.