For centuries, the cannabis plant has held a prominent place in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. Its rich history and diverse applications have captivated the attention of researchers, doctors, and entrepreneurs alike. From its evolution in Ayurveda to its current resurgence, cannabis has come a long way, overcoming bans and legal hurdles. Today, as the world witnesses a cannabis revolution, it raises an intriguing question: Is the hidden gem of Ayurveda coming back to life?
The cannabis plant, scientifically known as Cannabis sativa, has been a part of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Ayurveda recognizes the plant’s therapeutic potential and incorporates it into various treatments. Cannabis has been described as a sacred herb with many healing properties. Its evolution within Ayurveda reflects a deep understanding of its structure and components.
The cannabis plant has three main parts that serve distinct purposes. The root provides stability and absorbs water and nutrients from the soil, contributing to the plant’s overall health. On the other hand, the leaves are famous, or rather infamous, for ‘Bhaang,’ an edible preparation made from the leaves of the cannabis plant. Cannabis leaves are rich in cannabinoids, the chemical compounds responsible for the plant’s therapeutic effects. The most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is psychoactive and gives a “high” sensation, while CBD offers various health benefits without inducing intoxication. Finally, the flower contains the highest concentration of cannabinoids and is primarily used for medicinal and recreational purposes due to its psychoactive and physiological effects.
Despite its extensive use in Ayurveda, cannabis faces a legal rollercoaster worldwide. In Canada, cannabis was legalized for recreational use in October 2018, making it the second country in the world to do so. Additionally, medical cannabis has been legally available to patients in Canada since 2001, with doctors being able to prescribe it for various medical conditions. In the United States, the legal landscape surrounding cannabis varies from state to state. Currently, several states have legalized recreational and medical cannabis, while others have enacted laws allowing medical use only. This patchwork of regulations has created a complex environment where the legality of cannabis varies depending on one’s geographical location.
But in both these countries, the medical community’s evolving understanding of cannabis’s potential benefits has led to more doctors incorporating it into their treatment plans, albeit with careful consideration of individual patient needs and potential risks. Cannabis has shown promise in managing chronic pain, alleviating symptoms of certain neurological disorders, reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea, and aiding in treating various mental health conditions.
Influenced by international narcotics conventions, India’s government also restricted its cultivation, possession, and consumption for a certain period. Since this ban overlooked the plant’s multitude of applications, ranging from pain relief and appetite stimulation to anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects, the true potential of cannabis was not to be suppressed for long.
In recent years, India has taken steps to reintegrate cannabis into society. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was amended to allow the cultivation of cannabis for industrial and horticultural purposes, provided the plants contain less than 0.3% THC. This regulation enables the utilization of cannabis for its non-psychoactive properties, primarily focusing on producing hemp-derived products.
Several companies have emerged to harness the potential of CBD and bring its benefits to the masses. One such pioneer is BOHECO (Bombay Hemp Company), a Mumbai-based company that has played a significant role in establishing the market for hemp CBD products. BOHECO introduced high-quality CBD nutritional products, including oils and health and wellness products such as creams and balms for medicinal purposes. Their commitment to quality and innovation has contributed to the growing acceptance of cannabis-derived products. Initially, their products were priced at a premium, reflecting their focus on delivering exceptional quality.
However, as the market expanded, other companies like Awshad emerged, introducing their unique approach to CBD products. Awshad recognized the importance of accessibility and affordability, aiming to bring the numerous benefits of CBD to a broader audience. With a diverse range of products, including capsules, gummies, edible oils, and topical applications, Awshad strives to make CBD more accessible to the common man. By offering reasonably priced options, they empower individuals to explore CBD’s potential and experience its therapeutic effects without financial constraints. Awshad’s commitment to affordability reflects their dedication to ensuring that the benefits of CBD are available to all who seek them.
This cannabis revolution and the growing acceptance of CBD products raise an intriguing question about Ayurveda. Could it be that the hidden gem of Ayurveda is making a grand comeback? With its holistic approach to health and well-being, Ayurveda has consistently recognized the potential of cannabis. With modern science shedding light on its therapeutic properties, society is rediscovering what Ayurveda has known for ages.
The reintroduction of cannabis into mainstream culture represents a paradigm shift in our perception of its potential. As more people experience the benefits of CBD and other cannabis-derived products, the acceptance and understanding of Ayurveda may also grow. This resurgence could lead to a reevaluation of ancient Ayurvedic practices, encouraging further research and exploration into the untapped potential of this remarkable plant. As we witness this revolution, it is evident that the hidden gem of Ayurveda is once again shining brightly, captivating the attention of the modern world.