The Rise of Hemp As Medicine

HEMP - VIJAYA - CANNABIS - BHANG - GANJA

By Vaishnavi Shukla , Lucknow


Use of hemp seeds has risen as a medicine in recent times. Hemp is also known as our beloved  God- Shiva’s Prasad. It has been part of our planet even before humans existed . This holy plant grows out of our Mother Earth (yes we have to believe I’ve to write this as a basic difference between “drugs” and this “plant”). 

Ayurveda says anything that exists can be medicine. Over 14 countries have legalised this plant on the basis of its medicinal properties and many more uses which our society and culture is not conscious of . That is the Mai reason behind rise of hemp as medicine.

The prohibition of something that existed even before we were placed on this planet itself is a joke on various levels. 

Now to become specific to our country where Ganja is used by lakhs of sadhu , sages and holy men directly makes them all CRIMINALS. 

Yes you heard me right! The people most Indians are scared to rub on the wrong side as they are said to be the catalysts of higher energies, as per Government’s eyes due to this law are labeled criminals because this holy plant falls under schedule 1 drug even now. 

To make it clear- Schedule 1 drug basically stands for substances which have no medicinal values and only damages your system.

Today in India it is used in many areas as a spiritual practice as well as for recreational purposes. 

The hemp has some common benefits like initiating conversations , supports awareness among the users, deep enjoyment of life , improves social interactions , used for an ascetic path , training aid for wrestlers by various levels of society. 

Although the above mentioned points are not known to many people because they’ve been living like this for years without knowing it’s benefits for a society.

Different Cannabis strain has different types of effects

  • Indica

It grows short and bushy . This plant has highly relaxing and sleepy effects.

  • Sativa

Sativa grows lean and tall. This Strain of cannabis has an energetic effect.In addition to cannabinoids, there’s a whole other set of compounds in cannabis called terpenes — the same compounds found in essential oils. Ter-penes are what give each Cannabis strain its unique color and smell. Some strains smell like lemon. Other strains are purple and smell like lavender. In fact, the same terpene found in lavender, linalool, which gives lavender its calming, relaxing potential, is also found in many Cannabis strains.

There’s a whole range of Cannabis strains known for their calming, sleep-in-ducing, relaxing properties, collectively known as “indicas.” Indicas strains will not induce anxiety. They’re relaxing and stress-reducing. The sativas are more stimulating and energising, and resemble caffeine in this regard.While helpful for anxiety and depression, sativas could produce paranoia and put you on edge, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When addressing the psychological spectrum, strain selection is very important.

Another point I’d like to add is that when the plant is unheated It can be used raw because it does not use the psychoactive substance THC, that’s one of it’s remarkable properties. 

The plant actually makes THC(THCA) and CBDA . So when you eat it raw you get THCA which is not THC which relieves pain. THCA is a synergising agent but does contain the THC which has the psychoactivity  properties. This means you can consume Cannabis raw and get health benefits without the  psychoactivity.  A number of doctors have become proponents of using raw cannabinoid as a dietary supplement. The key is to not heat the plant.

Most of the hemp entrepreneurs says that apart from the policies set out by the government , awareness  about Hemp is the main challenge. 

Marketing about Hemp is tough and is not supported for advertising for instance Facebook does not allow the advertising of the products,  Amazon does not sell them , supermarket chains like big bazaar and others do not store them and sometimes social media too blocks the mention of hemp. 

With cannabis people can only think of one thing that is, will this get me high? 

We want them the understand cannabis is multifaceted and can expand about 30000 different eco friendly and sustainable products .

Rise of the Hemp As a Medicine

Cannabis was classified as a synthetic drug in the US which made it illegal in 1970 and later banned it and it came under the spotlight in India too. The Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic substances Act, 1985 bans the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant ganja but it excludes the seeds ,stalks and leaves . Bhaang in India is made from leaves so it’s not outlawed .

Bhaang was never illegal , it has a religious association and Ayurveda has 190 formulations that have cannabis as a key ingredient , CBD oil does not come under the NDPS Act either. Uttarakhand became the first state to permit the cultivation of hemp legally there .The hemp products are available in the market as medicines.

Yash P Kotak  is one of the founders of Bombay Hemp company (BOHECO) which sells nutrition and personal care Hemp products . Since 2019 over 50 firms have  registered with the word “HEMP” in their names, says Kotak. Organic and plant based topical pain relief products are beginning to play a vital role in this projected growth. The company has launched several products related to anxiety, stress, insomnia & boosting immunity trying to tap into every problem people are facing today and doing their best to provide Ayurvedic plant based medicine and this Green Revolution shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The company recently launched their Muscle Relief product for the people who face pain and discomfort in their everyday active job and can be applied to particular pain areas everyday. 

The product is made from Cannabis Leaf extract,Camphor and Peppermint.The Cannabis Leaf Extract plays a vital role in success as it provides instant pain relief and decreases inflammation.

Camphor in the product works as a skin coolant and warm sensations. Peppermint contains menthol which helps to improve microcirculation within the nerve, while aiding nerve functioning at optimal levels reducing irritability and pain perception.

Apart from stress, anxiety and pain it also helps in curing muscle damages caused during heavy workouts and muscle exercise. 

The Muscle Relief helps relieve muscles strains, is anti inflammatory analgesic, provides relief from back aches, muscle sprains, reduces muscle soreness and stiffness as well.

The future of our world as it stands today is plant based, individuals have been waking up to the need for a healthier and more conscious lifestyle and need to choose purposeful environmentally friendly products.

The Muscle Relief product according to BOHECO will fit right into lifestyle and the product will help to recognise problem from its roots while opting for long term curative measure rather than providing short term symptomatic relief.

SANATAN DHARMA

During Premenstrual Syndrome in women, they are faced by a lot of physical and mental changes which are not easy to cope up with sometimes. In physical it includes pain in muscles, stomach ache, swelling and mental stress, anxiety and lack of sleep . 

The CBD oil helps  for all of it. Sometimes women face blood clotting during the monthly cycles, CBD oil can be of great help as well best in one of the natural remedies. When women face their menopause at a certain age they go through a lot of hormonal changes and hot flashes. It helps in all of the above changes that women go through during their lifetime.

The Hemp seeds can be eaten with pumpkin and carom (Ajwain) seeds for health enhancement and also helps in increasing calcium levels in women.

During the Indian and Nepalese festival of Holi, people consume bhang which contains cannabis flowers & leaves. 

According to one description, when the Amrit (elixir of life) was produced from the churning of the ocean by the devas and the asuras, Shiva created cannabis from his own body to purify the elixir (whence, for cannabis, the epithet angaja or “body-born”). Another account suggests that the cannabis plant sprang up when a drop of the elixir dropped on the ground.

Thus, cannabis is used by sages due to association with elixir and Shiva. Wise drinking of bhang, according to religious rites, is believed to cleanse sins, unite one with Shiva and avoid the miseries of hell in the future life. It is also believed to have medicinal benefits.

 In contrast, foolish drinking of bhang without rites is considered a sin. Although cannabis is regarded as an illegal drug, many Nepalese people consume it during festivals (like Shivaratri) which the government tolerates to some extent and also for their personal uses and recreation purposes. Further in Nepal its seeds are also used in making pickles “bhang ko achar”. The dried seeds are ground and then mixed with aloo (potato). This is common .

CANNABIS LINGUISTICS

Marijuana—the dried leaves, and sometimes flowers, of the hemp plant. Usually smoked in a cigarette.

Bhang—the Hindu equivalent of marijuana. Also refers to a liquid mixture of hemp leaves,

milk, sugar, and spices. Drunk in India, particularly on Shiva’s birthday.

Ganja—the dried flowering tops of the female hemp plant. More powerful than bhang.

Hashish—the dried resin produced by the female hemp plant. Can be smoked or eaten.

Contains the most THC of any hemp preparation.

Charas—Indian word for hashish.

Kif—the Arabic word for hemp preparations.

Dagga—South African term for dried hemp preparations.

Cannabis—short for Cannabis sativa L., or Cannabis indica. Often used to distinguish thedried, psychoactive cannabis preparations from the living hemp plant.

DIFFERENT PARTS OF PLANT AND THEIR USES

Healing herbs are here to comfort us when we are sick, and numerous other plants are available to support our living ,assist us in our human endeavor. However, there is only one plant helper used all over the world,since prehistory, that gives us food, clothing, building materials, fuel, medicine, and has the power to affect our consciousness, our imagination, and the way we see the world. That plant is hemp, Cannabis Sativa.

  • STALK

Hurd of the stalk can be used to make animal beddings, fibre-boards, Insulation and HempCrete (Organic Bio-Concrete which is made without the toxic cement). The fibres of the stalk provide raw material to produce hemp twine, ropes,netting, canvas, bio-composites, shoes, bags etc.

The Stalk has the potential to substitute fuel, paper, textiles, plastic, con-

struction materials and furniture.

  • LEAVES

The cannabis leaves are rich in some of the medicinal compounds. It is one of the most important dietary supplement as it activates certain functions in the body which can prolong our good health. Cannabis leaves are ground into paste to produce Bhaang one of the oldest methods of using this medicinal plant was to consume its raw leaves.In Ayurveda, they started to churn these leaves, boil it with milk to be taken orally and also topically to cure many kinds of pains. This traditional practice in India goes by the famous drink Bhaang, which is celebrated nation wide during Holi, Shiv Raathri, Raam Navami and any other auspicious time in order to bring peace, joy and a sense of sharp clarity.

  • HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds contain nutritious polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) 80%.

The highest amount found within the plant kingdom.

Health experts have been talking about the need for unsaturated fats in our diets known as omega3 and omega 6 which is available in hemp seeds in high quantities. Hemp seeds are treasure troves of these nutrients. They contain at least 30 percent oil.

HEMP WHOLE SEEDS / HULLED / FLOUR

No other single plant source provides complete protein in such an easily

digestible hemp seeds can be used both raw and for the oils they produce.

The nut of the seed can be used in breads, salads, granola/cereals, hemp

milk/dairy products and protein powder..

Apart from the Nutritional values, hemp seeds can be pressed to produce oils

which can substitute fuel, lubricants, inks, varnishes, paints and cosmetics.

  • HEMP PAPER

Deforestation to meet the global supply of wood, what is the alternative

solution to cutting down millions of trees every year?

Hemp hurds can be used to make paper.

It doesn’t require any chemical processing and can be recycled upto 7 times, which is 2 times more than the wooden pulp paper. And most importantly it takes just one acre of hemp fields to produce enough paper which is equivalent to 4 acres of forests, in just 3 months as compared to 240 months (20years) for the trees to mature.

  • HEMP FIBRES

They are one of the strongest fibres known to humankind. These fibres have been used

throughout our history to make twines, clothes and ropes. It is so much stronger than cotton and requires no chemicals to grow or process it and textiles are durable, lasts longer and breathes better than the cotton alternative.

In my opinion , the plant’s image has been degraded in our country and it’s high time for citizens of our country to be more aware of the benefits and healings we can receive from the plant.

Vaishnavi Shukla is a student of B.J.M.C)

REFERENCES :

-BOOKLET OF KOHINOOR OF HERBS BY PRIYA M MISHRA

-A GREAT BOOK OF HEMP BY ROWAN ROBINSON

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