New Delhi: AYUSH experts on Saturday pitched for legalisation of medicinal use of cannabis, saying India can revolutionise pain management with cannabis by using ayurvedic knowledge. The experts were speaking at the third edition of Oja Festival organised on Saturday by NirogStreet (India’s first technology-led Ayurveda platform) in association with AYUSH Ministry and co-organised by CSIR-IIIM Technology Business Incubator.
A statement said that renowned ayurvedic experts, researchers and practitioners voiced their opinion on critical issues related to Ayurveda and its relevance in the modern healthcare system.
“The government is working very hard as medicinal marijuana or cannabis will be legalised soon. Scientists are aggressively working to find out the active components of cannabis,” Dr Saurabh Saran, CSIR-IIM Technology Business Incubator, Jammu said.
The CSIR Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine is the first institute to get government approval for cannabis and they are working on seed varieties from all over the world, he said.
“We are trying to develop seeds more of active compound cannabidiol (CBD) and less of tetrahydro cannabinol (THC). To make cannabis available for pain management to masses, we need to develop our own varieties as we cannot look at the option of only exporting cannabis. It has to be indigenously developed for medical cultivation and pain management,” he added.
Addressing the need for adoption of ayurveda and yoga as part of lifestyle across the globe, Dr Abhishek Mohan, Director, HempStreet, India said, “Cannabis in ayurvedic context is 99 per cent of what we are doing at HempStreet. Since other countries have legalised it doesn’t mean that we have to follow the exact pattern. We are doing research on indigenous cannabis in partnership with CSIR.”
Dr N Srikant, Deputy Director General, CCRAS said cannabis is recognised as one of five key medicinal plants in the Vedas.
“The history of cannabis in India can be traced to 1000 BC. In classical ayurvedic texts, nearly 191 formulations and more than 15 dosage forms have cannabis as a key ingredient. Dried leaves of cannabis collected from cultivated or wild source are not covered under psychotropic substance act and are legal as an ayurvedic drug.
“However collection and transportation of cannabis leaves is a matter of state. One can take permission and easily use it for medicinal purpose,” he said.