Pain management: Experts call for legalisation of medicinal cannabis 

Experts who pitched for legalisation of medicinal use of cannabis said that India can bring a revolution in pain management with cannabis by using ayurvedic knowledge.

Published: 11th August 2019 09:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2019 09:06 AM   |  A+A-

Cannabis

For representational purposes (File Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India can bring a revolution in pain management with cannabis by using ayurvedic knowledge, AYUSH experts said on Saturday as they pitched for legalisation of medicinal use of cannabis.The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPDS) Act, prohibits cultivation or production of cannabis plant by anybody, while reserving these rights with central and state governments if they wish to do so, by creating rules. 

At the third edition of Oja Festival by NirogStreet in association with AYUSH Ministry and co-organised by CSIR-IIIM Technology Business Incubator, ayurvedic experts, and researchers spoke on various facets of Ayurveda and its relevance in the modern healthcare system. “Scientists are aggressively working to find out the active components of cannabis,” Dr Saurabh Saran, CSIR-IIM Technology Business Incubator, Jammu 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 it.” 

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 added.“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,” said Dr Abhishek Mohan, Director, HempStreet, India.       

Cannabis is recognised as one of five key medicinal plants in the Vedas, said Dr N Srikant, Deputy Director General, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences. “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 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. With agency inputs

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