Cannabis and India share a long history going back over 4000 years.
The fundamental basis of using cannabis as medicine is that cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds produced naturally by the human body to regulate key functions like sleep, respiration and neuronal activity are found in the cannabis plant as well. Increasingly, not just amongst medicine, but also amongst consumer products, globally there has been a shift in consumer attitudes and thinking in order to focus on plant-based solutions for health and wellness needs. This has been possible due to more awareness about the impact of our modern mass industry based civilization on the planet’s resources and wildlife.
India’s ancient system of medicine, the Ayurveda advocates a plant-based lifestyle for nutrition and health, and lists down approximately 191 formulations that mention cannabis as a key ingredient. Medical cannabis in India can be administered for issues and illnesses related to Anorexia, Allergies, Anti-aging, Anxiety & Depression, Appetite, Bloating, Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, Chemotherapy Side-effects, Cholesterol, Constipation, Detox, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Digestive Health, Heart Health, Hypertension, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Immune support, Insomnia, Joint pain, Libido, Memory, Mood, Motion Sickness, Neuro-degenerative disease, Sexual Problems, Skin disease, Post Delivery Complications, Psoriasis, Sciatica Pain, Sleep, Stress, Urinary Tract Infection, Viral infections and Weight Management.
Reading all this, it does seem as if cannabis can cure every disease. However, the point to note is that cannabis has different effects on different people depending on the individual’s condition, since no two individuals’ health and lifestyle is the same. For urban dwellers, all kinds of lifestyle diseases due to stress, anxiety and body pain owing to a fast paced lifestyle, medical cannabis can be a boon, a medicine to nurse themselves back to health without taking a break from work.
Currently, the world’s second-most populous country, India accounts for 20% of the global disease burden. There is only one primary healthcare center (often manned by one doctor) for more than 51,000 people in the country. There are only 0.65 doctors, 1.3 nurses and 1.3 hospital beds per 1,000 people in the country. The desired requirement by 2034 for every 1,000 people is 2.5 doctors, 5 nurses, and 3.5 beds – and to achieve this India requires medical cannabis to enter the mainstream as a viable alternative to allopathic medicines.
The National Health Profile 2018, an annual report released by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, elaborates that due to a lack of focus on preventive oncology in India, over 70 percent of cancers are diagnosed only after reaching stage III or IV when treatment is more difficult and less likely to succeed. Small wonder, then, that India’s number of cancer-related deaths ranks among the world’s highest. Last year, 784,821 people succumbed to cancer in the country. One of medical cannabis’ biggest application is in cancer pain management.
All this being said, it is prudent to reason that medical cannabis can create an alternative route for Indian patients who’re interested in plant-based medicines to treat their maladies. If a medicine works, it works, irrespective of it being an allopathic, ayurvedic or a homeopathic medicine. At the end of the day, rather than being swayed by the recreational aspect of cannabis which occupies prime concern, it would be wise to accept cannabis’ medicinal value by listening to the patients themselves, many who have used the plant to cure a variety of wide ranging illnesses as mentioned above.
In India, there are a few medical cannabis companies in the market. However, on 1st February, 2020, speaking at India’s only second seminar on Medicinal Cannabis, HempCann Solutions confirmed that they had inaugurated India’s first medical cannabis clinic in Koramangala, Bangalore under the name of Vedi Wellness Centre. The address of the clinic is as follows: Vedi Wellness Centre, #833, 1st Floor, 12th Main Road, Koramangala 4th Block, near Maharaja Signal. One can call: 080-456 83156 for more details.
The medical cannabis clinic will give prescriptions and sell HempCann’s flagship cannabis-infused medicines which go by the names of Cannaflam, Cannapain and Cannaron, in addition to other Ayurvedic medicines and natural body care products based on plant extracts. The cannabis-infused medicines are currently being prescribed by a wide range of doctors based in South India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu where plant-based products and diets find a lot of takers, as compared to other Indian states.