The earliest written reference to cannabis in India occurred in the Atharvaveda, dating to about as long ago as 1500 BCE.
The cannabis plant is known for more than 25,000+ different uses and is a remarkably renewable resource. Especially in India, it has a long-rooted history with our people and our culture. The Ayurvedic tradition recognizes cannabis (known as Vijaya in Sanskrit) as a medicinal herb. The text also mentions cannabis as one of the five most sacred plants on Earth and says that a guardian angel resides in its leaves. It also refers to it as a “source of happiness,” a “joy-giver” and a “liberator”. Similarly, Dwarakanath wrote the book, “the fundamental principles of Ayurveda.” Whereas in the Anandakanda, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the herb alone, its toxicity, and its procedure purification, cultivation, preparation, and use.
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Hemp adopted by AYUSH ministry
- Hemp and cannabis are adopted by the AYUSH ministry in India and recognised as Ayurvedic Proprietary Medicines. In its ancient cultural setting, cannabis has for centuries been used by world renouncing sadhus in conjunction with fasts and severe austerities.
- The leaves and seeds of the cannabis plant are legally allowed to be used in various formulations of medicines, to cater to an array of symptoms like pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, side effects of chemotherapy, IBS, and more.
- With the rise of cannabis-based medicines, more and more people can taper off potent allopathic drugs that come with severe downsides and shift to a mode of healing that’s more holistic, through these plant-based remedies.
- In Ayurvedic and Tibbi rituals, cannabis was given orally to treat diseases like malaria and rheumatism. Warriors would drink bhang to steel their nerves, and newlyweds would consume bhang to increase their libido.
How was hemp created?
The Vedas also describe how cannabis was created when the Gods stirred the cosmic oceans with Mount Mandara's peak. A drop of heavenly nectar (amrita) fell from the sky and a sacred cannabis plant sprouted on the spot. Citations in history also write that Lord Shiva, also identified as the lord of Vijaya, once stormed off to the fields after a fight with his family. It was only then that the was enchanted by an aromatic smell that calmed his nerves. His intriguing energy led him to facilitate investigation of the plant, and soon, due to the plant manifesting characteristics of acting as a driver into the higher consciousness, it was being used by several great sages for their progress in holiness. Lord Shiva was the one that brought the cannabis plant for the pleasure of humankind, and for this, the plant was consecrated to him.
The normalisation of hemp in India
"Today, we live in a time where cannabis is being normalised again, and the masses are waking up to its potential to heal. With the advancement of technology and research, emerging startups like India Hemp Organics (IHO) are now pioneering the cannabis industry and recreating how cannabis is consumed and perceived. As a part of their medicinal range, sublingual oils made using cannabis leaf (Vijaya) extract, blended with essential oils to cater to specific ailments of pain, stress/anxiety/depression, insomnia, and promote daily well-being" states Loveena Sirohi, Co-Founder, India Hemp Organics.
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