Startups search for a pot of gold in ayurvedic Cannabinoids
India’s ancient ayurvedic tradition has tapped the cannabinoids of cannabis for millennia. But it takes a full-spectrum, holistic approach instead of isolating CBD as in the new-fangled western products
Cannabinoids are compounds in the cannabis or hemp plant that produce a range of effects in the human body, from giving you a high to health benefits. They are similar to chemicals in our endocannabinoid system that regulate things like appetite, memory and pain. That’s how cannabinoid receptors in our bodies latch on to the compounds from cannabis plants.
As many as 144 cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis, but only two of them have been researched in depth. These are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Both have been shown to have health benefits, but THC is the more tightly controlled one because it is highly psychoactive.
So, it is mostly CBD that is going into many new medicinal and nutritional products being made in the West, while recreational products like cannabis-infused chocolate bars are high in THC.
India’s ancient ayurvedic tradition has tapped the cannabinoids of cannabis for millennia. But it takes a full-spectrum, holistic approach instead of isolating CBD as in the new-fangled western products. This became challenging after India went along with a US-led global campaign against cannabis, which got clubbed with highly addictive and harmful substances like heroin and cocaine. Now, as the world rethinks its stance on cannabis, Indian startups are trying to revive cannabis-based ayurvedic formulations.
One of these is Bengaluru-based India Hemp Organics (IHO), which has a number of hemp-based products, including medicinal ones for pain and stress relief, sleep and skincare. It sells them online as well as in its Bengaluru store. Co-founders Lovena Sirohi and Rohit Kamath were keen trekkers from their college days. It was during their treks in the Himalayas that they first became interested in hemp and all the research going on around the world that could also help Indian growers.
Then in early 2017, Sirohi suffered a life-threatening accident that concentrated their minds on the medicinal uses of cannabis. Then in early 2017, Sirohi suffered a life-threatening accident that concentrated their minds on the medicinal uses of cannabis.
Disclaimer: This article is originally published on https://www.livemint.com/news/india/startups-search-for-a-pot-of-gold-in-ayurvedic-cannabinoids-11615134175116.html