Hemp Based Products in India – Organic Products
In recent years, hemp based products have demonstrated exponential development, potential, and demand, driven by the movement toward plant-based and sustainable industries. In fact, experts estimate that India is now one of the largest and undeveloped markets for medicinal cannabis in the world.
But given that cannabis is frequently linked to narcotics and usage that is prohibited, businesses all over India are attempting to raise awareness of the many advantages of hemp and the byproducts that may be utilised for both industrial and medical purposes.
What is Hemp?
One of the most environmentally friendly, sustainable, and nutrient-dense plants is hemp. It is from the same species as cannabis. But in contrast to cannabis, hemp has very low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), less than 0.3%, whereas cannabis or marijuana has 20% or more. Hemp provides therapeutic and nutritional benefits as opposed to being used as a substance for intoxication or recreation, according to specialists in the field. However, the absence of regulations and concerns about its legality prevent its widespread use in India.
The incredible nutritional profile of hemp keeps your entire body nourished and healthy.
Dietary fibre, protein, omega 3, 6, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins B and E are all abundant in hemp. It is loaded with antioxidants and has all 9 essential amino acids.
Notably, the NDPS Act classifies cannabis as a narcotic commodity (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985). Cannabis must be delivered by cultivators to the excise departments of state governments in accordance with section 10(2)(d) of the NDPS Act. However, according to experts, the states cannot resell the cannabis output to private companies for the extraction of cannabinoids or other chemicals used in medicines because the NDPS Act does not contain any such provision.
The leaves, seeds, and stalks of hemp are excluded under the NDPS Act of 1985. It is only illegal to use flowers, ganja, charas, or any of its derivatives. According to Rohit Kamath, co-founder and director of India Hemp Organics, “The Centre allows the State the authority to develop its own cannabis policy for industrial or medical purposes.”
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‘Great to see a misunderstood plant in positive light’
What is hemp used for?
Hemp seeds from the cannabis plant are frequently referred to as the “trillion-dollar crop” and are used in numerous different industries, including textile, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and more.
Despite being mentioned in the ancient Indian Vedas, cannabis growing is subject to severe prohibitions in India. The earliest scriptures of Ayurveda contain references to the cannabis plant and its numerous health advantages.
Although the government has tightened restrictions on the plant’s cultivation as a result of it being used to make drugs, it has also relaxed some rules to permit industrial hemp production, assisting businesspeople in taking advantage of the industry’s growing possibility.
Cloth, cosmetics, rope, printer’s ink, wood preservative, detergents, soaps, and lighting oil are all hemp based products. A range of culinary products are made even from the seeds. According to WebMD, the seeds are high in protein, fibre, and fatty acids like omega 3s and omega 6s. According to reports, they have antioxidant benefits and may lessen the symptoms of a variety of diseases while enhancing the condition of the heart, skin, and joints.
Hemp’s medical use
Although hemp has long been a part of Indian culture, according to ayurvedic doctor Dr. Dixa Bhavsar, it should only be taken in rare circumstances.
The first Indian state to allow the large-scale commercial growing of industrial hemp was Uttarakhand in 2016. The Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) received the permit to grow marijuana on a 1,000-hectare plot of land. Notably, the plant can be harvested in three months and needs very little water, which is why hemp has been regarded as a sustainable option in regions like Uttarakhand where water is scarce and it is difficult to cultivate conventional crops.