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Cannabis Can Give India’s Economy A New ‘High’ And Protect The Environment

hemp field
Field of blooming medical cannabis.

Cannabis, also known as ganja, has been a part of human culture for ages. It has been mentioned as a form of treatment in several ancient scripts, including Ayurveda. Until the 20th century, it was one of the most widely grown and harvested hemp. Hemp is an extremely useful fibre with a low THC content.

Cannabis, a Schedule IV drug, is a plant that has the potential to boost the Indian economy to new heights. Additionally, it could do wonders for the environment of the country. While it is primarily banned, cannabis has been allowed for consumption (through bhang) on special occasions (such as Holi). 

Various studies have observed that hemp can be used to remove radiation and heavy metals from the soil. This was especially noticeable in the areas surrounding Chornobyl. Legalizing cannabis could nearly bring a trillion dollars to the Indian economy in terms of revenue. According to the co-founder and director of Bombay Hemp Company, Jahan Peston James, nearly every state in India has the potential to grow the crop. 

Farmers can grow hemp with moderate efforts as it requires minimal water, fertilizers and pesticides. What gives hemp an advantage is a fact that there are very few plant species that can compete with hemp. Moreover, hemp can be used for producing a variety of goods such as paper, biodegradable plastics, fuel and even clothing! 

Hemp could be a great substitute for cotton crops and paper production. Hemp, unlike cotton, requires much less water and may prove to be an alternative crop to grow during drought seasons.

The pulp of timber trees is used to make paper, and such trees can take years to grow. On the other hand, hemp can grow fully in a matter of four to six months. Moreover, an acre of hemp can produce nearly the same paper as nearly four acres of trees. 

Several companies, including Foxxy and Hermis, have begun to emerge that solely focus on hemp-based products. Additionally, companies like Vedi Herbals have begun exploring the Ayurvedic uses of hemp. 

What do you think about hemp? Do let us know in the comments!

References: Vice India

Featured image source: Medicinal Genomics

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