The Tamil Nadu government is in the process of legalizing the cultivation of hemp in the state for medicinal and industrial use, as demand for this type of cannabis has grown in recent months.
Recently, the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission held a discussion on the “promotion of hemp crops” and also ordered the Tamil Nadu University of Agriculture to submit a report on crop viability in the country. state.
Thus, Tamil Nadu may become the fourth state after Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to introduce a hemp cultivation policy. In early May, Assam’s Aayog State Directorate of Agriculture and Personnel Innovation and Transformation (SITA) also held a meeting to promote hemp cultivation after realizing the economic viability of the floor.
What is hemp?
Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) or industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive cannabis plant (Cannabaceae) family which is a rich source of high quality fiber with great medicinal properties. Often confused with the cannabis varieties used for marijuana and hashish, hemp contains about 0.3-1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for creating psychoactive effects. Hemp also contains cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG), and so on.
What are the benefits?
Hemp seeds are highly nutritious and are rich in healthy fats, proteins, vitamin E and various minerals. Whole hemp seeds are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is substantial in preventing constipation, ulcers, and hemorrhoids. Seeds have also been found to be helpful in inducing higher levels of estrogen in the body.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is also therapeutic in various mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s, depression and anxiety.
Hemp seeds act as an antioxidant that helps minimize free radicals in the body, which can cause cell damage. Hemp oil is rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which can reduce the symptoms of postmenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as breast tenderness, irritability and swelling. Hemp seeds are also a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, known to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. These fatty acids are also great for the skin and also alleviate the symptoms of eczema.
Hemp also has a variety of industrial advantages. Hemp stem fiber is used in the textile industry while hemp leaf pulp is used to make paper and other building and packaging materials. The medicinal alkaloid cannabidiol (CBD) found in the hemp plant is widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry.
The hemp plant consumes less water and also increases soil fertility, thus proving to be a productive crop as well.
Is hemp cultivation legal?
Under sections 10 (iii) and 14 of the Psychotropic Drugs and Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS), state governments are permitted and may regulate the cultivation of any cannabis plant for industrial and medical purposes.
In 2018, the Uttarakhand government became the first state to grant a license to the Industrial Hemp Association of India (IIHA) for the cultivation of industrial hemp on 1000 acres of land.
In 2021, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also issued an instruction stating: “Hemp seed, hemp oil and hemp seed flour may be sold. as a food or used as an ingredient in a food for sale subject to compliance.
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