why we must act fast on cannabis and amend the ndps act

medicinal benefits of cannabis are still unknown to the wider audience. however, in recent past, countries in the west, including usa and uk, have liberalized their stance on cannabis in the backdrop of emerging knowledge on extraordinary health benefits that cannabis is capable to deliver.

medical conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, side-effects from cancer treatment and muscle spasticity reportedly find cure in cannabis.

the cannabidiol (cbd) contained in cannabis has exceptional medicinal uses and a drug named ‘epidiolex’ (for treatment of childhood epilepsy) containing cbd has recently been approved in the united states. it is notable that cbd is a molecule found in marijuana plant and it has just 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (thc), an ingredient that is responsible for making people high once consumed.

many drugs available in the market as cure for above cited medical conditions are either expensive or haven’t been efficacious enough.

in india, prescribing cannabis-based drugs is illegal and research and development in this area is limited to a few players. there have been voices in the parliament that have advocated amending the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act (ndps) so that cannabis’ medicinal use can be decriminalized and the drug can serve as savior for those suffering from otherwise curable diseases.

india is to take cue from majority of states in the united states, canada and many other countries that have decriminalized cannabis and are encouraging research and development in the field. india’s pharmaceutical companies are major foreign exchange earners and their active response to the call for cbd as a potential life saver drug can further fuel exports and enable us to win patents.

we are to realise that the marijuana plant, which remains infamous for its ingredient thc, also contains a miraculous element cbd. as early movers in this domain, we must amend the law governing cannabis and initiate large-scale production and research.