The Chronicle of “Ganja” in the Vedic Era
The use of cannabis and its antecedents goes far beyond the time of AD and BC. After some existential discoveries, it became quite evident that it is one of the oldest herbs originated from the central regions of Asia. There are many references in the Hindu books which exemplify the use and consumption of cannabis for medicinal and religious purposes.
Cannabis AKA Ganja or Bhang, catches its mention in the Rigveda (an oldest Sanskrit Vedic text), which is considered one of the ancient and sacred collections of texts in the Hindu religion. Soma, a ritual drink prepared from the extraction of poppy plants and cannabis, was highly extolled in those days.
Furthermore, in the Atharvaveda, the advantages of Banga are explained in detail, one of the five sacred plants that help relax body and mind. Bhanga is acknowledged as cannabis by many scientists. Conversely, many scholars believe and identify it as wild grass. There are numerous contradictions over the early use of cannabis in ancient times. Some suggest it was first cultivated in Japan owing to its fibrous element and was used as a food source. while others proposed its presence and consumption in India way before 1000 CE for its psychoactive properties and benefits. For instance, Oki Islands, an archeological site near Japan, encompassed cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, which indicates its use during the time.
Additionally, the early Indian texts rhetorically illuminate the use of Bhanga as an appetite improver and pain reliever. For instance, Gerrit Jan Meulenbeld, a researcher and scholar of Indology and Ayurveda (Indian Medicine),claimed Chikitsa-Sara-sangraha originally written by Vangasena is one of the initial Indian texts that comprise of cannabis recipes for a happy and blissful life. However, the blooming technology and scientific researchers have given intricated answers, resulting in illegalization and ban of cannabis.
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Retrogressive Evolution in Marijuana Production
The provocatory use of cannabis has raised a million questions among scientists and scholars, but the question still remains unanswered, whether the excessive consumption of cannabis is hazardous to human health or not? Let’s dig deep and find out.
Hindus consumed cannabis because they believed or rather accepted it as a sacred plant, that had extraordinary benefits. Another reason for their acceptance was Shiva, who is regarded as one of the strongest and powerful deities in the Hindu culture. Lord Shiva is associated with cannabis; this highly motivated and instigated the use of cannabis among devotees. However, modernization and civilization brought in a revolutionary change in the outlooks of marijuana. After the British colonized India, the norms and laws concerning marijuana changed radically. The Britishers found the use of marijuana outrageously extensive in colonial India. The concerns regarding the aftereffect of marijuana among native people propelled them to investigate the problem thoroughly.
There was a commission appointed by British India to look into the matter. An innumerable amount of interviews was conducted by the medical experts across India to understand the substance wholly and completely. After a thorough investigation and study, six volumes of conclusions and data were presented. The commission concluded the use of hemp (Bhang) is ancient and holds religious sentiments among Hindus. For instance, in 1798, the British Parliament enacted a tax on bhang, ganja, and charas with an intention to reduce cannabis production and consumption. This act was introduced for the native’s health and stability. Furthermore, in 1894 the British Indian government finished another encompassing study of cannabis in India by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission. It stated, “the excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admitted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked.
The injury done by excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. In all but the most exceptional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable.
In all light Cannabis in India progressed steadily due to its utmost religious values. In the present era, cannabis still remains well-liked — extensive use of cannabis on special occasions in various regions of India. For instance, Thandai, which is a mixture of Bhang, milk, and dry fruits, is consumed as a religious offering during holi and maha Shivaratri by the devotes.
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Legalization and Popularization Continues
After the mid-20th Century, Cannabis began to proliferate across the world. It became one of the coolest and ubiquitous drugs among the indigenous of westerners. However, with the surge in drug abuse, especially among millennials, the concern arose, which led to the ban of cannabis in various nations around the world. The trepidations regarding the potency of marijuana and its use have steered the safety expectation for legalization. Mental health experts are conducting regular research to quantify and depict the side effects of marijuana in young adults for legalization. For instance, one out of 10 adults is likely to use cannabis on a regular basis if it was legalized.
On the other hand, regulatory bodies in the united states are instigating the recreational use of Cannabis. In 2014, Colorado became the first state to legalize cannabis for 21 years and above. Following the legal litigation of Colorado, other states are also focusing on the action. For instance, Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor, stated, “this will be the year that his state legalizes recreational cannabis. If those efforts prove successful, New York would become the 12th state to put cannabis laws in place and could quickly become home to the second-biggest cannabis industry in the nation.”
Weighty Impact on the Marijuana Industry with Product Innovation
Companies are focused on product innovation to cater to the rapidly sprouting consumer demand. Cannabis is no longer limited to smoking joints or chillums; the introduction of edible-marijuana-mix has outshone the choice and variety of products one can offer. Marijuana-infused food and beverages have given consequential scope to the cannabis industry. As per the Fortune Business Insights™ report, the cannabis market is predicted to reach USD 97.35 billion by 2026.
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Name – Aman Singh Gandhi
Aman is presently working as a content writer at Fortune Business Insights. His key focus is to deliver quality content to his audience. He specializes in blog writing, articles, and press releases. As a writer, he believes in learning and exploring different areas to communicate with his readers vividly.