Hundreds of varieties of the three types of cannabis—Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis—grow wild over the Indian subcontinent, cropping up lush alongside highways or city parks, taking over like, well, a weed.
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The dried flowers and leaves of the plant are called ganja or marijuana (also weed, pot or dope). Charas and ganja can be smoked and can also be used to prepare some edible drinks and foods.
Mainly charas and ganja. The separated resin of the plant is called charas or hashish and it can be concentrated to obtain hashish oil (in Himachal, charas and the cannabis plant, in general, are called bhang while elsewhere, bhang may refer to an intoxicating drink prepared from the plant).
In 2018, Uttarakhand became the first state in the country to do so, allowing the cultivation of only those strains of cannabis plant which have a low concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis that produces a high sensation.
In parts of Himachal such as Kullu and Mandi, hemp had traditionally been used for making footwear, ropes, mats, food items, etc.
What are the uses of hemp?
In a significant announcement in his annual budget speech last week, Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced that the state government is coming up with a policy to allow controlled cultivation of hemp or cannabis in the state.
The dried flowers and leaves of the plant are called ganja or marijuana (also weed, pot or dope).
What are the psychoactive intoxicants prepared from cannabis plant?
Isn’t cannabis cultivation illegal in India?
Yes and no. In 1985, India banned the cultivation of cannabis plant under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. But this Act allows state governments to allow controlled and regulated cultivation of hemp for obtaining its fibre and seed for industrial or horticultural purposes.
Uttar Pradesh followed a similar policy, while Madhya Pradesh and Manipur are reportedly considering it as well.