During his 2016 trip to Odisha, Sourab Agarwal met a tribal community that changed the way he viewed medicine. He found that the community had integrated the principles of Ayurveda into their everyday life and used them so naturally that they were able to cure common ailments only with herbs and plants from their environment.
That inspired Sourab, who at the time toyed with the idea of researching the medicinal uses of cannabis after having had his experience with the herb in the UK, where CBD oil and other cannabis derivatives were gaining momentum.
He decided to bring the worlds of cannabis and Ayurveda together and revive ancient Indian medicine in his own way through Hempcann Solutions, a startup he founded in Bhubaneswar.
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Vedi Herbals, owned by HempCann Solutions, the company’s consumer-facing brand, sells a variety of Ayurvedic products such as Ashwagandha and Shatavari, as well as cannabis-infused drugs that target a variety of ailments such as insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, depression and migraines , among many others.
The startup sells direct to consumers both through its website and through its Vedi Wellness Centers in Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar. The products are AYUSH certified.
(Photo credit: Vedi Herbals)
Old but new
According to Sourab, one of cannabis’s biggest USPs – and what has led to its worldwide acceptance – is its ability to treat a wide variety of diseases, not just symptomatically like Western drugs do, but from the ground up.
Connect with Hempcann Solutions “We all know that Western medicine does not cure the root of the disease; rather, it suppresses symptoms. However, cannabis, which is accepted in our Indian medical systems, works wonderfully to modify the disease and offer holistic therapy, ”Sourab tells YourStory.
Indeed, Ayurveda, often hailed as the world’s first text on medicine, mentions the use of cannabis – or “vijaya” – to treat anxiety, insomnia, malaria and rheumatism, among others.
In modern India, however, the drug has been relegated to a position as a “narcotic,” which is prohibited by the laws of the country from any type of use – medicine or recreation.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Indians to return to their Ayurvedic roots in medicine, there is hope that marijuana will regain its legal medical status regulated by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy), Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).
“Unfortunately, although cannabis indica is native to India, it has always been viewed in a bad light. Not only is cannabis one of the best herbal medicines, it can make an immeasurable contribution to building a sustainable planet and an environmentally friendly way of life, ”says Sourab.
Vedi Herbals’ cannabis-based medicine comes in the form of oil drops that humans can ingest or in the form of tablets. Aside from Ayurvedic herbs and cannabis medicine, the startup recently ventured into the hemp body products space, where it makes body washes and liquid soaps from cannabis and hemp oils.
(Photo credit: Vedi Herbals)
The company is currently involved in various research and development projects to develop new formulations that use cannabis. His team of five doctors who advocate the use of medical marijuana not only lead the startup’s innovations and formulations, but also advise patients and help them understand the drug’s use.
“Over 89 percent of the Indian population today suffer from one or more types of mental health problems and sleep disorders. And they don’t find lasting solutions to their problems with drugs, ”says Sourab.
“Our product range, which allows the essence of Ayurveda to flow into people’s lives, offers nature as a remedy,” he adds.
The market and the future
As cannabis medicine grows in popularity and followers around the world, the global medical cannabis market is projected to reach $ 16.47 billion by 2021 and $ 46.18 billion by 2026, according to a report by Market Data Forecast. Recent studies have shown that cannabis could play an important role in treating mild symptoms of COVID-19, the report said.
The self-financed startup has served around 8,000 customers since it was founded. Via its parent company HempCann Solutions, the startup would like to dare to export cannabis-based infusions and other products. In addition, the company plans to expand its portfolio of herbal medicines as well as bath and body products with additional products.
Vedi Herbal’s competitors include Boheco, India Hemp Organics, Cure by Design, Qurist, who sell cannabis leaf extract oils.
Although there are over a hundred strains of cannabis, India-native Cannabis indica is expected to hold the largest share of the medicinal cannabis market, giving India a lucrative opportunity to be a world leader not only in extracting medicines from the plant but also in others Ways like research and development.
Connect with Hempcann Solutions Edited by Teja Lele Desai