Cannabis Sativa


Cannabis SativaCannabis is called as bhang or Ganja in India. Its common name is the Indian Hemp. It is an annual herbaceous plant and is of the short day type. The most widely used components of this herb in traditional medicine are its seed and the seed oil. It is a common constituent of traditional medicine since ancient times.
The botanical name for cannabis is Cannabis sativa. This herb is native to western and central Asia and has spread to the world post Columbian times. The cultivation of this herb is restricted in India only to the districts of Almora, Garhwal and Nainital and requires government permit for doing the same.


Indian hemp is a sturdy, tall, annual herb which grows from one to five feet in length. It has angular stems with palmately or hand shaped leaves with greenish coloured flowers. It belongs to the Genus Cannabis and is a species of the Cannabaceace family. The plant provides three main products that have economic value namely – fibre from the stems, oil from the seeds, and narcotic substances from the leaves and flowers.


Cannabis is said to have chemotherapeutic properties in the management of cancer. They are also effective anti- emetics and analgesics. It is said to reduce the intra ocular pressure of the eye. They also reduce anxiety and induce proper sleep if taken in appropriate doses.


The flowers of cannabis contain some psychoactive compounds called cannabinoids, they mainly contain volatile terpenes and sesquiterpenes viz: tetrahydrocannabinol, Cannbinidoil, alpha pinene, trans-caryophyllene and a 100 other compounds responsible for its characteristic smell.
It has anti depression and sleep inducing properties that are a remedy for insomnia and depression.


  • Depression – Cannabis is known to be an anti depressant and a mood elevator. It can be taken through preparations that contain minor quantity of cannabis.
  • Migraines – This wonder herb is very effective against headaches and relieves migraines too.
  • Menstrual pain – It is said to smoothen the menstrual cramps due to a high concentration of the pain relieving compounds.
  • Appetite loss – Small quantities of cannabis present in liquid formulations can be taken to stimulate appetite. Since cannabinoid activity stimulates “ghrelin” the hunger hormone.
  • Multiple sclerosis – used in drugs which are taken to alleviate neurotic pain and spasticity.


Cannabis if taken in an overdose can induce a state of trance and a surreal state of being that is addictive in nature. Thus, many countries have restricted the cultivation of cannabis to prevent abuse. Thus one has to be extremely cautious of the dosage while taking medication containing cannabis.
A number of Ayurvedic preparations and formulations contain this miraculous herb. Hence make use of this beneficial herb in the best way you can.