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CSIR – IIIM seeks to produce drugs from cannabis that can be useful in the treatment of cancer, epilepsy and sickle cell anaemia

CSIR – IIIM seeks to produce drugs from cannabis that can be useful in the treatment of cancer, epilepsy and sickle cell anaemia

Recently, CSIR – IIIM has conducted a research with the aim to develop cannabis based drugs that will be cost-effective as well as be useful in the treatment of cancer, epilepsy and sickle cell anaemia. CSIR – IIIM has collaborated with Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO) to further the research. The Jammu-based IIIM research station has already acquired the license to cultivate cannabis and study their medicinal properties from the state government.

Using cannabis for their medicinal properties is not a new concept; many countries are in approval of using cannabis formulations and are conducting trials on animals for now. Ram Vishwakarma, IIIM Director, has revealed that the clinical trials of the drugs will be done on terminally ill patients at the Tata Memorial Hospital for cancer, at AIIMS for epilepsy and Sickle Cell Institute Chhattisgarh for sickle cell anaemia. The institute is also hoping to get the approval of the Drug Controller General of India to use cannabis in medicines in India.

The Indian Council of Medical Research along with the IIIM and Department of Biotechnology will enter an agreement where studies can be carried out on the efficacy of seven drugs and among them three of them will be cannabis based. However, there are many setbacks that could arise from the production and distribution of such medicines. Firstly due to the non-availability of standard varieties or seeds of cannabis in the country and secondly, according to the NDPS ACT, cannabis is a narcotic commodity and research around it is restricted.

But the CSIR – IIIM has taken the initiative to develop the standard varieties of cannabis from which production of medicinal drugs can be done.


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