India is studying ways to make protein-rich cooking oil from marijuana

India is studying ways to make protein-rich cooking oil from marijuana
(Representative image) India is going research marijuana strains for industrial useUnsplash

  • Indian government has sanctioned research into the industrial use of marijuana or ganja.
  • The Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) is going to explore cultivating ‘low THC’ strains of cannabis.
  • CIMAP will also try and find the industrial application of cannabidiol — a non-psychoactive compound found in weed.
India’s Narcotics Department is finally looking into profiting off marijuana — commonly referred to as ganja or weed in India.

The research and development will specifically be looking into two components of cannabis — cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latter is the main psychoactive compound of marijuana that gives the effect of being ‘high’ when consumed.

Low THC marijuana

The Indian government isn’t looking to legalise the drug. The project has been sanctioned by the revenue wing of the Finance Ministry to develop ‘low THC’ varieties of marijiuana.

The aim is to find varieties that can be exploited for industrial and horticulture use. "That is the source of biomass and fibre, and for the production of cannabis seed oil," stated the note issued by the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP).


To fulfill that purpose, CIMAP will now grow marjiuana in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.

Industrial vs recreational use

It should be noted that the recreational marijiana and industrial hemp are distinct strains of cannabis. Their petrochemical composition and uses are miles apart.

Industrial marjiuana can be refined for use in commercial products like paper, textiles, clothing, paint, biofuel and animal feed.

What you use CBD for?

CBD might not have any psychoactive effects but that doesn’t mean central nervous system is immune to its effects.

Research on the compound is fairly limited giving India the opportunity to make new discoveries.

CBD extracted from marijuana can be used in gels, oils and food supplements. Hemp seed oil, in particular, reportedly has high concentrations of omega fatty acids and protein.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence ( ECDD) has stated that CBD, in its pure form, does hold any scope for abuse — it’s not even a scheduled substance on its own.

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