The New hemp-based medicines that will be manufactured in India are set to be available in next one year with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in advanced stage of clinical trials to launch two breakthrough drugs. This will be a first time effort to find potential use of the active ingredients present in the cannabis plant for treatment of diseases such as cancer, epilepsy and sickle cell anaemia.
According to a news report in daily newspapers, the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) has already tied up with researchers at the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) in Mumbai, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and a Raipur-based hospital to carry out clinical trials for cannabis-based drugs. The two active compounds of cannabis that are being explored for medical use are tetrahydro cannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
In addition to exploring the plant’s potential in pain and palliative care, cancer specialists at the TMC would like to see whether its active compounds would be useful in surgical setting too. “Suppose cannabis can put the cells in the body in a ‘state of bliss’, as they do to a human being, and if a similar effect is there on tumour cells too, can we use this state of non-reaction to extirpate cancer cells,” wondered Rajendra Badwe, director, TMC. “Nowhere else this has been explored,” he said.