On Wednesday, after the federal cabinet approval of the country’s first license for non-psychoactive hemp locally known as bhang, the science and technology minister said, Pakistan aims to import a specific variety of cannabis seeds in order to start the research on its industrial and medical use to tap into the $25 billion cannabidiol (CBD) market.
This project is part of the Science Ministry’s larger initiative on precision agriculture. It focuses on underdeveloped non-traditional agriculture. One of the main projects of industrial and medical use of hemp has been approved on Tuesday by the government. According to the report of foreign media, cannabidiol (CBD) is very useful for therapeutic purposes and hemp is used to extract cannabidiol.
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Three specialists heading the hemp project told that the plant Pakistan plans to grow contains legal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it would be around 0.3 percent or below and it is illegal and intoxicating at a higher level in most of the countries.
“CBD compound plays an important role in therapeutical medicine and after 2016 a breakthrough research was unveiled which prompted China to set up a cannabis research department and is now cultivating hemp on 40,000 acres, and Canada is cultivating it on 100,000 acres”, said Pakistan Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry in Islamabad while briefing the press about the plan to tap into the CBD market with cannabis.
The Minister further told that hemp seeds are highly useful for producing oil, leaves for developing medication. Its stems are used for fibers which are in the process of gradually replacing cotton in the textile industry. Mr. Chaudhry said, “Worldwide this fiber is replacing cotton. Clothes, bags, and other textile products are being made using this plant’s fiber. This is a $25 billion market and Pakistan can take a big share in this market”.
He added, “This is under government control, so further research can be done and adequate safeguards through the ministry of narcotics can be placed,”