Cannabis is one of humankind’s most ancient healing herbs with medical applications first recorded for 100+ ailments in 2737 BC by the father of Chinese medicine, Emperor Shen Nung. As recently as 1992, scientists found a previously undiscovered regulation system within the human body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a collection of cell receptors responsible for maintaining internal homeostasis (stable balance) through the synthesis of cannabinoids produced by the body…the same chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant.
The endocannabinoid system’s five main homeostatic roles can be summarized as: relax, eat, sleep, forget, and protect. If any of these is not at ease, we are at ‘dis-ease’ and this leads to illness. Though the human body naturally produces cannabinoids, deficiencies can be supplanted by ‘phyto’ or plant-based cannabinoids (abundantly found in cannabis) to stimulate the ECS and return the body to balance.
Thus, the human body requires compounds produced by the cannabis plant to find relief from disease and maintain good health.
Medical Cannabis World History
Prior to the 1992 discovery of the ECS, cannabis as medicine evolved from ancient China to other known parts of the world for several thousand years. Around 1500BC, one of India’s ancient Hindu texts the Atharva Veda described cannabis as one of its five most sacred plants with a guardian angel living in its leaves. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical practice, was born from the Atharva Veda and contains 384 cannabis-based formulations.
In the early 1800s, Irish doctor William O’Shaughnessy introduced cannabis to western medicine. British royalty, including Queen Victoria (for menstrual discomfort), openly used cannabis. Harriet Martineau, one of the first female sociologists and the great great great grandmother of Princess Kate Middleton, wrote about cannabis during her 19th century travels.
By the end of the century British colonialists became concerned about cannabis as an intoxicant and cause of psychoses. From 1893-1894 a massive Indo-British study of cannabis re-affirmed cannabis’ medical benefits for hay fever, cholera, dysentery, gonorrhea, diabetes, impotence, urinary incontinence, chronic ulcers, prevention of insomnia and relief of anxiety.
By the mid-1800s cannabis was listed in the United States as an official pharmaceutical agent in the United States Pharmacopeia as treatment for opiate addiction, alcoholism, spasmatic disorders, mental illness and reproductive pain. It was sold in tinctures at dispensaries across the country by Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Squibb and Abbott Labs. Cannabis in the early 1900s fell out of favor for numerous political reasons, and by 1972 medicinal use was prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Thirty-four U.S. states today have legalized medical cannabis and, while cannabis is still federally illegal, a congressional amendment protecting medical cannabis patients (called Rohrabacher-Farr) became law in 2014.
Modern Medical Science and Technology
The most common use for medical cannabis is for pain control. Researchers are re-introducing cannabis as medicine for many of the same illnesses identified thousands of years ago. The world is once again recognizing cannabis as safer than opiates (it is not possible to overdose and is less addictive than caffeine) and as a replacement for modern pain medication.
Two recent studies published in the 110-year-old medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine indicate the rate of opiate prescriptions is lower in states where medical cannabis laws have been passed. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists over 90 active studies currently being done in the space of cannabis medicine and directed toward the 500+ known compounds found in the plant.
Science is just at the tip of discovery for maximizing and fine-tuning the plant’s healing properties. While the U.S. FDA prohibits companies from making medical claims about their CBD products, between 14% and 25% of U.S. adults claim to have used CBD recently or regularly. In addition, five million medical cannabis patients in North America are a significant proving ground for the power of medicinal cannabis in treating broad population ailments. Outcomes of U.S. government completed cannabis drug trials (as of April 2019) show 53% positive and 34% neutral results for many of the following conditions. (Note: **completed. *underway):
· Ulcerative colitis**
· Fatty liver**
· Gastrointestinal disorder*
· Muscle tears
· Chronic pain** diseases such as fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis and arthritis (cannabinoids target root cause of pain)
· Cannabis dependence**
· Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)*
· Eating disorders
· Multiple sclerosis**
· Spasms and seizures**
· Epilepsy** (the FDA approved
Epidiolex in 2018)
India – Back to the Future
The first endocannabinoid, discovered in 1992, was named Anandamide – a Sanskrit word that translates to blissful (anand) compound (amide). India was one of the last nations on earth to illegalize cannabis in 1985 and is now reinvesting in the rebirth of this sacred herb.
The Indian medical cannabis movement is accelerating in both the public and private sector. In 2018, the Indian government-initiated research to develop three ‘natural’ cannabis-based drugs to treat patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy and sickle cell anemia. In the fall of 2019, the northeast state of Manipur – where cannabis is grown in the wild – announced it would follow several other states to legalize cannabis for medical and industrial use. Patanjali Ayurveda, the largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company in India, recently created a Research & Development Centre in Haridwar with a team of 200 scientists. Their purpose is to study 200 indigenous Indian plants, including cannabis, for medicinal and industrial use. Founder Balkrishna is supportive of legalizing cannabis in India for medical, business development and employment purposes and believes the country’s youth will benefit from an environment that inspires innovation along with a desire to learn and seek knowledge.
What Can MAZAKALI Do For You?
MAZAKALI’s leadership team began putting capital to work into cannabis in 2014. Today, we offer full scale digital capital raising and investment services across the cannabis complex (Hemp, Real Estate, Supply Chain, Ancillary, International). A Registered Investment Adviser, MAZAKALI offers customized, Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) to pioneering investors. Operators and issuers work with licensed Investment Bankers to utilize Capital Raise and M&A services. Both come together on our digital capital platform. Securities are offered via a licensed Broker/Dealer.
Technology-enabled services include capital advisory, investment banking, asset management and strategic consulting. Individual and institutional investor clients enjoy tailored portfolio management led by the industry’s first Outsourced Cannabis Investment Officer (OCIO) team. Client entrepreneurs and fund managers appreciate streamlined capital raising on the MAZAKALI Digital Capital Platform.
MAZAKALI was founded to counteract the negative consequences of business practices by making investments in sustainable cannabis. By shepherding capital in a responsible and ethical manner, MAZAKALI and its clients envision a world where capital investment will play a significant role Beyond Impact. The MAZAKALI GreenPaper® has gained authority through knowledge on deep trends in the industry that matter to investors and operators alike, now in its 5th year of publication with over 70,000 subscribers.
In addition to his role as the Founder and CEO of MAZAKALI, Sumit Mehta also serves as the Chairman of the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the National Cannabis Industry Association.