Ayurvedic cannabis rolls for therapeutic smoking have been launched for the 1st time in India by “Turiya”, a brand belonging to the Ayurvedic pharmaceutical company Charaka Hanf, on 16th Feb 2021. Turiya has secured approval from the Directorate of AYUSH to sell “Dhuma Yoga” across India. Dhuma Yoga is non-GMO polyherbal smokes that contain the leaves of Cannabis sativa (bhang). They contain neither tobacco nor nicotine. Dhuma Yoga rolls combine the therapeutic attributes of 5 powerful herbs namely cannabis, datura, henbane, vasa, and cavya to deliver a unique smoke therapy (Dhumapana) that increases respiratory wellness according to Ayurveda. This potent bronchodilator is indicated for asthma and dyspnea (breathing difficulty). The individual herbs are known to help people suffering from cough, stress, pain, inflammation, indigestion, brain fog, autoimmune disorders, sleep loss, and substance abuse. Besides Dhuma Yoga, 32 other cannabis-based Ayurvedic medications are being rolled out under Turiya making it the largest portfolio of Ayurvedic cannabis medicines in the world. 7 of these medicines are proprietary. Many of these herbal medicines are aimed at addressing the lifestyle diseases that currently plague humanity especially for those who live in urban areas. Turiya’s products will be available in the form of tinctures, churnas, capsules, topicals, suppositories, rolls, and confectionaries. Medicines are offered for pets too.
Cannabis is referred to as “Vijaya” in Sanskrit which means victory overall ailments. As per Atharva Veda, cannabis is regarded as one of the 5 most essential plants in the world. Cannabis is believed to have originated in India and has been medically used over several millennia in India with references of more than 200 cannabis formulations in Ayurveda. CBD (cannabidiol) is an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) derived from cannabis and thanks to its therapeutic potential, “CBD Oil” is already a multibillion-dollar industry globally. USA is the largest importer while China is the largest exporter. This medical boom is only expected to accelerate given the decision by World Health Organization (WHO) on 2nd Dec 2020 to remove cannabis from Schedule IV drugs and India was one of the countries that voted in favour of the rescheduling. Ayurvedic cannabis is legal in India since it comes under AYUSH and only a few Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies have the licenses to manufacture and sell them as medicines. CBD oils are sold as supplementary products in the US. CBD oils currently sold in India are imported since FSSAI is yet to create the regulation for manufacturing or selling them in India.
Several scientific researches indicate that medical cannabis can improve the quality of life of those who suffer from chronic ailments such as cancer, auto-immune disorders, diabetes, high BP, cholesterol, rheumatism, acidity, chronic pain and inflammation besides disorders related to sleep, immunity, digestion, neuro, osteo, liver, kidneys, respiratory, cardio, reproduction, autism, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and psychological such as stress, tension, irritation, anxiety, fear, insecurity, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, addiction, etc. Eminent medical studies have also explored its efficacy and potency in quickly addressing chronic COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) symptoms especially respiratory complications since medical cannabis is an effective immunomodulator. The human body naturally secretes cannabinoids through the Endo Cannabinoid System (ECS) which in turn regulates and impacts all other systems, particularly the endocrine system that secretes hormones, to achieve homeostasis (internal physical and chemical equilibrium). Deficiencies in endocannabinoids can be compensated with phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. Besides medical, there are innumerable commercial uses for hemp (industrial cannabis) such as bioplastics, concrete, paper, pulp, textiles, biofuel, etc., making cannabis a supernatural plant and thus driving several nations in an unprecedented race to harness the plant’s fullest potential triggered by the spate of cannabis legalization globally in the recent past.
Turiya uses only full-spectrum extracts and powders of the cannabis leaves as per Ayurvedic pharmaceutical principles so that the cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenoids are retained intact. This is not the case with the “CBD Oils” which predominantly have only 2 isolated cannabinoids namely CBD and THC. Ayurveda relies on complete extracts instead of isolated compounds because the former gives rise to the “Entourage Effect” in which the plant extract as a whole suppresses the harmful effects and amplifies the beneficial effects of the individual compounds. Entourage effect is the primary reason why natural medicines do not have any harmful side effects as opposed to synthetics. This unique phenomenon is hard to execute with synthetic medicines which have very few compounds while each medicinal plant's extract has hundreds of beneficial active compounds of which many might have not even been identified yet.
Turiya’s naturally derived pharmaceutical products are available online on the company’s website www.turiya.one to people above 21 years of age with a valid prescription from a registered Ayurvedic practitioner. As per the telemedicine guidelines mandated by the Central Council of Indian Medicine on 7th April 2020, one cannot prescribe through telemedicine any medicine that contains any ingredients that are listed in Schedule E(1) or the NDPS Act. Hence, for cannabis medicines with cannabis leaves (bhang) present in them, prescriptions should not be obtained through tele-consultation modes such as video, audio, or text. Consumers should approach Ayurvedic registered medical practitioners (RMPs) directly for availing in-person consultation and the obtained valid prescription can then be uploaded online for purchasing cannabis medicines. Turiya medicines will be soon made available in pharmacies. Prescriptions are not required for cannabis medicines that have hemp seeds as the only ingredient from the cannabis plant.
Turiya was established in 2018 and has the prestigious accreditation of Startup India DPIIT recognition and GMP certification. Turiya leverages powerful tools from India’s rich heritage such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, and Folk medicine combined with the advancements of modern medicine such as pharmacodynamic factors. With a strong focus on R&D, the company intends to deliver holistic, conscionable, and sustainable solutions that do not have a dependency, relapse, or withdrawal symptoms. Turiya plans to make its medicines more affordable and accessible once it achieves economies of scale through mass production. The company has plans for an NGO program to donate medicines free of cost to the underprivileged especially to those suffering from life-threatening diseases. The company Charaka, named after the “Father of Indian Medicine”, firmly believes that the ancient wisdom of India could hold the key to the well-being of mankind and that living harmoniously with nature is the only solution for our sustainable future.