Hemp in Ancient India - usage, representation, and accessibility.

Hemp in Ancient India - usage, representation, and accessibility.

Hemp was first introduced in ancient India. The earliest mention of the hemp plant is in Rigveda, one of four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism compiled during 1500–1200 BCE. It is not a drug and does not need to be banned. Vedic science mentions it as an offering for humans and gods, often yajna offerings. Humans used hemp as a medicinal plant for centuries to relieve sorrow, suffering from disease, and mental anguish. It was used as a herbal tonic to uplift moods, help with sleeping problems, spur creativity, and at large doses, induce hallucinations or psychosis for spiritual purposes (e.g., samadhi). Its usage and accessibility have changed over the centuries due to factors such as the availability of raw materials, widespread use of other fibers, and political circumstances. It was widely used in the making of ropes and clothes due to its durability, and found its way into the production process of several items like firearms and ship sails.

What was the ancient Indian use of hemp?

Hemp was utilized in holy rituals of Hindus and as a herbal medicine for a very long time. Bhang, the Sanskrit name for hemp, was first mentioned as a medicinal plant in the writings of Sushruta. Hemp is referred to as "indifferent" by the Sushruta, who also suggests using it to treat intestinal sickness and coughs followed by dysentery. It was given by ayurvedic experts to treat gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders in Hinduism. Later works of literature, however, also provide information that hemp is effective as a cure for conditions such as seizures and asthma. The herb helps to cure depression and anxiety so you can live a holistic life.

Like other ancient civilizations, Indians might have employed the hemp crop for commercial operations as well. For instance, hemp thread was used for centuries to make garments, especially clothes. Historical records show that the first use of hemp concrete - a technology that is today being revisited for use in sustainable building - was by Indian craftsmen of old. The organic pesticide and fungicide capabilities of hemp strands are supposed to have contributed to the over 1500-year preservation of art in the Elephanta cave.

How is hemp represented and accepted around India?

No legal authorities existed that made hemp possession and use illegal until 1985, so cultural norms predominated. The benefits of Hemp plants are in Ayurveda and holy texts, and hemp and its many variants were freely accessible and used in different ways all over India. India tolerated the sale of hemp for nearly half a century despite criticism from other countries, primarily the United States. Most of the hemp we locate originates from across India (from Himachal and Karnataka all the way down to Cochin). As it needs almost no insecticide or pesticide, it is also great for those who prefer organic products.

A natural resource for building ingredients, hemp can be farmed and used to make many goods, such as food, clothing, concrete, biodiesel, and more. Its seeds and blossoms can make organic skin care products, superfoods, and other health supplements that lead to wellness for people. Hindu myths didn't support the usage of hemp as a drug or a recreational drug. Traditional treatments concentrate on cleansing the toxic components of hemp since many think these stories warn of the plant's lethality when people improperly use it.


Given hemp's Vedic life importance and widespread usage, the Indian authorities have legalized its use in several industries. Although hemp production is permissible in several Indian states, this is a great beginning and a promising indicator of coming changes. Authorities in other states seem to welcome hemp farming and manufacturing in India. The only thing left is to keep looking for new ways to use this miraculous crop. Local business owners and sectors are taking notice of the improving legal situation for hemp in India. Hemp will have a blooming future in the country.

Back to blog

Leave a comment