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Three major Indian science organizations - The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Indian Council for Medical Research and the Department of Biotechnology - are joining to promote research into marijuana-derived drugs as well as other herbal drugs.

Among the first studies will be a joint project from the CSIR and the Tata Memorial centre (TMC) in Mumbai that will aim to test whether strains of marijuana could be effective in the treatment of breast cancer and sickle-cell anaemia as well as be a “bio-equivalent” to marijuana-derived drugs already approved under the U.S. FDA.

Marijuana cultivation is federally illegal in India however it grows wildly in several parts of the country. Three provinces Uttarakhand, Jammu and Uttar Pradesh, have allowed restricted cultivation for medical research.

Rajendra Badwe, Director at Tata Memorial Centre and one of the investigators of the study says that he hopes to determine whether the effects of marijuana that give off the “feeling of bliss” can be detected at the cellular level. “The effects of bhaang (marijuana consumed orally) have been known to induce a state of bliss. What we’d like to find out if those effects in the brain travel all the way into the cancerous cell and can change its profile.”The studies are expected to be long-term, with 5-6 year time frames according to Badwe.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-to-study-marijuana-derived-drugs/article25580559.ece

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