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IIT-Kanpur and NAPL ink MoU for research in hemp cultivation for medicinal use

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Friday, September 2, 2022, 13:15 Hrs  [IST]

The Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) has collaborated with Niche Agriculture & Pharmaceuticals Limited (NAPL) for research in the field of hemp cultivation and formulation of advanced medicines for treating chronic medical conditions.

The MoU also focuses on the exchange of academic materials and publications and extends to formulating hemp-based and other medicines for chronic diseases.

Niche Agriculture & Pharmaceuticals is engaged in both agricultural activities and formulation of advanced medicines, to do research on cultivation of the ‘Cannabis’ and its usage in pharma and bioengineering. This collaboration between the two parties will focus on research, development, and consultancy studies in the fields of mutual interest.

Cannabis in India has been used for more than 5,000 years and has also been mentioned in Atharva Veda. Still, cannabis has faced a lot of backlash due to its mind-altering effects. However, the cannabis plant is also acknowledged for its magical properties. In various cultures and traditions, the use of cannabis is common and its medical properties are also well inscribed in Ayurveda. However, according to government regulations, the cultivation of cannabis containing more than 0.03% THC is prohibited worldwide.

By partnering together, the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Niche Agriculture & Pharmaceuticals Limited are setting the groundwork for reorganising the indigenous cannabis plant and creating new hemp cultivars that adhere to international regulations. The development of new hemp-based treatments will help doctors address the rising rates of cancer, epilepsy, migraine, chronic pain, arthritis, and insomnia in India.

The MoU was signed by Prof. Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT Kanpur, and  Harisharan Devgan, chairman of Niche Group of Companies, in the presence of esteemed senior professors, researchers, and other faculty members. Abhay Karandikar, director of IIT-Kanpur, said, "He is looking forward to this collaboration.  Furthermore, he added that it will lay the foundation for better research and development in the biotech industry. Cannabis has been widely accepted in Indian culture through the ages, yet we have limited knowledge about this holy plant. "Cannabis is known for its medical benefits. Still, it is facing massive criticism due to its intoxicating effects."

 "This cooperation with IIT-Kanpur will strengthen our goal to toil towards the exploration of cannabis plants for the progression of the healthcare sector. This collaboration will not only grant access to a whole new range of medicinal formulations, but it will also offer people affordable medical treatment for chronic health problems. We are focusing on improving cooperation in the field of hemp cultivation and bioengineering and implementing technologies like tissue culture with IIT-Kanpur for research and development, and exchanging academic materials and publications for the formulation of hemp-based and other medicines for chronic diseases, stated Devgan.


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