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Traditional Cannabis Cultivation in Darchula District, Nepal—Seed, Resin and Textiles

  • International Hemp Association


The higher elevation regions of Darchula District in the northwest of Nepal provide a unique example of a basic Cannabis agricultural system whereby all three major products-seeds and resin from the female flowers as well as fiber from the stems-are extracted from the same crop. For centuries prior to the relatively recent influences of market economics and law enforcement, this simple cropping system was much more widespread throughout neighboring regions of Asia, wherever and whenever Cannabis seed, drugs and fiber were in demand.
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... They are characterized by dark red to brown colour, darker-shaded stripes, and approximately 2.5 to 5.0 mm lengths. Hemp seeds are also regarded as the fruit of the C. sativa plant, constituted by an endosperm and two cotyledons on the inside that comprise the embryo [135,136]. In comparison to the stem and the leaves, hemp fruits or seeds are often underappreciated, although they are the main edible parts and a powerhouse of nutrients and phytochemicals with disease-fighting capabilities [128]. ...
... Roasted and ground hemp seeds are sold as a snack by street vendors in China [125]. By tradition, crushed hemp seeds are mixed with ingredients such as herbs and spices to become a smooth paste which Nepali and Indian people would eat together with rice [136]. ...
... Defatted kenaf seed meal (DKSM) can be obtained from the processing of KSO. Protein (26.19/100 g DKSM), carbohydrate (57.09/100 g DKSM), total phenolic (3399.37 µg GAE/g defatted material), and flavonoid content (251.00 mg RE/g defatted material) are indeed high in DKSM [136]. Owing to its high protective effect against oxidative stress and inflammation in rats with hypercholesterolemia, DKSM has been proven to have good potential as a functional ingredient in foods [171]. ...
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Plants represent a significant part of the human diet. Humans have utilized every part of plants for survival, and seeds are no exception. Seeds offer high protein, unsaturated fats, fibre, essential vitamins, and minerals for various food applications. They are also a promising reservoir of bioactive compounds, where various phytochemicals, such as polyphenolic compounds, capable of maintaining and improving well-being, are present in abundant quantities. Plants from Malvaceae and Cannabaceae families are known for their fibre-rich stems that benefit humankind by serving numerous purposes. For many centuries they have been exploited extensively for various commercial and industrial uses. Their seeds, which are often regarded as a by-product of fibre processing, have been scientifically discovered to have an essential role in combating hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, cancer, and oxidative stress. Maximizing the use of these agricultural wastes can be a promising approach to creating a more sustainable world, in accordance with the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
... Se han realizado pocas investigaciones sobre el cáñamo como forraje, pero ha habido informes de que las hojas de cáñamo extraídas de los tallos se alimentan a los cerdos y otros animales en las zonas rurales de China (Clarke, 1995). Existe evidencia milenaria del uso del cáñamo como forraje (Clarke, 2008), (Noor et al., 2012) Su alto contenido de proteínas, grasas y fibra hace que el cáñamo sea un alimento en ciernes para los alimentos para animales y un probable sustituto del girasol, el maíz y la soja en numerosos alimentos para del ganado (Lesian, 2022). ...
Conference Paper
En esta revisión bibliográfica realizada por CENICAÑAMO sobre el uso de la biomasa del Cáñamo como forraje para animales pudo verificar que es posible usar el El cáñamo como forraje para alimentación de rumiantes.
... 1 Hemp seeds have a hard shell (hull) with a single seed within and are generally brownish with an average thickness of 2.5 to 3.5 mm. 2 As hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein (23)(24).8%) containing all essential amino acids and fat (30-35%) with healthy balanced omega 3 and omega 6 ratios (2.5-3), a resurrection of interest for hemp seeds has been noticed in recent years. ...
Background: Hemp seeds are highly nutritious and sustainable source of protein and omega-fatty acids. The outer shell of the seeds restricts its utilization in the food industry. Dehulling of the seeds leads to a lot of processing losses due to high oil content and hard shell of the seed. Therefore, in the present study, hydrothermal treatment of the hemp seeds (Cannabis sativa L.) before dehulling was proposed to reduce the endosperm breakage and improve dehulling yield of seeds. Result: The hemp seeds were subjected to four types of treatments, viz. moisture addition (at 14%) with tempering for 10 min and 60 min followed by drying (28-30°C) and steaming at atmospheric pressure for 5 min and 10 min. Results from the study showed that the hydrothermal treatments impacted the hardness of the endosperm and therefore improved the dehulling yield by 1.3 to 1.5 folds. Also, the dehulling losses significantly reduced from 26.80 to 9.52% after the steaming treatments. Though steaming to some extent affected the color of the dehulled seeds compared to other treatments, it showed an increment in protein digestibility from 86.53 to 88.73 %. Conclusion: Among all the hydrothermal treatments, steaming showed significant improvement in the yield of dehulled hemp seeds. It reduced endosperm breakage without affecting the seeds' fatty acid profile and nutritional quality. It can be concluded that steaming as a pretreatment can be used for improved dehulling of hemp seeds, aiding the better valourization of hemp seeds in the food industry. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... The seeds can be consumed as raw, cooked, or roasted for different food products with the mentioned properties. The roasted seeds are ground into flour and added to different cooked dishes to improve the flavor in Nepal and India (Clarke, 2007). In addition to that, the dried hemp seeds can also be mixed with other grains and honey to produce a kind of snack. ...
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Ayran, the fermented product has been produced from animal milk, mixed different levels (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) of hemp seed milk. Effects of using hemp seed milk on quality parameters as chemical, physicochemical and microbiological were studied. The ayran sample containing 25% hemp seed milk has the highest general acceptability. While the total phenolic content of the control sample decreased at the end of the storage period, ayran samples with hemp seed milk showed an increase significantly in total phenolic content (p
... Cannabis is a herbaceous plant that can reach up to 3.5 meters in height, has a rough surface, and is known for its euphoric and therapeutic properties that are utilized differently from its stem and leaves [1]. There are 3 species of Cannabis plant known as Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis and Cannabis sativa. ...
... This is supported by a previous study reported that the combination of the psychoactive cannabis ∆9-THC with other non-psychotropic cannabinoids such as CBD demonstrated a higher activity than THC alone [70,71]. Additionally, previous findings showed that all three major products-food, fiber, and medicine-were extracted from the same crop of the accessions from Darchula district in the northwest of Nepal [72]. In addition, some Iranian cannabis populations were evaluated using wood and fiber anatomy and stem biometry characteristics [73]. ...
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Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) has a rich history of human use, and the therapeutic importance of compounds produced by this species is recognized by the medical community. The active constituents of cannabis, collectively called cannabinoids, encompass hundreds of distinct molecules, the most well-characterized of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which have been used for centuries as recreational drugs and medicinal agents. As a first step to establish a cannabis breeding program, we initiated this study to describe the HPLC-measured quantity of THC and CBD biochemistry profiles of 161 feral pistillate cannabis plants from 20 geographical regions of Iran. Our data showed that Iran can be considered a new region of high potential for distribution of cannabis landraces with diverse THC and CBD content, predominantly falling into three groups, as Type I = THC-predominant, Type II = approximately equal proportions of THC and CBD (both CBD and THC in a ratio close to the unity), and Type III = CBD-predominant. Correlation analysis among two target cannabinoids and environmental and geographical variables indicated that both THC and CBD contents were strongly influenced by several environmental–geographical factors, such that THC and CBD contents were positively correlated with mean, min and max annual temperature and negatively correlated with latitude, elevation, and humidity. Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between THC and CBD concentrations, suggesting that further studies to unravel these genotype × environment interactions (G × E interactions) are warranted. The results of this study provide important pre-breeding information on a collection of cannabis that will underpin future breeding programs.
... 19 Clarke R suggests in a study that northwest Nepal provides a unique example of a basic cannabis agricultural system that ensures all 3 major productsseeds and resin from female flowers, and fiber from stems. 20 After the imposition of law for punishment for possessing and using the drug, local traders still practice illegal trading in Nepal. Proponents of legalization advocate it as a strong mechanism to stop the illegal trade of medicinal plants and ultimately to increase revenue generation. ...
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Shakya DR et al. Cannabis Use and Abuse in Nepal: A Review of Studies. Journal of the Nepal Medical Association. September 2021; 59(241): 954-61. Nepal is a geographically, ecologically, bio-culturally and ethnically diverse country. Cannabis has been a flora, used in various forms and ways and its effect has been variably a matter of concern in Nepal. Perception to its use has also been changing with time with the dynamics of various factors and trends around and in the world. The views of its proponents at times appear with relatively more powerful influence among people though the views of the opponents seem less, and relatively less influential. Proponents advocate for its legalization with highlights of its different uses and benefits whereas opponents, mainly mental health professionals point out sporadically its adverse consequences, mainly in psychological health. The purpose of this review is to explore the existing literature regarding cannabis use and abuse in Nepal. Search for articles for this review was performed in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Nepal Journal Online. We summarize and discuss about cannabis in various aspects in the Nepalese context. The overarching objective is to reflect upon the ongoing debate regarding its harm and benefits, thereby upon the issue of its legalization in Nepal.
In Cannabis Textiles I explores traditional and manually manufactured hemp textiles, primarily from botanical and garden history perspectives, shedding light on the peoples behind their production from seed to sewing, while sharing methods to distinguish hemp fibers and fabrics from similar looking hop, flax, nettles and cotton. The text is richly illustrated with a wide variety of hemp textiles from Europe and Asia. Available upon request for research purposes, or ordered on Amazon:
Hemp fiber is one of the natural bast fibers, mainly obtained from the hemp plant with the species of Cannabis sativa(L). In recent time, hemp fibers have received wide applicability in composite materials on account of their sustainability and low density compared with manmade fibers. Hemp fibers also have inherent mechanical, acoustic, thermal, and physical properties. Industrial hemp is a genetically modified form of C. sativa(L) plant containing low THC (Δ-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) value of below 0.3%. In this study, an attempt has been made to cottonization of Indian industrial hemp fiber. The fibers were given an alkali treatment for the removal of non-cellulosic content. Three different levels of concentration, time and temperature were selected for the treatments on the Box-Behnken response surface design principle. The effect of alkali treatment on mechanical properties viz; length, strength, and weight loss and physical properties viz; diameter, surface were analyzed. This process has eliminated the Indian traditional tedious water retting and time-consuming process used on Hemp fibers. The resultant fiber obtained from the proposed process is textile grade quality and spinnable by the cotton dry spinning system. The effect of alkali treatment on the mechanical and physical properties was found significant.
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Having originated in Central Asia, Cannabis plant also known as Bhanga, Indrasana, Vijaya or Jaya in hindi and Sanskrit is a popular plant in India despite of its notorious property. It enjoys unique cultural significance apart from its food, medicinal and fiber properties for long. Traditional use of Cannabis (bhanga) seed in cuisine of Kumaun region is still very popular. Scanty archaeobotanical reports as well as literary evidences are available to give the antiquity of Cannabis in India that traces its antiquity in India to the third millennium BCE. Yet, the results are inadequate to decipher its use as seed or fiber. Based on literature search this paper aims to evaluate efficacy of Cannabis seed concerning its ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, pharmacology and other ethnobotanical uses. Although studies supporting health benefits of cannabis seed consumption are few, researches available on nutritional profile indicate promise for future. As food, the species has tremendous nutritional potential for human well-being as well as animal and poultry feed. However there are few incidences recorded for the allergic reaction to either hemp pollen or THC. Despite its prehistoric significance, limited researches have been done as it was banned for cultivation.Keeping its future potential in view, there is a need to undertake more coordinated researches to establish its significance in nutrition and also validation studies so that applicability of cannabis could be established properly against various diseases.
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Afridi Tirah is one of the most remote areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. It is a semi-autonomous region, surrounded by lofty mountains. The inhabitants belong to the Afridi tribe of Pathans. They follow their own customs in every sphere of life and discourage any outside interference so much that even the pertinent Political Agent hesitates to visit the valley. Cannabis sativa L. has been cultivated in the area for hundreds of years. Charas (hashish) is produced in large quantities from Cannabis through folk means. The resinous bract around the seed gives the most potent and best quality drug. The quality of drug deteriorates with increasing percentage of adulterants and contaminants like leaves and small twigs. The charas (“black gold”) produced is not only used locally, but also smuggled to other parts of Pakistan and abroad. In Afridi Tirah, more than 75% of the men above the age of 15 are habitual charas users. Amongst women, this percentage is negligible due to the traditional limitations of local custom.
Marijuana: Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission 1893-1894 (8 Vols.)
  • J Kaplan
Kaplan, J. (Ed.) 1969. Marijuana: Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission 1893-1894 (8 Vols.). Thomas Jefferson Press, Silver Springs, Maryland, USA: 15-84.
The fibrous plants of India fitted for cordage, clothing, and paper. With an account of the cultivation and preparation of flax, hemp, and their substitutes. Smith
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Hodgson, H. B., 1855. Hemp Cultivation in Nepaul. In Royle, J. Forbes, The fibrous plants of India fitted for cordage, clothing, and paper. With an account of the cultivation and preparation of flax, hemp, and their substitutes. Smith, Elder and Co., London, England: 314-340.
Personal communications with Mark Rose. Mark and Jyoti Rose own and operate the Wild Fibers sustainable textiles company based in Kathmandu, and are experts in the traditional and contemporary Nepali production of nettle and hemp textiles
  • Rose
Rose, 1998, 2006. Personal communications with Mark Rose. Mark and Jyoti Rose own and operate the Wild Fibers sustainable textiles company based in Kathmandu, and are experts in the traditional and contemporary Nepali production of nettle and hemp textiles.
Ethnobotany of Cannabis sativa in Kumaon Region
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Shah, N. C., 1997. Ethnobotany of Cannabis sativa in Kumaon Region, India. Ethnobotany 9: 117-121.
World Markets and Trade. United States Department of Agriculture
USDA, 2004. World Markets and Trade. United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service. doi:10.1300/J237v12n02_03
Hemp Cultivation in Nepaul. The fibrous plants of India fitted for cordage, clothing, and paper. With an account of the cultivation and preparation of flax, hemp, and their substitutes
  • H B Hodgson