History of CBD and Cannabis: Angola
Cannabis has played an integral role in the Angolan economy for several decades. During the era of decolonization, Angola gained independence yet immediately experienced civil war, mass poverty, and environmental devastation.
In order to get by, many families entered the cannabis industry just to support themselves. Hemp and cannabis are both considered very lucrative cash crops, since one acre of cannabis nets more than thirty times one acre of soy, rice, or wheat.
Currently, cannabis is illegal for both medical and recreational use in Angola. As civil insurrection has died down, the government has stepped up to address growing concerns over trafficking, violence, and consumption in the state.
Cannabis, CBD, and Angola
Both hemp and cannabis have been used by locals for more than four hundred years. Known as “liamba”, cannabis may have arrived through trade routes in the fifteenth century. Marijuana came from parts of Central Asia and Southern Africa; during the era of colonization and globalizing trade, Angolan slaves spread cannabis to Brazil, where it has been incorporated into local culture and social life.
Portuguese influence in Angola caused cannabis to be criminalized soon after colonization. By the mid nineteenth century, it was well known that Portuguese rulers would punish Angolan slaves by whipping when they were caught using cannabis.
Now, the impacts of colonization on the Angolan cannabis and hemp market are still felt today. The government continues to push punitive measures on those caught in possession of trace amounts of cannabis.
However, efforts have shifted away from penalization and towards educational programs. Government led education is oriented towards young people, who are most likely to start using cannabis.
Additionally, authorities are working with the United Nations to secure Angolan borders against drug traffickers. Several non governmental institutions have participated in widespread crop destruction along the rural areas of Angola.
Despite organized efforts by authorities, it’s expected that cannabis and hemp trade will just continue to expand over time. Cannabis continues to represent one of the easiest, yet most profitable, markets for agriculturalists to jump in to. Additionally, law enforcement is sparse in some areas of the country, which makes it more attractive for family run operations to join the industry.
It’s unlikely that Angola will shift its stance on cannabis use, possession, and distribution anytime soon. Moreover, it would take immense cooperation between different parts of the government to begin a fully-fledged legalized cannabis industry, which may not yet be possible for the state.