History of CBD and Cannabis In: Lesotho
Officially known as the Kingdom of Lesotho, Lesotho is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. It is a separate country from South Africa and it is completely surrounded by it. With the size of about 12,000 square miles, Lesotho has a population of about 2 million. Its largest city is Maseru which is also its capital. Sotho or Sesotho is the official language spoken in Lesotho. Today, we will talk about Lesotho and its laws surrounding cannabis.
Cannabis and The Kingdom of Lesotho – A Brief History
Cannabis is called “dagga” or “matekoane” in Lesotho. Dagga has been used in the country dating as far back as the 16th century. At the time, cannabis was a form of currency, where tribes traded cannabis in exchange for land. Because of this, the cultivation of the cannabis plant grew in popularity and is even more apparent in Lesotho today, but more geared towards medicinal products.
Cannabis is also the reason that encouraged permanent settlement amongst tribes around the area. The country is known for having high-altitudes with its mountains and foothills, making it an ideal environment to grow and cultivate cannabis. Through the centuries and until today, cannabis is not “a” staple crop but “THE” staple crop in the country for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
So, is Cannabis Legal in The Kingdom?
The answer to this question is both no and yes. It is illegal to use cannabis for recreational purposes but it is NOT illegal to grow and cultivate it industrially. In 2017, The Kingdom of Lesotho became the first African nation to issue licenses to produce medicinal cannabis, which made the country front and center on the international business stage.
Some of the world’s largest and well-known cannabis companies became interested in Lesotho and investment opportunities quickly followed. The license (issued by the Ministry of Health) that were granted to companies allowed for the growing, distribution, and exportation of cannabis-based products, but only on a large scale.
This means small-scale farmers will not be able to obtain the license, making growing and producing cannabis a criminal offense in that sense. It is said that the reason for this is to promote consistency of strains that are vital and necessary for medicinal cannabis, implying that small-scale producers would not adhere to quality standards such as that of growing medicinal cannabis that are free from pesticides.
Why is Cannabis Illegal When it Can be Used For Medicinal Purposes?
One of the main reasons why cannabis is ostracized in the realm of being fully legal is because of the compound THC. Cannabis contains many compounds, which include THC and CBD. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the reason why many associate consuming cannabis with the feelings of euphoria or intoxication. Since it is a psychoactive chemical, authorities consider cannabis to be illegal because of its hallucinogenic effects.
CBD or cannabidiol (a compound that is also found in the cannabis plant), on the other hand, is non- intoxicating and non-addictive, which means there are no feelings of intoxication when consuming it. Many people have found relief in using CBD for several symptoms associated with various ailments or conditions. CBD can be consumed internally or applied topically and may aid in alleviating symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and minor aches and pains. Thus, making CBD the medicinal side of cannabis.