History of CBD and Cannabis In: Mauritius
The Republic of Mauritius is a country located in the Indian Ocean and is about 1,200 miles from the southeast coast of the African continent. This island nation includes Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agaléga, and St. Brandon (Cargados Carajos Shoals) islands.
Mauritius and Rodrigues islands along with the island country of Réunion are collectively referred to as the “Mascarene Islands,” a term derived from the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas who visited the islands in 1512. The Republic of Mauritius land area consists of 790 square miles with a population of over 1 million as of 2017.
Mauritius was formerly a Dutch colony from 1638 to 1710. Then in 1715, Mauritius became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France. From 1810, Mauritius became a British colony until it gained its independence in 1968. It was only in 1992 that Mauritius was proclaimed a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.
Today, the capital of the Republic of Mauritius is Port Louis. There is no official language used in the country but it is said that Morisyen is widely spoken along with English and French.
Cannabis and The Republic of Mauritius: A Brief History
Cannabis is locally known in Mauritius as “gandia,” “mass,” or “l’herbe.” There are not enough resources to indicate whether or not cannabis grows naturally in Mauritius. However, it is said that cannabis was introduced to Mauritius when the, then, British colony hired Indian workers to work on the island, which subsequently led to the banning of gandia in 1840.
Today in the Republic of Mauritius, cannabis is illegal both for recreational and medicinal purposes. The growing, selling, buying, possessing, using, and other cannabis-related activities (and other drugs) is illegal in Mauritius. According to the Mauritius The Dangerous Drugs Act (Act No. 41 of 2000), penalties may include fines and a lengthy prison sentence.
Why is Cannabis Illegal in Mauritius?
As mentioned, The Republic of Mauritius was formerly a British colony, which may have influenced the sentiment towards cannabis, whether positive or negative in nature. Britain has a long history with cannabis dating as far back as the 16th century. It is said that during a Geneva Convention that was held in the 1920s, cannabis, along with other drugs, was grouped into what was called a “mind-affecting” substance. To which, in reference to cannabis, they may have been referring to the hallucinogenic chemical compound of the cannabis plant called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.
Cannabis contains several chemical compounds which include THC.
THC is the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant that is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects like the feeling of being “high” when using or consuming cannabis. It is THC that gives cannabis a bad reputation, thus affecting the legalities surrounding it.
CBD or cannabidiol is another chemical compound found in cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive and non-addictive, so it will not get you “high”. CBD is the reason why many consider it to be the therapeutic and medicinal side of the cannabis plant. CBD may offer relief for various symptoms like those associated with anxiety, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder (SAD). It may also aid in alleviating symptoms associated with pain like those suffering from arthritis. CBD can be found in various forms from oil, tea, creams, lotions, and more so it can be taken orally or topically.