History Of CBD And Cannabis In: Tonga
The Kingdom of Tonga is a country located in the geographic region of Oceania. It is a Polynesian sovereign state and consists of 169 islands of which only 36 are inhabited. Fiji, Wallis and Futuna, Samoa, Niue, Kermadec, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu are the nearest neighbors to Tonga. The country’s total land area is over 280 square miles with a population of over 100,000 as of 2019.
Tonga’s history is said to date back between 1500 to 1000 BC with Austronesian-speaking people inhabiting the country. During this time, little is known about Tonga’s rulers due to the lack of a writing system. In 1616, the Europeans came to present-day Tonga by way of a Dutch vessel. Through the years, various explorers came to the island nation to trade and explore, which included the famous British explorer, Captain James Cook.
Captain Cook’s first visit to the country was in 1773, then visited again in the following year, and also in 1777. The US Exploring Expedition visited Tonga in the 1800s while in 1845 George Tupou I (Tāufaʻāhau) united the country effectively turning it into a kingdom in which he ruled. In 1875, Tonga became a constitutional monarchy. The country later became a British protected state until it joined the Commonwealth in 1970. Today, Tonga is a constitutional monarchy with the city of Nukuʻalofa as its capital. The official languages are English and Tongan.
Cannabis, CBD, And The Kingdom Of Tonga: A Brief History
There are not enough resources to indicate if cannabis is a native plant or if it grows wildly in the country. However, cannabis is known to be cultivated, produced, and used in Tonga with articles from a source that highlights various raids, arrests, and imprisonment. According to another source, one of the first acts that indicated cannabis to be an illicit drug was through Tonga’s “Illicit Drugs Control Act of 2003,” it was later revised to categorize cannabis as a Class B drug.
Cannabis in any form is illegal in Tonga for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The growing, selling, buying, possessing, using, and other related activities are illegal in the Kingdom of Tonga. According to Tonga’s revised “Illicit Drugs Control Act,” cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabis fruit, cannabis plant (fresh, dried, or otherwise), cannabis seed, and cannabis oil (CBD) are considered as Class B illegal drugs. Penalties may include a fine and/or long term imprisonment. These penalties are also considered if found with equipment used in the production of cannabis.
Why Is Cannabis Illegal?
Cannabis contains several chemical compounds. The compound in cannabis called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the main compound in the plant that is responsible for the euphoric effects when using or consuming it. Generally, THC is considered to be an influential factor in the negative perception of cannabis. Thus, also directly affecting the legalities surrounding it.
As mentioned, the plant contains several other chemical compounds. The other compound that many may consider to be the therapeutic and medicinal side of cannabis is called CBD. CBD or cannabidiol is non-psychoactive and non-addictive, so it does not produce any euphoric effects or feelings of being “high” when using or consuming it.