History Of CBD And Cannabis In: Tunisia
The Republic of Tunisia is a country located in northwest Africa. The country borders Libya to its southeast, Algeria to its west and southwest, and its northern and eastern coastlines empty into the Mediterranean Sea. Tunisia’s Cape Angela is the northernmost point of the African continent. The country’s total land area is over 63,000 square miles with a population of over 11.7 million as of 2019.
Tunisia’s history dates back to ancient times with Berbers inhabiting the area. Through the centuries, people from different regions began immigrating to present-day Tunisia such as the Phoenicians and the Romans. In 1574, the Ottoman Empire took control of the country and did so for over 300 years with the Husainid dynasty as its rulers.
It was in 1881, that Tunisia became a French protectorate until the mid-1950s. In 1956, the country gained independence from French control and was later officially declared the Republic of Tunisia in 1957. Today, Tunis is Tunisia’s capital and largest city. The country has 3 official languages, Tunisian Arabic, Berber, and French.
Cannabis, CBD, And The Republic of Tunisia: A Brief History
Cannabis is nationally known in Tunisia as “zatla” or “takrouri”. It is said that cannabis was first introduced to the country as early as the 9th century and still grows natively to this day. In 1550, the Berber Andalusi diplomat and author, Joannes Leo Africanus, published a book in which he described the effects of cannabis after its consumption. By 1953, cannabis was banned in Tunisia.
Since cannabis was banned in 1953, cannabis remains illegal in Tunisia to this day. Cannabis, whether used for recreational or medicinal purposes is illegal in Tunisia. The growing, selling, buying, possessing, using, and other related activities are illegal in the Republic of Tunisia.
Due to the country’s geographic location, penalties for cannabis-related drug laws are severe. The Global Drug Policy Observatory indicates that penalties may include a lengthy jail sentence and a fine. They are also a country that uses urinalysis as evidence of possession, furthering the severity of the punishment. The same source indicates that a small amount of possession will result in a “mandatory minimum of one year in prison…”
Why Is Cannabidiol Illegal?
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is one compound found in the cannabis plant that is responsible for its euphoric effects when using or consuming it. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis that influences the legalities surrounding the plant, which also connects it to the negative perception authorities have of cannabis.
CBD or cannabidiol is another compound found in cannabis. It is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. This means there are no euphoric effects produced or feelings of being “high” when using or consuming CBD. CBD is known by many as the medicinal and therapeutic side of the plant.
Many may have found using CBD to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, pain, and other conditions. Aside from the health benefits that it may provide, CBD is also convenient to use with its many forms available in the market. Oils, tinctures, creams, lotions, teas, gummies, and more are to only mention a few of the convenient forms CBD can come in.
Currently the Republic of Tunisia does not distinguish between recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis, such as CBD. Cannabis in any form for any purpose is illegal in the Republic of Tunisia.