History Of CBD And Cannabis In: Tuvalu
The country of Tuvalu is an island nation located in the geographic region of Oceania. As such, it is located on the Pacific Ocean and is considered a Polynesian country. The country collectively has 9 separate islands. Many may recognize this country or region by its former name, Ellice Islands. The Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Tokelau, Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, and Fiji are Tuvalu’s nearest neighbors. Its total land area is only 10 square miles with a population of a little over 10,255 as of 2019.
Tuvalu’s history is recorded to date back to about 3,000 years ago with the Polynesians as its first inhabitants. Throughout centuries, present-day Tuvalu was frequented by neighboring island visitors. During the 16th century, the Europeans began visiting the region.
Notably, the Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira was credited to have mapped Nui, one of the nine islands of present-day Tuvalu, naming it Isla de Jesús at the time. Through another exploration voyage, he also named the southernmost island of Tuvalu (Niulakita), La Solitaria.
The British began charting the region in the 1760s and the Russians in the 1820s while Peruvian ships traded in the area later in the 1860s. Tuvalu was a was British Protectorate, from 1892 to 1916, when it was formerly known as the Ellice Islands, effectively becoming part of the then, British Western Pacific Territories (BWPT). It was only in 1978 that the country gained independence and became a fully independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth. Today, Tuvalu’s capital is Funafuti and the official languages are English and Tuvaluan.
Cannabis, CBD, And Tuvalu: A Brief History
There are insufficient resources to indicate if cannabis is a plant that natively grows in Tuvalu. There are also not enough resources to indicate if cannabis is grown or used in the country. However, according to the country’s Dangerous Drug Act of 2008, cannabis or “Indian hemp” was included in the list of dangerous and illegal drugs.
Cannabis is illegal in Tuvalu for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The growing, selling, buying, possessing, use, and other related activities are illegal in Tuvalu. According to Tuvalu’s Dangerous Drug Act of 2008, it suggests that they do not differentiate between cannabis and other illegal drugs such as cocaine nor does it distinguish between recreational and medicinal uses.
This means penalties remain the same for all illegal drugs listed in the act and may include a heavy fine and long term imprisonment.
Why Is It Illegal?
Cannabis contains several compounds, but the principal substance found in it called THC is perhaps the sole influential factor in the negative views authorities have of the plant. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive substance that is responsible for feelings of being “high” or intoxicating effects produced when using or consuming it. Because of this, the legalities surrounding cannabis in Tuvalu are strict with severe penalties.
Cannabidiol or CBD is another compound found in cannabis. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is non-intoxicating and non-addictive. It does not get you “high” when using or consuming CBD. This substance is what many may consider the medicinal side of the cannabis plant, as many may have found using CBD beneficial in the reduction of symptoms associated with pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more.
Since Tuvalu does not perceive cannabis differently from any other illegal drugs in its laws, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes, CBD and its derivatives are still illegal in Tuvalu.