History Of CBD And Cannabis: Turkmenistan
Bordered by Kazakhstan to the north and Afghanistan to the south, the Central Asian country Turkmenistan has received its fair share of illicit cannabis trafficking.
With one of the harshest anti-cannabis attitudes in the world, Turkmenistan remains steadfast in its criminalization of all perceived drug abuse.
Cannabis, CBD, And Turkmenistan
Currently, cannabis is completely illegal for recreational, medical, and industrial use in Turkmenistan. Partly influenced by both Islamic and Soviet attitudes, the conservative country upholds extremely strong penalties towards any perceived drug crime.
It’s not uncommon for those suspected of use, selling, or growing to receive lengthy sentences in overcrowded and dangerous prisons. Many prisoners lose all their land and assets if caught with cannabis
Though the prisons remain a powerful deterrent for many, consumers still find a way to access the illicit market in both urban and rural centers.
In 1998, a United Nations Office of Drug Crime report stated that 0.3 percent of the adult population uses cannabis – though it’s significantly lower than the rest of the Central Asia, it’s heightened when compared to other Islamic Middle Eastern countries.
Additionally, police forces are more focused on rooting out hard drugs like opium, heroin, and other extremely addictive amphetamines.
Cannabis And CBD Oil History Before The 20th Century
Before complete criminalization in the early twentieth century, evidence suggests that cannabis grew in the country for centuries. Like other Central Asian countries, Turkmenistan features a favorable climate for widespread cannabis cultivation.
In 2000 BCE, a religious nomadic group of Scythians arrived in the area. It’s likely that they first introduced the plant to the local economy. Slowly, ideas about how to effectively grow cannabis spread from the nomads to the general population.
Over a millennium later, increased intercultural contact between the Central Asians and China resulted in agricultural exchanges. In 800 BCE, it’s believed that the rate of cannabis growth, consumption, and cultivation greatly increased as new consumer markets were introduced to the crop.
CBD Is Illegal
Though cannabis was openly used for both religious and recreational purposes, it is now completely barred. Since cannabis isn’t distinguished from low-THC hemp, even substances like CBD are not allowed.
Moreover, cannabis use is seen as a facet of the lower economic and less educated classes. Among elites, there isn’t much support for increasing legalization of marijuana, despite the growing body of evidence that suggests the compound carries medical benefit.
It’s unlikely that the Turkmenistan government will institute marijuana policy reform any time soon. Prevailing cultural attitudes, a strong strain of Islamic influence, and twentieth century waves of drug criminalization have all contributed to a state of extreme criminalization.