(Trinidad Guardian) Just over two months ago when the T&T Guardian featured Javed Baksh as part of its series on the decriminalisation and possible legalisation of marijuana, the newsroom received a call from a man who had been suffering for years with chronic pain and was desperately seeking relief.
That man, whose name is being withheld to protect his identity, wanted the number for Baksh’s company GrassLab.
After years of popping painkillers, the man started to smoke marijuana to help him overcome his pain. However, a run-in with police officers after buying some marijuana one night last year caused him to rethink that strategy.
The police did not charge him, but he did not want to risk getting caught again as he felt he would not be as lucky a second time. So he stopped smoking marijuana and reverted to painkillers. However, his liver has been affected by the constant pill popping.
But the man eventually called GrassLab and after interacting with Baksh began to purchase cannabidiol (CBD) oils there. He has been doing so for two months now. That man is just one of a number of people who have now started to use CBD oil as a form of alternative medicine.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian yesterday, Baksh said the demand for the CBD oils for the treatment of ailments such as cancer, chronic pain and anxiety is on the rise in Trinidad and Tobago. In some cases, persons are calling him after being recommended to do so by their doctors. CBD is one of the two major compounds found in the cannabis plant.
“The human body has an endocannabinoid system that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids, so we require cannabinoids. Interestingly enough, cannabis is not the only plant with cannabinoids, you can actually find it in kale, spinach, you can find it in echinacea, ginger, but cannabis has the most abundant concentration of cannabinoids,” Baksh said.
CBD oils can be imported and sold here once it comes from the hemp plant. CBD from the marijuana plant, however, carries a higher level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is still illegal in this country.
“You don’t only have to smoke (cannabis), consider CBD oils as an option. Do some research, it works for a lot of people, the patients I am treating they are having a lot of positive results, it is a really good option. Unfortunately. I cannot provide everything the way I want because of the legal status but I can still help with CBD,” Baksh said.
Baksh said he hoped the Government will move toward decriminalisation of marijuana soon.
“The goal for GrassLab is to have a dispensary where I can have it really dispensed as a medication. In truth and fact right, now, given the state of the legislation, I don’t even have access to some of the medication that I need for some of my critical patients, so I am hoping that at least decriminalisation could allow me to import the THC components I need for my patients, that is the main vision and to have a license to provide for patients the way I would like to,” Baksh said.
Baksh comments came two days after the Rastafarian movement hosted a rally at Woodford Square in which they and other advocates called for the decriminalisation of marijuana.