A narrative review of the ethnomedicinal usage of Cannabis sativa Linnaeus as traditional phytomedicine by folk medicine practitioners of Bangladesh
There is a worldwide interest in the use of Cannabis sativa for biomedicine purposes. Cannabis has ethnomedicinal usage as a natural medicine in Bangladesh and cultivated during the British Empire period for revenues.
Folk medicine practitioners (FMPs) from different districts of Bangladesh have been using Cannabis sativa, but until now there have not been any compiled studies particularly regarding this practice. Hence, this review is an effort to retrieve the traditional usage of Cannabis sativa as a phytomedicine from published ethnomedicinal studies.
Methods and materials
Information was searched by using the search terms “ethnomedicinal Cannabis sativa and Bangladesh”; “Bangladesh cannabaceae and ethnomedicinal survey”; “ganja, bhang and folk medicine Bangladesh”; “tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinoid and therapeutic, clinical trial”; and “cannabis and pharmacological/biological” and retrieved from ethnobotanical articles available on PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases. A search of the relevant scientific literature also was conducted to assess the efficacy of the ethnomedicinal usage of Cannabis sativa.
While reviewing over 200 ethnomedicinal plants’ survey articles, we found that FMPs of Bangladesh from 12 different districts used Cannabis sativa to treat cited ailments like sleep-associated problems (n=5), neuropsychiatric and CNS problems (n=5), and infections and respiratory problems (n=5) followed by rheumatism, gastrointestinal, gynecological (n=4 each), cancer, sexual, and other ailments including hypertension, headache, itch, increases bile secretion, abortifacient, dandruff, fever, and urinary problems (n=1 each). There are a total of 15 formulations identified from the 11 out of 18 ethnomedicinal plant survey reports. The leaf was the main plant part used (53.8%), followed by root (23%), seed (7.7%) and flower, inflorescence, resin, and all parts 3.8% respectively.
Sales and cultivation of Cannabis are illegal at present in Bangladesh, but the use of Cannabis sativa as a natural phytomedicine has been practiced traditionally by folk medicine practitioners of Bangladesh for many years and validated through relevant pharmacological justification. Although Cannabis sativa possesses ethnomedicinal properties in the folk medicine of Bangladesh, it is, furthermore, needed to conduct biological research to consolidate pharmacological justification about the prospects and challenges of Cannabis and cannabinoids’ use in Bangladesh as safer biomedicine in the future.
DOI Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00063-3
Shahriar S. M. Shakil, Matt Gowan, Kerry Hughes, Md. Nur Kabidul Azam & Md. Nasir Ahmed
Journal of Cannabis Research
Shakil, S.S.M., Gowan, M., Hughes, K. et al. A narrative review of the ethnomedicinal usage of Cannabis sativa Linnaeus as traditional phytomedicine by folk medicine practitioners of Bangladesh. J Cannabis Res 3, 8 (2021).