Laws in Africa towards plant medicine (Cannabis in view) and Wellness Practice have seen a slow and almost snail-like improvement since its adoption, though there have been progressive research and acceptance in the Western-hemisphere for quite some time.

While Pre-colonial Africa had its practical knowledge of healing, treatments, and general wellness on various kinds of ailments and conditions. Ranging from head surgery, child delivery, mental illness, to poisoning. Most of these practices were done with the use of herbs and plant medicines. Some of what is referred to today as modern medicine including pills and anti-depressants, having their roots traceable to the use of herbs and plant medicine before synthetic versions are made.
CBD or Cannabidiol (The non-psychoactive compound) and Tetrahydrocannabinol THC (The psychoactive compound) are two active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Which when ingested binds with the already active Endocannabinoid system in the human body. It helps to regulate pain, sleep, appetite, reproduction, and change in mood amongst others.


CBD which is dubbed, the healing part of the Cannabis plant can be extracted from the Industrial Hemp plant usually containing a 0.3% level of THC or the Marijuana plant which has a higher level of THC. Even though both plants are grown for different purposes, they belong to the same family namely “Cannabis Sativa”.

According to historical proof, Industrial hemp is one of the world’s oldest sources of fiber, clothing, food, paper, textile, medicine, and means of shelter. It is also used in certain religious ceremonies across different societies. Before worldwide decriminalization in 1937, led by the United States, the plant was used heavily among different societies, including but not limited to the African Society. It’s uses ranging from the treatment of epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, insomnia, child delivery, and other ailments, or through the practice of smoking for recreational and religious purposes.


The CBD Compound was first isolated from the Cannabis plant by an American Chemist “Roger Adams” in 1940, while the same was done a few years later for the THC Compound By “Raphael Mechoulam”, who is regarded as “The Father of Cannabis”.
CBD Unlike its sister compound THC (which contains the Euphoric High) mainly taps into the medicinal and wellness side of Cannabis.
In modern studies, the attributes of CDB within the human body is somewhat of a miracle, put on earth by the Creator. CBD helps its patient manage lots of ailments with almost little or no known side effects. When compared to most medicinal painkillers, opioids, or suppressants that are recommended, The CBD product far outweighs some of these medicines and medication in ways that prove one fact. That with more research and spotlight shown, benefits would surmount our imagination


Aside from the medicinal use of the Cannabis plant, its industrial benefits promise even more, as it acts as a reliable agent in almost every facet of human lives. It can be used as biofuel and energy, which is way better than the deadly hazardous fossil fuel that is depleting our ozone layer and putting tons of countries in debt. It can be used to clean up oil spills and air pollution, which is the dreadful habit of Top Oil Companies. It can replace or serve as a better plastic option, another threat to the aqua-life and our environment. It has beneficial potential usage in the automobile industries, as well as nutritional health supplements for humans and pets alike.
With the historical and immediate research on the benefits of medical and industrial use of the Cannabis Plant. And worldwide perception towards its legalization and regulations in the western part of the world. It becomes essential to ask a sole question, why is Cannabis still mostly illegal in most parts of Africa when consumption for recreational purposes is at an all-time high, though illegal.

The massive use of Cannabis for recreational purposes coupled with the failure of Africa Leaders to take part in this discussion or set up to gain expert advice besides incarceration and backlash on offenders poses a serious problem towards the acceptance or study of plant medicine, especially the cannabis plant in most African countries. The lack of affable decisions making before adoption, whether of laws for consumable or non-consumable products, has been met with many stampedes.

The United States passed a manhunt Law in 1937, against the use of cannabis plants, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes. Tied on the same string as the War on Drugs, Possession or consumption meant heavy jail time as against alcohol and suppressants, which has caused more deaths than any amount of Cannabis ingested by man throughout history. African countries accepted these laws and made it offenses with varying degrees of punishment for its breach mostly during the colonial era. Years after colonization, Many African countries have failed to revisit these mundane laws adopted into their constitutional code

At the age of the internet, when widespread knowledge and beneficial medical results have forced many governments, countries, and corporations, including the United States into revisiting some of its strict laws on the legalization of Cannabis and plant medicine, with its numerous potential benefit to the economy and citizenry, most African countries have chosen to turn a blind eye and remain in the dark. Africa’s position poses a potential risk for those of its citizens undergoing some severe health default, which the plant is best known for being useful against, not forgetting those behind bars for possession of varying quantities, and it’s overall potential value to the continent’s depleting economies.
While less than 10 out of the 54 countries in Africa have made steps toward remediating these issues and moving towards reviewing the illegality of the plant, large numbers of countries including Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world is yet to come on board or make any step towards legalization.

Countries like South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Zambia have put their feet in the legalization and decriminalization process, Malawi recently made heads ways by authorizing two firms to conduct trials on industrial hemp and medicinal use of the cannabis plant.


While most of these are southern countries in the continent, Ghana becomes the first country in West Africa to pass the legalization bill for industrial and medicinal use also, although the country’s President is yet to assent the bill and pass it into law.

Adequate research has not been carried out the institutions put in place to sanction individuals using Cannabis for one purpose or the other, especially in the medical field. The African mentality towards Cannabis is wholely hinged on the premise of TCH and its psychoactive high and not mainly on the medicinal or industrial use.

Why is the African Continent slow towards its role on Cannabis, one may ask?

Change has been the mantra of each successive African government, even with the numerous beneficial studies put by reputable scientists, medical personnel, as well as the vast level of information put on the internet on this issue, heavy reliance is placed on misinformation, sanctions, and criminalization.
With the recent pandemic surge, governmental and institutional shut down regarding health risk, one could hope that the need for the revisitation of these mundane laws and re-education on medical and industrial use of Cannabis in the continent will be way imminent.


Okperuvwe Marho Louis.



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Marho Louis

Marho Louis

I love cannabis and sustainable development, hence I advocate for decriminalization. Tech & Cannabis::: Pipe story!!