Brand In Focus | HempStreet
HempStreet is India's first research-to-retail venture in the medical cannabis segment, working towards combating the burgeoning global chronic pain crisis by amalgamating the age old Science of Ayurveda with modern cannabis research.
With a pandemic raging in our midst, society’s collective attention seems to have returned to its roots (quite literally, as we shall find out) : In particular, to the importance of hygiene, cleanliness and, as an extension, a holistic and healthy lifestyle that is closer to nature. For Abhishek Mohan (Co-founder and Director of HempStreet India), Shrey Jain (Co-founder of HempStreet India) and Aaradhna Rai (Co-founder of Hempstreet India) however, this #newnormal is an old – and ongoing - passion. Indeed, their brainchild Hempstreet has been actively evangelizing an Ayurveda based revamp of both work and life (as we know it) for a while now.
A genus of flowering plants in the family of Cannabaceae, Cannabis – also known as Hemp (or ‘Bhanga’ in Sanskrit) – has a long running reputation in India for its religious and spiritual implications, and is recognised as one of five key medicinal plants in the Vedas. It finds mention in ancient texts like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Shargandhara Samhita. Indeed, the Anandakanda has a whole chapter dedicated to the herb. "The history of cannabis in India can be traced to 1000 BC. In classical Ayurvedic texts, over 190 formulations and more than 15 dosage forms have cannabis as a key ingredient”, shares Abhishek Mohan.
India is expected to rank highest in terms of chronic pain by 2025. With nearly 15% of the country’s population suffering from arthritis, and the nation being home to one of the highest cancer-pain cases, it is imperative to provide a sustainable solution as opposed to prescription opioids. Cannabis, through its anti-inflammatory and pain alleviation properties, finds use in multitude of Ayurveda formulations to curb pain - and HempStreet is working towards providing research driven solutions for the same.
Alluding to the need for adoption of Ayurveda and yoga as part of the lifestyle across the globe, Abhishek Mohan has this to say, "India has an age old association with Cannabis in the form of ayurvedic medicine. Given the indigenous nature of this industry where the plant, the main ailments and the medical form are all local, the domestic medical cannabis industry has the potential to grow via an approach that is uniquely Indian. As Hempstreet, we have introduced technology, research and best practices layer to this already mature medical form and judging by the feedback from the hundreds of doctors who are part of our first rollout, we are definitely doing something right.”
Hempstreet is India's first, fully-integrated, Research-to-Retail venture in the Ayurvedic cannabis sector, working towards providing sustainable Ayurveda cannabis based solutions to a burgeoning chronic pain crisis. The brand is working in conjunction with top notch scientists to conduct R&D around safe medication utilizing cannabis, and aims to distribute it via a network of over 60,000 medical practitioners and 220 clinics across the length and breadth of India. Through the integration of a blockchain mechanism to allow end to end tracking of the supply chain, HempStreet aims to ensure complete control and minimize any chances of abuse or foul play. The organization strives to introduce an effective and responsible culture of cannabis usage, especially in the largely under-served pain relief space, to its potential patient base of over 35 million individuals. The big idea is to engineer sustainable alternatives to prescription opioids for simplified chronic pain management.
The brand is pre-emptively working towards averting a potential opioid crisis in India, much similar to the one that is currently being witnessed in the USA. The brand leadership has been vocal in its pitch (on various forums) for the legalisation of medicinal use of cannabis, since it believes that India can revolutionise pain management with cannabis by deploying the right kind of Ayurvedic knowledge. Finally, the organization is – almost single-handedly - pioneering a much needed behavioural shift and attitudinal change in the way we look at pain and its management. “Being the first player with such scale, the team has taken upon itself to guide attitude, (re)code best practises and define benchmarks - be it via world class research, supply chain tracking or the responsible and regulated formulation and dispensing of cannabis based medication. Keeping that in mind, we have integrated a blockchain mechanism to ensure the end to end tracking.”, explains Co-Founder Shrey.
With over 300 Ayurvedic formulations under its wing and more than 60,000+ Ayurveda doctors within its fast expanding fold, Brand Hempstreet is indubitably and consistently causing ripples in new markets, and winning the trust of a steadily growing community of adopters. Through its first medicine, Trailokya Vijaya Vati, which was launched in Oct 2020, Hempstreet has successfully intervened in ailment areas like menstrual cramps and period pains which currently plague nearly 330 million menstruating women in India. Based on initial feedback, and doctors’ response post feedback, the brand has been successful in alleviating the period pain symptoms with no side effects, in stark contrast to allopathic pain-killers that often leave detrimental impact on the human body post treatment.
The best of Brand Hempstreet may be yet to come (the brand is riding a nimble growth curve), but the founders are no strangers to the limelight. Abhishek Mohan (Co-Founder) has been involved in the pharma, tech and venture space since 2005 and currently sits on the Boards of several startups, primarily in the APAC region. Shrey Jain, an engineering graduate with a deep seated interest in Cannabis based healthcare, has previously headed operations for Asia’s largest network of Ayurveda practitioners. The combination is already proving to be greater than the sum of its parts. The brand, and its milestones (such as menstrual pain alleviation, for instance - LINK), has been warmly covered by several major media houses. HempStreet has also secured $1 million in Pre-Series A Funding round, a fund the company plans to utilize for technology development, category disruption and research. And the future roadmap is chock-a-block with ambitious peaks – be it taking its relationships with doctors to the next level, participating in hi-profile fairs and exhibitions (such as an International Book of Records event on Jan 25) or new horizons in portfolio and product innovation.
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