In 2017, Shalini Bhattacharya from Bengaluru faced chronic back pain which made even simple tasks troublesome for her.

Even though she tried several allopathic medicines, they only gave temporary relief.

So, she and her elder sister, Jayanti Bhattacharya researched more on the topic to discover that cannabidiol (CBD) — an extract from the hemp plant can help to manage chronic pain.

They continued research on hemp seeds and learned about their immense potential in the industrial and medical arena.

In 2019, the duo launched India Hemp and Co to sell hemp products with both nutritional and medicinal benefits.

In November 2021, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) allowed the use of hemp seeds in limited quantities in food and beverages which benefited the company.

Through their products — trail mix, protein powder, pet food, oil and chocolates — available for sale on online and offline retail platforms, the company earns a revenue upwards of Rs 50 lakh annually.

Shalini says, “Hemp can be easily consumed in various forms like powders, oils and tinctures, and whatever is left, including the husk, is used up as fodder.”

“Hemp helps protect the heart, brain, and skin as it is rich in protein, fibre, and fatty acids. It also has several antioxidant properties and is known to reduce symptoms of numerous ailments,” she adds.

Hemp seeds can be eaten raw or blended into smoothies, oatmeal, or any other food of choice.