Published: 30th July 2021
A gruesome accident encouraged this entrepreneurial couple to use medical cannabis. Now, they're making hemp cool for everyone
Rohit Kamath and Loveena Sirohi started India Hemp Organics (IHO), a Bengaluru-based start-up and are offering several hemp-based products that you can incorporate into your daily routine
India Hemp Organics, a start-up, was essentially born out of pain. When a life-threatening accident took Loveena Sirohi (21) straight to the ICU, her would-be-husband Rohit Kamath was heartbroken. She was in unbearable pain which felt so real for Rohit that it was as if the spasms were passing through his own body. Opioids seemed to be making matters worse which compelled Rohit to look for alternatives and his search ended at medical cannabis. "When it comes to our loved ones, we always want to be not just double but triple sure. So despite hailing from a family of doctors, I read up all the global literature I could get my hands on and consulted many doctors before convincing the ones at the hospital that this would be the option we would like to choose," says the 23-year-old. Lo and behold, the effects were so remarkable that after they were married, they made their way to Uttarakhand in 2017 and a few weeks turned into a few months, just like that. Because they were exploring the myriad ways in which hemp helps.
Loveena and Rohit
That's how, after pouring in years of research, the duo who are partners in life turned into business partners and started India Hemp Organics (IHO) in January 2020. This Bengaluru-based start-up offers a range of wellness, nutrition and skincare products made with the goodness of hemp. There is increasing awareness of the benefits of medical cannabis, after all, Cannabidiol (CBD) is going to be a $55 billion market by 2028. This doesn't mean that Rohit doesn't deal with questions like, 'Will this get me high?' or 'Will I be addicted to it?'. There are still 70% of Indians who deal with stress and trauma so these products could be a huge blessing for them. "Which is why we came up with great quality hemp products," says Rohit who was born and brought up in Bengaluru.
IHO's CannaBliss range, which is their range of leaf oils, is what's noteworthy. Different oral oils for sleep, stress, balance and pain relief which you can order from their website, but only with a prescription, are available. “We also have about four to five ayurvedic doctors on board who will listen to your woes over a call and prescribe just the right dosage accordingly," explains Rohit who pursued his BBA from Symbiosis International, Pune. The doctor also considers essential factors like lifestyle, body type and accordingly offer their advice. In an effort to sensitise those who are still on the fence, they have patient educators. "We are not a medical cannabis company, we are a wellness company. So these educators work hand-in-hand with the consumers to explain to them how the oral oils work with the body and what it's capable of helping with," he shares. This 'education' is extended to others via their social media handles and they also have a store near Castle Road, Ashok Nagar in Bengaluru where would-be users are free to walk in and get on the road to be well informed.
Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp Protein Powder and Hemp Heart (power-packed with nutrients) are other products in the nutrition range that IHO offers. The oils and powders are some of their best-selling products. Mothers are opting to feed them to children, grandmothers with arthritis are swearing by it and then, there are women as old as 94 who are using it to bring their sleep cycle back on track. "To see adoption in customers the right education needs to be out there. Ayurveda already has a few classic formulations which use cannabis leaves, it's part of our history," establishes the Director and Co-founder of the company. This is why they think it's very important to disseminate the right information around cannabis via the right people (doctors and patient educators) and social media too. Also, they have very detailed literature about every product on their website.
Incidentally, hemp is known as one of the best superfoods, offering a whole spectrum of nutrition. Plant-based protein, omega, vitamins and a lot more — these powders certainly pack a punch and are being used by consumers in vivid ways like mixing it in atta or smoothies. "If you can get all this goodness from these powders, why should one opt for supplements?" Rohit asks.
Pain Relief oil
The duo source hemp from Uttarakhand, where it is cultivated in small batches by farmers - the same ones in whose homes Rohit and Loveena stayed, ate and lived for about four months in 2017. So now, they are giving back to the same farmers as well. About 10% of their proceeds are directed towards the farmers. "Though about 70% of hemp grows in the wild, we still worked with farmers to inform them about fair trade policy and such. They made us feel at home and we formed an emotional connection with them. Of course, we had to give back to them," says Rohit.
For more on them check out indiahemporganics.com