How Wellness Brand 'Awshad' Is Breaking The Stigma Associated With Cannabis & CBD

Image Courtesy: Awshad
Image Courtesy: AwshadImage Courtesy: Awshad

A new generation of wellness products emerging in the market seems to be repurposing and revisiting their Indian roots. The power of traditional medicine and lifestyle enhancers is being leveraged like never before and this is transforming and influencing larger lifestyle shifts that young Indians are turning towards.

Despite the cannabis revolution being in its nascent stages in India currently, there still is a strong sense of hope for the proliferation and altered public perception towards the plant. The medicinal and lifestyle enhancements that the plant offers are plenty, yet the stigma continues to be an adamant hurdle that inhibits the nation’s perception.

Education and the birth of conscious wellness brands that have their consumer’s knowledge and safety in mind have been the sole change drivers in a cannabis-curious community that is held back by the stereotypes and stigma attached to the plant.

In this regard, a homegrown wellness brand has taken it upon itself to transform Indian lifestyles through its range of full-spectrum CBD oils. Delhi-based wellness brand, Awshad run by entrepreneur, Richa Jaggi and Shivam Singhee are currently at the forefront of the CBD revolution sweeping across the country. Over years of research has allowed the brand to launch a conscious range of products that promote mental and physical well-being that is well attuned to the modern-day lifestyle.

Combining the power of traditional Ayurveda medication, Awshad’s range of full-spectrum CBD oils is vegan, cruelty-free, clinically tested and incredibly well researched.

In conversation with Homegrown, Richa reveals how she navigates this entrepreneurial world to create a brand that can be transformative, distinct, and pivotal.

While the rest of the country still maintains a hot and cold relationship with the use of cannabis and CBD oil, how does Awshad’s interventions aim to change this perspective?

Firstly we need to understand that the main reason that people maintain a hot & cold relationship towards cannabis and CBD oil is a lack of education. Our biggest intervention is actually education. From website, social handles to our outreach and more, everything is about educating the customer.

As a wellness brand that is rooted in neo-Ayurveda, how accepting do you believe the Indian consumer has been in incorporating your products into their lifestyle?

We identify ourselves as a CBD wellness brand, taking the best of everything there is in the wellness industry to create clinically tested, vegan, cruelty-free products for our consumers. With regards to the response and perception of the consumers, it has actually been wonderful. Our customers have incorporated CBD oils into various modern lifestyle-related ailments from insomnia to anxiety to menstrual cramps, gut health and more; getting a more holistic healing approach.

A lot of challenges we face with regard to physical and mental health today can be solved with the effective intervention of medical cannabis oil. It also helps deal with more deep-rooted ailments such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s and more.

It’s been a wonderful journey and our customers only continue to get creative with its usage.

The legalities of cannabis proliferation in the country are largely a grey area. As an entrepreneur, what were your personal challenges in creating a wellness product that is entirely cannabis-curious?

While we definitely more and more policy-making which encourages entrepreneurs in the cannabis sector. We do have a framework that we work with. We are absolutely legal to sell and make medical cannabis oil called full-spectrum under the prescription of an Ayurvedic doctor.

Apart from that, we have 2 organisations for policy-making purposes. We are also a core member of the Pan India Medical Cannabis and Hemp Association that essentially functions as a government body that aims for liberal policymaking to help the industry and the players involved in it grow

HG: What is the process of procuring an Awshad product for a first time user?

The first time process of procuring our product is actually super simple. We are a direct to consumer brand available via e-commerce. We have our website, so the consumer just needs to go on, choose the product they like, and as it is a prescription based medicine, at checkout they will be asked if they already have a prescription.

If they don’t we already have 6-7 expert doctors on board. We provide free consultancy as well, so the consumer doesn’t need to pay anything additional. They just choose the doctor they like, pick a slot based on a convenient time and the doctor contacts them. They have a quick or detailed consultation. The consultation can sometimes last 20 mins as well while sometimes being as short as 3-4 mins. The minute the consultation is done, the order is dispatched to the customer immediately. It takes around 2 - 3 days for them to receive the product.

HG: What would be your insights on India’s evolving cannabis market and the general public perception of the same?

We have been in the market for about 8 months now and from the numbers themselves I can tell you that there has been significant growth. Most of the customers are confused about the legalities of its consumption rather than a lack of awareness of what the product offers. There’s certainly knowledge of that, so I certainly am confident of how the cannabis industry is expected to grow in the country in the coming years and it is something that I am looking forward to.

Change begins from within. How has the shift to CBD products personally altered your lifestyle and perception?

RJ: There is actually a very personal story to this. CBD has personally altered my life and lifestyle. In 2019, my dog, Champ, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and at that time there was absolutely no CBD oil available in the local market. I had no idea where I could even source it from. I had a friend who had come down from Amsterdam where the market is far more evolved and advanced.

So by the time I actually came down to giving the oil to Champ, his cancer had aggressively spread and we eventually lost them. But I did notice that in that brief period, his appetite, sleep and general behaviour were relatively manageable upon the consumption of CBD. It almost became a purpose of mine to now carry this product forward. Apart from our range of full-spectrum oils, we also have a special range of pet CBD oils which is a tribute to Champ. Other than this, CBD has been instrumental in helping me battle my chronic insomnia which has now significantly reduced.

Purchase your Awshad products here.

Follow Awshad on instagram here.

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