When Aamir Dhedhi took his mother to India in 2014 to get treatment for Parkinson’s disease, the doctors there advised him to procure cannabidiol (CBD) oil to help her manage her pain. It was the first time that Dhedhi, a Karachi-based entrepreneur, learned about the medicinal use of the cannabis derivative.

On returning to Pakistan, the businessman ordered a small quantity of the oil from the United States. Almost instantly, it helped calm his mother’s nerves and reduce tremors, he said. Dhedhi became a firm believer in CBD’s benefits.

“Seeing the oil’s impact on my mother’s wellbeing, this has grown into a passion project for me,” the 49-year-old businessman told Al Jazeera.