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History of Cannabis & Hemp studies completed


Used for thousands of years for everything, everyone knows that. But what about the research part of it?
Cannabis and Hemp Research History - When did the first case studies of medical cannabis begin and what were these studies?

Science & Research

2009 - Medicinal use of cannabis in the United States: Historical perspectives, current trends, and future directions.
2009 ~ The Emperor Wears No Clothes.doc (Free eBook)
2007 -History of Cannabis and Its Preparations in Saga, Science and Sobriquet.
2006Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years.
2003 ~ Cannabis and the evidence that led to its international control: a cautionary tale.
1985Hashish and drug abuse in Egypt during the 19th and 20th centuries.
1978 - Paraquat and marijuana: epidemiologic risk assessment.
1977 - Adverse Effects of Intravenous Cannabis Tea.
1944 - The La Guardia Committee Report.
1934 ~ Marijuana Intoxicication.
1933 ~ Marijuana smoking in Panama.
1930 ~ Effects of Alcohol and Cannabis during Labor.(on page 2).
1929 - CANNABIS, U.S.P. (American Cannabis).
1910 ~ A British Study of Cannabis.
1900 ~ Two cases of Poisoning by Cannabis Indica.
1898 ~ Cannabis Indica (U. S. P.)—Indian Cannabis. King's American Dispensatory.
1898 ~ A Contribution to the Pharmacology of Cannabis Indica.
1894 - Physical, Mental, and Moral Effects of Marijuana: The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report.
1891 ~ Cannabis Indica as an Anodyne and Hypnotic.
1889 ~ The Use of Indian Hemp in the Treatment of Chronic Chloral and Chronic Opium Poisoning.
1887 ~ Clinical and Physiological Notes on the Action of Cannabis Indica.
1883Cannabis Indica.
1860 ~ Report of the Ohio State Medical Committee on Cannabis Indica.
1845 ~ Case of Traumatic Tetanus — Exhibition of the Extract of Indian Hemp (Cannabis Indica) Death Autopsy.
1789 ~ Observations on the raising and dressing of hemp. Original format.
1839 ~ Cannabis Indica Poisoning.
700 BC - Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia.

Physical, Mental, and Moral Effects of Marijuana: The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894)

Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D.
San Francisco, California

The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894), comprising some seven volumes and 3,281 pages, is by far the most complete and systematic study of marijuana undertaken to date. Because of the rarity and, perhaps, the formidable size of this document, the wealth of information contained in it has not found its way into contemporary writings on this subject. This is indeed unfortunate, as many of the issues concerning marijuana being argued in the United States today were dealt with in the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report.

It is both surprising and gratifying to note the timeless and lucid quality of the writings of these British colonial bureaucrats. It would be fortunate if studies undertaken by contemporary commissions, task force committees, and study groups could measure up to the standards of thoroughness and general objectivity embodied in this report. In the current context of violently polarized attitudes toward marijuana, the prospect of a study of similar stature is bleak.

The scope of this paper is necessarily limited to the issues of physical, mental, and moral effects of hemp drugs as discussed in the report, although the topics of cultivation, processing, and administrative control schemes make up significant portions of the work itself.

History of British Involvement

The British government in India had substantial knowledge of intoxicants other than alcohol because of active involvement in regulation, taxation, and actual trafficking in these substances for over a hundred years prior to the Hemp Drugs Commission investigation and report.

In 1790 duties on alcohol and other intoxicant drugs were first levied by the British on landlords in India. The regulation of cannabis preparations was further specified in 1793 in Regulation XXXIV of that year. "No person shall manufacture or vend any such drugs (bhang,2 ganja,3 charas,4 and other intoxicating drugs) without a license from the collector of the zillah5" (3:16).

This system of regulations was instituted "with a view to check immoderate consumption, and at the same time to augment the public revenue" (3:16).

In 1800 in a further modification of regulation, the manufacture and sale of charas was prohibited as "being of a most noxious quality" (3:16), while daily rates of duty were declared as the basis for taxing procedures. Curiously, in 1824 the restriction on charas was rescinded "as this drug was found on examination to be not more prejudicial to health than ganja or other intoxicating drugs" (3:16).

In 1849 limits on retail sale of cannabis drugs were fixed "for better securing the abkari6 revenue of Calcutta," and later extended to the whole of Bengal (3:16). Four years later the daily tax method was abandoned and a fee charged on a per weight basis, and in 1860 an additional set of dealers fees' imposed (3:16).

It should be noted, however, that the system of the state of Bengal was only one of several schemes among the many provinces. Variations on this approach existed in the other states, a function of the differing local administrations, reflecting the degree of administrative and fiscal controls exerted by the Imperial government.

There had apparently been controversies as to the possible noxious effects of cannabis drugs at least from the time of the inception of British controls on these products, unless we assume that the initial stated reasons for regulation were merely cynical rationalizations for obtaining additional sources of revenue. Within a country of several hundred millions of inhabitants, divided into hundreds of regions, and with only rudimentary "homogenizing" forces of effective transportation and mass media, it is perhaps reasonable to infer that wide variations in opinions and beliefs would be encountered.

1 Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1893-94. Simla, India: Government Central Printing House, 1894, 7 vols. All references in this paper are to volumes of the Report.

Received for publication December 1967

2 Leaves and flowers of wild growing or inferior cultivated cannabis plants.

3 Flowering tops of the cannabis plant.

4 Resin from the mature cannabis plant.

5 A county-sized district or administrative division.

6 Manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors or drugs: hence, an excise or internal revenue tax on such manufacture or sale (Ankara: A wine seller; distiller. Also, one whose trade is subject to abkari tax).


On 2 March 1893 (1:1,n) a question was raised in the British House of Commons concerning the effects of the production and consumption of hemp drugs in the province of Bengal, India. In response, the Government of India convened a seven-member commission to look into these questions on 3 July 1893 (1:1). Upon the suggestion of Lord Kimberley the scope of the investigation was expanded to include all of India.


The Commission actually met for the first time in Calcutta on 3 August 1893 (1:4). Between this date and 6 August of the following year, when the study was finished (1:361), the Commission received evidence from 1,193 witnesses (1:12). Field trips were made to thirty cities in eight provinces and Burma from the end of October 1893 through the latter part of April 1894 (1:9-10). Eighty-six meetings for examination of witnesses transpired during the inquiry. Actual participation of the members of the Commission was duly noted and reported - a custom that it might be worthwhile to revive.

The statement on the previous page shows the attendance of the members of the Commission during the period occupied in inquiry (3rd August 1893 to 25th April 1894).

Witnesses whose evidence was received by the Commission were divided into three categories:

(1) Official witnesses able to give information regarding hemp drugs, based on their official and local experience.

(2) Non-official witnesses of all ranks able to give information regarding the drugs generally or in connection with certain classes of the people.

(3) Other persons or associations having facts or holding opinions which they desired to communicate to the Commission (1:11).

Categories and numbers of the witnesses were (1:12):

Civil Officers 467

Medical Officers 214

Private Practitioners (European methods) 34

Private Practitioners (Native methods) 87

Cultivators 144

Professional Men 55

Missionaries 34

Associations 24

Persons engaged in Trade 75

Others 59

Total 1,193

To facilitate collection of information, seventy questions framed by the Commission were given to the witnesses. The written answers to these questions constituted the bulk of the evidence before the Commission (1:13). Where appropriate, witnesses were examined orally for further clarification or explanation. In addition, witnesses who had not submitted written statements were examined orally. It was duly noted in the record which forms of testimony had been provided by the individual witnesses. The following were the questions dealing with effects of hemp drugs with regard to adverse physical consequences, insanity, and the causation of crime (4:iii):

45. (a) Does the habitual moderate use of any of these drugs produce any noxious effects - physical, mental, or moral?

(b) Does it impair the constitution in any way?

(c) Does it injure the digestion or cause loss of appetite?

(d) Does it cause dysentery, bronchitis, or asthma?

(e) Does it impair the moral sense or induce laziness or habits of immortality or debauchery?

(f) Does it deaden the intellect or produce insanity?

If it produces insanity, then of what type, and is it temporary or permanent?

If temporary, may the symptoms be re-induced by use of the drug after liberation from restraint?

Are there any typical symptoms?

Do insanes, who have no recorded ganja history, confess to the use of the drug?

(g) In such cases of the alleged connection between insanity and the use of hemp as are known to you, are you of opinion that the use of the drug by persons suffering from mental anxiety or brain disease to obtain relief his been sufficiently considered in explaining that connection?

And do you think there is any evidence to indicate that insanity may often tend to indulgence in the use of hemp drugs by a person who is deficient in self-control through weakened intellect?

Give an account under each of these points of any cased with which you are acquainted.

46. Discuss the same questions in regard to the habitual excessive use of any of these drugs.

51. (a) Are any large proportion of bad characters habitual moderate consumers of any of these drugs?

(b) What connection, if any, has the moderate use with crime in general or with crime of any special character?

52. Discuss the same question in regard to the excessive use of any of these drugs.

53. Does excessive indulgence in any of these drugs incite to unpremeditated crime, violent or otherwise? Do you know of any case in which it has led to temporary homicidal frenzy?

  1. Are these drugs used by criminals to fortify themselves to commit a premeditated act of violence or other crime?

Physical Effects of Chronic Cannabis Use

The Commission sought to evaluate alleged connections of hemp drug use with disorders other than mental. Popular opinion held that the use of hemp drugs led to the physical disorders of dysentery, bronchitis, and asthma:

In regard to these definite physical results, the only evidence to which much weight can be attached is the evidence of the medical witnesses. From their training and opportunities of observation they are the only witnesses qualified to give reliable evidence. It is proposed to examine this medical evidence in detail (1:205).

The Commission reviewed and discussed medical evidence given by 335 physicians7 throughout India from Bengal, Assam, North-Western Provinces, Punjab, Central Provinces, Madras, Bombay, Sind, Burma, and Berar. The testimony from the array of medical witnesses from Bengal illustrates the confusion and the lack of knowledge among the members of our profession:

In Bengal eight commissioned medical officers were examined on the effect of the moderate use of the drugs.

Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel Russell (witness No. 105), 20 years in civil employ in Bengal and Assam, a witness whose evidence has frequently been quoted by the Commission, stated that the use of the drug does not cause bronchitis, dysentery, or asthma, and that scarcely any other noxious effects are induced.

Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel Russiel Lall Dutt (witness No. 107) an officer of over 20 years' experience, stated "Very moderate smoking of Ganja or charas or moderate drinking of siddhi in infusion do not produce any appreciable effects. . . but these moderate cases are seldom long-lived. There is in them a slow and insidious undermining process going on in their digestive, respiratory, and nervous system, which predispose them to acute diseases and cut their lives short."

Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel Price (witness No. 108), of 21 years' service, who had frequently come across consumers of hemp drugs, was unable to answer the question regarding effects.

Surgeon-Captain Prain (witness No. 113) stated: "I do not believe that the habitual moderate use of any of these drugs produces any noxious effects - physical, mental, or moral. I think that perhaps the use of bhang does injure the digestion and impair appetite even when used moderately, but I am convinced that it neither causes dysentery, bronchitis, or asthma."

Surgeon-Major Cobb (witness No. 110) stated that the drugs did not cause asthma, bronchitis, or dysentery; and in cross-examination he stated: "I have no experience that the excessive use of the drug produces dysentery and bowel complaints."

Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel Flood Murray (witness No. 102),five years in military service and nineteen years in civil employ, quoted the opinion of a pandit whom he consulted regarding the ill effects of the drugs. In cross-examination he stated: "The general statement as contained in my written answer is a statement made to me by this hakim9 and others to whom I applied for information. My own experience in no way corroborates it."

Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel Bovill (witness No. 109), of 21 years' service, stated that the habitual moderate use of bhang does not produce any ill effects, and in many cases that of ganja is equally harmless. He added; "I know of no case where it has caused bronchitis, dysentery, or asthma, but I have noted hoarseness of the voice probably due to some laryngeal irritation among ganja smokers."

Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel Crombie (witness No. 104), of over 20 years' service, is not aware of any ill effects being produced by the moderate use of the drugs; but he added: "If any were produced, the use would no longer be moderate, but excessive." In cross-examination Dr. Crombie stated: "I have had no experience of any diseases attributable to ganja. My experience has been chiefly in Eastern Bengal, where ganja is largely consumed."

Twenty-three assistant surgeons were examined.

Assistant Surgeon Devendranath Roy (witness No. 123), of over 20 years' service, and who has had service in Rajputana, the North-Western Provinces, Behar, and Bengal, where hemp drugs are used by a large portion of the people, is of opinion that those who smoke ganja not more than twice or thrice a day do not suffer in general health; bhang does not impair the digestion, whereas ganja does. "Those of my patients," he remarks "who admitted having been habitual ganja smokers suffered from dysentery or diarrhoea, but they have been exposed to conditions which produce these ailments. Hence I do not draw any conclusion as to ganja being a primary cause of those diseases."

Assistant Surgeon Preonath Bose (witness No. 122), Teacher of Materia Medica and Pharmacy in the Dacca Medical School, clearly has no personal knowledge of the effects, as he remarked: "Evidence on these points is conflicting. Some of the consumers maintain, others deny, that evil effects are produced." Another teacher at the same school (witness No. 121 ) stated: "Evidence on these points is conflicting. The general consensus of opinion is that the habitual moderate use of bhang and ganja does not impair the constitution."

Assistant Surgeon Soorjee Narain Singh, of 28 years' service, now Teacher of Materia Medica, Patna Medical School (witness No. 125), stated that "habitual moderate consumers of bhang, ganja or charas do not apparently suffer from any injurious effects."

Assistant Surgeon Narendra Nath Gupta (witness No. 120), as Deputy Superintendent of Vaccination and as Deputy Sanitary Commissioner and as Civil Medical Officer has had considerable opportunities for noting the effects of the drugs. His opinion is that the moderate use of ganja and bhang does not produce any noxious effects. Durga Dass Lahiri, L.M.S. (witness No. 132), a private medical practitioner, said: "I have not seen any evil results mentioned when taken moderately, but it is very difficult to keep to moderation."

Assistant Surgeon Taraprosanna Roy (witness No. 116) is Chemical Examiner to the Government of Bengal. He stated that the habitual moderate use of the three drugs is not known to produce any noxious effects. Assistant Surgeon Bosonto Kumar Sen (witness No. 119) has had service in ganja producing districts. He stated that the use of ganja and bhang products noxious effects, and "generally produce dysentery, asthma, and bronchitis." The cross-examination of this witness is of interest. "I have seen more than one person, about half a dozen, in my village. . . suffering from dysentery, bronchitis, and asthma who were also ganja smokers. They were all excessive smokers. These effects do not follow the moderate, but the excessive, use. It is a mistake to have put them under the moderate use. . . . The fact that they were ganja smokers led me to believe that these effects were due to ganja . . . I have no recollection of ever treating any case of dysentery, bronchitis, or asthma caused by ganja. 

These cases are the basis of my remarks. I do not remember any case of dysentery, bronchitis, or asthma in a ganja smoker which I attributed to any other cause. In other words, when I saw ganja smokers suffering from these diseases, I attributed them to ganja.

This was twenty years ago, before I was a medical student." Pyari Sankar Dass Gupta, L.M.S. (witness No. 134), is a private medical practitioner, Secretary to the Bogra Medical Society of ten members, and a member of a temperance association founded by the late Keshub Chunder Sen. The witness is pledged against the use of all intoxicants. The witness submitted three papers to the Commission which seem to illustrate the development of tradition into opinion.

In one paper the witness states: "The smokers of ganja often suffer from hoarseness of voice produced by the continual inhalation of its fumes, giving rise to sore-throat, bronchitis, and carbonaceous phthisis.

It has long been a tradition in our country that the ganja-khors always die of dysentery, their intestines gradually sloughing away." In his second paper the witness states "Ganja smokers generally die of bloody dysentery, asthma and phthisis, and haemoptysis." And in his last paper he says: "It produces bloody dysentery and chest diseases, blood spitting, bronchitis, asthma, and phthisis." Kailas Chundra Bose, L.M.S. (witness No. 135), is a private medical practitioner in Calcutta with an extensive practice.

He states that no ill effects are produced by the moderate use, and that, instead of causing bronchitis, dysentery, or asthma, it relieves these afflictions. The witness, however, states in his oral examination: "My experience is not to any large extent what I have gathered in my practice, but rather what I have learnt from smokers."

Assistant Surgeon Akbar Khan (witness No. 124) is another Teacher in the Patna Medical School. He states the habitual moderate use of any of the drugs does not produce noxious effects, but that charas and ganja cause dysentery, bronchitis, and asthma if the consumers are not well fed. Witnesses Nos. 126 and 138 consider that no ill effects are produced. Assistant Surgeon Upendra Nath Sen (witness No. 118) states that bronchitis, and asthma are common complaints of ganja smokers. Madhab Krishna Dass, L.M.S. (witness No. 158) a private practitioner in Calcutta, considers that smoking may cause dysentery, bronchitis, or asthma. Assistant Surgeon Durga

Nath Chakravarti (witness No. 150) considers that "ganja causes dysentery after a long run." Annoda Prasanna Ghatak, M.B. (witness No. 149), a private medical practitioner, considers that digestive complaints are caused when good food is not procurable. Rakhal Das Ghosh, L.M.S., (witness No. 149) a private practitioner in Calcutta, had apparently seen no ill effects caused by the drug. The remaining witnesses in this class clearly failed to discriminate between the moderate and excessive use and their evidence has not been considered.

Three hospital assistants were examined. One gave no reply regarding moderate use. The other stated: "The habitual moderate use of ganja or charas does not produce any noxious effects - physical, mental, or moral, but the use of ganja impairs the constitution in some way or other . . . and has a tendency toward bronchitis and asthma."

Witness No. 145 is a vernacular class hospital assistant, but not now in Government employ. According to this witness, moderate use of ganja leads to excessive use. "The habitual moderate consumers, as well as the excessive consumers, suffer in their lungs and become insane . . . No intoxicant can be taken in moderation except when administered medicinally."

Fifteen native practitioners were examined. Bijoya Ratna Son (witness No. 151), a kabiraj10 practising in Calcutta, considers that the habitual moderate use of ganja or charas, but not siddhi, may in some cases cause bronchitis, dysentery or asthma.

Witness No. 152, also of Calcutta, gives the same reply couched in the same language.

Witness No. 126, of Nattore, in the Rajsha-hi district, and witness No. 153, of Calcutta, both consider the moderate use harmless. Piyari Mohan (witness No. 154), a kabiraj states: "I know it causes dysentery and I believe owing to its healing power it can cause bronchitis and asthma." Kedareswar Acharjya

(Witness No. 137) remarks: "Those ganja smokers who cannot command abundant wholesome food suffer from dysentery, but it is difficult to determine how far it is due to ganja or to improper food. As to asthma, I have not seen any typical case originating from ganja smoking. I know that a chronic catarrhal condition of the air passages with a certain amount of spasm is the misfortune of many old ganja smokers. I know a friend who suffered from chronic bronchitis, and in whom asthmatic fits were induced by attempts to smoke ganja." The witness refers also to another case in which a habitual ganja smoker had an asthmatic attack which subsided on breaking off the habit and reappeared on resuming it." This witness lays stress in personal idiosyncrasy as modifying the effects of the drugs, and on the importance of a diet rich in fat.

Witness No. 155, another kabiraj, states that, while no ill effects are produced, occasionally it entices dysentery, bronchitis, and asthma. Witness No. 128, also a kabiraj, states that, according to the Aurveda Shastra, smoking these drugs causes bronchitis and asthma, and in his opinion "even the moderate use of any of these drugs, not according to the rules of Shastra, is injurious in its effects." This witness does not appear to have any personal knowledge of ill effects, but to base his views on the teachings of the Shastras.

Witness No. 139 states: "Certainly they produce effects on the moral and physical constitution," but as the witness is silent as to the effects of excessive use, probably he has not discriminated between the two uses of the drugs.

Witness No. 157, a valid11, considers that even the habitual moderate use of these drugs produces noxious effects. This is the pandit who was consulted by Dr. Flood Murray (witness No. 102), and who produced two cases of hemp drug asthma and weakened heart for Dr. Murray's inspection. These seem to have been the only cases in any way connected with hemp drug that he had.

Witness No. 146 is a zamindar12 and medical practitioner, and does not reply as to effects. Witness No. 147 studied two and half years at the Calcutta Medical College, but took no degree. He states that no noxious effects are produced without giving details (1:205-8).

After reviewing similar conflicting testimony from the other states, the Commission concluded:

The medical evidence which has thus been analyzed very clearly indicates in the opinion of the Commission that when the basis of the opinions as to the alleged evil effects of the moderate use of the drugs is subjected to careful examination, the grounds on which the allegations are founded, prove to be in the highest degree defective.

A large number of medical witnesses of all classes, ascribe dysentery, bronchitis, and asthma to the moderate use of the drugs. An equally representative number give a diametrically opposite opinion. The most, striking feature of the medical evidence is perhaps the large number of practitioners of long experience who have seen no evidence of any connection between hemp drugs and disease, and when witnesses who speak to these ill effects from the moderate use are cross-examined it is found that (a) their opinions are based on popular ideas on the subject; (b) they have not discriminated between the effects of moderate and excessive use of the drugs; (c) they have accepted the disease as being induced by hemp drugs because the patients confessed to the habit; and (d) the fact has been overlooked that the smoking of hemp drugs is recognized as a remedial agent in asthma and bronchitis.

A few witnesses incidentally refer to personal idiosyncrasy as perhaps being a factor in rendering some consumers of the drugs less tolerant and more liable to be affected by them even when used in moderate quantity. This view the Commission are prepared to accept; but for the vast majority of consumers, the Commission consider that the evidence shows the moderate use of ganja or charas not to be appreciably harmful, while in the case of moderate bhang drinking the evidence shows the habit to be quite harmless.

As in long continued and excessive cigarette smoking considerable bronchial irritation and chronic catarrhal laryngitis may he induced, so, too, may a similar condition be caused by excessive ganja or charas smoking; and to the oetiology of bronchial catarrh and asthma in ganja smokers the Commission have already referred.

The direct connection alleged between dysentery and the use of hemp drugs the Commission consider to be wholly without any foundation. In the case of bhang there is nothing in the physiological action of the drug which could in any way set up an acute inflammation of the large intestine resulting in ulceration.

On the contrary, it is well known that hemp resin is a valuable remedial agent in dysentery. As regards ganja or charas smoking inducing dysentery, even assuming that the products of the destructive distillation of the drugs directly reached the intestines, there is evidence that those products, when condensed and injected into a cat's stomach, failed to induce any inflammatory process.

The connection, therefore, between hemp drug smoking and dysentery appears even remoter than in the case of bhang drinking and that disease and cannot be accepted by any stretch of the imagination as even a possible direct cause of dysentery ( 1: 223).

7 214 Medical Officers, 34 Practitioners of European medicine and 87 Practitioners of native methods.

8 Learned man, teacher; esp., a Brahman versed in Sanskrit, and in the science, laws, and religion of the Hindus; in Kashmir, any clerk or native official.

9 In Moslem countries, a ruler or a judge.

10 A member of a Unitarian reform sect of India based upon the teachings of Kabir (Hindu mystic and poet, c. 1450-1518).

11 A native practitioner.

12 A land owner; also: Formerly, under the Mohammedan administration, a collector of the land revenue of a specified district for the government. Now, usually a kind of feudatory recognized as an actual proprietor so long as he pays the government a fixed revenue averaging in different provinces less than one-half the net revenue (India).

Cannabis and Insanity

Because many people believed that the use of hemp drugs led to insanity, especially in the case of prolonged use of large amounts of charas and perhaps ganja, the Commission addressed a significant amount of effort to the study of this topic ( 1: 225 and all of Vol. 2). In addition to the testimony received from physicians, the Commission set about to evaluate all cases admitted to the Indian mental hospitals for the year 1892 that were listed as being caused by hemp drugs ( 1:227).

Initial inquiry into the Dullunda Asylum at Calcutta led the Commission to distrust the asylum statistics. Because of incomplete figures, frequent absence of supporting data and outright errors, the Commission decided to take up each of the cases of 1892 separately and to inquire as fully as possible into its history (1:227).

In the course of its inquiry into the 24 asylums in India and Burma, the Commission sharply criticized the testimony of the reporting superintendents:

They have known nothing of the effects of the drugs at all, though the consumption is so extensive, except that cases of insanity have been brought to them attributed with apparent authority to hemp drugs. They have generalized from this limited and one-sided experience. They have concluded that hemp drugs produce insanity in every case, or in the great majority of cases, of consumption. They have had no idea that in the vast majority of cases this result does not follow the use. They have accordingly without sufficient inquiry assisted, by the statistics they have supplied and by the opinions they have expressed, in stereotyping the popular opinion and giving it authority and permanence (1:226).

With such hindrances to the inquiry into the connection between hemp drugs and insanity, the Commission, after careful inquiry into the 222 cases allegedly attributed to hemp drugs, from among the total of 2,344 patients admitted during the year 1892 to asylums, concluded, with reservation, that some 61 cases might have been caused by hemp drugs alone:

Even in regard to the remaining 61 cases, it must be borne in mind that it is impossible to say that the use of hemp drugs was in all the sole cause of insanity, or indeed any part of the cause. The following considerations combine to demand caution and reserve in pronouncing an opinion on this point.

Firstly, there are twelve cases in which it has been found impossible to obtain any further information by local inquiry. In these cases we are thrown back on the original papers and the asylum history. Besides these, there are ten more cases in which the patients are beggars and foreign laborers about whose past history no satisfactory information is obtainable. Thus there remain only 39 of these 61 cases about which anything like a satisfactory inquiry has been possible. Further, a great majority of these cases come from the lower orders of cultivators and laborers, from whom information of any value is very difficult to obtain as to other than the most apparent causes. The fact of the existence of the hemp habit is easy enough to ascertain, but that it is the cause, or one of the causes of the insanity, or that it even preceded the insanity, is much more difficult to establish.

Secondly, the method of inquiry has not been satisfactory in regard to all the cases referred for local inquiry. In regard to the great majority, the instructions issued by the Commission as to the agency by which this further inquiry should be conducted have been carried out. But in some, it will be observed, even this further inquiry has been left to the police.

Then again there are cases, such as those of the Hyderabad (Sind) Asylum, in which the Superintendent has necessarily been the principal agent in the inquiry, and has, perhaps, not unnaturally, but certainly unfortunately, evinced a strong tendency to defend the old asylum entries regarding cause. The series of questions framed by the Civil Surgeon of Delhi for use in the further inquiry also illustrates a tendency to assume that the cases were hemp drug cases, and thus to limit the scope of the inquiry.

Thirdly, it may be noted that excess in the use of hemp drugs is very frequently only one of several vices in which a dissipated man indulges. Further inquiry has proved this in several cases. There is strong probability that had information been complete, it would have been established in many more cases. It is impossible in such cases to say definitely to what form of excess insanity may be mainly due. Further, it is an accepted and established fact that intemperance of any kind may sometimes be not the cause of insanity, but an early manifestation of mental instability. Dr. Conolly Norman (Hack Tuke's Dictionary of Psychological Medicine; article "Mania") says: "The patient also indulges in intoxicants with very undue or unwonted freedom, and thereby precipitates the course and aggravates the symptoms of his disease." One or two cases have been rejected by the Commission on the ground that the evidence merely showed that the habit of use of hemp began at the same time as the mental aberration, or even later. There may have been other cases in which this would have been shown had the information been complete. It is possible therefore that more complete information might have shown in some cases, not only that other causes contributed to the insanity, but also that hemp drugs had nothing whatever to do with inducing it.

These and similar considerations already indicated demand caution in the expression of any judgment as to the causation of insanity in this country. If in England opinion, based on inquiries such as are there possible, has to be stated with caution, this is much more necessary here. In many or the cases in which the hemp drug habit has been established, it is impossible to feel certain in view of the defective character of the information that the drugs have been the sole cause, or perhaps indeed a cause at all, of the insanity (1:241-2).

Summing up, the Commission indicates the difficulties that prevent conclusive answers to the question of causality between the use of hemp drugs and insanity:

In answering the question therefore, on what the evidence rests that hemp drugs may induce mental aberration, the Commission would offer the following remarks: The evidence may he considered under two heads - (a) popular; (b) scientific.

The popular idea that the use of hemp drugs may induce insanity can be traced back for many centuries, and the present day views on the subject are no doubt the outcome of old popular ideas which have been handed down and become concrete. With non-medical wit the mere use of the drug along with the fact of insanity, as the evidence shows, has as a rule been accepted as cause and effect. Of the large number of medical witnesses who have given evidence before the Commission, probably not a single one has ever observed the inception of the habit and the use giving rise to mental aberration, and been in a position to gauge the value of other contributory causes if present.

With practically no modern literature on the subject, with no special knowledge apart from the popular idea, with a very slight or no clinical experience of insanity in England, with the experience derived from perhaps having had half a dozen insanes in the course of two years under observation as Civil Surgeons, officers have been placed in charge of asylums, and have had to differentiate between cases of hemp drug insanity and ordinary mania.

The careful inquiry which has been made by the Commission into all the alleged hemp drug cases admitted in one year into asylums in British India demonstrates conclusively that the usual mode of differentiating between hemp drug insanity and ordinary mania was in the highest degree uncertain, and therefore fallacious. Even after the inquiry which has been conducted, it cannot be denied that in some of the cases at least the connection between hemp drugs and insanity has not been conclusively established (1:250).

Thus, final answers to this pressing but complex question of the causal relation between hemp drugs use and insanity, as such, remain obscured.

With their usual thoroughness, the Commission sought to explore the possible structural changes to the brain caused by chronic hemp drugs use. Because data from neuropathologic studies based on postmortem examinations was wholly lacking, Brigade-Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel D.D. Cunningham, F.R.S.. C.I.E., undertook three experiments at the Biological Laboratory attached to the Zoological Garden in Calcutta to evaluate the effects following the continued administration of hemp drugs to monkeys (3:192-6).

The first study dealt with the chronic smoking of ganja in a 16 lb. male rhesus monkey. By means of a smoking chamber, the animal was administered 181 inhalations of ganja smoke over a period of about 8 1/3 months. The daily dose was supplied by a habitué, the amount administered being proportional by weight to that consumed daily by the chronic user. An autopsy performed after sacrificing the animal, including gross examination of the brain, revealed an absence of any pathology.

The second experiment examined the effects of chronic oral ingestion of charas, with the daily dose again obtained from a chronic user on a comparative weight basis. The animals used this time were two smaller cynomolgus monkeys, weighing 5 lb. 7 oz. and 4 lb. 1oz. The study lasted 67 days, the animals receiving the drug mixed in milk on 62 days. Because either minimal or no effects were noted, the dose was increased from the usual 1/2 grain to 2 and then 3 grains about a week before termination of the study. Although no behavioral effects were noted with this higher dose schedule, the animals refused to eat the charas-treated milk after three days, bringing the study to a premature end. These animals were not sacrificed.

The third investigation evaluated the effects on a rhesus monkey of the smoking of dhatura daily, for six weeks. The same inhalation chamber was used as in the first experiment. Unfortunately the size of the dose is not specified. Post-mortem examination of the central nervous system revealed the following effects:

On opening the cranium the dura-mater was found to be somewhat thickened and, especially in the neighbourhood of the superior longitudinal sinus, very conspicuously congested. In this region, too, the membrane in the occipital region was fixed to the cranial walls by soft, very vascular adhesions. The piamater was thickened and so highly injected throughout that the cerebral surface had a generally diffused pink tint.

The cerebral substance was everywhere abnormally soft and so friable as to render any immediate removal of the membranes impossible without the occurrence of much destruction of the nervous tissue. Like the surface, although in minor degree, it was of a pinkish tinge owing to abnormal accumulation of blood. Conditions or this kind appeared to be universally diffused throughout the whole of the cerebral centres, the texture of the hemispheres, of the cerebellum and of the basal ganglia being alike soft, and the evidence of abnormal congestion universally distributed. In spite of this, however, the spinal cord and its membranes were to all appearance perfectly healthy.

In so far as a single experiment goes the results in this case would, then, seem in show that the habitual inhalation of the smoke of dhatura, even when only practised for a relatively brief period, is sufficient to establish serious morbid changes in the cerebral nervous centres, and that it therein differs from the habitual inhalation of the smoke of ganja extending over a much more prolonged period. This clearly indicates the necessity of distinguishing between cases in which ganja alone is employed from those in which a mixture of ganja and dhatura is substituted for it, as otherwise certain prejudicial effects which are really due to the use of the latter drug may be erroneously credited to the former one" (3:195-6).

Comparisons made concerning organic brain pathology caused by alcohol (whose effects were well known from other studies) and dhatura left the Commission with the impression that these other Intoxicants were far more hazardous than hemp drugs:

So far as the information from all sources before the Commission is concerned there is no evidence of any brain lesions being directly caused by hemp drugs, as they have been found to be caused by alcohol and dhatura; and there is evidence that the coarse brain lesions produced by alcohol and dhatura are not produced by hemp drugs (1,251).

The complex phenomenon of intoxication, as such, was noted by the Commission:

The individual factor with its idiosyncrasies plays here, as everywhere, a very important part. There are other factors, too, which have to be considered, the degree of education, reason, locality, dosage, and mode of preparation of the drug, all of which may modify the symptoms. Thus the hallucinations of the Western people under the influence of hashish are not identical with the voluptuous dreams of the Orientals ( 1:253).

Of more functional import is the discussion of medico-legal questions involved in the confusion between intoxication and insanity:

A more serious result of this confusion is that there are cases in which men who have committed offenses, especially crimes of violence, under the influence of hemp drugs have been acquitted on the ground of insanity, although the circumstances have been such that had the intoxicant been alcohol, they would have been convicted. It is undoubtedly more difficult in the case of ganja than in the case of alcohol to recognize the line drawn for social and legal purposes between intoxication and insanity. But the difficulty is not insuperable.

The main reason for the confusion that has existed is probably the ignorance that has prevailed regarding hemp drugs. When they are recognized as a common intoxicant, it is to be hoped that the practice of the Courts will be freed from the occasional blemishes above indicated. It is not expedient nor is it just that intoxication from hemp drugs should secure immunity from punishment which is not allowed to alcohol (1:254).

Cannabis and Crime

The use of hemp drugs had been implicated as a cause of crime:

In discussing the connection of hemp drugs with crime, it is necessary to discriminate between any effect which they may be supposed to produce of crime in general and the unpremeditated crimes of violence to which intoxication may give rise.

Thus there are those who allege that the habitual use of alcohol, at all events if carried to excess, degrades the mind and character of the consumer and predisposes him to crime in general, or to crimes of particular character, especially to offenses against property. Drink is thus so down sometimes as one of the most efficient agencies for increasing the criminal classes. On the other hand, there are well known cases in which intoxication from alcohol has led to crimes of an occasional and exceptional character generally to unpremeditated crimes of violence or other unpremeditated offenses against the person. These two classes of cases should be carefully distinguished and treated separately (1:253-6).

In addition to hearing testimony of numerous enforcement and county officials, the Commission examined the 81 case records of crimes of violence alleged to have been caused by cannabis drugs in the whole of India over the prior 20 years. The Commission immediately excluded 5 of these cases, ascertaining either that data included in abstracts of the court records did not support the assertion that hemp drugs were causative factor, or that the records were unavailable.

In each of the remaining 23 cases, the Commission reviewed the court transcripts and examined, where possible, individuals who were connected, with the case (1:259-60; 3:262-6). The Commission concluded:

Of these twenty-three cases, then, the records in not less than eighteen show that the crimes cannot be connected with hemp drugs. There is one case of which doubt is thrown by subsequent discoveries. The connection between drugs and crime is only established in the remaining four. It is astonishing to find how detective and misleading are the recollections which man witnesses retain even of cases with which they have had special opportunities of being well acquainted. It is instructive to see how preconceived notion based on rumour and tradition tend to preserve the impression of certain particulars, while the impressions of far more important features of the case are completely forgotten.

In some cases these preconceived notions seem to prevail to distort the incident altogether and to create a picture in the mind of the witness quite different from the recorded facts. Some of the witnesses whose me have thus failed them are men who might have been expected to be careful and accurate. Their failure must tend to increase the distrust with which similar evidence, which there has been no opportunity of testing must be received (1:263).

On the topic of crime, the Commission concluded:

In respect to his relations to society, however, even the excessive consumer of hemp drugs is ordinarily inoffensive. His excesses may indeed bring him to degraded poverty which may lead him to dishonest practices; and occasionally, but apparently very rarely indeed, excessive indulgence in hemp drugs may lead to violent crime. But for all practical purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use of hemp drugs and crime (1:264).


The Commission have now examined all the evidence before them regarding the effects attributed to hemp drugs. It will be well to summarize briefly the conclusions to which they come. It has been clearly established that the occasional use or hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal in character. It is rather to the popular and common use of the drugs that the Commission will now confine their attention. It is convenient to consider the effects separately as affecting the physical, mental, or moral nature.

Physical Effects

In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncrasies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which may not possibly be injurious in cases of exceptional intolerance.

There are also many cases where in tracts with a specially malarious climate, or in circumstances of hard work and exposure, the people attribute beneficial effects to the habitual moderate use of these drugs; and there is evidence to show that the popular impression may have some basis in fact. Speaking generally, the Commission are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind.

The excessive use does cause injury. As in the case of other intoxicants, excessive use tends to weaken the constitution and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease. In respect to the particular diseases which according to a considerable number of witnesses should be associated directly with hemp drugs, it appears to be reasonably established that the excessive use of these drugs does not cause asthma; that it may indirectly cause dysentery by weakening the constitution as above indicated; and that it may cause bronchitis mainly through the action of the inhaled smoke on the bronchial tubes (1:263-4).

Mental Effects

In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no injurious effects on the mind. It may indeed be accepted that in the case of specially marked neurotic diathesis, even the moderate use may produce mental injury. For the slightest mental stimulation or excitement may have that effect in such cases. But putting aside these quite exceptional cases, the moderate use of these drugs produces no mental injury. It is otherwise with the excessive use. Excessive use indicates and intensifies mental instability (1:264).

Moral Effects

In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, both indicates and intensifies moral weakness or depravity (1:264).


Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional.

The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most exceptional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admitted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable.

It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs (1:264).



The Hon'ble W. MACKWORTH YOUNG, M.A., C.S.I., First Financial Commissioner, Punjab.


1. Mr. H.T. OMMANNEY, Collector, Panch Mahals, Bombay.

2. Mr. A. H. L. FRASER, M.A., Commissioner, Chhattisgah Division, Central Provinces.

3. Surgeon-Major C.J.H. WARDEN, Professor of Chemistry, Medical College, and Chemical Examiner to Government, Calcutta; Officiating Medical Storekeeper to Government, Calcutta.

4. Raja SOSHI SIKHARESWAR ROY, of Tahirpur, Bengal.

5. KAIIWAR HARNAN SINGH, Ahluwalia, C.I.E., Punjab.

6. LALA NIHAL CHAND, of Muzaffarnagar, North-Western Provinces.


Mr. H.J. McINTOSH, Under-Secretary to the Government of Bengal, Financial and Municipal Departments.




Price Rs. 3.

Period of Attendance with the Commission

(a) During the first tour
(b) During the second tour
(c) Number of meetings for examination of witnesses attended


(a) 83 days

(b) 183 days

(c) 86

Mr. Ommanney

(a) 83 days

(b) 183 days

(c) 85

Mr. Fraser

(a) 83 days

(b) 193 days

(c) 85

Dr. Warden

(a) 83 days

(b) 183 days

(c) 86

Raja Soshi Sikhareswar Roy

(a) From 3rd August to 15th September, 44 days

(b) From 30th October to 24th January, from 14th to 16th February, from 22nd to 24th February, and from 7th to 25th March, 112 days

(c) 44

Kanwar Harnam Singh

(a) 83 days

(b) From 13th November to 5th January, 22nd February to 2nd April, and from 12th to 25th April, 78 days

(c) 48

Lala Nihal Chand

(a) 3rd August to 20th September, 49 days

(b) From 30th October to 18th November and from 17th to 25th April, 29 days

(c) 5

The attendance of Raja Soshi Sikhareswar Roy was broken by occasional absence caused by ill-health and other reasons. The absence of Kanwar Harnam Singh during two short periods was due to ill-health. The prolonged absence of Lala Nihal Chand was due to the fact that he suffered from continued ill-health, and was able to be with the Commission only at Calcutta at the first; then for some part of their preliminary tour and at a few meetings for the examination of witnesses during the second tour. All the members were present at Simla during the preparation of the report (1:11).



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Taken from: The Military Surgeon Volume 73 - July-December 1933

IN JUNE, 1931, at the request of the Commanding General, Panama Canal Department, a committee was designated to reinvestigate the effect of the smoking of mariajuana on military personnel, with a view to securing additional evidence that might possibly be used as a basis for the formulation of regulations forbidding the cultivation, possession, or sale of mariajuana in the Canal Zone. The Governor designated three members to serve on the committee (Health Department officials) ; the Army two members (officers of the Medical Corps) ; and the Commandant, 15th Naval District, one member (medical officer of the Navy).

The committee concluded that the principal and most practicable method of securing reliable information would be to hospitalize a considerable number of soldiers who were known to be users of mariajuana, permit them to use it, then withdraw it and have the patients observed and studied throughout the period of hospitalization by a psychiatrist of high professional standing. The mariajuana used was grown at the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens, assuring uniformity of product. Thirty-four soldiers were observed.

It was deemed advisable as a matter of interest and for purposes of record to incorporate in the report a resume of the general information available relative to the cultivation, preparation, uses, and effects on human beings of mariajuana (Cannabis sativa L.) in various parts of the world, including its use as a stimulant and intoxicant on the Isthmus.

Mariajuana, mariahuana, marihuana, marijuana, Indian hemp, .Cannabis sativa L., Cannabis indica, and Cannabis americana are synonymous, and in this report the term mariajuana will be understood to apply to all the above terms.

It appears that mariajuana is not a correct term in the Spanish language but that it is a provincialism common to Panama and derived from the word "maraguango" The latter mentioned term is a general one and is interpreted to mean smoking, drinking, or snuffing of any substance that produces the loss of clear mentality, hallucinations, delusions, or disturbed sleep. The plant mariajuana, grown locally, is synonymous with Cannabis sativa L. or Cannabis indica and Indian hemp. Hemp is cultivated all over the world, its culture probably originating in China from whence it spread.

It is cultivated for three purposes; for the fibre, out of which rope, twine, cloth, and hats are made; for the seed, from which a rapidly drying oil is obtained that is used in the arts and as a commercial substitute for linseed oil; and for the narcotic principle contained in the resin of the dried flowering tops of the pistillate plant.

The seed is also sold as a constituent of commercial bird seed. It is not known when the plant was introduced into Mexico and the southwestern part of the United States, but probably along with the early Spanish settlers. It was introduced into Chile in the sixteenth century.

The early cultivation of hemp in the United States was of the small European variety but this has been replaced since 1857 by the larger Chinese hemp. Practically all the seed for the present day American hemp culture is grown in the Kentucky River valley. Hemp is found growing wild in the' , slough', district of the Illinois River valley, especially in Tazewell County, where the gathering of the flowering tops is a local industry.

The harvest is sold to the pharmaceutical trade. There is no evidence that the smoking of hemp or other abuse respecting this plant is practiced or known to those engaged in this occupation. Formerly, the majority, if not all, of the imports of Cannabis sativa into the United States was from India where hemp was largely cultivated for its narcotic principle.

The menace of habit formation which its culture made possible led to the imposition of such drastic restrictions to its cultivation that the supply of Cannabis indica required by the United States had to be sought elsewhere. To meet requirements for pharmaceutical use in the United States the cultivation of Cannabis sativa became an industry in the United States, principally in the valleys of the Kentucky and the Illinois rivers.

Mariajuana is designated as a "narcotic" in the laws of several states. It is one of several drugs included in the anti-narcotic laws of sixteen states.

In India the plant is grown to some extent .for the fibre but also, and in some parts exclusively, for its narcotic principle. There are three principal forms in which it is prepared but of these there are many modifications. The first is that known as charas; the second, ganga; and the third, bhang. Charas is the resinous exudate found in the bark, the leaves and on the pistillate or female flowers, and even on the fruits. Ganga is an agglomeration of the pistillate flowering , stems with the exuded resin. Bhang consists of the dried mature leaves and to some extent the fruit but not the twigs.

Charas, the resinous substance which exudes naturally from the bark, leaves and pistillate flowers, is smoked for its stimulating, intoxicant, and narcotic effects.

Ganga is prepared from the pistillate flowering heads which must not be allowed to form fruit if the best quality of ganga is desired. The resin is pressed out and the mass of agglomerated flowers and resin is pressed into the desired shapes. Ganga, also is used for smoking for its stimulating, intoxicant, and narcotic effects.

Bhang consists of the dried leaves and to some extent the dried fruits of the plant. The resin is not extracted from this product; it is used directly in the preparation of the products which furnish the effect. One of these products is "hashish," an intoxicating beverage. Another is a sweetmeat known in India as "majun" or "majum." Bhang is made chiefly from the wild plants which grow abundantly as an escape from cultivation. Bhang is reported to be much weaker than ganga or charas and is supposed to be less injurious. The cultivation of mariajuana as a source of the active principle is a highly specialized one in India, and the plants are given special attention.

The plants are sexually distinct. The male plants yield little or no resin and are not allowed to remain in the field after their male characters have become apparent. It is endeavored to rid the field of all male (staminate) plants, which, if allowed to remain, fecundate the flowers of the female (pistillate) plants, causing the formation of fruits, in which process the pistillate plants .themselves rapidly deteriorate as sources of the desired active principle.

Mariajuana as grown among the Chiva.-Chiva Trail farmers in the Canal Zone.--In this locality (Pacific side of the Canal) there is cultivation on a small scale. Apparently some farmers grow only a few plants to supply their own wants, while others evidently have more than can be used by themselves and their families. The surplus is sold to soldiers. The plant is used to make tea; four or five, or more dried leaves are placed in a cup and steeped in boiling water. There is among the colored people great faith in the efficacy of this drink as a mild stimulant which gives a feeling of well being, and also as a preventive of malaria. The smoking of dried leaves and flower heads in the form of cigarettes seems also to be not uncommon.

Little attention is paid by the natives to removing the staminate (male) plants before pollen inaction and their leaves are often mixed with the leaves and flower clusters of the pistillate (female) plants, although it is generally understood that the former are much less potent. For these reasons it will be seen that mariajuana purchased locally is probably of quite variable character and tests of its physiological and mental effects in any experiment may be expected to vary likewise. For this reason the committee felt that the product to be used in its experiments should be specially selected material furnished by the Director of the Canal Zone Experiment Gardens.

No charas or ganga has been found among the military personnel in the Canal Zone, nor has either been found among the civilian personnel.

Uses in medicine--and action. --Mariajuana {Cannabis indica or C. sativa) is described in the Epitome of U. S. Pharmacopoeia, and National Formulary as a "narcotic poison, producing a mild delirium. Used in sedative mixtures, but of doubtful value. Also employed to color corn remedies."

In the 20th edition of the United States Dispensatory there is the following description:

Aside from the local irritant effect the action of cannabis seems to be limited almost exclusively to the higher nerve centers. In man this is first manifested by a peculiar delirium which is accompanied by exaltation of the imaginative function and later by a remarkable loss of the sense of time. The delirium is often accompanied with motor weakness and diminished reflexes and generally followed by drowsiness. Cannabis is used in medicine to relieve pain, to encourage sleep, and to soothe restlessness.

The drug is used very little in the practice of medicine. It is considered unstable and unreliable and as there are other drugs which can be used to relieve pain and produce sleep the prescribing of this drug for these purposes is falling into disuse.

Mariajuana in the United States.-Recent legislation enacted by the Seventieth Congress, approved January 19, 1929, authorizes the establishment of two United States Narcotic Farms for the confinement and treatment of persons addicted to the use of habit forming narcotic drugs. The act specifically defines the term "habit-forming narcotic drug" and includes in the section which defines these drugs Indian hemp and its various derivatives but it does not appear in the other Federal anti-narcotic laws. The drug is included in the anti-narcotic laws of sixteen states.

In a "Memorandum on 'dagga' smoking and its evils" , published by the Department of Public Health, Union of South Africa, 1924, there is found the following report by the Rand Probation Officer :

There is a considerable amount of dagga (mariahuana) smoking amongst European males of the poor white and delinquent type, but I have never met an instance of the habit amongst intelligent or educated Europeans. All the European smokers I have met have acquired the habit during adolescence, though most have dropped it again in early manhood. It is sometimes acquired in boyhood from association with natives while herding stock or in similar occupations in the country.

The type of youth from whom the dagga smoker is recruited is generally of a low standard of intelligence, and the deteriorating effects of the drug react upon this nidus to confirm the habit early and to drag the smoker to the lowest depths.

The memorandum further states that :

The attraction of the drug is greatest for those living dull and monotonous lives, as in barracks, compounds, prisons, reformatories, hostels, etc:, and also for the degenerate or mentally unstable; the latter are especially prone to become addicts once they have experienced the drug.

In certain quarters of the town and in certain schools, "gangs" of lads between the ages of 10 and 16 years daily smoke three or more cigarettes containing dagga. The evil effects of the drug quickly show themselves in these immature youths by their emotional instability while under the influence of the drug and the dull, lack-lustre look that stamps their faces when the effects have passed off.

As far as can be ascertained mariajuana was not used for smoking by the personnel engaged in the construction of the Panama Canal, and police records do not show any cases of mariajuana intoxication during that time. In fact, the first information reaching police headquarters that mariajuana was being used here was about 1916 when the Chief of Police was informed that soldiers of the Porto Rican Regiment were smoking a "weed" which caused unusual symptoms.

On investigation the officers of the regiment stated that they knew nothing of this and expressed surprise when the subject was brought up. The next reference to mariajuana was on May 26, 1922, when the Provost Marshal, Quarry Heights, Canal Zone, inquired of the Chief of Board of Health .Laboratory, Ancon, concerning the nature of mariajuana.

Several months later the Chief of Police also made an inquiry concerning this drug and desired to know whether it was a narcotic drug within the meaning of the Narcotic Drug Act. From the correspondence it is evident that smoking mariajuana had become prevalent among soldiers on duty in the Zone and that there were cases of delinquency attributed to its use.

The first step on record to curb the use of mariajuana by the military authorities was in Circular No.5, Headquarters Panama Canal Department, dated January 20, 1923, which prohibited the possession of mariajuana.

There is no further reference to mariajuana until March 31, 1925, when the Department Commander wrote to the Governor suggesting that a conference of legal, medical, and police officers of the Panama Canal and also of the military authorities be arranged to consider the matter of mariajuana traffic.

A committee was appointed by the Governor on April 1, 1925, to investigate the use of mariajuana, and to make recommendations as to steps that should be taken for prevention of its use, including, if considered necessary, recommendations for special legislation. This committee consisted of the Chief Health Officer of the Panama Canal, the District Attorney, the Chief of the Division of Civil Affairs, and the Chief of the Division of Police and Fire; also, the Department Judge Advocate, the Chief of the Board of Health Laboratory, the Superintendent of Corozal Hospital for the Insane, and a representative from the Medical Corps, U. S. Navy , acting in an advisory capacity.

After an investigation extending from April to December, 1925, the Committee reached the following conclusion:

There is no evidence that mariahuana as grown here is a "habit-forming" drug in the sense in which the term is applied to alcohol, opium, cocaine, etc., or that it has any appreciably deleterious influence on the individuals using it.

The Committee recommended "that no steps be taken by the Canal Zone authorities to prevent the sale or use of mariahuana, and that no special legislation be asked for."

The committee, in making its investigation, held hearings which were attended by the Post Commanders of Fort Clayton and Fort Davis.

These officers were invited to give their opinions on the subject and to cite instances where mariajuana was the direct cause of military delinquency among soldiers. Members of the committee also visited Fort Davis and the Corozal Hospital for the Insane where they observed soldiers smoking mariajuana, and in addition members of the committee observed four physicians and two members of the Canal Zone Police Department who smoked the drug in their presence. Persons who smoked the drug at the request of the committee rendered written reports on the effect. Numerous written and oral statements of opinion were submitted for consideration.

Military records of delinquency among the military personnel were also available and the committee found that in only a very small percentage of individuals brought to trial before General Courts Martial, in which there was a record of violence or insubordination, was it possible to attribute the delinquency to mariajuana.

The circular which forbade the possession of mariajuana was rescinded on January 29, 1926. In December, 1928, the law forbidding the possession and use of mariajuana in the Republic of Panama was repealed.

The findings of the Board, however, were not concurred in by most Army officers who exercised command directly over troops. The opinion among them was that mariajuana was a habit-forming drug and tended to undermine the morale of a. military organization when it was used to any extent by the personnel. There is correspondence on me in the Panama Canal expressing such an opinion and also expressing surprise at the findings of the committee.

On June 23,1928, the Department Commander directed that a further study be made of mariajuana. This study was to continue for one year. The circular letter directing the study reads in part as follows:

Par. 4. In pursuance of this study all cases -of suspected mariahuana intoxication and all cases of suspected mariahuana addiction will be sent to the Surgeon for investigation. The Surgeon will keep -a record of all cases sent, whether or not the use of mariahuana is established. Accurate clinical records of positive cases will be kept. Violations of discipline incident to the use- of the drug will be noted and that coincident with the use of alcohol or narcotics. Surgeons will submit monthly reports of all data upon the subject to the Department Surgeon.

Par. 5. It should be understood that only concrete facts are desired. Opinions or hearsay evidence are not wanted. ...

On June 17, 1929, the Department Surgeon reported to the Chief of Staff that "the inquiry into the use of mariajuana by soldiers of the Department had been in effect a full year. The reports of the twelve months indicate that the use of the drug is not widespread and that its effects upon military efficiency and upon discipline are not great. There appears to be no reason for reviving the penalties formerly exacted for the possession and the use of the drug."

On January 3, 1930, the Department Commander called the attention of all Commanding Officers to the fact that the possession or use of mariajuana was not per se a military offense and that in any trials or other proceedings taken with a view of the separation of individuals from the military service, any proposed defense alleging that wrongful acts or incapacity was the result of the use of mariajuana was not a defense and was not to be so considered.

There is no further reference to the subject until December 1, 1930, when the present Department Commander caused an order to be issued to the effect that "the smoking of mariajuana impairs the efficiency of the soldier and is forbidden. Soldiers smoking mariahuana or using it in any way will be brought to trial for each and every offense."

There was still considerable traffic in the drug, and Company officers particularly complained of the deleterious effects on the men of their commands who used it. About six months after the publication of the order mentioned in the preceding paragraph (May 22,1931), the Department Commander write the Governor suggesting that the matter be reinvestigated with a view to securing additional evidence which might possibly be used as a basis for the formulation of regulations forbidding the cultivation, possession, or sale of mariajuana on the Canal Zone.

It had been reported that the use of mariajuana was particularly prevalent among soldiers at Fort Clayton and that it was easily obtained in various places along the Chiva-Chiva trail. According to reports it was also being smoked extensively by soldiers at Fort Davis.

On June 30, 1931, the committee first mentioned was designated to investigate the use and effects of mariajuana.


The committee at its preliminary meeting decided that its principal objective would be to hospitalize mariajuana smokers at Gorgas Hospital and have them observed by a psychiatrist, a member of the Board. It was considered that this afforded the best and most practicable method of obtaining first hand reliable information concerning the effects of the plant as used in this region. Permission was therefore obtained from the Department Commander to obtain mariajuana smokers from the enlisted personnel for hospitalization and study at Gorgas Hospital.

The committee also considered it desirable to obtain as much information as was practicable as to the extent of mariajuana smoking in military commands and the amount of delinquency caused by its use.

The study of the effects of mariajuana on the individual soldier included a complete neuropsychiatric examination, a clinical-study of the individual after smoking mariajuana, and a clinical study of signs and symptoms following its withdrawal.

The statistical data relating to the extent of mariajuana smoking in military commands and the delinquency that might be considered attributable to its use were secured from military sources by the Army members of the committee.

The problem of the Committee was therefore: 1. Determination of the extent to which mariajuana was being used by military personnel. 2. The physiological effects that result from the smoking of mariajuana. 3. Was military delinquency caused by mariajuana ?


1. Determination of the extent to which mariajuana is being used by military personnel. -- The following figures are estimates only and were obtained from Post Surgeons through Department Headquarters. They represent the percentage of the command that is presumed to be mariajuana habitues :

Per cent Per cent

Fort Amador 0.6
France Field, 2.0
Fort Clayton. 20.0
Fort Randolph. 3.0
Fort Davis 5.4
Fort Sherman 2.6
Post of Corozal 3.1
Quarry Heights 3.0

2. The physiological effects that result from the smoking of mariajuana.--During the period from December, 1931, to October, 1932, for ;In average of six days in each case, thirty-four soldiers, collected from four posts in the Panama Canal Department, were observed in Gorgas Hospital for the effects of smoking mariajuana. These men, all known to be or suspected of being mariajuana smokers, volunteered to enter the hospital, tell all they knew about the use of mariajuana among soldiers in Panama and submit to any tests desired.

A. General facts:

1. The length of service in Panama of these soldiers varied from two months to four and eight-twelfths years, the average being one year and six months.

2. The chronological age varied from nineteen to thirty-three years, the average being 23 years.

3. Mental status : None exhibited psychotic symptoms. Sixty-two per cent were constitutional psychopaths and 23 per cent were morons, a total of 85 per cent mentally abnormal.

4. The length of time mariajuana was used by them varied from two months to four years, average period being one year and two months.

5. The quantity of mariajuana smoked daily varied from one to twenty cigarettes, average being five cigarettes.

B. Common effects of mariajuana described by users:

1. Mild intoxication. (Smokers use different terms to describe their sensations, the most common being "brushed up," "high," "happy," "peppy," "rosy," "dopy," "satisfied.")

2. Increased appetite.

3. Induction of sleep an hour or two after smoking.

4. Only five, or 15 per cent, stated they missed mariajuana when deprived of it.

5. Twenty-four, or 71 per cent, stated they preferred tobacco to mariajuana.

6. These soldiers stated that mariajuana was cheap and easy to procure in Panama and that they used it for "a pleasant pastime," usually during hours off duty when they had nothing else to do to amuse themselves. They stated that practically all recruits tried mariajuana and those who like it usually continued its use. Their average estimate of the number of habitual mariajuana smokers in their respective organizations was approximately 10 per cent.

C. Common effects of mariajuana observed in users:

1. No deprivation symptoms were observed even in those who admitted smoking eight to ten cigarettes the day previous to admission to hospital.

2. With the exception of three, all after smoking showed symptoms of mild intoxication. They lost reserve, became animated, laughed without adequate cause, and talked foolishly. During this stage, which lasted for half an hour to an hour or so, neurological and mental tests were performed as well as previously. There was no tendency to combativeness or destructiveness.

3. All stated they were very hungry after smoking and the quantity of food consumed at their subsequent meal confirmed this statement.

4. Pulse rate was markedly increased from a few moments after smoking first cigarette to an hour or more. There was no appreciable variation in blood pressure before and after smoking. There were no other distinctive physiological changes observed, other than a tendency to sleep, in which some indulged for a short while an hour or two after smoking.

5. No ill effects from smoking mariajuana for several days in succession were observed even when the soldiers were given mariajuana ad libitum.

Resume of Observed Cases

1. The smoking of mariajuana is quite common among soldiers in Panama.

2. Morons and psychopaths are believed to constitute the large majority of habitual smokers.

3. Mariajuana as grown and used on the Isthmus of Panama is a mild stimulant and intoxicant. It is not a "habit forming" drug in the sense that the derivatives of opium and cocaine are such drugs, as there are no symptoms of deprivation following its withdrawal.

4. Physiological effects observed in addition to intoxication were a marked increase in pulse rate and in appetite and the induction of sleep.

5. No mental or physical deterioration effects of smoking mariajuana could be demonstrated, but with this statement should be considered the fact that the soldiers observed were all young men who had smoked mariajuana for an average of less than two years.

6. From a medical standpoint the habitual use of mariajuana, as of other stimulants and intoxicants, should be considered detrimental to health.

7. Nothing was learned during the investigation to change our impression that the use of mariajuana by civilians on the Canal Zone is so slight as to be negligible.

8. The evidence obtained suggests that organization commanders in estimating the efficiency and soldierly qualities of delinquents in their commands have unduly emphasized the effects of mariajuana, disregarding the fact that a large proportion of the delinquents are morons or psychopaths, which conditions of themselves would serve to account for delinquency.

The committee had access to the records of the office of the Judge .Advocate of the Panama Canal Department (military headquarters). It was found that during the two year period ending June 30, 1932, of the total military personnel brought to trial before courts martial in only a very small proportion (1.17 per cent) was the soldier charged with having mariajuana in his possession, smoking mariajuana, or on account of other infractions of military discipline combined with the possession or smoking of the plant.

Delinquencies due to mariajuana smoking which result in trial by military court are negligible in number when compared with delinquencies resulting from the use of alcoholic drinks which also may be classed as stimulants and intoxicants.

Of the 51 members of the military personnel (1.17 per cent) in which the use or possession of mariajuana constituted one of the charges, in only 4 instances (0.09 per cent) was a charge of violence or insubordination connected therewith. The specifications in these four cases were as follows :

lst case: Possession of mariajuana ; drunk and disorderly in Colon and without proper pass; striking a military policeman. 2nd case: Possession of mariajuana ; disrespect to a noncommissioned officer. 3rd case: Possession of marlajuana; disobedience of orders. 4th case: Possession of mariajuana ; breaking arrest.

The .Assistant Adjutant General, Panama Canal Department, in a memorandum to the recorder of the committee stated that "During the last two years ninety-four (94) enlisted men were discharged on account of habits and traits of character which made their retention in the service undesirable; and of the cases examined only three (3) were attributable to the use of mariajuana."


1.The present military regulations prohibiting the introduction, sale, possession, or use of mariajuana on military reservations should continue in force, as they are believed to restrict the use of mariajuana among soldiers.

2. With the evidence obtained and considered by the committee no recommendations for further legislative action to prevent the sale or use of mariajuana in the Canal Zone, Panama, are deemed advisable under existing conditions.

Respectfully submitted,

J. F. Sn.ER, Colonel, M.C., U. S. Army, Chief Health Officer

W. L. SHEEP, Lieutenant Colonel, M.C., U. S. Army, Asst. to Superintendent, Gorgas Hospital

G. W. COOK, Lieutenant Colonel, M.C., U. S. Army, Asst. to Department Surgeon.

W. A. SMITH, Major, M.C., U. S. Army, Attending Surgeon, Quarry Heights, C.Z.

L. B. BATES, Chief, Board of Health Laboratory

G. F. CLARK, Commander, M.C.,U. S: Navy, District Medical Officer, 15th Naval District.

Balboa Heights-C.Z. October 21, 1932


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The British Pharmaceutical Codex  1934

The British Pharmaceutical Codex


Synonyms - Cannabis Indica; Indian Hemp; Ganjah; Guaza.
Cannabis consists of the dried flowering and fruiting tops of the pistillate plant of Cannabis sativa Linn. (Fam. Cannabinaceæ), an annual dioecious herb indigenous to Central Asia and the Northern and Western Himalayas, and cultivated mainly in tropical districts of India, Africa, and North America.

Cannabis occurs in flattened, dull green masses which remain more or less compacted together by the adhesive resinous secretion. The tops vary in length from about 3 to 30 centimetres, the smaller tops being preferred; they consist of the upper part of the stem with ascending branches, which are longitudinally furrowed and bear numerous covering and glandular trichomes. The leaves are alternate and consist of simple or palmately compound bracts, each having two linear stipules and bearing in its axil two bracteoles, each of which subtends a single pistillate flower or a more or less developed fruit occasionally containing an oily seed. The taste is very slight and the odour somewhat heavy and narcotic.
The diagnostic microscopical characters are the conical, curved, unicellular cystolith-trichomes with enlarged bases; the similar but more slender trichomes without cystoliths; the numerous, usually 8-celled, rosette-shaped, glandular trichomes with either unicellular or multiseriate pedicels; the bracteoles with very numerous small cluster-crystals of calcium oxalate; the red stigmas with long cylindrical papillæ laticiferous tubes with brown contents; occasional, more or less lignified, phloem fibres from the stem, and brown, thick-walled, pitted cells from the palisade layer of the pericarp.

Cannabis contains a soft, brown resin (cannabinone), the chief constituent of which is cannabinol, C21H26O2, a viscid, reddish oil, possessing a powerful narcotic action, but resinifying and becoming less active on exposure to air; choline, and traces of volatile oil, fat, and wax are also present. Cannabis yields to alcohol (90 per cent) from 10 to 22 per cent of extractive. The ash is about 15 per cent.
The following test has been used for the identification of cannabis: Shake 0.1 gramme in powder with 5 millilitres of light petroleum for three minutes and filter; to 1 millilitre of the filtrate add 2 millilitres of a 15 per cent w/v solution of hydrogen chloride in dehydrated alcohol; at the junction of the two liquids a red colouration appears, and, after shaking, the upper layer becomes colourless and the lower layer acquires an orange-pink colouration which disappears on the addition of one millilitre of water.

Varieties: Tinctures of cannabis, prepared from African, American, German, and Indian varieties of the drug, when examined by oral administration to cats appear to possess about the same degree of activity, and this activity is not destroyed by long storage of the drug in a dry condition.

Standard: Cannabis contains not more than 10 per cent of fruits, large foliage leaves, and stems over 3 millimetres in diameter, and not more than 2 per cent of other foreign organic matter. Acid-insoluble ash, not more than 5 per cent. When a mixture of 10 grammes of finely powdered cannabis and 100 millilitres of alcohol (90 per cent) is shaken occasionally during twenty-four hours and then filtered, 20 millilitres of the filtrate, evaporated in a flat-bottomed dish, yields a residue weighing, when dried at 100 degrees, not less than 0.20 gramme. Cannabis indicæ herba I.A. consists of the tops, in flower and in fruit, of the female plant cultivated in the East Indies.

Cannabis, in powder (Pulvis Cannabis : Pulv. Cannab.), contains the constituents and possesses the diagnostic microscopical characters of Cannabis, and complies with the limits for acid-insoluble ash and residue on extraction with alcohol (90 per cent) of the unground drug.

Action and Uses: Cannabis acts chiefly on the central nervous system. It first produces excitement with hallucinations, a feeling of happiness and indifference to surroundings, this stage being followed by deep sleep. The hallucinations include inability to estimate time and space. In the East the hemp is smoked and almost immediately produces symptoms of pleasurable excitement, followed by depression and lethargy.
Cannabis is used as an anodyne sedative or hypnotic in mania, spasmodic coughs, phthisis, asthma, and dysmenorrhoea. It has been used in the treatment of chorea and paralysis agitans. It does not produce constipation or loss of appetite. Cannabis is usually administered as the extract in pills, or as tincture. In cases of poisoning the stomach should be evacuated and the usual methods adopted to prevent collapse and respiratory failure.

CANNABINÆ TANNAS: Cannabine tannate is a brownish powder which may be obtained from an aqueous extract of cannabis by precipitation with tannic acid. It has been used as a hypnotic in nervous insomnia, in dysmenorrhoea and in menorrhagia. Dose - 0.25 to 0.5 gramme (4 to 8 grains).

CANNABINONUM: Cannabinone, the brown resin obtained from cannabis, has been used as a hypnotic in hysteria and insomnia. Dose - 0.016 to 0.06 gramme (1/4 to 1 grain).
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By W. B. O'Shaughnessy, M.D.,

Assistant-Surgeon, and Professor of Chemistry, &c.

In the Medical College of Calcutta.

Presented October, 1839.

The narcotic effects of Hemp are popularly known in the south of Africa, South America, Turkey, Egypt, Asia Minor, India, and the adjacent territories of the Malays, Burmese, and Siamese. In all these countries Hemp is used in various forms, by the dissipated and depraved, as the ready agent of pleasing intoxication. In the popular medicine of these nations, we find it extensively employed for a multitude of affections. But in Western Europe, its use either as a stimulant or as a remedy, is equally unknown. With the exception of the trial, as a frolic, of the Egyptian 'Hasheesh,' by a few youths in Marseilles, and of the clinical use of the wine of Hemp by Mahneman, as shewn in a subsequent extract, I have been unable to trace any notice of the employment of this drug in Europe.

Much difference of opinion exists on the question, whether the Hemp so abundant in Europe, even in the high northern latitudes, is identical in specific characters with the Hemp of Asia Minor and Hindostan. The extraordinary symptoms produced by the latter depend on a resinous secretion with which it abounds and which seems totally absent in the European kind. As the closest physical resemblance or even identity exists between both plants, difference of climate seems to me more than sufficient to account for the absence of the resinous secretion, and consequent want of narcotic power in that indigenous in colder countries.

In the subsequent article I first endeavour to present an adequate view of what has been recorded of the early history, the popular uses and employment in medicine of this powerful and valuable substance. I then proceed to notice several experiment which I have instituted on animals, with the view to ascertain its effects on the healthy system; and, lastly, I submit an abstract of the clinical details of the treatment of several patients afflicted with hydrophobia, tetanus, and other convulsive disorders, in which a preparation of Hemp was employed with results which seem to me to warrant our anticipating from its more extensive and impartial use no inconsiderable addition to the resources of the physician.

In the historical and statistical department of the subject, I owe my cordial thanks for most valuable assistance to the distinguished traveller, the Syed Keramut Ali, Mootawulee of the Hooghly Imambarrah, and also the Hakim Mirza Abdul Rhazes of Teheran, who have furnished me with interesting details regarding the consumption of Hemp in Caudahar, Cabul, and the countries between the Indus and Herat. The Pundit Modoosudun Goopto has favoured me with notices of the remarks on these drugs in the early Sanscrit authors on Materia Medica; -- to the celebrated Kamalakantha Vidyadanka, the Pundit of the Asiatic Society, I have also to record my acknowledgments; -- Mr. DaCosta has obligingly supplied me with copious notes from the 'Mukzun-ul-Udwieh,' and other Persian and Hindee systems of Materia Medica. For information relative to the varieties of the drug, and its consumption in bengal, Mr. McCann, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, deserves my thanks; -- and lastly, to Dr. Goodeve, to Mr. Richard O'Shaughnessy, to the late Dr. Bain, to Mr. O'Brien of the Native Hospital, and Nobinchunder Mitter, one of my clinical clerks, I am indebted for the clinical details with which they have enriched the subject.

Botanical characters, chemical properties, production.

Botanical Description -- Assuming with Lindley and other eminent writers that the Cannabis sativa and Indica are identical, we find that the plant is dioecious, annual, about three feet high, covered over with a fine pubescence; the stem is erect, branched, bright green, angular; leaves alternate or opposite, on long weak petioles; digitate, scabrous, with linear, lanceolate, sharply serrated leaflets, tapering into a long, smooth, entire point; stipules subulate; clusters of flowers axillary, with subulate braces; males lax and drooping, branched and leafless at base; females erect, simple and leafy at the base. < IMG src="../../images/male.gif" mce_src="../../images/male.gif">[Male] Calyx downy, five parted, imbricated. Stamens five; anthers large and pendulous. < IMG src="../../images/female.gif" mce_src="../../images/female.gif">[Female] Calyx covered with brown glands. Ovary roundish, with pendulous ovule, and two long filiform glandular stigmas; achenium ovate, one seeded. -- v. Lindley's Flora Medica, p. 299.

The fibres of the stems are long and extremely tenacious, so as to afford the best tissue for cordage, thus constituting the material for one of the most important branches of European manufactures.

The seed is simply albuminous and oily, and is devoid of all narcotic properties.

Chemical Properties -- In certain seasons, and in warm countries, a resinous juice exudes, and concretes on the leaves, slender stem, and flowers; the mode of removing this juice will be subsequently detailed. Separated and in masses it constitutes the Churrus of Nipal and Hindostan, and to this the type, or basis of all the Hemp preparations, are the powers of these drugs attributable.

The resin of the Hemp is very soluble in alcohol and ether; partially soluble in alkaline; insoluble in acid solutions; when pure, of a blackish grey colour; hard at 90 degrees; softens at higher temperatures, and fuses readily; -- soluble in the fixed and in several volatile oils. Its odour is fragrant and narcotic; taste slightly warm, bitterish, and acrid.

The dried Hemp plant which has flowered, and from which the resin has not been removed, is called Gunjah. It sells from twelve annas to one rupee seer, in the Calcutta bazars, and yields to alcohol twenty per 100 of resinous extract, composed of the resin (churrus) and green colouring matter (Chloro-phille). Distilled with a large quantity of water, traces of essential oil pass over, and the distilled liquor has the powerful narcotic odour of the plant. The gunjah is sold for smoking chiefly. The bundles of gunjah are about two feet long, and three inches in diameter, and contain 24 to 36 plants. The colour is dusky green -- the odour agreeably narcotic -- the whole plant resinous and adhesive to the touch. The larger leaves and capsules without the stalks, are called 'Bangh Subjee or Sidhee.' They are used for making an intoxicating drink, for smoking, and in the conserve or confection termed Majoon. Bang is cheaper than gunjah, and though less powerful, is sold at such a low price, that for one pice enough can be purchased to intoxicate an experienced person.

According to Mr. McCann's notes, the gunjah consumed in Bengal is chiefly brought from Mirzapúr and Ghazeepore, being extensively cultivated near Gwalior and in Tirboot. The natives cut the plant when in flower, allow it to dry for three days, and then lay it in bundles, averaging one seer weight each, which are distributed to the licensed dealers. The best kind are brought from Gwalior and Bhurtpore, and it is also cultivated of good quality in a few gardens around Calcutta. In Jessore, I am informed, the drug is produced of excellent quality, and to a very considerable extent of cultivation.

In Central India and the Saugor territory, and in Nipal, churrus is collected during the hot season, in the following singular manner: -- Men clad in leathern dresses run through the Hemp-fields, brushing through the plant with all possible violence; the soft resin adheres to the leather, is subsequently scraped off, and kneaded into balls, which sell from five to six rupees the seer. A still finer kind, the momeea or waxen churrus, is collected by the hand in Nipal and sells for nearly double the price of the ordinary kind. In Nipal, Dr. McKinnon informs me, the leathern attire is dispensed with, and the resin is gathered on the skins of naked coolies. In Persia, it is stated by Mirza Abdool Rhazes that the churrus is prepared by pressing the resinous plants on coarse cloths, and then scraping it from these, and melting it in a pot with a little warm water. He considers the churrus of Herat as the best and most powerful of all the varieties of the drug.

Popular uses.

The preparations of Hemp are used for the purpose of intoxication as follow:

Sidhee, subjee, and bang (synonymous) are used with water as a drink, which is thus prepared. About three tola weight, 540 troy grains, are well washed with cold water, then rubbed to powder, mixed with black pepper, cucumber and melon seeds, sugar, half a pint of milk, and an equal quantity of water. This is considered sufficient to intoxicate an habituated person. Half the quantity is enough for a novice. This composition is chiefly used by the Mahomedans of the better classes.

Another recipe is as follows:

The same quantity of sidhee is washed and ground, mixed with black pepper, and a quart of cold water added. This is drank at one sitting. This is the favorite beverage of the Hindus who practice this vice, especially the Birjobassies, and many of the rajpootana soldiery.

From either of these beverages intoxication will ensue in half an hour. Almost invariably the inebriation is of the most cheerful kind, causing the person to sing and dance, to eat food with great relish, and to see aphrodisiac enjoyments. In persons of quarrelsome disposition it occasions, as might be expected, an exasperation of their natural tendency. The intoxication lasts about three hours, when sleep supervenes. No nausea or sickness of stomach succeeds, nor are the bowels at all affected, next day there is slight giddiness and vascularity of the eyes, but no other symptom worth recording. Gunjah is used for smoking alone -- one rupee weight, 180 grains, and a little dried tobacco are rubbed together in the palm of the hand with a few drops of water. This suffices for three persons. A little tobacco is placed in the pipe first, then a layer of the prepared gunjah, then more tobacco, and the fire above all.

Four or five persons usually join in this debauch. The hookah is passed round, and each person takes a single draught. Intoxication ensues almost instantly, and from one draught to the unaccustomed -- within half an hour, and after four or five inspirations to those more practised in the vice. The effects differ from those occasioned by the sidhee. Heaviness, laziness, and agreeable reveries ensue, but the person can be readily roused, and is able to discharge routine occupations, such as pulling the punkab, waiting at table, &c.

The Majoon, or Hemp confection, is a compound of sugar, butter, flour, milk and sidhee or bang. The process has been repeatedly performed before me by Ameer, the proprietor of a celebrated place of resort for Hemp devotees in Calcutta, and who is considered the best artist in his profession. Four ounces of sidhee, and an equal quantity of ghee are placed in an earthen or well-tinned vessel, a pint of water added, and the whole warmed over a charcoal fire. The mixture is constantly stirred until the water all boils away, which is known by the crackling noise of the melted butter on the sides of the vessel. The mixture is then removed from the fire, squeezed through cloth while hot -- by which an oleaginous solution of the active principles and colouring matter of the Hemp is obtained -- and the leaves, fibres, &c. remaining on the cloth are thrown away.

The green oily solution soon concretes into a buttery mass, and is then well washed by the hand with soft water, so long as the water becomes coloured. The colouring matter and an extractive substance are thus removed, and a very pale green mass, of the consistence of simple ointment, remains. The washings are thrown away: Ameer says that these are intoxicating, and produce constriction of the throat, great pain, and very disagreeable and dangerous symptoms.

The operator then takes 2 lbs. of sugar, and adding a little water, places it in a pipkin over the fire. When the sugar dissolves and froths, two ounces of milk are added; a thick scum rises and is removed; more milk and a little water are added from time to time, and the boiling continued about an hour, the solution being carefully stirred until it becomes an adhesive clear syrup, ready to solidify on a cold surface; four ounces of tyre (new milk dried before the sun) in fine powder, are now stirred in, and lastly the prepared butter of Hemp is introduced, brisk stirring being continued for a few minutes. A few drops of attur of roses are then quickly sprinkled in, and the mixture poured from the pipkin on a flat cold dish or slab. The mass concretes immediately into a thin cake, which is divided into small lozenge-shaped pieces. A seer thus prepared sells for four rupees: one drachm by weight will intoxicate a beginner; three drachms one experienced in its use: the taste is sweet, and the odour very agreeable.

Ameer states that there are seven or eight majoon makers in Calcutta -- that sometimes, by special order of customers, he introduces stramonium seeds, but never nux-vomica; that all classes of persons, including the lower Portugese, or 'Kala Feringhees,' and especially their females, consume the drug; that it is most fascinating in its effects, producing extatic happiness, a persuasion of high rank, a sensation of flying -- voracious appetite, and intense aphrodisiac desire. He denies that its continued use leads to madness, impotence, or to the numerous evil consequences described by the Arabic and Persian physicians. Although I disbelieve Ameer's statements on this point, his description of the immediate effect of majoon is strictly and accurately correct.

Most carnivorous animals eat it greedily, and very soon experience its narcotic effects, becoming ludicrously drunk, but seldom suffering any worse consequences.

Historical details -- Notice of Hemp, and its popular uses by the Sanscrit, Arabic, and Persian writers.

The preceding notice suffices to explain the subsequent historical and medicinal details. I premise the historical, in order to shew the exact state of our knowledge of the subject, when I attempted an investigation.

Although the most eminent of the Arabic and Persian authors concur in referring the origin of the practice of Hemp intoxications to the natives of Hindoostan, it is remarkable that few traces can be detected of the prevalence of the vice at any early period in India.

The Pundit Modoosudun Gooptu finds that 'Tajni guntu,' a standard treatise on Materia Medica, which he estimates vaguely at 600 years' date, gives a clear account of this agent. Its synonyms are 'Bijoya,' 'Ujoya,' and 'Joya,' names which mean promoters of success; 'Brijputta,' or the strengthener, or the strong-leaved; 'Chapola,' the causer of a reeling gait; 'Ununda,' or laughter moving; 'Hursini,' the exciter of sexual desire. Its effects on man are described as excitant, heating astringent. It is added that it 'destroys phlegm, expels flatulence, induces costiveness, sharpens the memory, increases eloquence, excites the appetite, and acts as a general tonic.'

The 'Rajbulubha,' a Sanscrit treatise of rather later date, alludes to the use of Hemp in gonorrhoea, and repeats the statements of the 'Rajniguntu.' In the Hindu Tantra, or a religious treatise, teaching peculiar and mystical formulae and rites for the worship of the deities, it is said moreover, that sidhee is more intoxicating that wine.

In the celebrated 'Susruta,' which is perhaps the most ancient of all Hindy medical works, it is written that persons labouring under catarrh should, with other remedies, use internally the bijoya or sidhee. The effects however are not described.

The learned Kamalakantha Vidyalanka has traced notice of Hemp in the 5th chapter of Menu, where Brahmins are prohibited to use the following substances, plandoo or onions; gunjara or gunjah; and such condiments as have strong and pungent scents.

The Persian and Arabic writers are however far more voluminous and precise in their accounts of these fascinating preparations. In the 1st vol. of De Sacy's 'Crestomathie Arabe,' we find an extremely interesting summary of the writings of Takim Eddin Makrizi on this subject. Lane has noticed it too with his usual ability in his admirable work 'The Modern Egyptians.' From these two sources, the MS. notes of the Syed Keramut Ali and Mr. DaCosta, and a curious paper communicated by our friend Mirza Abdool Rhazes, a most intelligent Persian Physician, the following epitome is compiled.

Makrizi treats of the Hemp in his glowing description of the celebrated Canton de la Timbaliere, or ancient pleasure grounds, in the vicinity of Cairo. This quarter, after many vicissitudes, is now a heap of ruins. In it was situated a cultivated valley named Djoneina, which we are informed was the theatre of all conceivable abominations. It was famous above all for the sale of the Hasheeha, a drug still greedily consumed by the dregs of the populace, and from the consumption of which sprung the excesses which led to the name of 'Assassin,' being given to the Saracens in the Holy Wars. The history of the drug the author treats of thus: The oldest work in which Hemp is noticed is a treatise by Hasan, who states that in the year 658 (Mahometan era), the Sheikh Djafar Shirazi, a monk of the order of Haider, learnt from his master the history of the discovery of Hemp. Haider, the chief of ascetics and self-chasteners, lived in rigid privation on a mountain between Nishabor and Romah, where he established a monastery of Fakirs. Ten years he had spent in this retreat, without leaving it for a moment, till one burning summer's day, when he departed alone to the fields. On his return an air of joy and gaiety was imprinted on his countenance; he received the visits of his brethren, and encouraged their conversation. On being questioned, he stated that struck by the aspect of a plant which danced in the heat as if with joy, while all the rest of the vegetable creation was torpid, he had gathered and eaten of its leaves. He led his companions to the spot, all ate, and all were similarly excited. A tincture of the Hemp leaf in wine or spirit seems to have been the favorite formula in which the Sheikh Haider indulged himself. An Arab poet sings of Haider's emerald cup; an evident allusion to the rich green colour of the tincture of the drug. The Sheikh survived the discovery ten years, subsisting chiefly on this herb, and on his death his disciples by his desire planted it in an arbour about his tomb.

From this saintly sepulcher the knowledge of the effects of Hemp is stated to have spread into Khorasan. In Chaldea it was unknown until 728, during the reign of the Khalif Mostansir Billah: the kings of Drmus and Bahrein then introduced it into Chaldea, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey.

In Khorasan, however, it seems that the date of the use of Hemp is considered to be far prior to Haider's era. Biraslan, an Indian pilgrim, the contemporary of Cosröes, is believed to have introduced and diffused the custom through Khorasan and Yemen. In proof of the great antiquity of the practice, certain passages in the works of Hippocrates may be cited, in which some of its properties are clearly described; but the difficulty of deciding whether the passages be spurious or genuine renders the fact of little value. Dioscorides (lib. ij. cap. 169) describes Hemp, but metely notices the emollient properties of its seeds -- its intoxicating effects must consequently be regarded as unknown to the Greeks prior to his era, which is generally agreed to be about the second century of the Christian epoch, and somewhat subsequent to the life time of Pliny.

In the narrative of Makrizi we also learn that oxymel and acids are the most powerful antidotes to the effect of this narcotic; next to these, emetics, cold bathing, and sleep; and we are further told that it possesses diuretic, astringent, and specially aphrodisiac properties. Ibn Beitar was the first to record its tendency to produce mental derangement, and he even states that it occasionally proves fatal.

In 780 M.E. very severe ordinances were passed in Egypt against the practice: the Djoneina garden was rooted up, and all those convicted of the use of the drug were subjected to the extraction of their teeth; but in 799 the custom reestablished itself with more than original vigor. Makrizi draws an expressive picture of the evils this vice then inflicted on its votaries -- 'As its consequence, general corruption of sentiments and manners ensued, modesty disappeared, every base and evil passion was openly indulged in, and nobility of external form alone remained to these infatuated beings.'

Medicinal properties assigned to Hemp by the ancient Arabian and Persian writers, and by modern European authors.

In the preceding notice of Makrizi's writings on this subject, we have confined ourselves chiefly to historical details, excluding descriptions of supposed medicinal effects. The Mukzun-ul-Udwieh and the Persian MS. in our possession, inform us as to the properties which the ancient physicians attributed to this powerful narcotic.

In Mr. DaCosta's MS. version of the chapter on Hemp in the Mukzun-ul-Udwieh, churrus, we are informed, if smoked through a pipe, causes torpor and intoxication, and often proves fatal to the smoker; three kinds are noticed, the garden, wild and mountain, of which the last is deemed the strongest -- the seeds are called sheaduna or shaldaneh in Persia. These are said to be 'a compound of opposite qualities, cold and dry in the third degree; that is to say, stimulant and sedative, imparting at first a gentle reviving heat, and then a considerable refrigerant effect.'

The contrary qualities of the plant, its stimulant and sedative effects, are prominently dwelt on. 'They at first exhilirate the spirits, cause cheerfulness, give colour to the complexion, bring on intoxication, excite the imagination into the most rapturous ideas, produce thirst, increase appetite, excite concupiscence. Afterwards the sedative effects begin to preside, the spirits sink, the vision darkens and weakens; and madness, melancholy fearfulness, dropsy, and such like distempers, are the sequel -- and the seminal secretions dry up. These effects are increased by sweets, and combatted by acids.'

The author of the Mukzun-ul-Udwieh, further informs us --

'The leaves make a good snuff for deterging the brain; the juice of the leaves applied to the head as a wash, removes dandrin and vermin; drops of the juice thrown into the ear allay pain, and destroy worms or insects. It checks diarrhoea; is useful in gonorrhoea; restrains seminal secretions, and is diuretic. The bark has a similar effect.'

'The powder is recommended as an external application to fresh wounds and sores, and for causing granulations; a poultice of the boiled root and leaves for discussing inflammations, and cure of erysipelas, and for allaying neuralgic pains. The dried leaves bruised and spread on a castor oil leaf cure hydrocele and swelled testes. The dose, internally, is one direm or 48 grains. The antidotes are emetics, cow's milk, hot water, and sorrel wine.'

Alluding to its popular uses, the author dwells on the eventual evil consequences of the indulgence; -- weakness of the digestive organs first ensues, followed by flatulency, indigestion, swelling of the limbs and face, change of complexion, diminution of sexual vigor, loss of teeth, heaviness, cowardice, depraved and wicked ideas, scepticism in religious tenet; licentiousness and ungodliness are also enumerated in the catalogue of deplorable results.

The medicinal properties of Hemp, in various forms are the subject of some interesting notes by Mirza Abdool Rhazes. 'It produces a ravenous appetite and constipation, arrests the secretions, except that of the liver, excites wild imagining, especially a sensation of ascending, forgetfulness of all that happened during its use, and such mental exaltation, that the beholders attribute it to supernatural inspiration.'

Mirza Abdool considers Hemp to be a powerful exciter of the flow of bile, and relates cases of its efficacy in restoring appetite -- of its utility as an external application as a poultice with milk, in relieving haemorrhoids -- and internally in gonorrhoea to the extent of a quarter drachm of bangh. He states also that the habitual smokers of Gunjah generally die of diseases of the lungs, dropsy, and anasarca -- 'so do the eaters of majoon and smokers of sidhee, but at a later period. The inexperienced on first taking it are often senseless for a day, some go mad, others are known to die.'

In the 35th chapter of the 5th vol. of Rumphius Herbarium Amboinense, p. 208, Ed. Amsterd. A.D. 1695, we find a long and very good account of this drug, illustrated by two excellent plates. The sub-joined is an epitome of Rumphius' article.

Rumphius first describes botanically the male and female Hemp plants, of which he gives two admirable drawings. He assigns the upper provinces of India as its habitat, and states it to be cultivated in Java and Amboyna. He then notices very briefly the exciting effects ascribed to the leaf, and to mixtures thereof with spices, camphor, and opium. He alludes doubtingly to its alleged aphrodisiac powers, and states that the kind of mental excitement it produces depends on the temperament of the consumer. He quotes a passage from Galen lib. i. (de aliment. occult.) in which it is asserted that in that great writer's time it was customary to give Hemp seed to the guests at banquets as promoters of hilarity and enjoyment. Rumphius adds, that the Mahomedans in his neighborhood frequently sought for the male plant from his garden to be given to persons afflicted with virulent gonorrhoea, and with asthma, or the infection, what is popularly called, 'stitches in the side.'

He tells us, moreover, that the powdered leaves check diarrhoea, are stomachic, cure the malady named Pitao, and moderate excessive secretion of bile. He mentions the use of Hemp smoke as an enema in strangulated hernia, and of the leaves as an antidote to poisoning by orpiment. Lastly, he notices in two subsequent chapters varieties of Hemp which he terms the gunjah sativa and gunjah agrestis. In the Hortus Malabaricus Rheede's article on the Hemp is a mere outline of Rumphius's statements.

Among modern European writers, the only information we could trace on the medicinal use of Hemp in Europe, is the recent work of Ness v. Esenbeck, from which the following is an extract kindly supplied by Dr. Wallich: --

'The fresh herb of the Hemp has a very powerful and unpleasant narcotic smell, and is used in the East in combination with opium, in the preparation of intoxicating potions, &c. It is probable that the nepenthe of the ancients was prepared from the leaves of this plant. Many physicians, Hahnemann among them, prescribe the vinous extract in various nervous disorders, where opium and hyoscyamus used to be employed, being less heating and devoid of bitterness.'

No information as to the medicinal effect of Hemp exists in the standard work on Materia Medica, to which I have access. Soubeiran, Feé, Merat and de Lens in their admirable dictionary; Chevalier and Richard, Roques (Phytographie Medicale); Ratier and Henry (Pharmacopée Francaise); and the Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales -- are all equally silent on the subject.

In Ainslie's Materia Indica, 2d vol., we find three notices of the plant and its preparations.

At page 39 'Banghie,' (Tamul) with the Persian and Hindee synonymes of 'Beng' and 'Subjee,' is described as an intoxicating liquor prepared with the leaves of the Gunjah or Hemp plant.

Under the head Gunjah, Ainslie gives numerous synonymes, and tells that the leaves are sometimes prescribed in cases of diarrhoea; and in conjunction with turmeric, onions, and warm gingilie oil are made into an unction for painful protruded piles. Dr. Ainslie also gives a brief view of the popular uses, and botanical peculiarities of the plant.

Majoon lastly is described by Dr. Ainslie, page 176, as a preparation of sugar, milk, ghee, poppy seeds, flowers of the datura, powder of nux-vomica, and sugar. The true majoon however, as prepared in Bengal, contains neither datura, or nux-vomica. I have already described the process by which it has been manufactured before me.

In the Journal de Pharmacie, the most complete magazine in existence on all pharmaceutical subjects, we find Hemp noticed in several volumes. In the Bulletin de Pharmacie t.v.a. 1810, p. 400, we find it briefly described by M. Rouyer, apothecary to Napoleon, and member of the Egyptian scientific commission, in a paper on the popular remedies of Egypt. With the leaves and tops, he tells us, collected before ripening, the Egyptians prepare a conserve, which serves as the base of the berch, the diasmouk, and the bernaouy. Hemp leaves reduced to powder, and incorporated with honey, or stirred with water, constitute the berch of the poor classes.

The same work also, (Bulletin vol. 1. p. 523, x. 1809,) contains a very brief notice on the intoxicating preparations of Hemp, read by M. De Sacy before the Institute of France in July, 1809. M. De Sacy's subsequent analysis of Makrizi, of which I have given an outline, is however much more rich in details than the article in the Bulletin.

Such was the amount of preliminary information before me, by which I was guided in my subsequent attempts to gain more accurate knowledge of the action, powers, and possible medical applications of this extraordinary agent.

There was sufficient to to show that Hemp possessed in small doses an extraordinary power of stimulating the digestive organs, exciting the cerebral system, of acting also on the generative apparatus. Larger doses, again, were shewn by the historical statements to induce insensibility, or to act as a powerful sedative. The influence of the drug in allaying pain was equally manifest in all the memoirs referred to. As to the evil sequelae so unanimously dwelt on by all writers; these did not appear to me so numerous, so immediate, or so formidable, as many which may be clearly traced to over-indulgence in other powerful stimulants, or narcotics, viz. alcohol, opium, or tobacco.

The dose in which the Hemp preparations might be administered, constituted of course one of the first objects of inquiry. Ibn Beitar had mentioned a direm, or 48 grains of churrus; but this dose seemed to me so enormous, that I deemed it expedient to proceed with much smaller quantities. How fortunate was this caution, the sequel will sufficiently denote.

Experiments of the author -- Inferences as to the action of the drug on animals and man.

An extensive series of experiments on animals, was in the first place undertaken, among which the following may be cited:

Expt. 1. -- Ten grains of Nipalese churrus, dissolved in spirit, were given to a middling-sized dog. In half an hour he became stupid and sleepy, dozing at intervals, starting up, wagging his tail, as if extremely contented; he ate some food greedily; on being called to, he staggered to and fro, and his face assumed a look of utter helpless drunkenness. These symptoms lasted about two hours, and then gradually passed away; in six hours he was perfectly well and lively.

Expt. 2. -- One drachm of majoon was given to a small-sized dog; he ate it with great delight, and in twenty minutes was ridiculously drunk; in four hours his symptoms passed away, also without harm.

Expt. 3, 4, & 5 -- Three kids had ten grains each of the alcoholic extract of gunjah. In one no effect was produced; in the second there was much heaviness and some inability to move; in the third a marked alteration of countenance was conspicuous, but no further effect.

Expt. 6. -- Twenty grains were given, dissolved in a little spirit, to a dog of very small size. In a quarter of an hour he was intoxicated; in half an hour he had great difficulty of movement; in an hour he had lost all power over the hinder extremities, which were rather stiff but flexible; sensibility did not seem to be impaired, and the circulation was natural. He readily acknowledged calls by an attempt to rise ue. In four hours he was quite well.

In none of these, or several other experiments, was there the least indication of pain, or any degree of convulsive movement observed.

It seems needless to dwell on the details of each experiment; suffice it to say that they led to one remarkable result. -- That while carnivorous animals, and fish, dogs, cats, swine, vultures, crows, and adjutants, invariably and speedily exhibited the intoxicating influence of the drug, the graminivorous, such as the horse, deer, monkey, goat, sheep, and cow, experienced but trivial effects from any dose we administered.

Encouraged by these results, no hesitation could be felt as to the perfect safety of giving the resin of Hemp an extensive trial in the cases in which its apparent powers promised the greatest degree of utility.

Cases of Rheumatism treated by Hemp

The first cases selected were two of acute rheumatism, and one of that disease in the chronic form. In the two former but little relief had been derived from a fair trial of antiphlogistic measures, and Dover's powder with antimonials -- In the last case sarsaparilla at first, and subsequently the Hemides-mus Indicus, with warm baths, had been tried without advantage.

On the 6th of November, 1838, one grain of the resin of Hemp was administered in solution at 2 P.M. to each of these three patients.

At 4 P.M. it was reported that one was becoming very talkative, was singing songs, calling loudly for an extra supply of food, and declaring himself in perfect health. The other two patients remained unaffected.

At 6 P.M. I received a report to the same effect, but stating that the first patient was now falling asleep.

At 8 P.M. I was alarmed by an emergent note from Nobinchunder Mitter, the clinical clerk on duty, desiring my immediate attendance at the Hospital, as the patient's symptoms were very peculiar and formidable. I went to the Hospital without delay, and found him lying on his cot quite insensible, but breathing with perfect regularity, his pulse and skin natural, and the pupils freely contractile on the approach of light.

Alarmed and pained beyond description at such a state of things, I hurried to the other patients, found one asleep, the third awake, intelligent, and free from any symptoms of intoxication or alarm.

Returning then to the first, an emetic was directed to be prepared, and while waiting for it, I chanced to lift up the patient's arm. The professional reader will judge of my astonishment, when I found that it remained in the posture in which I placed it. It required but a very brief examination of the limbs to find that the patient had, by the influence of this narcotic, been thrown into that strange and most extraordinary of all nervous conditions, into that state what so few have seen, and the existence of which so many still discredit -- the genuine catalepsy of the nosologist.

It had been my good fortune years before to have witnessed two unequivocal cases of this disorder. One occurred in the female clinical ward in Edinburgh, under Dr. Duncan's treatment, and was reported by myself for the Lancet in 1828. The second took place in 1831, in a family with whom I resided in London. The case was witnessed by Dr. Silver, Mr. George Mills, and several other professional friends. In both these cases the cataleptic state was established in full perfection, and in both the paroxysm ran on each occasion a regular course, and terminated suddenly without any evil consequence.

To return to our patient. We raised him to a sitting posture, and placed his arms and limbs in every imaginable attitude. A waxen figure could not be more pliant, or more stationery in each position, no matter how contrary to the natural influence of gravity on the part.

To all impressions he was meanwhile almost insensible; he made no sign of understanding questions; could not be aroused. A sinapism to the epigastrium caused no sign of pain. The pharynx and its coadjutor muscles acted freely in the deglutition of stimulant remedies which I thought it advisable to administer, although the manifest cataleptic state had freed me altogether of the anxiety under which I before laboured.

The second patient had meanwhile been roused by the noise in the ward, and seemed vastly amused at the strange aspect of the statue-like attitudes in which the first patient had been placed, when on a sudden he uttered a loud peal of laughter, and exclaimed that four spirits were springing with his bed into the air. In vain we attempted to pacify him, his laughter became momentarily more and more incontrollable. We now observed that the limbs were rather rigid, and in a few minutes more his arms or legs could be bent, and would remain in any desired position. A strong stimulant drink was immediately given, and a sinapism applied. Of the latter he made no complaint, but his intoxication led him to such noisy exclamations, that we had to remove him to a separate room; here he soon became tranquil, his limbs in less than an hour gained their natural condition, and in two hours he experienced himself perfectly well, and excessively hungry.

The first patient continued cataleptic till 1 P.M., when consciousness and voluntary motion quickly returned, and by 2 A.M. he was exactly in the same state as the second patient.

The third man experienced no effect whatever, and on further inquiry, it was found that he was habituated to the use of gunjah in the pipe.

On the following day it gave me much pleasure to find that both individuals, above mentioned, were not only uninjured by the narcotic, but much relieved of their rheumatism; they were discharged quite cured in three days after.

The fourth case of trial was an old muscular cooly, a rheumatic malingerer, and to him half a grain of Hemp resin was given in a little spirit. The first day's report will suffice for all. -- In two hours the old gentleman became talkative and musical, told several stories, and sang songs to a circle of highly delighted auditors; ate the dinners of two persons subscribed for him in the ward, sought also for other luxuries we can scarcely venture to allude to, and finally fell soundly asleep, and so continued till the following morning. On the noonday visit, he expressed himself free from headache, or any other unpleasant sequel, and begged hard for a repetition of the medicine, in which he was indulged for a few days and then discharged.

In several cases of acute and chronic rheumatism admitted about this time, half-grain doses of the resin were given, with closely analogous effects; -- alleviation of pain in most -- remarkable increase of appetite in all -- unequivocal aphrodisia, and great mental cheerfulness. In no one case did these effects proceed to delirium, or was there any tendency to quarrelling. The disposition developed was uniform in all, and in one was the headache or sickness of stomach a sequela of the excitement.

Case of Hydrophobia.

A case now occurred in which the influence of a narcotic, capable either of cheering or of inducing harmless insensibility, would be fraught with blessings to the wretched patient.

On the 22nd November, at 9 A.M., a note in English was handed to me by my servant, entreating my assistance for the Hakim Abdullah, then at my gate, who had been bitten by a rabid dog, three weeks before, and who feared that the miserable consequences of the bite already had commenced. I found the poor man in a carriage, he was perfectly composed, though quite convinced of the desperate nature ofhis case. He told me that the evening before, on passing near a tank, he started in alarm, and since then was unable to swallow liquid. His eye was restless, suspicious, and wild; his features anxious, his pulse 125, his skin bedewed with cold moisture; he stated nevertheless that he wished for food and felt well; a small red and painful cicatrix existed on the left fore-arm.

He was immediately removed to the Hospital, where I accompanied him. By his own desire water was brought near his lips; -- never can I forget the indescribable horrors of the paroxysm which ensued. It abated in about three minutes, and morbid thirst still goading the unhappy man, he besought his servant to apply a moistened cloth to his lips. Intelligent and brave, he determinately awaited the contact of the cloth, and for a few seconds, though in appalling agony, permitted some drops to trickle on his tongue, -- but then ensued a second struggle, which, with a due share of the callousness of my profession, I could not stand by to contemplate.

Two grains of Hemp resin in a soft pillular mass were ordered every hour; after the third dose he stated that he felt commencing intoxication -- he now chatted cheerfully on his case, and displayed great intelligence and experience in the treatment of the very disease with which he was visited. He talked calmly of drinking, but said it was in vain to try -- but he could suck an orange; this was brought to him, and he succeeded in swallowing the juice without any difficulty.

The Hemp was continued till the sixth dose, when he fell asleep and had some hours' rest. Early the ensuing morning, however, Mr. Siddons, my assistant, was called up to him, and found him in a state of tumultuous agony and excitement: tortured by thirst he attempted to drink, -- but I will spare the reader the details of the horrors which ensued.

The Hemp was again repeated, and again by the third dose the cheering alleviation of the previous day was witnessed. He ate a piece of sugar-cane, and again swallowed the juice -- he partook freely of some moistened rice, and permitted a purgative enema to be administered. His pulse was nearly natural, the skin natural in every respect. His countenance was happy. On one subject only was he incoherent, and even here was manifested the powerful and peculiar influence of the narcotic. He spoke in raptures of the inmates of his zenana and his anxiety to be with them. We ascertained however that he had no such establishment.

Four days thus passed away, the doses of Hemp being continued. When he fell asleep, on waking the paroxysms returned, but were again almost immediately assuaged as at first. Meanwhile purgative enemata were employed, and he partook freely of solid food, and once drank water without the least suffering. But about 3 P.M. of the fifth day he sunk into profound stupor, the breathing slightly stertorous; in this state he continued, and without further struggle, death terminated his sufferings at 4 A.M. of the 27th November.

Reviewing the preceding summary of this interesting case, it seems evident that at least one advantage was gained from the use of the remedy; -- the awful malady was stripped of its horrors; if not less fatal than before, it was reduced to less than the scale of suffering which precedes death from most ordinary diseases. It must be remembered too that in the first case ever so treated, I possessed no data to guide me as to the dose or manner of administration of the drug. The remarkable cases of tetanus detailed in the sequel, throw light on these important points, and will lead in future cases to the unhesitating administration of much larger quantities than at first I ventured to employ. I am not however rash enough to indulge the hope which involuntarily forces itself upon me, that we will ever from this narcotic derive an effectual remedy, for even a solitary case of this disease -- but next to cure, the physician will perhaps esteem the means which enable him 'to strew the path to the tomb with flower,' and to divest of its specific terrors the most dreadful malady to which mankind is exposed.

While the preceding case was under treatment, and exciting the utmost interest in the school, several pupils commenced experiments on themselves, to ascertain the effects of the drug. In all, the state of the pulse was noted before taking a dose, and subsequently the effects were observed by two pupils of much intelligence. The result of several trials was, that in as small doses as the quarter of a grain, after an average interval of one hour, the pulse was increased in fulness and frequency; the surface of the body glowed; the appetite became extraordinary; vivid ideas crowded the mind; unusual loquacity occurred; and with scarcely any exception, great aphrodisia was experienced.

In one pupil, Dionath Dhur, a retiring lad of very quiet habits, ten drops of the tincture, equal to a grain of the resin, induced in twenty minutes the most amusing effects I ever witnessed. A shout of laughter ushered in the symptoms, and a transitory state of cataleptic rigidity occurred for two or three minutes. Summoned to witness the effects, we found him enacting the part of a Raja giving orders to his couriers; he could recognize none of his fellow-students or acquaintances; all to his mind seemed as his own condition; he spoke of many years having passed since his student's days; described his teachers and friends with a piquancy which a dramatist would envy; detailed the adventures of an imaginary series of years, his travels, his attainment of wealth and power. He entered on discussions on religious, scientific, and political topics, with astonishing eloquence, and disclosed an extent of knowledge, reasoning, and a ready apposite wit, which those who knew him best were altogether unprepared for. For three hours and upwards he maintained the character he at first assumed, and with a degree of ease and dignity perfectly becoming his high situation. A scene more interesting it would be difficult to imagine. It terminated nearly as rapidly as it commenced, and no headache, sickness, or other unpleasant symptom followed the innocent excess.

In the symptoms above described we are unavoidably led to trace a close resemblance to the effects produced by the reputed inspiration of the Delphic Oracles -- perhaps it would not be very erroneous to conclude, that it was referable to the same kind of excitement.

Use in Cholera.

An epidemic cholera prevailing at this period, two of the students administered the tincture of Hemp in several cases of that disease, and cures were daily reported by its alleged efficacy. Dr. Goodeve was thus led to try it in several cases, and his report was in the highest degree favourable. The diarrhoea was in every instance checked, and the stimulating effect of the drug clearly manifested. The Durwan of the College, an athletic Rajpoot, was attacked, and came under my treatment after he had been ill seven hours; he was pulseless, cold, and in a state of imminent danger; the characteristic evacuations streaming from him without effort -- half a grain of the Hemp resin was given, and in twenty minutes the pulse returned, the skin became warm, the purging ceased, and he fell asleep. In an hour he was cataleptic, and continued so for several hours. In the morning he was perfectly well, and at his duty as usual.

It is but fair to state, however, that the character of the epidemic was not at the time malignant. I admit the cases to be inconclusive, but I conceive them to be promising, and that they deserve the close attention of the practitioner.

Use in Tetanus

I now proceed to notice a class of most important uses, in which the results obtained are of the character which warrants me in regarding the powers of the remedy as satisfactorily and incontrovertibly established. I allude to its use in the treatment of traumatic tetanus, or lock-jaw, next to hydrophobia, perhaps the most intractable and agonizing of the whole catalogue of human maladies.

The first case of this disease treated by Hemp was that of Ramjan Khan, aet. 30, admitted to the College Hospital on the 13th of December, 1838, for a sloughing ulcer on the back of the left hand. Five days previously a native empiric had applied a red hot gool (the mixture of charcoal and tobacco used in the hookah) to the back of the left wrist, as a remedy for chronic dysentery and spleen. The patient's brother was similarly cauterized on the same day. In both sloughing took place down to the tendons. Symptoms of tetanus occurred on the 24th of December. The brother who had refused to avail himself of European aid had been seized with tetanus at his ownh ome four days previously, and died after three days' illness. On the 26th December, spasms set in and recurred at intervals of a few minutes; the muscles of the abdomen, neck, and jaw, became firmly, and permanently contracted. Large doses of opium with calomel having been administered for some hours, without the least alleviation of symptoms, and his case having on consultation been pronounced completely hopeless, I obtained Dr. Egerton's permission to subject the poor man to the trial of the Hemp resin. Two grains were first given at 2 1/2 P.M., dissolved in a little spirit. In half an hour the patient felt giffy; at 5 P.M. his eyes were closed, he felt sleepy, and expressed himself much intoxicated.

He slept at intervals during the night, but on waking had convulsive attacks.

On the 27th, two grains were given every third hour -- (a purgative enema was also administered, which operated three times); the stiffness of the muscles became much less towards evening, but the spasms returned at intervals as before. Pulse and skin natural.

28th. -- Improved; is lethargic but intelligent. Spasms occasionally recur, but at much longer intervals, and in less severity.

29th. -- Dose of Hemp increased to three grains every second hour. Symptoms moderating.

30. -- Much intoxicated; continues to improve.

1st January 1839. A Hemp cataplasm applied to the ulcer, and internal use of remedy continued; towards evening was much improved; no permanent rigidity; had passed two dysenteric stools.

2nd Morning report. Has passed a good night, and seems much better. Hemp continued. Evening report. Doing remarkably well.

3rd, 4th, and 5th. -- Continues to improve. Hemp resin in two grain doses every 5th hour.

6th, 5 A.M. Feverish; skin hot; pulse quick; all tetanic symptoms gone; passing mucous and bloody stools; leeches to abdomen; starch and opium enema, with three grains acetate of lead, every second hour; tepid sponging to the body; Hemp omitted.

7th, 6 A.M. Still feverish; stools frequent, mucous; abdomen tender on pressure. No appetite. The ulcer sloughy, ragged, and offensive. Opium and acetate of lead continued. Abdomen leeched. Sore dressed with water. At noon there was slight rigidity of abdominal muscles; Hemp resumed. At 3 P.M. became intoxicated and hungry, ulcer extremely dry, foul, and abominably foetid; towards evening rigidity ceased. Hemp discontinued.

From this day the tetanus may be considered to have ceased altogether, but the dysenteric symptoms continued, despite of the use of opium and acetate of lead; the ulcer too proved utterly intractable. Some improvement in the dysenteric symptoms occurred from the 10th to the 15th, when natural stools were passed; he seemed gaining strength, but the wound was in no wise improved, the slough on the contrary threatened to spread, and two metacarpal bones lay loose in the centre of the sore; on consultation it was agreed to amputate the arm, but to this the patient peremptorily objected. The mortification now spread rapidly, and to our infinite regret, he died of exhausion on the night of the 23rd January.

An unprejudiced review of the preceding details exhibits the sedative powers of the remedy in the most favourable light; and although the patient died, it must be remembered that it was of a different disease, over which it is not presumed that Hemp possesses the least power.

The second case was that of Chunoo Syce, (treated by Mr. O'Brien at the Native Hospital) in whom tetanus supervened on the 11th December, after an injury from the kick of a horse. After an ineffectual trial of turpentine and castor oil in large doses, two grain doses of Hemp resin were given on the 26th November. He consumed in all 134 grains of the resin, and left the Hospital cured on the 28th December.

Third case. Huroo, a female aged 25, admitted to the Native Hospital on 16th December; had tetanus for the three previous days, the sequel of a cut on the left elbow received a fortnight before. Symptoms violent on admission. Turpentine and castor oil given repeatedly without effect; on the 16th and 17th, three grains of Hemp resin were given at bed-time. On the morning of the 18th she was found in a state of complete catalepsy, and remained so until evening, when she became sensible, and a tetanic paroxysm recurred. Hemp resumed, and continued in two grain doses every fourth hour. From this time till the third hour tetanic symptoms returned. She subsequently took a grain twice daily till the 8th of February, when she left the Hospital quite well.

Mr. O'Brien has since used the Hemp resin in five cases, of which four were admitted in a perfectly hopeless state. He employed the remedy in ten grain doses dissolved in spirit. The effect he describes as almost immediate relaxation of the convulsive tendency. Of Mr. O'Brien's eight cases, four have recovered.

In the Police Hospital of Calcutta, the late Dr. Bain has used the remedy in three cases of traumatic tetanus, of these one has died and two recovered.

A very remarkable case has recently occurred in the practice of my cousin, Mr. Richard O'Shaughnessy. The patient was a Jew, aged 30, attacked with tetanus during the progress of a sloughing sore of the scrotum, the sequel of a neglected hydrocele. Three grain doses were used every second hour, with the effect of inducing intoxication, and suspending the symptoms. The patient has recovered perfectly, and now enjoys excellent health. The details of this case are given as a companion article to this paper.

Besides the preceding cases I have heard of two of puerperal trismus thus treated in native females. Both terminated fatally, an event which cannot discredit the remedy, when it is remembered that the Hindoo native females of all ranks are placed during, and subsequent to their confinement, in a cell within which large logs of wood are kept constantly ignited. The temperature of these dens I have found to exceed 130 of Fahrenheit's scale.

The preceding facts are offered to the professional reader with unfeigned diffidence, and to the inferences I feel disposed to derive from the consideration. To me they seem unequivocally to shew, that when given boldly, and in large doses, the resin of Hemp is capable of arresting effectually the progress of this formidable disease, and in a large proportion of cases of effecting a perfect cure.

The facts are such at least as justify the hope that the virtues of the drug may be widely and severely tested in the multitudes of these appalling cases which present themselves in all Indian Hospitals.

Case of Infantile Convulsions

A very interesting case of this disease has recently occurred in my private practice; the particulars of which I have the permission of the family to insert in this paper.

A female infant, 40 days old, the child of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. of Calcutta, on the 10th Septembet, had a slight attack of convulsions, which recurred chiefly at night for about a fortnight, and for which the usual purgative, warm baths, and a few doses of calomel and chalk were given without effect. On the 23rd the convulsive paroxysms became very severe and the bowels being but little deranged, two leeches were applied to the head. Leeches, purgatives, and opiates were alternately resorted to, and without the slightest benefit up to the 30th of September.

On that day the attacks were almost unceasing and amounted to regular tetanic paroxysms. The child had moreover completely lost appetite, and was emaciating rapidly.

I had by this exhausted all the usual methods of treatment, and the child was apparently in a sinking state.

Under these circumstances I stated to the parents the results of the experiments I had made with the Hemp, and my conviction that it would relieve their infant, if relief could possibly be obtained.

They gladly consented to the trial, and a single drop of the spiritous tincture, equal to the one-twentieth part of a grain in weight, was placed on the child's tongue at 10 P.M. No immediate effect was perceptible, and in an hour and a half two drops more were given. The infant fell asleep in a few minutes, and slept soundly till 4 P.M. when she awoke, screamed for food, took the breast freely, and fell asleep again. At 9 A.M., 1st October, I found the child fast asleep, but easily roused; the pulse, countenance and skin perfectly natural. In this drowsy state she continued for four days totally free from convulsive symptoms in any form. (During this time the bowels were frequently spontaneously relieved, and the appetite returned to the natural degree.)

October 4th. At 1 A.M. convulsions returned, and continued at intervals during the day; five drop doses of the tincture were given hourly. Up to midnight there were thirty fits, and forty-four drops of the tincture of Hemp were ineffectually given.

October 5th. Paroxysms continued during the night; at 11 A.M. it was found that the tincture in use during the preceding days had been kept by the servants in a small bottle with a paper stopper; that the spirit had evaporated, and the whole of the resin settled on the sides of the phial. The infant had in fact been taking drops of 'water' during the preceding day.

A new preparation was given in three drop doses during the 5th and 6th, and increased to eight drops; with the effect of diminishing the violence though not of preventing the return of the paroxysm.

On the 7th, I met Dr. Nicholson in consultation, and despairing of a cure from the Hemp, it was agreed to intermit its use, to apply a mustard poultice to the epigastrium, and to give a dose of castor oil and turpentine. The child, however, rapidly became worse, and at 2 P.M. a tetanic spasm set in, which lasted without intermission till 6 1/2 P.M. A cold bath was given without solution of the spasm -- the Hemp was therefore again resorted to, and the dose of 30 drops, equal to 1 1/2 grains of the resin, given at once.

Immediately after this dose was given the limbs relaxed, the little patient fell fast asleep, and so continued for thirteen hours. While asleep, she was evidently under the narcotic influence of the drug.

On the 8th October, at 4 A.M., there was a severe fit, and from this hour to ten at night 25 fits occurred and 130 drops of the tincture were given in 80 drop doses, equal to 15 grains of the resin. It was now manifestly a struggle between the disease and the remedy, but at 10 P.M. she was again narcoticized, and from that hour no fit returned.

On the three following days there was considerable griping, and on administering large doses of almond oil, several small dark green lumps of the Hemp resin were voided, which gave effectual relief. The child is now (23rd November) in the enjoyment of robust health, and has regained her natural plump and happy appearance.

In reviewing this case several very remarkable circumstances present themselves. At first we find three drops, or one twentieth of a grain, causing profound narcoticism; subsequently we find 130 drops daily required to produce the same effect. The severity of the symptoms doubtless must be taken chiefly into account, in endeavouring to explain this circumstance. It was too soon for habit to gain ascendancy over the narcotic powers of the drug. Should the disease ever recur, it will be a matter of much interest to notice the quantity of the tincture requisite to afford relief. The reader will remember that this infant was but sixty days old when 130 drops were given in one day, of the same preparation of which ten drops had intoxicated the student Dinonath Dhur, who took the drug for experiment. 130 drops are equal again to 15 grains of the resin, one grain of which occasioned profound trance (or catalepsy) in two men labouring under rheumatism.

Delirium occasioned by continued Hemp inebriation.

Before quitting this subject, it is desirable to notice the singular form of delirium which the incautious use of the Hemp preparations often occasions, especially among young men first commencing the practice. Several such cases have presented themselves to my notice. They are as peculiar as the 'delirium tremens,' which succeeds the prolonged abuse of spiritous liquors, but are quite distinct from any other species of delirium with which I am acquainted.

This state is at once recognized by the strange balancing gait of the patient's; a contant rubbing of the hands; perpetual giggling; and a propensity to caress and chafe the feet of all bystanders of whatever rank. The eye wears an expression of cunning and merriment which can scarcely be mistaken. In a few cases, the patients are violent; in many highly aphrodisiac; in all that I have seen, voraciously hungry. There is no increased heat or frequency of circulation, or any appearance of inflammation or congestion, and the skin and general functions are in a perfectly natural state.

A blister to the nape of the neck, leeches to the temples, and nauseating doses of tartar emetic with saline purgatives have rapidly dispelled the symptoms in all the cases I have met with, and have restored the patient to perfect health.

The preceding cases constitute an abstract of my experience on this subject, and which has led me to the belief that in Hemp the profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value. Entertaining this conviction, be it true or false, I deem it my duty to publish it without any avoidable delay in order that the most extensive and the speediest trial may be given to the proposed remedy. I repeat what I have already stated in a previous paper -- that were individual reputation my object, I would let years pass by, and hundreds of cases accumulate before publication, and in publishing I would enter into every kind of elaborate detail. But the object I have proposed to myself in the inquiries is of a very different kind. To gather together a few strong facts, to ascertain the limits which cannot be passed without danger, and then pointing out these to the profession, to leave their body to prosecute and decide on the subject of discussion, such seems to me the fittest mode of attempting to explore the medical resources which an untried Materia Medica may contain.

It may be useful to add a formula for making the preparation which I have employed.

The resinous extract is prepared by boiling the rich, adhesive tops of the dried gunjah in spirit (Sp. gr. 835,) until all the resin is dissolved. The tincture thus obtained is evaporated to dryness in a vessel placed over a pot of boiling water. The extract softens at a gentle heat, and can be made into pills without any addition.

The tincture is prepared by dissolving 3 grains of the extract in one drachm of proof spirit.

Doses, &c. -- In Tetanus a drachm of the tincture every half hour until the paroxysms cease, or catalepsy is induced. In Hydrophobia I would recommend the resin in soft pills, to the extent of ten to twenty grains to be chewed by the patient, and repeated according to the effect. In Cholera ten drops of the tincture every half hour will be often found to check the vomiting and purging, and bring back the warmth of the surface; -- my experience would lead me to prefer small doses of the remedy in order to excite rather than narcotise the patient.


  • For very fine specimens of churrus, I have to express my thanks to Dr. Campbell, late assistant Resident at Nipal.
  • By this term is probably meant the first of the Sassanian dynasty, to whom the epithet of 'Khusrow' or Cosroes, equivalent to Kaiser, Caesar, or Czar, has been applied in many generations. This dynasty endured from A.D. 202 to A.D. 635 -- vide note 50 to Lane's translation of the Arabian Nights, vol. ii, p. 226.
  • Handbuch der Medicin. und Pharmac. Botanik, von F. Nees von. Estabeck et Dr. Carl Ebermaier, vol. 1, p. 338.
  • The nurse, I should have mentioned, was changed early in the illness, and change of air resorted to on the river, but in vain.
  • Reprinted from Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Bengal, 1838-1840, pp. 421-461



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Fifth Edition
Philadelphia: Grigg and Elliot (1843)

by George B. Wood, M.D.,

Professor of materia medica and pharmacy in the University of Pennsylvania, one of the physicians of the Pennsylvania Hospital, &c., &c.,

and Franklin Bache, M.D.,

Professor of chemistry in Jefferson Medical College of Philedelphia, one of the vice-presidents of the American Philosophical Society, &c., &c.

CANNABIS SATIVA. Hemp. An annual plant, originally from Asia, but now cultivated in various parts of Europe and North America. The leaves are possessed of narcotic properties, and are employed in Persia and the East Indies, in the form of infusion, as an intoxicating drink.; They are also smoked, in these and other countries of the East, in the same manner as tobacco, with which they are frequently mixed.

A resinous exudation from the plant is much employed for the same purpose. Even the odour of the fresh plant is stated to be capable of producing vertigo, headache, and a species of intoxication. According to Dr. O'Shaughnessy, of Calcutta, who has experimented with this narcotic, it alleviates pain, exhilarates the spirits, increases the appetite, acts decidedly as an aphrodisiac, produces sleep, and in large doses, occasions intoxication, a peculiar kind of delirium, and catalepsy. Its operation, in the hands of Dr. Pereira, appeared to resemble very much that of opium. (Pereira's Mat. Med.) Dr. O'Shaughnessy employed an alcoholic extract of the dried tops with great advantage in tetanus, and with alleviating effects in a fatal case of hydrophobia. He gave the remedy usually in doses of two or three grains, at intervals of two, three, or four hours; though, in these violent affections, the quantity may be much increased; and in hydrophobia from ten to twenty grains may be given at once. He employed the remedy also in rheumatism and cholera, giving, in the latter affection, ten drops every half hour, of a solution made with three grains of the extract and a drachm of proof spirit. (Medical Examiner, iii. 530) The seeds of hemp have also been used in medicine. They are about the eighth of an inch long, roundish-ovate, somewhat compressed, of a shining gray colour, inodorous, and of a disagreeable, oily, sweetish taste.

They contain a considerable quantity of fixed oil, which is separated by expression, and used to some extend in the arts. They contain also uncrystallizable sugar and albumen, and when rubbed with water afford an emulsion, which may be used advantageously in inflammatory affections of the mucous membranes, though it is not superior to a similar preparation from other emulsive seeds. They are much used as food for birds, which are fond of them. It is, however, for the fibrous bark of hemp, and the various products manufactured from it, that the plant is chiefly cultivated. Some consider the hemp cultivated in the East as specifically different from the common hemp; and name it Cannabis Indica, but most botanists think the two plants identical.


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New Remedies:Pharmaceutically and Therapeutically Considered Fourth Edition (1843)

Excerpts from

Pharmaceutically and Therapeutically Considered

Fourth Edition
Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard (1843)

by Robley Dunglison, M.D.,

Professor of the Institutes of Medicine, etc., in Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia; lecturer on clinical medicine and attending physician to the Philadelphia Hospital; corresponding secretary of the American Philosophical Society, etc., etc.



SYNONYMES. Indian Hemp, Gunjah.

Dr. Pereira states, that the Cannabis, which grows in India and has been described by some botanists under the name Cannabis Indica, does not appear to him to possess any specific differences from the common hemp, Cannabis sativa; and accordingly, by many botanists, they have been regarded as identical.

The narcotic effects have been long known to the people of Southern Africa, South America, Turkey, Egypt, Asia Minor, India, and the adjacent countries of the Malays, Burmese, and Siamese, by whom it is used in various forms to induce intoxication. It is, likewise, extensively employed in popular practice in various diseases. In Western Europe its use is unknown, and it is questionable, whether the the hemp of that region or of this country be possessed of the same properties. Dr. O'Shaughnessy states, that the extraordinary symptoms produced by the oriental plant depend upon a resinous secretion with which it abounds, and which seems to be wholly absent in the European plant. The absence of the resinous secretion, and consequent want of narcotic power, he ascribes to difference of climate.

Within the last few years, Dr. O'Shaughnessy, of Calcutta, has detailed many interesting facts in regard to the therapeutic agency of this plant, which, "we doubt not" - says a recent writer -"will cause a great sensation among the members of the profession throughout the world."

In certain seasons, and in warm countries, a resinous juice exudes, and concretes on the leaves, slender stems and flowers of the Cannabis. This constitutes the churrus of Nipal and Hindusthan, and in it reside the powers of all the preparations of hemp. This resin -- cannabin -- is very soluble in alcohol and ether; partially soluble in alkaline, but insoluble in acid, solutions. When pure, it is of a blackish-grey colour; it is hard at 90 degrees of Fahrenheit, but softens at higher temperatures, and fuses readily. It is soluble in the fixed, and in several volatile oils. Its odour is fragrant and narcotic; taste slightly warm, bitterish, and acrid. The dried hemp plant, which has flowered, and from which the resin has not been removed, is called Gunjah. It yields to alcohol twenty per cent. of resinous extract, composed of the resin -- churrus -- and green colouring matter. The Gunjah is used for smoking. The larger leaves and capsules, without the stalks, constitute Sidhee, Subjee, or Bang, which is used to form with water an intoxicating drink. When the plant is distilled with a large quantity of water, traces of volatile oil pass over, and the distilled liquor has the powerful narcotic odour of the plant.


The effects of this remedy would appear to have been well known to the Arabian and Persion physicians of both modern and ancient periods; but the first person, who seems to have well tested its properties is Dr. O'Shaughnessy. In his various experiments, he did not observe the least indication of pain, or any degree of convulsive movement. They all, he affirms, "led to one remarkable result, -- that while carnivorous animals and fish, dogs, cats, swine, vultures, crows, and adjutants invariably and speedily exhibited the intoxicating influence of the drug, the graminivorous, -- such as the horse, deer, monkey, goat, sheep, and cow, -- experienced but trivial effects from any dose that was administered." Encouraged by these results, Dr. O'Shaughnessy felt no hesitation as to the perfect safety of giving the resin of hemp an extensive trial in cases in which its apparent powers promised the greatest degree of utility.

The general effects observed on man were alleviation of pain in most cases, remarkable augmentation of the appetite, aphrodisia, and great mental cheerfulness. The more violent effects were a peculiar form of delirium, and a cataleptic state.

Dr. Pereira experimented on some specimens of Gunjah and Nipalese churrus, which were sent to him by Dr. O'Shaughnessy. He tried them both on animals and man, and gave specimens of them to medical friends; but their effects were found to be comparatively slight. "Whether," -- says Dr. Pereira, -- "this be owing to the preparations having undergone some deterioration in their passage, or to the comparative phlegmatic temperament of the English, I know not. My experiments on animals were made in the Lecture-room of the London Hospital before the students of the Materia Medica class; and the trials on the human subject were made in the wards of the hospital."


Indian hemp was prescribed by Dr. O'Shaughnessy in various diseases. In rheumatism, acute and chronic, the results were not very satisfactory. In one case, the most marked catalepsy supervenes along with the usual intoxicating effects. In a case of hydrophobia, the soothing influence of the remedy was very great; but the disease terminated fatally. In cholera, he considered its agency to be "promising, and to deserve the attention of the practitioner." The testimony is strongest in regard to its influence in traumatic tetanus; of which Dr. O'Shaughnessy refers to fourteen cases: of these, nine appear to have recovered. From the results of these cases, he concludes, that the resin of hemp, given boldly and in large doses, is capable of arresting effectually the progress of that formidable disease, "and in a large proportion of cases, of effecting a perfect cure;" -- and further; "that in hemp the profession has gained an anticonvulsive remedy of the greatest value."

With such strong evidence in its favour, it is certainly important, that Indian hemp should be subjected to a full and fair trial; and even admitting that it may fall short of the character given of it by Dr. O'Shaughnessy, it can scarcely fail to be an important addition to our Materia Medica.


The preparations used by Dr. O'Shaughnessy are the following: --

Extractum cannabis Indicæ alcoholicum.

Resinous or alcoholic extract of Indian hemp.

This is prepared by boiling the rich adhesive tops of the dried Gunjah in alcohol (.835) until all the resin is dissolved. The tincture, thus obtained, is evaporated to dryness in a vessel placed over a pot of boiling water.

In hydrophobia, the resin in soft pill, to the amount of ten to twenty grains, is directed to be chewed by the patient, and to be repeated according to the effect.

Tinctura cannabis Indicæ.

Tincture of Indian hemp.


Of this a dram is given in tetanus every half hour, until the paroxysms cease, or catalepsy is induced. In cholera, ten drops given every half hour were often found to check the vomiting and purging, and bring back warmth to the surface. Dr. O'Shaughnessy's experience leads him to prefer small doses of the remedy in order to excite rather than narcotize the patient.



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On the Haschisch or Cannabis Indica 1857

John Bell, M.D.

The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
16 April 1857 & 23 April 1857

The various periodicals of this country have abounded, during the last few years, with accounts of the Haschisch; every experimenter giving the history of the effects it has had upon himself. In most cases this has been mingled with much fanciful and irrelevant matter. These notices have been confined almost exclusively to the various popular literary journals, but it has not received the attention it merits in those exclusively devoted to medicine. Under these circumstances, the following résumé of what has been written on the subject, seen through the medium of personal experience, may not be destitute of interest.

Among the nations professing Mahometanism, there are not a few substances used as substitutes for the alcoholic liquors interdicted by the author of that religion. They are everywhere the most inveterate users of tobacco, opium, coffee, and a variety of other narcotics less generally known. Among these latter, no one has recently attracted so much attention as the Haschisch, Cannabis Indica, or Indian Hemp. It is only within a few years, comparatively, that a knowledge of it has come to us, but it has been in general use for many centuries at the East, and reference is even thought to have been made to it by the ancient classic authors. The novelty of its effects and its apparent harmlessness have induced travellers in Egypt and Asia to experiment upon themselves, and a knowledge of it has thus found its way to the nations of the West. The defective pharmaceutic process employed by the inhabitants of its native countries, render its preparations of very different strength, and admixtures of various foreign substances make its effects uncertain. A specimen obtained from Damascus contained about twenty-five percent of opium, a considerable quantity of camphor and spices, and nearly half was a mixture of rancid butter and extract of hemp. The substance widely known in this country under the Arabic name of Haschisch, is obtained by boiling the leaves and flowers of the plant with butter, and, when pure and carefully prepared, is a very active preparation. The extracts prepared in this country from the Indian plant, contain all the properties of the Haschisch, and are every way preferable to it. The common hemp, though believed by botanists to be a variety of the same species as its Indian congener, is entirely destitute of the property which distinguishes the latter. This difference alone, if found to be permanent, would be sufficient to cause them to be regarded as distinct species.

The action of the drug is not confined to any single part of the system. It is an efficient but slow cathartic, an active diuretic and sudorific, and a most irresistible hypnotic in the latter stages of its action. But it is better known for its effect upon the nervous system; it is for this object that it is extensively employed in the East, and it is in this connection that it possesses its greatest interest. Abundant personal experience of it leads me to think that its peculiar effects upon the nervous system are only a secondary result of its action upon the mucous membrane throughout the whole track of the alimentary canal.

The slowness of its action, not commencing in less than two hours after the dose is taken; the sensation of dryness, and afterward the abundant secretion in the throat and mouth; the heat throughout the abdomen; and the soreness which persists for several days; and, finally, the absence of any symptoms of nervous debility, when the immediate effects are gone; all point to this as its modus operandi.

It would seem as though it were absorbed, and that in this process of being thrown off, it occasioned those phantasies which have caused it to be used as an intoxicating agent. In the dose usually recommended, of from one to three grains, it is absolutely inert: five grains is the smallest quantity from which any perceptible effects are to be expected, and generally more will be required.

Few persons, perhaps, who have read the brilliant "Confessions of an English Opium Eater," have been without a fancy to experience the wonderful effects there described: all who have yielded to the desire, have been disappointed. If any one supposes the intoxication of Haschisch to be of the same nature, a few grains of the drug will most efficiently purge him of the idea. On the first trial, one is generally frightened at the intensity and violence of its action, and few will be disposed to carry the dose beyond ten grains. Indeed, most will be amply satisfied with having once experienced it. The following were the results of a moderately large dose of Tilden & Co.'s extract.

It was taken with coffee, which increases the effects of the hemp, and at the same time diminishes its duration, perhaps merely by promoting a more rapid absorption. For two hours no results at all were experienced. At this time a dryness seemed to commence at a particular spot in the throat, and a feeling of warmth throughout the abdomen.

These were not the results of disordered sensation, for a clammy mucus soon began to be secreted, though the huskiness of the throat still remained. Up to this time, there was not the slightest excitement or confusion of thought. Suddenly, however, an idea having no connection with the train of thought passing in the mind at the time, appeared, as though suggested by another person, and then was gone again as suddenly as it came, leaving upon the mind much the same feeling as when one escapes from a dream or a deep reverie.

The same thing was repeated two or three times, at intervals rapidly diminishing in length. Even now I can hardly believe but it was the result of strained attention to my physical sensations, for the gentle warmth of the abdomen was rapidly becoming a burning heat -- still, however, not by any means unpleasant -- and the dryness of the throat had extended to the tongue.

I had taken the drug with great scepticism as to its reputed action, or at any rate with the opinion that it was grossly exaggerated, and I accordingly made up my mind not to be "caught napping" in this way again, and to keep a careful watch over my thoughts.

But while enforcing this resolution, as I supposed, I found myself, to my own astonishment, waking from a reverie longer and more profound than any previous. From scepticism, to the fullest belief of all I had read on the subject, was but a step. Its effects so far surpassed anything which words can convey, that I began to think I was on the verge of narcotic poisoning; yet, strange to say, there was not the slightest feeling of inquietude on that account.

I resolved to walk into the street. While rising from the chair, another lucid interval showed that another dream had come and gone. While passing through the door, I was aware of having wandered again, but how or when I had permitted myself to fall into the reverie I was perfectly unconscious, and knew only that it seemed to have lasted an interminable length of time.

These singular attacks of mental disturbance recurred oftener, and lasted longer, till the lucid interval between was reduced to a mere instant's conscious duration of thought. This condition came on so rapidly, that in less than fifteen minutes from the time of my being aware of the first mental disturbance, the power of controlling the thoughts was almost completely lost. All ideas of time and space were especially bewildered, and I realized completely for the first time the ideas of some metaphysicians, that time, properly speaking, has no existence except in connection with a succession of mental operations or sensations.

The most trivial circumstance, the slighest noise, gave rise to trains of thought, which went bounding from subject to subject, completely emancipated from the rules which ordinarily govern the mental operations, till suddenly some other circumstance would give an entirely new direction to them, and the last series of imaginations would seem to have lasted from eternity, even while the eye was fixed upon the clock, the hand of which had not perceptibly moved.

Now, a phenomenon still more singular began to exhibit itself. I felt that, in spite of all exertions, I was beginning to receive the suggestions of disordered fancy for real objective facts. Intellectually, I knew that the spinal column could not be a barometer, in which mercury had usurped the place of the spinal cord. Yet in another sense, over which the operations of the intellect were completely powerless, I felt that it was a barometer.

An unpleasant sensation in the lumbar region suggested the idea of a heavy column of mercury pressing upon it, and at the time, and under the circumstances, the transition to the idea of the barometer was easy and natural. There was no balancing of arguments in the arrival at this conclusion; there was no half-way period of doubt and uncertainty, to emerge into full credence. At the instant the idea occurred at all, it commanded the assent, with the same fulness as when in perfect mental health does the idea of our own existence.

The thought certainly occurred that it was a delusion, but it made no more impression than the suggestion would, that the sense of sight was a figment of the brain, and objects seen had no existence except in the imagination. This belief was not a transient one; it was the first hallucination to appear, and continued with varying degrees of intensity, as the thoughts were more or less occupied with other subjects, till all others had disappeared.

The belief in the reality of the delusion was never for an instant absent; it pervaded the whole being, and was often the point on which the thoughts turned seemingly for a long time. The painful attempt to regulate these disturbed states of consciousness, was soon given up, and, half voluntarily, half by a species of moral compulsion, the whole psychical nature surrendered itself, without further struggle, to the fullest and most complete belief in the actual existence of a thousand hallucinations.

During this time the thoughts were becoming more and more disordered; ideas, between which, apparently, there was not the slightest connection, thrust themselves in, till finally their rapid recurrence, and the loss of that sense of governing the mind which we ordinarily possess, induced the belief that I was the victim of diabolical agency -- that some terrible demon had taken possession of my whole intellectual being, and identified himself with every thought, in the same way that a man might direct the physical movements of a child. The feeling of utter powerlessness to check the wild current of thought was complete, and there was a sensation as though, if there had been the ability, the will could not be exercised.

The firmest intentions were forgotten in an instant. There seemed to be no difference between the idea and the expression of it in words. A moment was long enough to forget whether it had been expressed or not. The sound of persons whispering in the room, brought with it the belief that they were laying some plot. It was not a vague suspicion that they were intending some injury, such as whispers and glances might excite in any one; but everything they had said -- the particulars of the whole plot -- were present, with the same vividness and overpowering conviction as they always are in true hallucinations.

The fantasia had now arrived at its height. It was an hour and a half since the first sensations of excitement and wandering commenced. About the same time passed before it had completely subsided. The mental phenomena in this stage were as remarkable as while the effects were coming on. One after another the delusions disappeared as rapidly as they came; not by any exercise of the gradually returning regularity of thought, but suddenly -- with a bound -- so that it was surprising to have believed, a moment before, what now appeared so absurd.

The whole time during which there is any perceptible difference from the normal state, is from three to five hours, according to the dose taken. The hemp resembles in its action some other medicines which are erroneously called cumulative.

That is, a dose may be taken without producing any perceptible action; and on another occasion, a dose only a grain larger will act violently. Indeed, the effects of this agent seem to be of such a nature, that there is no resting place between its full action and none at all. A delusion, of the truth of which we are only half convinced, would be no delusion at all. Unlike opium, alcohol, and other narcotics of the order Solanaceae, it leaves behind it no mental confusion, headache, or other signs of a direct and powerful action upon the nervous system.

The secretions of the alimentary canal, however, remain in an unnatural state for several days, and there is a slight oppression felt in the abdomen, if the dose has been at all large. During all the time of its action, there is a tendency to laugh, in spite of the delusions, which are almost uniformly of an unpleasant character. The feeling of buoyancy of spirits is somewhat the same as is caused by a slight dose of alcoholic stimulant.

Amid all the strange vagaries of the Haschisch, the mind preserves the power of taking cognizance of its condition, and to a certain extent of analyzing its operations. The memory of everything said and done is nearly perfect; but of the multitude of thoughts, only those making a more than commonly distinct impression are preserved.

Can this singular substance be put to any useful purpose, to illustrate any of the varied mental phenomena of health and disease? Is it worthy a place in the medical armamentum, from its action alone upon the mind?

The great advances made in the philosophy of medicine during the last half century, have been due almost entirely to the devotion with which pathology has been pursued. Instead of the ill-arranged and ill-understood assemblage of symptoms observed with scrupulous care, which went to make up the idea of a disease, we now direct our aim to strip it of everything fortuitous and to fix in the mind the type of the malady -- those essential features which are uniformly the same under every variety of circumstances, and about which the more obvious symptoms cluster, like the drapery about a statue.

In diseases of the mind, this has not been done: their seat and nature are too deep to be reached by the knife of the morbid anatomist. Esquirol, after a whole life devoted to the study of this subject, and after the most ample opportunities that have ever fallen to the lot of any individual, says, that "Pathological anatomy is yet silent as to the seat of madness; it has not yet demonstrated what is the precise alteration in the encephalon which gives rise to this disease." Nor has greater success obtained in the attempt to explain the relations and analogies of the various forms of insanity.

The cause of the latter failure is sufficiently obvious. Theory has taken the place of fact. No competent individual who has experienced insanity in his own person, has written upon the disease. The insane themselves can rarely give a consistent account of their disease, even if they were qualified, by previous study and observation, to take the best advantage of their own mental state. Even our own observation of the disease is rarely complete: the minor degrees do not come under the care of the physician, and it is only when the more severe cases are evident to all, that friends will acknowledge its existence and submit the unfortunate patient to examination. How imperfect would be our ideas of grief, anger, or pain, if we could only observe their outward manifestations, or listen to a description of them by one who had suffered them! And yet this is all, and more than all that we can know of the intimate nature of insanity, of its connections and analogies, unless we have suffered it in our own persons.

If we had never felt any of the passions, our diagnosis of them might perhaps be as perfect, and the empirical treatment as successful, as now; but a vagueness would necessarily pervade our mind as to their nature, and we should be liable to continual error in reasoning upon them. Southwood Smith well observes, that the symptom of fever termed febrile restlessness cannot be understood by any one who has not experienced it in person.

The most superficial observation of a case of mania, will not fail to show many and strong points of resemblance to that of a person under the influence of a powerful dose of Cannabis Indica. In both there is the same excitement and abruptness of manner, the same rapidity and incoherence of thought, the same false convictions and lesions of the affective faculties. The following description, by Prichard, of an ordinary case of chronic mania, such as composes the greater number in the wards of every hospital, might apply, without the change of a word, to the condition of a person under the influence of the Haschisch. "It is, however, a state of great intellectual weakness, in which none of the operations of the mind are performed with energy or effect.

The memory, the judgment, the powers of attention and combination, are so much impaired, that the individual is wholly inadequate to the duties of society, and incapable of any continued conversation; his actions and conduct are without steadiness and consistency, his thoughts are deficient in concentration and coherence."

There is no really important point in which these manifestations differ from the condition produced by the Haschisch. There is no error of judgment, no delusion or lesion of the will or moral faculties, which is seen in the former state, but what might take its rise in the latter. In this question, the difference of cause of the mental disturbance might at first sight appear an insuperable objection to reasoning from one condition to the other. But is insanity always produced by the same cause?

On the contrary, there is no disease to which the human frame is subject, that acknowledges such a variety. There is hardly a physical or functional lesion of any tissue or organ, but may produce it by its reaction on the nervous system, and it is difficult to say whether the best or worst proclivities of our nature are oftenest regarded as the productive agents of the same mental disease.

If opium and tobacco and alcohol may produce, by long use, without any apparent disease, a mental state which deserves the name of insanity, why may not the fantasia of hemp receive the same name! What reason, then, is there why we may not rely upon its revelations as so many views of the hidden workings of the spirit, in that gravest of all diseases! If this be allowed, the Haschisch may in a degree serve as a key to unlock some at least of the mysteries of mental pathology.

Why may we not thus possess a means of studying the disease in question, better than we have of most others! We can apply to it the principles of experimental philosophy, and test it by the best of means upon the best of subjects. The idea of this application of the medicine originated with Dr. Moreau (de Tours), of Paris, a physician of large experience in his specialty, and whose work on the subject possesses the highest interest, as presenting many views of insanity and kindred subjects, different from those commonly received.

In the study of insanity by this means, if there is any one fact impressed upon the mind more strongly than another, it is that of the essential unity of the whole psychical nature. It is impossible not to recognize the truth that the ordinary language of metaphysics is applicable to the explanation of morbid mental phenomena. The popular division into the intellect, the will, the instincts and the moral faculties, though having a show of precision, and absolutely necessary in common language, conveys too much. Such divisions are too distinct and disconnected to be true to nature. The minute organological divisions and hasty generalizations of the phrenologists are only the results of the same principle carried to a greater extent.

A few words upon each of the kinds of psychical disturbance caused by the Haschisch will conduce to the better understanding of its action, and of its relations with the analogous, or precisely similar phenomena of insanity.

Throughout the whole period of its effects, there is a sense of pleasurable excitement. By the French authors who have experimented and written on the subject, this feeling is regarded as one of the most marked phenomena of the drug. Doubtless this was the case with them: with myself, it has never been so great as is generally represented.

It is true there is a strong tendency to laugh, but it is a laugh in which the feelings participate to a very slight degree. It is the same to whatever subject the thoughts are directed. In delusions of an agreeable or disagreeable character, there is the same smile. It is different entirely from that state of mental excitement, attended with pleasurable emotions, which is met with in the first stages of many cases of insanity. In such instances the sentiments of a pleasure are caused by the most sanguine anticipations of success in every wild project.

It is a feeling which would be very proper, did not its cause show too plainly the intellectual disturbance which pervades it. There is nothing like this in the effects of the Haschisch. The face does not as ordinarily prove a true index to the mind. While the thoughts do not pause long enough upon any subject for the feelings to be touched, the face is covered with smiles. Disagreeable anticipations and a joyful expression of countenance do not seem at all incongruous. It seems to be all on the surface, leaving the depths below unmoved.

The condition is much the same as in dreams, when we are often surprised at our own callousness to all impressions of pleasure and pain: when good and bad fortune alike pass over us without exciting happiness or sorrow. Perhaps upon different temperaments, the action of the drug may be essentially different. My own experience of it has been sufficient to convince me that this sentiment of happiness may be completely lost in the crowd of other phenomena. It would have been hardly worth while to notice so slight a peculiarity, were it not that one of the most interesting of its proposed therapeutic uses is in connection with this property.

It has been proposed by M. Moreau to take advantage of this reputed action, to combat certain varieties of insanity connected with melancholy and depressing delusions. If a series of hallucinations of a pleasing character, or a state of pleasurable excitement, could be produced and kept up for a length of time, the change might become permanent.

The morbid chain of thought might be broken, and the mind resume its healthy action upon the withdrawal of the medicine. Used in this way, the drug would seem to hold a middle place between medical agents as ordinarily used, and the moral discipline which is principally relied on at present. This proposed application is original with M. Moreau, but the idea of superseding melancholy by exciting pleasurable emotions, is certainly as old as the time of David, whose harp succeeded in driving the evil spirit out of Saul.

Such means, in cases of true insanity, have in practice fallen into utter contempt. Music, per se, never has cured an insane patient in our times, or, as a late writer says, "music never cures insanity, except such cases as appear in the comic opera." Music may be, and unquestionably is, of value as one among the diversions and employments which take off the tedium of hospital life, and pro tanto occupy the space in the disordered mind, which would otherwise be absorbed in diseased acts and reflections. M. Moreau reports several instances of doubtful cures effected by the medicine, but confesses that his experience of its use is limited.

The following cases from his work will illustrate its effects upon the variety of insanity in question. "Two patients suffering under melancholia, after five or six hours experienced a lively excitement, with all the characters of gaiety and sprightliness which we have observed. One especially, tormented by terrors of imagination and melancholy delusions, who had not spoken ten words a day for more than nine months, did not cease to chat and laugh and joke during the whole evening. I rarely found in his words any connection with the ideas which habitually occupied his attention. However, the excitment over, both fell again into their previous condition."

The use of the Haschisch, with this view, has not been extensive in this country -- not so extensive as it deserves to be. It has been tried, however, in several of the insane hospitals, but the results have not been encouraging. Indeed, in most cases they have been completely null, so that the suspicion has been engendered that it does not possess the physiological action attributed to it. Nothing could be more unfounded; there is no article in the whole materia medica which, according to my observation, is more to be depended upon to induce its peculiar effects. But it must be given in doses much larger than those usually employed, that any effects may be experienced from it. We could hardly expect that cases having their origin in extensive physical disease, can be benefited in this manner, but in functional diseases of the brain, it certainly gives promise of possessing powers more directly useful than any other specific drug of the materia medica.

Every one is aware how much our ideas of time depend upon the rapidity of thought, and the degree of attention we give to passing events. While the mind is busily engaged in conversation or reading, we seem to lose all notion of the succession of events; we live in a world of ideas, retaining, however, an intimate sensation of the fact that we are only thinking. In this state we take no note of the passage of time; an hour is compressed into a minute.

In dreaming, the mind is just as busily engaged, and yet we may magnify an instant into any conceivable limits. In the state of reverie, the same thing occurs, though to a less marked degree. The fact is familiar to every one that we may be awakened by some noise, and in the interval between sound sleep and complete wakefulness, we may pass through a long imaginary conversation, or an extended series of events, ending with some explosion or catastrophe, which on being completely awake, we are aware is only the noise which has awakened us. Our ideas of time, then, do not depend exclusively upon the succession of mental pictures.

They are much more closely connected with the degree to which we identify ourselves with our thoughts. Just in proportion to their vividness and the extent to which they overcome our attention to the fact that we are thinking -- not acting, just in such proportion does time correspond to what it would be, were the subject of our thoughts real objective facts. This sensation of the excessive duration of time, is perhaps the most remarkable and obvious of the effects of hemp, and the extent to which it is experienced may be regarded as the best means of regulating the dose. It is never absent, throughout the whole duration of the mental disturbance, and the deception is so complete and so disagreeable, that no one who has taken it need ever be in the slightest doubt as to whether he is experiencing its effects or not. In the higher degrees of its action all definite ideas of time are lost.

Past, present and future exist no longer. The whole existence is concentrated in the train of thought we are engaged in. In dreaming, this change in the ideas of time is not unpleasant, for we cannot observe the discrepancy between our present and former sensations. The following case of insanity, where all proper notions of time were lost, is abridged from Moreau. "A young lady, during the first few days of an attack of maniacal excitement, believed that she had no longer any age. She imagined herself to have lived at every historic epoch to which memory carried her.

Those about her were reproached with having stolen her measure of time. Her mother was acknowledged as such no longer, for the reason that she could not have a mother younger than herself." Another believed himself to be God, because he had existed from eternity. Under the influence of Haschisch, the ideas of time may be regulated by the intellect, and consequently one is never led astray, except when the attention is directed to another subject; while this is the case, the sensation of immense duration of time is continually and intimately present. Without having experienced it, no one can form the slightest idea of its vividness and reality.

The errors in regard to space are dependent for their existence upon those of time, and are of much the same nature. During the existence of the fantasia, an object does not appear more distant than under ordinary circumstances. But while the hand is stretched forth to take it, and we are conscious that the movement is executed with ordinary rapidity, such a length of time has passed away, that only the exercise of reflection and the direct evidence of the sense of sight, can convince us that the hand has not moved through a space corresponding to the time it seems to have been in motion.

The deception is never so complete as that in regard to time; a glance of the eye corrects it, but it rules again as soon as the head is turned. It is in this circumstance that insanity differs from the delirium of an ordinary dose of hemp. In the former, and in cases of large doses of the latter, the sense of sight does not correct the delusion. The sensations coming from the eye are overruled by the reality of those having their origin in the imagination. It is only during the occasional lucid moments of Haschisch that the judgment can be exercised, or the eye directed to an object to appreciate its circumstances. Not that the muscles are paralyzed, but the will does not put them in motion. As in an ordinary reverie, the vacant stare shows that the mind does not take cognizance of the objects towards which the eyes are directed.

The first effects of it upon the intellectual faculties, are a gradual loss of power to direct the thoughts. The sense which is ever present in mental health, that we are responsible for what passes in our minds, is lost. This loss is never partial as to any single thought. We do not perceive this power to be gradually slipping away so that we can mark each step of its departure, but suddenly, like lightning, it occurs to us that, the moment before, some thought came into the mind by a channel very different from ordinary.

To use a well-understood manner of speaking, we have nothing to do with its presence -- it came there of itself. In small doses, its effects are limited to this degree of mental disturbance. If the quantity taken has been larger, these attacks recur oftener and oftener, the experimenter losing and regaining the consciousness of directing the course of thought many times in a minute. When under the highest degree of its action, the glimpses of the fact that our thoughts are not our own, are few in number and momentary in duration. In this state of veritable mania, ideas come and go with a rapidity completely inconceivable in ordinary mental conditions. Some glide through the mind without seeming to make any impression at all; others become realities as perfect as though admitted through the senses.

Yet in all this overthrow of the governing power, there is a certain degree of connection in the succession of ideas. But the attention is so slightly concentrated upon even the most vivid of them, that the slightest occurrence, the movement of a hand or a word addressed to us, sweeps them away in an instant. We live in the thought that is uppermost at the time; those which are past are as nothing, and we take no thought of what the future are to be. Intentions formed the moment before, are lost. If we wish to say anything, the chances are equal that it will be forgotten -- buried by the succeeding idea.

Let one in this state attempt to write, and he will produce a composition similar to what is often seen by those practically acquainted with hospitals for the care of the insane. Broken phrases, words without the least connection, with occasionally a few sentences having some obviously connected ideas at bottom, make a compound highly characteristic.

The conversation is more connected than the writing, for it is better able to keep up with the thoughts. In both there is some connection in the mind of the individual; while one word or part of a sentence is being written, a multitude are gone, and when the pen comes to a stop, it goes on again with the train of thought which is present at the instant, without endeavoring to go back and take up the thread which is lost. In talking, one feels compelled to finish the sentence without an instant's hesitation; if the word which expresses the meaning does not occur, another is substituted for it without reference to its signification.

If we hesitate, the train of thought is overwhelmed by the rushing tide of ideas, which never waits for utterance. The connection between successive conceptions, however, is not always perceptible to the individual, even in the slight degree referred to above. A large portion seem to be mere isolated pictures, drawn alike from memory, from imagination and from incidents which happen to be taking place at the time, but all strangely confused and equally transient in the impression they make. This mental state is so similar to many cases of insanity, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish them without having recourse to their duration and the causes which produced them. The extreme rapidity and vividness of thought are absolutely identical with the most observable phenomena of that disease.

Mania is by far the most hopeful species of insanity, in respect to its prognosis, while dementia is the most hopeless. It has been thought that in cases of mental disease, tending to fall into the latter state, the powerful stimulation of the hemp might perhaps arrest the downward course, and place the patient in a state more amenable to treatment, and consequently more hopeful, as regards chances of ultimate cure.

With these ideas in view, it has been administered in very heroic doses in all stages of hebetude. But the mind in this condition seems to have completely lost its wonted resiliency: it responds no longer to what were once powerful stimuli. In this state the hemp produces no perceptible effects, in the more advanced stages, and only the slightest change in any. All hopes of benefit resulting from its administration in these cases, have been abandoned by the author, himself, of the proposition -- a sure proof of its utter want of any probability of value.

But the most interesting of the effects of the hemp are in connection with the subject of delusions. It is in reference to these that it can be put to the best use in assisting to understand the workings of disease. There are very few cases of insanity but exhibit delusions at some period of their course, and there are not a few persons, ordinarily reputed sane, who are subject to them. A clear understanding of them will conduce, more than anything else, to a full understanding of those mental states which are spoken of under the collective term insanity. Their importance will justify a closer examination than any of the other morbid mental manifestations, caused by the drug of which we are speaking.

Before the time of Esquirol, all the mistakes of madness were included under one term. He saw reason to divide them into two classes -- illusions and hallucinations; the first taking their origin chiefly in a disordered condition of the senses, the latter depending exclusively upon intellectual disturbance. These distinctions of the great master have been adopted by most succeeding authors who have written upon the subject. Whether these divisions are founded in nature, and show evidence enough to demand adoption, we shall presently examine.

In the mean time, a few words on the origin of hallucinations in addition to what has been said before. They have the same relation to disorders of the intellect that ordinary states of consciousness do to healthy manifestations of that function. There is no word which gives any better idea of the process by which these figments of the brain come to be regarded as facts, than there is of the way in which we come to believe so strongly in our own existence, or the existence of the objects we feel or see.

There is certainly not the slightest similarity between hallucinations and ordinary mistakes in regard to the existence of facts. One pre-supposes the exercise of the memory; the other acts without it and even defies it.

The circumstances under which they have their origin are as varied as the hallucinations themselves. Many seem to be purely intellectual, at least the chain which connects them with the external world is too long and complicated to be followed. Some idea, disconnected perhaps, or having a very loose connection with those preceding it, assumes the attributes of reality, and for the future it is an idea no longer, but becomes a fact, and is reasoned and acted upon as such. The great majority of the hallucinations of the insane have this origin.

Their fears and suspicions, their strange actions, their pride and humility, are often founded upon some belief which they act upon but do not disclose. Perhaps in many instances it is too vague to be put into words. A thought suggested by another may be adopted in the same way and become a thought and finally a belief of our own. Some sensation of pain or uneasiness in a particular part of the body turns the thoughts in that direction, and forthwith a delusion is established.

This is peculiarly apt to be the case in hypochondria, where the stomach being in most cases the peccant organ, is believed to be the abode of some reptile. Esquirol relates cases of a woman suffering under chronic peritonitis, who believed the Pope was holding a council in her belly; of a military officer who had rheumatism in the knee, and believed there was a robber confined in it. These last, however, he gives as instances of his variety of illusions, though in this he is not followed by other writers, who confine themselves exclusively to the five senses.

The idea of illusions is perhaps too stongly fixed, by the ability and influence of writers who have acknowledged their existence, to be easily refuted. There are certainly no such phenomena among all the varieties of psychical disturbance caused by taking the hemp, though there are delusions which if observed in another and judged by the rules laid down by writers on mental pathology, would be considered as striking instances of them.

There is never the slightest lesion of the sentient extremities of the nerves, so far as I have experienced. The senses are as perfect as ever, and the information given to the mind is as correct as though the latter were in its natural condition. It is in the disordered state of the psychical system that we must look for the origin of all insane delusions, whether having reference to objects of sense or not. There is no ground for the distinction that has been made between hallucinations and delusions.

On this subject Ray says, "that the functions of the senses are sometimes greater perverted, there can be no question; but it needs more evidence than we yet have to prove that such perversions have much if any part in producing these illusions." The principal arguments for the existence of sensory illusions are of this kind: a person may have continually before him some vision, as long as his eyes are open, but upon shutting them the delusion disappears. Or it may last during the day and disappear at night, or vice versa.

It is inferred from such cases, which are sufficiently numerous, that the whole difficulty is in the sentient extremities of the sensory nerves, and that as soon as these cease to act, the object seen disappears. The true explanation of these and similar cases seems to be this. The mere contact of light with the retina gives rise to ideas, perhaps immediately, perhaps through a crowd of others preceding them, which are taken for verities. And all this, while the objects within view are seen as well as ever. But the sensations caused by sight are too feeble and receive too little attention to compete with the vividness of those supplied by the perverted intellect.

The facility with which the evidence of the former is passed by, and credence given to the latter, is astonishing and inexplicable to one who has not experienced it in his own person. Esquirol mentions the case of an individual who, under the influence of such a delusion, took a window for a door, walked through it and was precipitated from the third story to the ground. If there had been the slightest doubt in the mind of this person, the uncertainty would have saved him. He must have seen what was before him, but pre-occupied with the notion of the door, the evidence of the eyes made no impression.

The hearing is passed by in the same way, but still oftener, for sounds are rarely so continuous as objects of sight. A person under the influence of hemp may carry on a tolerably well-connected conversation, till suddenly he makes some remark which shows that it is made in reference to his own thoughts, rather than to anything which has been said before. He confounds what is passing in his own imagination with the thoughts of others, and consequently attributes to them motives and intentions which they do not possess. His memories of the past and anticipations of the future are drawn from the same inexhaustible fountain. Add to these false premises, false reasoning, warped affections and a disordered will, and the picture of insanity is complete.

Any one who, under the influence of Cannabis Indica, has seen what the human mind is capable of becoming, cannot but feel a lively interest in those who are suffering under mental alientation; he cannot but look with hope to it, as a means of more fully comprehending what is the most distressing of finite calamities, and he cannot but think that a substance, the action of which is so powerful and unique, will be found, when fully understood, to possess valuable therapeutic virtues. But this point can only be set at rest by a series of experiments more careful and extended than has yet been made.


  • Du Haschisch, et de l'aliénation mentale.
  • Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity

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By C. CREIGHTON, M.D., *London*.

From: JANUS, Archives internationales pour l'Histoire de la Medecine et la Geographie Medicale, Huitieme Annee, 1903, p. 241-246

note: "Canticles" refers to the Old Testament book "Song of Solomon" or "Song of Songs". "Vulgate" and "LXX" are early translations of the Christian Bible. Passages heavy with "..." marks are places where the author inserted Hebrew or Greek characters untranslateable to ASCII. --T.R.

Hachish, which is the disreputable intoxicant drug of the East, as opium is the respectable narcotic, is of unknown antiquity. It is known that the fibre of the hemp-plant, *Cannabis sativa*, was used for cordage in ancient times; and it is therefore probable that the resinous exudation, "honey" or "dew", which is found upon its flowering tops on some soils, or in certain climates (*Cannabis Indica*), was known for its stimulant or intoxicant properties from an equally early date.

The use of the resin as an intoxicant can be proved from Arabic writings as early as the 6th or 7th centuries of our era (De Sacy, *Chrestomathie Arabe*) and we may assume it to have been traditional among the Semites from remote antiquity. There are reasons, in the nature of the case, why there should be no clear history. All vices are veiled from view; they are *sub rosa*; and that is true especially of the vices of the East. Where they are alluded to at all, it is in cryptic, subtle, witty and allegorical terms. Therefore, if we are to discover them, we must he [sic] prepared to look below the surface of the text.

In the O.T. there are some half-dozen passages where a cryptic reference to hachish may be discovered. Of these I shall select two to begin with, as being the least ambiguous, leaving the rest for a few remarks at the end. The two which I shall choose are both made easy by the use of a significant word in the Hebrew text.

But that word, which is the key to the meaning, has been knowingly mistranslated in the Vulgate and in the modern versions, having been rendered by a variant also by the LXX in one of the passages, and confessed as unintelligible in the other by the use of a marginal Hebrew word in Greek letters. One must therefore become philologist for the nonce; and I must apologise for trespassing beyond my proper sphere. My apology is, that if one knows the subject-matter, a little philology may go a long way.

On the other hand, the Biblical scholars themselves cannot always be purely objective; they cannot avoid having some theory in the background of the exegesis; and the theory may be a caprice, where there is no insight into a subject which involves medical considerations.

The first passage which I shall take is Canticles 5.1: "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice: *I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey*; I have drunk my wine with my milk." In the Hebrew text, the phrase in italics reads: "I have eaten my wood (yagar) with my honey (debash)." St. Jerome, in the Vulgate, translated the Hebrew word meaning "wood" by *favum*, or honey-comb -- *comedi favum cum melle meo*; which is not only a hold licence, but a platitude to boot, inasmuch as there is neither wit nor point in making one to eat the honeycomb with the honey. The LXX adopted a similar licence, but avoided the platitude, by translating thus: ... . "I have eaten *my bread* with my honey". And this is the reading that Renan has followed in his French dramatic version of Canticles (the first verse of the fifth chapter being transferred to the end of the fourth chapter). Where "honeycomb", *favus*, is plainly meant by context, the Hebrew word is either *tzooph*, as in Ps. 19, 10 and Prov. 16, 24, (where the droppings of honey from the comb are meant), or it is *noh-pheth*, as in a passage of Canticles, 4,11, close to the one in question. ("Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under thy tongue".) Again, the word *yagar*, which the Vulgate translated *favum* for the occasion, is used in some fifty or sixty other places of O.T. always in the sense of wood, forest, planted field, herbage, or the like. The meaning of Cant. 5,1, is clear enough in its aphrodisiac context: "I have eaten *my hemp* with my honey" -- *comedi cannabim cum confectione mellis*, which is the elegant way of taking hachish in the East to this day. And this meaning of *yagar* (wood) in association with *debash* (honey) is made clear by the other passage with which I am to deal, namely 1 Sam. 14, 27, the incident of Jonathan dipping the point of his staff into a "honey-wood", and merely tasting the honey, so that his eyes were enlightened. The one is the aphrodisiac effect of hachish, the other is its bellicose or furious effect.

The correct exegesis of 1 Sam. 14, 25-45, is of great importance not only for understanding Jonathan's breach of a certain taboo, but also for the whole career of his father Saul, ending in his deposition from the kingship through the firm action of Samuel, and the pitiable collapse of his courage on the eve of the battle of Gilboa.

The theory is, that both Saul and Jonathan were hachish-eaters; it was a secret vice of the palace, while it was strictly forbidden to the people; Saul had learned it of the Amalekites; it was that, and not his disobedience in saving captives and cattle alive, which was his real transgression, and the real ground of his deposition from the kingship at the instance of the far-seeing prophet. No true statesman would have taken action on account of a merely technical sin of disobedience; the disobedience was real and vital; but the substance of it had to be veiled behind a convenient fiction.

One great object of Jewish particularism was, to save Israel from the vices that destroyed the nations around; and Samuel appears in that respect the first and the greatest of the prophets, the prototype *censor morum*.

The incident related in I Sam. 14 arose during a raid upon the Philistines, in which the Jewish leader, Jonathan, distinguished himself by the number of the enemy whom he slew, but at the same time broke a certain law or taboo, for which he was afterwards put upon his trial and condemned to death. The incident, previous to the slaughter, is thus described: "And all [they of] the land came to a wood, and there was honey on the ground.

And when the people were come into the wood, behold the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath; wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in an honey- comb (*yagarah hadebash*), and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened." The exegesis of this passage has been started in an entirely false direction by the bold licence of the Vulgate in translating the two Hebrew words meaning "honey wood" by *favum*, honey-comb.

The earlier sentences, however obscure, show that the "honey" was of a peculiar kind, there being no suggestion of combs or bees. The Syriac version gives the most intelligible account of it, as follows, *latine*: "Et sylvas ingressi essent, essetque mel in sylva super faciem agri, flueretque mel" -- expressing not inaptly a field of hemp with the resinous exudation upon the flower- stalks, which would flow or run by the heat. In *The Bengal Dispensatory*, by W.B. O'Shaughnessy, M.D. (London, 1842), there is the following illustrative passage p. 582: "In Central India and the Saugor territory, and in Nipal, *churrus* is collected during the hot season in the following singular manner: Men clad in leathern dresses run through the hemp- fields brushing through the plants with all possible violence. The soft resin adheres to the leather, and is subsequently scraped off and kneaded into balls, which sell from 5 to 6 R. the seer. A still finer kind, the *moomeea*, or waxen *churrus*, is collected by the hand in Nipal, and sells for double the price of the ordinary kind. In Nipal, Dr. McKinnon informus us, the leathern attire is dispensed with, and the resin is gathered on the skins of naked coolies." Jonathan's mode of collecting was of the simplest: he dipped the end of a rod into a "honey-wood", and carried it to his mouth; a mere taste of it caused his eyes to be enlightened. The whole incident is obviously dramatised, or made picturesque -- the growing field of hemp, the men passing through it, Jonathan dipping the end of a rod or staff into the resin upon a stalk as he passed by. The real meaning is, that Jonathan was a hachish-eater.

It is remarkable that the LXX translators had no suspicion of this cryptic meaning. Their Greek version is the most confused of any; but it appears that they were aware of something obscure, and that they made an honest attempt to give a meaning to the Hebrew pair of words "honey wood", translating the word for "honey" by itself and again, by itself the word for "wood" in the Hebrew text (v. 25, 26), by ... bee-house. The Greek of the LXX is: .... The strange word ... is obiously a transliteration into Greek of a Hebrew word. Wellhausen, in his earliest work, *Der Text der Buchen Samuelis*, Gott. 1871, p.91, has given an explanation, which I should not have recalled had it not been pronounced to be "remarkably clever" by Driver, (*Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel*, Oxford, 1890, p.86). Wellhausen says: "... und ... ist Duplette, beides dem hebraischen *yagar* entsprechend. Demselben Worte aber entspricht nach v.26 auch .... Also haben wir hier ein Triplette". I speak with deference; but I do not understand how ... (Hebrew) can be a doublet of ..., still less how ... can be a doublet of either or both. ... as a Hebrew word written in Greek characters appears to be exactly the part of a verb meaning "we have done foolishly", or "they are foolish", which would have been used as a marginal remark (although now incorporated in the text) to signify that the passage was unintelligible or corrupt. How it can stand for *yagar*, meaning "wood" (..., a wood or coppice), is probably clear to Hebraists; at all events, that is assumed in Wellhausen's theory of a doublet, the sense being "there was honeycomb on the ground".

The idea is that of "honey" in some association with "wood", which the LXX took to the bee-house. The natural association of "honey" with "wood", is "vegetable honey", or plant-honey; and it is clear from the powerful effect of a minute quantity of it, and from the kinds of effect, (aphrodisiac and bellicose) that the honey-wood was the hemp-plant with the resinous exudation.

The effects, in the case of Jonathan, are unmistakeable. A mere taste of the honey on the end of the rod caused his eyes to be enlightened. His defence, when put on his trial for breaking the taboo, was the small-ness of the quantity he ate; a plea which reminds one of the famous apology of the young woman for her love-child, that "it was such a little one". There is an old explanation of this enlightenment, discussed by F.T. Withof, "De Jonathane post esum mellis visum recipiente" (*Opusc. philolog. Lingae, 1778, pp. 135 - 139). It turns upon on the Talmudic saying, *Oculi tui prae jejunio obscuranti sunt*; and upon another passage in the same, where food is to be administered to one, "*donec illuminentur oculi ejus*".

Some colour is given to this idea of the illuminating effect of food for the hungry, by the context, I Sam. 14, 24, 28, namely the formal words of the taboo, "Cursed be the man that eatheth *food* until the evening", and the remark, that "the people were faint", as if by abstinence from food. But the minute quantity tasted by Jonathan shows that all these references to "food" are merely cryptic or allegorical.

Also the effect upon Jonathan was, that he ran *a-mok* amongst the Philistines; and it is implied not vaguely that, if his followers had also partaken of the same food, "there had been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines". Jonathan's exceptional prowess upon the occasion was also the ground of his being rescued by the admiring populace from the death to which he had been condemned by his father for breaking the taboo.

The evidence that Saul himself was a hachish-eater is not so direct as in the case of Jonathan. There is not a hint of it until after the incident of the forbidden honey in the attack upon the Philistines; but, in the inquiry upon that breach of law, it is significant that Saul and Jonathan are ranged together upon one side of the trial by lot, and the people on the other, the second ballot being between Saul and Jonathathan. The next chapter introduces the very old theme of revenge upon Amelek for treachery many generations before; Saul goes upon the expedition, brings back Agag with him, and disobeys the prophet's orders in other respects.

From that disobedience his ruin dates. Samuel had a most unaccountable animosity to Agag, so that he hewed him in pieces with his own hands. The presumption is, that he had corrupted Saul by the evil example of his Amalekite ways. Next, we have the appearance of David upon the scene, in the capacity of a harper, to soothe Saul's fits of fury and melancholy, when he was under the influence of the evil spirit. Dr. J. Moreau (de Tours) in his valuable work *Du Hachish et de l'Alienation Mentale*, Paris 1845, has shown that music has no effect upon the ordinary run of melancholics (pp. 84-85); the idea that it might be useful in lunatic asylums comes from the misunderstood example of David playing before Saul. But this idea, says Dr. Moreau, "belongs to the domain of comic opera"; not only so, "mais nous avons maudit souvent la harpe de David et l'hypochondrie de Saul, qui ont manifestement produit toutes les billevesees". The only kind of mental alienation that is influenced by music, as Dr. Moreau shows farther, is that due to the intoxication of hachish -- "la puissante influence qu'exerce la musique sur ceux qui ont pris du hachish... La musique la plus grossiere, les simples vibrations des cordes d'une harpe ou d'une guitare vous exaltent jusqu' au delire ou vous plongent dans une douce melancholie". And yet Dr. Moreau does not suggest that Saul's susceptibility to the music of David's harp was owing to the fact that his "evil spirit" was hachish.

The inference seems to obvious to have been missed, after he had distinguished between ordinary melancholia and hachish-intoxication in regard to the effects of music; and yet I do not find any such diagnosis of Saul's malady in any part of his book. That diagnosis is not only consistent with several things told of his malady, but is also elucidative of his ruined career.

The sudden throwing of his javelin at David as he played before him is as graphic an illustration as could be given, of the ungovernable fits of temper which hachish produces. Also the extraordinary exhibition that Saul makes of himself in the end of chapter 19 is best understood as a fit of drunkenness. But the most significant, as well as the most pathetic, of all, is the failure of his courage on the night before the battle of Gilboa. Here we see the stalwart hero of the people with his nerves shattered by intoxicants now no longer able to stimulate him: "And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled". Those who are acquainted with Robert Browning's poem "Saul", will see how well the hypothesis of hachish fits in with the poet's conception of a heroic life wrecked by some mysterious "error".

That he and Jonathan should have been practicing in secret that which was taboo to the people at large, is exactly parallel with Saul's secret dealings in witchcraft, against which there was a public law. It is also of the same kind as the evils against which Samuel is reported to have cautioned the people when they demanded kingly rule -- namely the autocratic self-indulgences of the palace.

In his last desperate strait, Saul gets the witch to summon the spirit of Samuel, his old monitor; but Samuel is unable to help him; "Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day". It is always Amalek; and Amalek was just that tribe of Arabs, of the southern desert, who were engaged in the carrying trade between the Arabian gulf and Lower Egypt or the Mediterraneae, -- the trade in gold, and spices, and drugs: probably the same Arabs among whom the name of *hachashin* was found in the medieval period, and from whom the latinised name of *assassini* was brought to Europe by returning Crusaders. (Silvestre de Sacy, *l.c.*)

In the two instances already given, the hemp-plant is pointed to somewhat plainly by the use of the Hebrew word for "wood" in association with the notion of "honey", the translators having evaded the point in both cases: in the one by rendering the single word, *yagar*, by *favus*, honeycomb, in the other by rendering the remarkable and unique compound name, *yagarah hadebash*, also by *favus*. In those instances, the hypothesis of hachish rests upon the sure basis of a phrase in the original text which is otherwise unintelligible. But, in the remaining instances, there is no such support for the hypothesis; there is only a degree of probability, which must take its chance with rival interpretations.

The probability, in the case of Samson's riddle, arises from the cryptic association of "sweet" with "Strong", of honey with a lion; in the case of Daniel's apologue of Nebuchadnezzar's fall, it arises from the eating of "grass", the Semitic word having both a generic and a colloquial meaning (hachish), as well as from the introduction of the subjective perceptions of hachish intoxication as gigantic or grotesque objects.

*Samson's riddle.* -- According to old and new criticism, by Budde and others, there is a glaring contradiction between the real or original Samson, the boisterous village hero of whom many stories were told, and the religious Samson, the judge of Israel, who was dedicated to God as a Nazarite "from the womb to the day of his death". It is admitted, however, that there is a peculiar unity in the text of the story as it has come down to us in the Book of Judges, notwithstanding the apparent incongruity of making Samson a Nazarite. The Nazarites are mentioned as early as the prophecies of Amos, having been allowed to drink wine in the laxity of morals then prevailing. Samson is not only the earliest Nazarite known, but he is a Nazarite indeed, inasmuch as his vow was not terminable after a certain period, as in the ritual of the Book of Numbers, but was imposed upon him from the womb to the day of his death.

In that respect he has no compeer until John the Baptist. At the same time, he is the typical village hero, adored for his strength, boldness, cunning, and wit, and gratified by numerous amours. Budde remarks that many must have known a modern counterpart in village life. Two instances in literature occur to one as containing the elements of a modern Samson legend, -- the Oetzthal hero in Madame von Hillern's *Geier Wally*, and the hero or *jigit* of the village on the Terek in Tolstoy's early work, *The Cossacks*. Budde, who would eliminate altogether the Nazarite vow from the real Samson legend, is surprised that the hero does not eat and drink to excess: "Excess, or at least enormous capacity, in eating and in drinking strong liquors, is amongst the things that may almost be taken for granted.

It is strange enough that this trait is not strikingly displayed in Samson. Who knows, whether from the store of legends that circulated regarding him, there may not have dropped out this or that portion dealing with the subject in question?" (Art. "Samson", in Hasting's, *Dict. of the Bible.* Edin. 1902.) Josephus appears to have entertained a similar suspicion; for, in his paraphrase of Delilah's attempts to bind Samson, he makes on of the attempts to be made upon him when he was drunk with wine.

But it is impossible to take out the Nazarite vow from the story as we find it; that thread is woven inextricably into the tapestry; and it may be assumed that Samson's unshorn head was meant to symoblise his constancy to the vow -- or, at all events, to the letter of it. My view (which I submit with deference to the professed Biblical critics) is, that the method of the literary artist, who composed the existing story, is consistently ironical and witty.

Anyone, who has had his attention directed to the point, will have found that the instances of Biblical wit are more numerous that might be supposed from the solemnity of commentators. Why should not this ancient literature have had its sallies of wit and humour as well as another? The Hebrew grammars, remark that the humorous figure of paronomasia, or pun, is more indigenous to the Semitic than to any other languages.

Samson's riddle, on the surface, was a mild pleasantry, hardly worth investing with the dignity of enigma; it has even been questioned, whether it was a fair problem, considering that it was based upon one particular if not unique incident known to himself. He killed a young lion, and threw the carcase into a wood; in passing that way some time after, he turned aside to look at it, and found that a swarm of bees had built their combs inside the ribs. (This is the natural reading, which is adopted by Josephus in his paraphrase.) He ate some of the honey, and gave some of it to his father and mother; but, for some deep reason, he abstained from telling his parents that the honey had been taken from inside the skeleton of a lion.

At his wedding feast some time after, he propounded a certain riddle to the thirty young men of Timnath, who were the wedding guests, and laid a wager that they would not guess the answer within a week. Being still at fault on the seventh day, they went to Samson's wife, and induced her to coax the answer from her husband. Samson answered: "Behold, I have not told my father and my mother, and shall I tell thee?" However, he told her the incident of the lion and the bees, and she told the young men of the village, who came to Samson with this confident and jubilant solution, "What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?" Samson answered oracularly, "If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle".

This answer appears to have been given ironically, with his tongue in his cheek, the reservation being, that their ploughing (with a heifer) had been but shallow, that they had not got to the bottom of the matter at all. He may be assumed to have been still in his ironical mood when he proceeded to pay the forfeit, by killing thirty other Philistines of Ashkelon and stripping them of their shirts to give to the thirty Philistines of Timnath.

Leaving these evidences of ironical behaviour, let us turn to the famous riddle itself. Is it possible that it can have any deeper meaning than the incident of the bees' nest in the lion's carcase?

What I suspect in Samson's riddle is *an ambiguity in the terms in which it was stated*. To those who heard it, it might mean either what it means as printed in the text, or it might mean something else as an equivoque. Of course, no single text can reproduce an equivocal effect of spoken words, depending upon paronomasia. There is a good example in 'Hamlet', III. 2. 262: *Ophelia*: "Still better and worse". *Hamlet*: "So you *must take* your husband".

This is the reading of the first quarto; but it is clear that "must take" is to be pronounced ambiguously, from the fact that the second quarto prints it: "So you mistake your husbands", which is necessary to the innuendo, and is in the folio and in most later texts, although "must take" is the natural *ductus idearum* from the previous reference to the Marriage Service. The equivoque in Samson's riddle is of the same kind. It may mean what the text makes it to mean, or it may mean exactly the converse, without changing the order and works; thus:

An eater came forth out of meat,

Strength came forth out of sweetness; -- namely, Samson's strength from hachish. To understand how the *spoken* Hebrew words might be heart to bear either sense, according as they were apprehended by the ear, one must observe that the preposition "out of", which governs the meaning by being placed in front of one or other of the two nouns, is the sound *m*' (contraction of *min*), and that the same sound happens to begin the other nouns also:

*m' ahachal* *yatsah* *maachal*

out of the-eater came forth meat

*m' gaz* *yatsah* *mathok*

out of the strong came forth sweetness.

There appears to be no way of prefixing the prepositional *m'* to the last noun of each line except by reduplicating the *m* which is already there, as if by stammering over it -- *m' maachal, m' mathok*, which might be merely a slight stammer, or might mean respectively, "*out of* meat", and "*out of* sweetness". Again, *to get rid* of the preposition from before the first word of the first line, one must read (as the LXX had actually done) *mah achal*, the first syllable being a distinct word, the interrogative pronoun, ..., *quid*, which would be used to introduce the riddle as a query, "What is this?" to get rid of the preposition from before the first word in the second line, one has to substitute for *gaz*, which is the adjective "strong", its abstract noun *magohz* = "strength", a substitution which is recommended as balancing *mathok* "sweetness", in abstract form. The concealed reading would then be:

*mah* *achal* *yatsah* *m' maachal*

What is this? An eater came forth out of meat,

*magohz* *yatsah* *m' mathok*

strength came forth out of sweetness

Thus, to the ear, the riddle may really contain that deeper problem which ought to be in it if it is to stand for the riddle or secret of Samson's own strength. The superficial meaning, which Samson's wife jumped at and conveyed to the young Philistines of Timnath, is that food (honey) came forth out of the eater, (lion), sweetness out of the strong one. The deep meaning is just the converse -- that the eater "came forth out of" meat, strength out of sweetness.

Thus we arrive at some kind of "food", (not drink) which made one an eater, or a devourer, like a lion; a sweet food from which came strength. It is pointed out that the antithesis of the second line, between "sweet" and "strong", is not a good one; and the Syriac version has gone so far as to change "strong" into "bitter" for the sake of the antithesis to "sweet". But the author certainly wanted to introduce the idea of strength, even if it were no full antithesis to sweetness; and his reason, doubtless, was, that he was thinking of Samson himself, and of the secret of his strength, which was a cryptic "sweetness".

From various points of view, we arrive at the conclusion, that the honey from the carcase of a lion was not the honey of bees, but an allegory of that strong kind of honey which causes Jonathan's eyes to be enlightened, namely the resin of the hemp-plant. It was "sweeter than honey, stronger than a lion", as the men of Timnath are the unconscious means of suggesting, by the mood and figure of the answer.

We are now able to follow the ironical purpose of the author in its entirety, in making Samson a Nazarite and yet a boisterous, free-living village hero of the most admired type. The stimulant, which the hero used, was not drink, it was food; thus it was outside the purview of the Nazarite vow, which specified many things , but did not specify hachish: "wine and strong drink, vinegar of wine and vinegar of strong drink, liquor of grapes, grapes moist or dried, everything that is made of the vine from the kernels even to the husk". Samson could be made to pose cleverly as a Nazarite, and yet have his fling all the same. Budde's desideratum of strong drink, to complete the equipment of Samson as a village hero, is supplied by a subterfuge. It appears that the Jewish sense of humour ran strongly in that direction.

The story of Samson is not far removed in time, or in manner of telling, from that of Saul and Jonathan; so that, if I am right in my interpretation of the nature of the taboo which Jonathan broke, the period at the end of Judges and the beginning of the Kings was one in which the hachish-question had become actual. thus it becomes probable that the strength of Samson had the same source in stimulants as the prowess of Jonathan upon a particular occasion. It is also remarkable that Samson's "strength" collapses, just as Saul's courage fails him; and that the failure in both cases is described by the same phrase:- in the case of Samson the words are, "the Lord had departed from him", in the case of Saul the narrative reads, "God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets nor by dreams". The material sense of both I take to be, that the stimulant had lost its power over them, it being a property of hachish to produce hebetude in those who have used it habitually over a long time. Samson's recovery of his strength is, of course, for the sake of dramatic catastrophe.

*The apologue of "Nebuchadnezzar" in Daniel*. The beginning of these inquiries upon indications of hachish in the Bible was a suggestion made to me by the late R.A. Neil, of Cambridge, that the "grass" which Nebuchadnezzar was given to eat may have been grass in the colloquial Arabic sense of hachish, the word by which Indian hemp is now so commonly known being the same as the ordinary Arabic word for grass or green herbage in general (*hachach*). In seeking to follow up this idea one finds much to corroborate it in the details of the story of "morality" which is told of Nebuchadnezzar. The story begins with an account of dreams and visions of the night, in which the central object, the tree reaching to heaven and spreading to the ends of the earth, is highly characteristic of the elusive and infinite demensions in the subjective perceptions of hachish intoxication (Compare Bayard Taylor, *The Lands of the Saracens*; the pyramid of Gizen came before him, with its sides resting against the vault of the sky).

Daniel, being asked to interpret the dream, declares that the tree is the mighty Nebuchadnezzar himself, and the fate of the felled tree his fate: "They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven." This fate, it appears, was on account of his sins and iniquities. But, as the root of the tree was to be left in the earth, so there was a power of recovery in the degraded prince, and he was to return to his kingdom after seven years. It happened as Daniel had said: "Nebuchadnezzar was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me." One might provide much amusement by recalling some of the many literal attempts, ancient and modern, to explain the nature of Nebuchadnezzar's debasement. The double sense of the word "grass", which may be assumed to have existed in the ancient Semitic languages or dialects as in modern Arabic, is a key to the whole enigma. There appears to be a cryptic reference to hachish not only in the recurring phrase "They shall give thee grass to eat, as oxen", but also in the significant introduction of "dew" with equal reiteration, "they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven." The allegory is easily extended to, "let a beast's heart be given unto him", "let his portion be with the beasts of the field", and, "his body was wet with the dew of heaven". But the most significant detail of all is that which follows the last quoted phrase: "until his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws". This is again the grotesque exaggeration and metamorphosis of one's own features etc. caused by the hachish subjectivity, which is unlike anything else in morbid imaginings. There have been real instances among Oriental rulers of hachish degradation such as "Nebuchadnezzar's"; an example was rumoured when Upper Burma was occupied by the British some five-and-twenty years ago. The apologue of Daniel, told of one under a great historical name, is meant to be general, and has had a sufficiently wide application, doubtless, in ancient times as well as in modern.

Lastly, and still in the same Chaldaean atmosphere, we find in the first chapter of Ezekiel a phantasmagoria of composite creatures, of wheels, and of brilliant play of colours, which is strongly suggestive of the subjective visual perceptions of hachish, and is unintelligible from any other point of view, human or divine. This is the chapter of Ezekiel that gave so much trouble to the ancient canonists, and is said to have made them hesitate about including the book. Ezekiel was included in the Canon, but with the instruction that no one in the Synagogue was to attempt to comment upon Chapter I, or, according to another version, that the opening chapter was not to be read by or to persons under a certain age. The subjective sensations stimulated by hachish are those of sight and hearing. It would be easy to quote examples of fantastic composite form, and of wondrous colours, which have been seen by experiments. I must content myself with the generality of Theophile Gautier (cited by Moreau, *l.c.*, from feuilleton in *La Presse*), that, if he were to write down all that he saw, he should be writing the Apocalypse over again (*recommencer l'Apocalypse*). If this contains an innuendo against the Apocalypse of John, I do not agree with it, in asmuch as I believe that no part of Scripture is more rational in its method, or more calmly inspired in its motives. But, as regards the apocalypse introductory to the prophecies of Ezekiel, one need not hesitate to assign it to the source indicated by the witty Frenchman.


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The Physiological Activity of Cannabis Sativa (1913)

Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (1913)

It has been claimed by various investigators that the common hemp (Cannabis Sativa) grown in the United States contains the same active constituent as is found in Cannabis Indica, the name of the official drug which is grown in India. Botanists do not distinguish between the two, the plant being identical wherever grown.

The fact that the Indian-grown drug was used in all the early accounts of its intoxicating action may have led to the belief that the peculiar climate of India is accountable for the presence of an active constituent not normally present in the plant.

No recorded data have been advanced, however, to substantiate the claim that drug grown elsewhere does not contain such constituents. On the other hand, Wood (Proc. Am. Phil. Sec., Vol. XI, p. 226), Houghton and Hamilton (Am. Journal of Pharmacy, January, 1908), True and Klug (Proc. A. Ph. A., 1909), True (Am. Journal of Pharmacy, January, 1912), and Hamilton (Am. Journal of Pharmacy, March, 1912), have submitted the drug to careful pharmacological tests, and report that extracts from American-grown drug are no less active than those obtained from India.

Dr. H. H. Rusby raised the question whether the test for activity on dogs can be accepted to prove its activity as a therapeutic agent.

Much of our knowledge of the action of drugs is obtained by observing their effects when administered to animals. The physiological action of almost every powerful drug is so characteristic as to be almost unmistakable to an experienced observer. Any one who has observed the characteristic effect of Cannabis Indica on susceptible dogs, symptoms which almost invariably appear in an hour after administerng one to two grains of an active extract, and then has observed the same effect from an equal dose of an extract from the American drug, is inclined to accept it as proved that the two are identical.

The question raised by Rusby is, however, very pertinent and logically calls for proof of a different character. A series of experiments was therefore outlined which, it was hoped, would throw light on this much mooted question. To make a complete experiment it was decided that three persons would cooperate, each in turn, taking the same ouantity of each lot of drug, while two would remain normal to observe its effect.

There is not much of interest in observing the effect of the drug on others, since its action is more mental than physical. One's own description, if it could be recorded at the time, would mean much more than that of others. The subject, however, is not in a condition at the time to record these observations, and if of a nervous disposition needs the presence of companions. Otherwise drowsiness is often the most characteristic effect of the drug.

The evening was taken for these experments, Partly to give opportunity for sleep immediately afterwards and partly to have everything quiet with no disturbing affairs going on to distract attention.

One of the three (Hamilton) had on a previous occasion taken two grains of an active extract Cannabis Indica and was, to that extent, familiar with its action. On that occasion there were developed some disagreeable symptoms but nothing serious.

Nausea and vomiting occurred, which were magnified by the imagination to an extent that was far from pleasant. Therefore, to duplicate conditions as nearly as possible the capsule containing two grains extract Cannabis Americana was taken at 5:30, followed by dinner at six o'clock.

Experiment I.

H. Relates his experience as follows:

About one hour after taking the drug a pleasurable sensation was experienced which can be described only as one of well-being and complete satisfaction. This was marred to an extent by the dread that the trip to the laboratory might not be entirely comfortable, and that in the street-car or on the street my behavior might be ridiculous without the cause being known. The walk to the car, the two-mile ride, and several blocks walk to the laboratory seemed interminable, although no unpleasant feelings were experienced during the trip. One other fact was observed, namely, the difficulty in holding my mind on one subject long enough to express my thoughts.

About two hours after taking the drug, an uncomfortable feeling was experienced, followed shortly by nausea and vomiting. Several ideas impressed me strongly; I had a morbid fear that some one other than my associates would observe me, also that the effect of the drug on me would deter the others from taking it. I was opposed to doing anything and wished most earnestly for a comfortable seat or bed. A feeling of constriction and dryness in my mouth and throat was observed. Later a feeling of depression and drowsiness followed and I appeared to sleep. Whether I did or not is uncertain, as I thought I remained conscious all the time. I knew that something in my condition was decidedly abnormal because of comments made by the observers, but I didn't know nor care what it was.

About four hours after taking the drug I felt much better and aroused entirely from my drowsy state. On the trip home I dozed off on several occasions, but for only a few minutes each time. A comfortable night's sleep followed and no unpleasant after effects could be noticed.

The result of this experience convinced me that no difference could be detected in the action of extracts from Indian and American hemp, for, although in the former experiment there were several phases which did not appear in this one, the general effect was identical in each case. On the former occasion all the peculiar sensations were more vivid, time dragged more slowly, the nausea was greater, even suggesting the fear of death, the constriction in the throat was so great as to suggest choking to death, there was a greater willingness to give free rein to my imagination and to relate experiences, and therefore greater difficulty in keeping the mind on one subject at a time. These differences were, however, in degree and not in kind and may be explained in part by my having become familiar with the drug and descriptions of its effect on others.

L.'s Observations on Subject H. Ex. I. About 6:30 H. began to manifest a certain amount of uneasiness and difficulty in concentrating his thoughts. Coming from down town to the laboratory it was observed that he seemed to be more or less worried and to lose, to a certain extent, sense of time, expressing the feeling that we had consumed an hour coming from down town, whereas the time for the trip was not more than ten or twelve minutes.

The laboratory was reached at 7:00 and H. expressed a strong desire to lie down or become ensconced in a comfortable chair. From 7:00 to 7:30 he appeared generally depressed and became irritating about seemingly trifling matters. At 7:40 pulse was taken and found to be 120, weak, irregular and easily compressible. Skin was cold and clammy and he expressed a belief that he was going to be nauseated. 7:50, pulse had dropped to 96, but was still weak and irregular.

8:00 Pulse 92 Severe vomiting
8:15 " 96 Vomited
8:30 " 88
9:00 " 84
9:30 " 86
10:00 " 96

The last record was taken after H. had been up walking around the room, which undoubtedly accounts for its increase over the one previously taken. It was observed throughout that when H. exercised, even to a slight extent, the heart action was markedly accelerated. In one instance the pulse rate was taken immediately after H. had been walking and was found to be 96. When taken less than a minute afterwards it was about 80, and was again increased to 96 by comparatively slight muscular movement. The pulse rate varied from 96 to 80 or 82 within a minute's time. Throughout it was soft and obliterated by slight pressure. During the whole evening his ideas seemed to be more or less confused, and it was apparently impossible for him to concentrate his thoughts on any particular subject. After beginning to make a remark, he would lose entirely his trend of thought, and be quite unable to complete it. At 10 p.M. the more marked effects of the drug had worn off.

P.'s Observations on Subject H. Exp. I. H. showed no symptoms whatever until about 6:30, when it became evident that he was worried and somewhat nervous. He said that the effect of the drug was coming on and expressed a desire to go to the laboratory as soon as possible. On the way he worried and fretted, at times fearing that he would be unable to walk and would make a spectacle of himself before reaching the laboratory. However, nothing of particular interest happened during the trip except an evident lapse of memory and evidence of nervousness. On arriving at the laboratory he expressed a desire for a comfortable chair or a bed and complained of feeling sick at his stomach. He was pale and his skin was cold and moist. Before long he vomited freely. This was repeated after a few minutes, but did not seem to relieve him greatly. He complained of a dryness in his throat and was continually wetting his lips. His pulse rate was almost alarming, varying greatly in rate from 84 to 120 within a minute, but for the most part being very fast and weak. His skin was cold and clammy and respiration somewhat shallow.

For over two hours he lay back in his chair in a sort of stupor, seeming to be asleep, but easily aroused. He had no disposition to attempt anything, not even to talk. During the early part of the evening he was evidently much worried, fearing that his condition would deter his colleagues from taking the drug. He also seemed to have a dread that some one other than those associated with him in the experiment would see him. He was asked to write, but firmly refused even to attempt it. When asked if he were having beautiful dreams and visions, his only reply was, "I wish I could tell you." He remained in this semi-conscious condition until about ten o'clock, when suddenly he aroused himself, said he felt all right and was ready to go home.

He dozed off momentarily twice in the car, and felt all right the next day except for a very faint headache.

Experiment II.

L.'s Personal Experience. A two-grain dose of solid extract Cannabis Americana was taken upon an empty stomach. For two hours no symptoms of any kind were experienced. Then there was a peculiar unnatural sensation. The initial manifestation is difficult, in fact, impossible of description. No distress was evidenced nor was the feeling exceptionally pleasant. It was simply a recognition of the fact that I was not quite myself. Following this period there shortly developed a feeling of great elation, and a sense of well being.

With no particular reason for being so, I felt inexpressibly happy. There was a twitching and drawing of the corners of my mouth and an uncontrollable desire to laugh, although I could not laugh aloud. Everything pleased me and I felt that my happiness was absolutely complete.

The only tinge of regret that I experienced was that my colleagues were not having the same delightful experience. The more marked effects of the drug appeared to come in waves, although the general sense of elation was never lost. An occasional undulation would sweep over me and I would feel as though my body was swaying, and there was an inclination to strike the table with my hands in an exuberance of delight.

At times I had great trouble in coordinating my thoughts, although between the paroxysms which have been described, my mind seemed reasonably clear. I felt that I was acting in an exceedingly foolish manner, but had no power to control myself and in fact did not care to. As it grew late in the evening the stimulating effects of the drug decreased and I became somewhat irritable and touchy about trifling matters. At ten o'clock the greater part of the effects had worn off, although I did not feel entirely normal. After a light lunch I retired and slept very soundly. No after effects of any kind were experienced on the following day.

H's Observations on Exp. II. L.'s experience was almost entirely one of enjoyment. There was no nausea and no evident discomfort, although he once remarked that the earlier effects were much the more pleasant. There was unquestionably the same well-being, expressed by his repeatedly saying, "I feel so good." Hearty laughter for which there was no evident reason was explained in this way. At no time was there any desire to carry on conversation more than to answer any questions addressed to him. This would account for there being no noticeable difficulty in keeping his thoughts collected.

Later a sensation of drowsiness was evident and with it expressions of irritation when anything of a disturbing nature was said or done. The effect of the drug was long delayed in appearing, nothing being noticed either by himself or the others until nearly two hours after its administration. This probably explains why its effect was so persistent, intoxication being very evident fully six hours after the drug was taken.

P.'s Observations on Exp. II. No effect was noticed for about two hours, when a slight twitching of the corners of the mouth was observed and a tendency to smile. When asked why he smiled he said he didn't know, just felt good but could not define the sensation, it was simply one of enjoyment. He said that he felt sorry for us, as he was the only one enjoying himself. Presently he broke out into a restrained but hearty laugh.

When questioned, he said it was simply because he couldn't help laughing. He admitted that he was making a fool of himself, but said he couldn't help it and didn't care anyway. At one time he pointed at an article of furniture in the room and had another laughing spell. When asked the reason he merely said that it was funny. He answered all questions put to him, but showed no tendency to be talkative, most of his answers being short.

These spells would last for probably a minute or two and then there would intervene a normal period of ten to twenty minutes. He said he was simply "happy" drunk, and he looked and acted that way. Later in the evening he showed a decided disposition to be annoyed by talking or answering questions and remarked that the earlier effects of the drug were much the more pleasant.

At ten o'clock the action of the drug had worn off sufficiently so that he felt inclined to go home. He was somewhat irritable on the walk from the laboratory and said afterwards that he was very drunk on the way home. He ate lunch before retiring and enjoyed a comfortable night's sleep and felt fine the next day, with no bad effects whatever.

Observations were taken of the blood pressure (systolic) and of the pulse rate at intervals during the evening, but nothing abnormal was noticed. The pulse was full and steady and the rate averaged about 80, not varying more than six beats at any time. The blood pressure was 130 mm. of mercury throughout the evening.

Experiment III.

P. relates his own experience as follows: At 4: 30 I took a capsule containing two grains S.E. Cannabis Americana on an empty stomach. About one hour later, while talking to my colleagues about the best time for them to go out for a lunch, they asked me if I didn't feel anything; I answered, "No," and truthfully I did not, but no sooner had I spoken than I experienced a peculiar sensation. The corners of my mouth commenced to draw and I could not refrain from laughing; I laughed so heartily that I was tired afterwards, although nothing seemed particularly amusing. This spell lasted for probably half a minute, although it seemed much longer to me.

Then my associates left me, and I was alone in the laboratory. At this time I felt most exhilarated. Everything seemed so enjoyable and I was extremely comfortable. I walked up and down the corridor, swinging lightly along, seeming to walk on air or feathers. My feet weighed nothing. It was no effort to walk; it was more like floating along. My sense of proportion was lost, my feet seemed miles away from me, my arms were long and big. The corridor was miles long; I walked or rather floated up and down apparently for hours, waving my hands and arms, marking time to imaginary music.

All this while I was smiling and enjoying myself immensely. All my faculties were not impaired, however, because to test myself I read part of a typewritten notice on the bulletin board. I was standing there when a person who knew nothing of the experiment passed by. We greeted each other, and evidently he noticed nothing peculiar in my appearance nor actions. I was suprised at this, for it seemed to me that he must see how silly I looked and how I swayed when I walked, but especially he should have noticed my voice, which sounded to me like the deepest bass. It seemed to me to be musical and full toned and I liked to hear myself talk. My colleagues, however, did not seem to notice it, nor did they appreciate that I felt so good toward them and myself.

After what seemed hours of walking I sat down to await their return from lunch. Several waves swept over me during this time and also later on, which are very difficult to describe adequately. The feeling was one of well being and perfect satisfaction, beginning with a sort of numbness or fullness in the extremities, a feeling of unreality in the surroundings. I knew that my hands were normal in appearance, but when not observing them, they seemed to be detached and not a part of me. We played a game of cards, and in playing a card I seemed to be throwing some enormous but very light article over a great distance.

These spells usually started by smiling and ended in laughing rather hysterically, pounding the table with mY fist. But I could not laugh aloud because of the peculiar drawing and contriction about my face and neck previously noted. As the effect began to wear off these paroxysms became less frequent but no less irresistible. I felt no unpleasant symptoms at any time. About ten o'clock I was hungry and ate some sandwiches with great relish before going home. I reached home without any difficulty, not feeling drowsy and without any change in my feeling of enjoyment. Upon arriving home I retired immediately because I felt that I was not entirely normal. Before going to sleep, however, I experienced another wave.

I awoke early next morning very much refreshed and none the worse for my experience.

H.'s Observatlons on Exp. III. The experience of P. was practically a duplicate of L.'s. The effect appeared one hour after taking the drug, and except for an occasional lapse his normal condition was regained five hours afterwards. There was more uncontrollable laughter in his case, no irritability and no apparent discomfort at any time. He seemed to give himself up more completely to the enjoyment of his sensations than the others. At times he seemed to be addressing an imaginary audience, pacing back and forth, gesturing and appeanng to talk to himself.

We were inclined to question whether some of his actions were not assumed and voluntary; but he assured us that he was acting just as he felt.

L.'s Observations on Exp. III. P. began to feel the effect about an hour after the administration of the drug. He seemed to be possessed of a desire to move about, paced up and down the corridors, declaring he felt as though he weighed not more than fifteen pounds. He was apparently very much pleased with himself, and bubbling over with happiness. At times he would be seized by fits of uncontrollable laughter, which in some cases was spontaneous and without apparent cause, but usually it was incited by the others laughing at or with him. Between these paroxysms of laughter P.'s condition was practically normal, he could talk rationally, and his mind, as far as indications could be depended upon, was clear. At no time did there seem to be a loss of coordination. It was observed that the action of the drug was apparently produced in waves, while between these seizures one's condition would be practically normal.

During the three experiments recorded above, the one under observation felt a certain restraint, knowing that the others were watching for every abnormal action. For this reason it was decided to vary the conditions in the further experiment and have all three under the influence of the drug at the same time. It was hoped in this way to eliminate the restraint evident in each of the individual experiments and perhaps observe some new features in the action of the drug.

Experiment IV.

In this experiment H. took Extract of Cannabis Americana again, while L. and P. took extract Cannabis Indica. This gave an opportunity for L. and P. to compare the effect of the two varieties, both on themselves and on the others, while H. took this opportunity to repeat the experiment with all the conditions the same, except that he ate no dinner until the effect was practically gone. All three took the drug at 4:30 on empty stomachs, the dose in each case being two grains.

The last experiment, while not developing any new features, was in other respects successful. H. had no unpleasant experience and the evening was one of unalloyed pleasure, proving that all the discomfort was directly traceable to the nausea from having food in the stomach. L. considered the effect to be much less intense and of shorter duration in this experiment than that from the American drug, while P. took the opposite view in his case.

H.'s account of the experiment is as follows: L. was the first to note the characteristic effect of the drug, while P. and I remained unaffected for fully two hours after it was taken.

The same feeling of well-being and complete satisfaction was experienced by all, this being as evident to the observers as to the subject himself. Uncontrollable laughter was more frequent and longer continued than in the individual cases, probably because during a cannabis intoxication so little is necessary to excite it, and when one started the others joined in the hilarity. No one felt inclined toward any activity, but only to give himself complete relaxation. Each of the three was emphatic in stating that he knew when he was making himself more or less ridiculous, but could not control the impulse nor did he wish to restrain himself.

About six hours after taking the drug, at the end of a quiet card game, without any comment, each of the three assumed as comfortable a position as possible and fell into a doze. It was apparently not sleep in any case, as each was fully conscious of noises in the building and annoyed by them.

This lasted not more than ten minutes, at the end of which we all felt fully aroused and ready for something to eat. This ended the experiment as outlined in advance. The only variation from the original plan was, as noted, for all three to experience the effects at the same time. No point was lost because of this, since the subject is at all times acutely conscious of everything occurring.

L.'s Account of Experment IV. My personal experience with Indian Cannabis was very much the same as those already narrated as occurring with the Cannabis Americana, although the effects were developed somewhat more promptly, and were not quite so pronounced or lasting. P.'s feeling seemed also to duplicate very closely those which he had had from the Cannabis Americana, but contrary to my own were somewhat more pronounced. H. did not have any of the nausea or any of the other uncomfortable features which occurred during the first experiment, indicating very clearly that these symptoms were due to the hearty dinner which he had eaten, and were not to be construed as characteristic of Cannabis.

The drug in this last experiment was taken at half-past four, and the greater part of the effects were felt from about half past six to eight o'clock. After that time the more exhilarating action had worn off, and I experienced only a drowsiness. For a half or three-quarters of an hour after I had ceased to feel any more marked effects of the drug H. and P. continued to be very much exhilarated. About nine o'clock all three of us became drowsy, and as if by mutual consent laid our heads on the table in a sort of doze, although none of us really went to sleep. This condition continued about ten to fifteen minutes, after which we felt much refreshed.

P.'s Account of Experiment IV. L. was the first one to show any symptoms from the effect of the drug. He had practically the same experience as on the previous occasion. H. and I did not feel any effect for fully an hour later than L., but finally went under the full influence of the drug very suddenly, there being no premonitory symptoms whatever.

At times one of the three would have a paroxysm of laughter alone, but usually one would start laughing and the others join him at once. It was observed, however, that L. was getting over his intoxication early, and he sat there seemingly rather bored and provoked at the others for being so happy.

The effect on myself was apparently more intense than that of the previous test, and more so than was experienced by the others, laughing spells being more frequent and inclined to be hysterical. No unpleasant symptoms were experienced by any one of the three during the evening. After several hours playing cards and talking a peculiar thing happened. Suddenly and without a word from any one we stopped the game, lay back in our chairs and dozed. It seems to me that I slept for a long time, although it was in reality only about ten minutes. It probably was not really sleep, as I remember hearing the watchman on his rounds, and wondering whether he would come into the room where we were. As suddenly and spontaneously as we had dozed, we aroused and, having practically recovered from the effects of the drug, prepared to go home.


It may be stated with certainty that the physical and mental condition of the human subject at the time of administering this drug influences its effects both in degree and kind. For that reason no two persons can be expected to exhibit the same symptoms as a result of ingesting equal quantities of the same drug, and no person can be depended upon to react in exactly the same manner from the same drug on different occasions. With these facts in mind the differences in the three personal experiences above related are readily explainable, and there is no reasonable ground for doubting that Cannabis Sativa grown in India and America contains the same active constituent.

The method of assaying extracts of Cannabis Sativa described in detail by Houghton and Hamilton (Am. Jour. of Pharm., January, 1908) makes use of dogs for exhibiting the characteristic effect of the drug. Attention is called in this article to the fact that the animals must have been specially selected for the purpose. They must not only be susceptible to the drug but their behavior under its influence must have been determined by preliminary observation. We may thus avoid errors due to their individual idiosyncrasies. There are, apparently, no such marked differences in the character of the reaction in dogs as are observed in human subjects, nor are they so variable at different times if they have been carefully selected as described above.

When proper precautions are observed the activity of an extract Cannabis Sativa relative to a standard extract may be determined with reasonable accuracy. Twelve years' experience in observing tests of Cannabis Sativa obtained from different countries, Africa, India, Germany, Greece and various localities in North America, has supplied data to prove that they all contain the same active constituent.



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CANNABIS, U.S.P. (American Cannabis) (1929)


CANNABIS, U.S.P. (American Cannabis):

Fluid Extract No. 598 .......................(Alcohol 80%).. 5.00

Cannabis-Tinktur Fluid Extract Cannabis, in common with other of our products that cannot be accurately assayed by chemical means, is tested physiologically and made to conform to a standard that has been found to be, in practice, reliable. Every package is stamped with the date of manufacture. Physiologic standardization was introduced by Parke, Davis & Co.

This fluid extract is prepared from Cannabis sativa grown in America. Extensive pharmacological and clinical tests have shown that its medicinal action cannot be distinguished from that of the fluid made from imported East Indian cannabis. Introduced to the medical profession by us.

Average dose, 1 1.2 mins. (0.1 cc). Narcotic, analgesic, sedative.

For quarter-pint bottles add 80c. per pint to the price given for pints



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History of Cannabis and Its Preparations in Saga, Science and Sobriquet (2007)


by Ethan B. Russo
20402 81st Avenue SW, Vashon, WA 98070, USA
Cannabis sativa L. is possibly one of the oldest plants cultivated by man, but has remained a source of controversy throughout its history.

Whether pariah or panacea, this most versatile botanical has provide a mirror to medicine and has pointed the way in the last two decades toward a host of medical challenges from analgesia to weight loss through the discovery of its myriad biochemical attributes and the endocannabinoid system wherein many of its components operate.

This study surveys the history of cannabis, its genetics and preparations. A review of cannabis usage in Ancient Egypt will serve as an archetype, while examining first mentions from various Old World cultures and their pertinence for contemporary scientific investigation.

Cannabis historians of the past have provided promising clues to potential treatments for a wide array of currently puzzling medicalsyndromes including chronic pain, spasticity, cancer, seizure disorders, nausea, anorexia, and infectious disease that remain challenges for 21st century medicine. Information gleaned from the history of cannabis administration in its various forms may provide useful points of departure for research into novel delivery techniques and standardization of cannabis-based medicines that will allow their prescription for treatment of these intractable medical conditions.


1. Introduction
2. The Ticklish Matter of Taxonomy
3. A Bit of Geography
4. Cannabis Preparations: Bhang, Ganja, and Charas
5. History of Medicinal Cannabis
5.1. Egypt
5.2. Cannabis-Historical Notes from Other Cultures
6. Miscellaneous Cannabis Oddities and First Mentions
7. Conclusions
1. Introduction. – Humans have utilized cannabis products in various forms
throughout recorded history. A case for the co-evolution of cannabis with the human
species has even been advanced [1]. The plant is remarkable in its morphological
variability (Fig. 1, seed size), and versatility as a foodstuff and fuel (achenes or @seedsA),
fiber (stalks), and pharmaceutical (unfertilized flowering tops). Its biochemical
diversity, while possibly exceeded in sheer numbers by other herbs and common food
plants, is likely unrivaled with respect to its extensive complement of bioactive
compounds and their potential medical applications.
1614 CHEMISTRY & BIODIVERSITY – Vol. 4 (2007)
F 2007 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, ZHrich
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Observations on the medicinal properties of the Cannabis Sativa of India (1843)

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Cannabis Sativa Seu Indica: Indian Hemp (1895)

Br Med J. 1895 February 9

R. Cowan Lees
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Collapse after intravenous injection of hashish. (1968)

Br Med J. 1968 July 27; 3(5612): 229–230.
PMCID: PMC1986226

Adverse Effects of Intravenous Cannabis Tea (1977)

J J Natl Med Assoc. 1977 July; 69(7): 491–495.
PMCID: PMC2536936

Paraquat and marijuana: epidemiologic risk assessment. (1978)

Am J Public Health. 1983 July; 73(7): 784–788.
PMCID: PMC1650884

Hashish and drug abuse in Egypt during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Bull N Y Acad Med. 1985 June; 61(5): 428–444.
PMCID: PMC1911881
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Marihuana and drug abuse. Recommendations of the Committee on Public Health, New York Academy of Medicine. (1973)

Bull N Y Acad Med. 1973 January; 49(1): 77–80.
PMCID: PMC1806908
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Observations on the Cannabis Indica, or Indian Hemp (1843)

Prov Med J Retrosp Med Sci. 1843 March 18; 5(129): 487–489.
PMCID: PMC2490354

W. Ley
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Articles from Provincial Medical Journal and Retrospect of the Medical Sciences are provided here courtesy of

BMJ Publishing Group
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A Case of Dysmenorrh a in Which the Tincture of Cannabis Indica Was Employed, with Some Observations upon That Drug (1847)

Prov Med Surg J. 1847 March 10; 11(5): 122–124.
PMCID: PMC2487155
Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia (700 BC)

Russo EB, Jiang HE, Li X, Sutton A, Carboni A, Del Bianco F, Mandolino G, Potter DJ, Zhao YX, Bera S, Zhang YB, Lü EG, Ferguson DK, Hueber F, Zhao LC, Liu CJ, Wang YF, Li CS

J Exp Bot 2008 Nov; 59(15):4171-4182.

The Yanghai Tombs near Turpan, Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region, China have recently been excavated to reveal the 2700-year-old grave of a Caucasoid shaman whose accoutrements included a large cache of cannabis, superbly preserved by climatic and burial conditions.

A multidisciplinary international team demonstrated through botanical examination, phytochemical investigation, and genetic deoxyribonucleic acid analysis by polymerase chain reaction that this material contained tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis, its oxidative degradation product, cannabinol, other metabolites, and its synthetic enzyme, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase, as well as a novel genetic variant with two single nucleotide polymorphisms.

The cannabis was presumably employed by this culture as a medicinal or psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination. To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent, and contribute to the medical and archaeological record of this pre-Silk Road culture.

 Howard TP, Lloyd JC, Raines CA 
Inter-species variation in the oligomeric states of the higher plant Calvin cycle enzymes glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and phosphoribulokinase.

updated CMMC 2011 May 20.
Abstract | Full Citation 




Plant Physiol. 1936 October; 11(4): 731–747.
PMCID: PMC439254
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Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years

Br J Pharmacol. 2006 January; 147(S1): S163–S171.
Published online 2006 January 9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706406.
PMCID: PMC1760722
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Observations on the raising and dressing of hemp (1789)

 First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820

Image 2 of 8, Observations on the raising and dressing of hemp


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Medicinal use of cannabis in the United States: Historical perspectives, current trends, and future directions (2009)

J Opioid Manag. 2009 May-Jun;5(3):153-68.


Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Cannabis (marijuana) has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia, said to be first noted by the Chinese in c. 2737 BCE. Medicinal cannabis arrived in the United States much later, burdened with a remarkably checkered, yet colorful, history.

Despite early robust use, after the advent of opioids and aspirin, medicinal cannabis use faded. Cannabis was criminalized in the United States in 1937, against the advice of the American Medical Association submitted on record to Congress.

The past few decades have seen renewed interest in medicinal cannabis, with the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine, and the American College of Physicians, all issuing statements of support for further research and development.

The recently discovered endocannabinoid system has greatly increased our understanding of the actions of exogenous cannabis. Endocannabinoids appear to control pain, muscle tone, mood state, appetite, and inflammation, among other effects.

Cannabis contains more than 100 different cannabinoids and has the capacity for analgesia through neuromodulation in ascending and descending pain pathways, neuroprotection, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. This article reviews the current and emerging research on the physiological mechanisms of cannabinoids and their applications in managing chronic pain, muscle spasticity, cachexia, and other debilitating problems.



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American Medical Association Opposes the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937

American Medical Association
Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation
Chicago, July 10, 1937
Hon. Pat Harrison
Chairman, Committee on Finance, United States Senate
Washington D.C.

Cannabis Extract SIR: I have been instructed by the board of trustees of the American Medical Association to protest on behalf of the association against the enactment in its present form of so much of H.R. 6906 as relates to the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. The act is entitled "An Act to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording."

Cannabis and its preparations and derivatives are covered in the bill by the term "marihuana" as that term is defined in section 1, paragraph (b). There is no evidence, however, that the medicinal use of these drugs has caused or is causing cannabis addiction. As remedial agents, they are used to an inconsiderable extent, and the obvious purpose and effect of this bill is to impose so many restrictions on their use as to prevent such use altogether. Since the medicinal use of cannabis has not caused and is not causing addiction, the prevention of the use of the drug for medicinal purposes can accomplish no good end whatsoever. How far it may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value, it is impossible to foresee.

The American Medical Association has no objection to any reasonable regulation of the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. It does protest, however, against being called upon to pay a special tax, to use special order forms in order to procure the drug, to keep special records concerning its professional use and to make special returns to the Treasury Department officials, as a condition precedent to the use of cannabis in the practice of medicine. in the several States, all separate and apart from the taxes, order forms, records, and reports required under the Harrison Narcotics Act with reference to opium and coca leaves and their preparations and derivatives.

If the medicinal use of cannabis calls for Federal legal regulation further than the legal regulation that now exists, the drug can without difficulty be covered under the provisions of the Harrison Narcotics Act by a suitable amendment. By such a procedure the professional use of cannabis may readily be controlled as effectively as are the professional uses of opium and coca leaves, with less interference with professional practice and less cost and labor on the part of the Treasury Department.

It has been suggested that the inclusion of cannabis into the Harrison Narcotics Act would jeopardize the constitutionality of that act, but that suggestion has been supported by no specific statements of its legal basis or citations of legal authorities.

Wm. C. Woodward,

Legislative Counsel


[Whereupon at 11:37 AM Monday, July 12, 1937, the subcommittee adjourned.]


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On the Action of Cannabis Indica (1883)

Br Med J. 1883 May 12; 1(1167): 905–906.
PMCID: PMC2372454

The La Guardia Committee Report (1944)

The Marihuana Problem in the City of New York

Mayor's Committee on Marihuana, by the New York Academy of Medicine

City of New York , 1944.

 Zip file of the entire report - about 114K


With special thanks to Peter Webster for his work in scanning this document for the library.




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