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A Brief History of Medical Cannabis

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A Brief History of Medical Cannabis by Ian Williams Goddard

For thousands of years prior to its prohibition in the 20th century, cannabis was used as a medicine throughout the world. During the 19th century the potent extract of cannabis was one of the top three most prescribed medical agents in the United States.

Until the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, cannabis, being a powerful topical analgesic, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic agent, was found in virtually all fistulas, corn and mustard plasters, muscle ointments, and fibrosis poultices

The United States Pharmacopeia listed cannabis until 1942, after which it was removed under political pressure. The Pharmacopeia recommended cannabis for the treatment of over 100 illnesses, such as: fatigue, fits of coughing, rheumatism, asthma, delirium tremens, migraine headaches, and the cramps and depression associated with menstruation.

In 1890, Dr. J. Russell Reynolds, Fellow of the Royal Society and the Physician in Order to Her Majesty's Household, stated in the journal Lancet that cannabis is `one of the most valuable medicines we possess'' He prescribed cannabis to Queen Victoria for PMS

In 1898 Sir William Osler, Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, stated that for migraine headaches, cannabis ``is probably the most satisfactory remedy''

Medical Cannabis: the 20th Century

During the 20th century cannabis has been discovered to be an effective treatment for many more ailments. For example, based on major research, Dr. Van Sim concluded that "marijuana ... is probably the most potent anti-epileptic known to medicine today" More powerful than standard anti-epileptic drugs, cannabis totally eliminated epileptic seizures in children not responding to legal drug therapies.

Dr. Robert Hepler, Neuro-opthalmologist with the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, published a major study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1971 demonstrating that cannabis lowers intraocular pressure in the eyes. Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, is a condition in which intraocular pressures build up causing optical damage. Cannabis has been proven to reduce these pressures far better than legal drugs, allowing glaucoma patients to keep their vision so long as they use cannabis regularly.

Research at the Harvard Medical School published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated conclusively that cannabis is the most effective anti-nausea agent available. It has been used in this regard to eliminate the violent nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patents undergoing chemotherapy. Cancer ward workers have been known to turn a blind-eye on cannabis smoking in the hospital.

Based on extensive anecdotal evidence, cannabis, with its known appetite-stimulating effects -- described by users as "getting the munchies" -- is known to counter the "wasting syndrome" of full-blown AIDS. During this syndrome an AIDS patient, loosing all appetite, quickly loses weight in a free-fall to death. In case after case, AIDS patients have totally reversed their weight loss with the use of cannabis.

Marijuana is one of the oldest natural herbs known to human beings. It is also one of the safest, as it is impossible to consume enough to produce a toxic effect in the body.

"Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality...Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death...In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity...In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume...Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." - DEA Administrative Law Judge, FL Young, 1988

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Medical Cannabis Use

These are references to cannabis uses and sales until

drug prohibition reared its ugly, evil head on our society.



From 1890 through 1937, the Parke, Davis & Company widely marketed

various formulations of medical cannabis. The products and

formulations were advertised as originating from "home-grown

cannabis." Parke, Davis & Company marketed tinctures and fluid

extracts sold by the pint or fluid ounce; cannabis tablets and pills

sold by the gram; solid and powdered extracts sold by the gram, ounce,

or pound; and "pressed flowering tops" also sold by the gram, ounce,

or pound. Solid and powdered extracts along with "flowering tops" were

sold to practitioners or ultimate users who wished to prepare their

own tinctures, fluids, or tablets.

The advertised uses of these formulations include the following:

analgesic, sedative, corn cures, spasmodic disorders, genito-urinary

irritation, persistent cough, insomnia, hysteria, asthma, delirium

tremens, acute fevers, cathartics, migraine, gastralgia, pruritus,

neuralgia, and as a narcotic "used in place of opium."


From 1877 through 1935, the Eli Lilly Company marketed fluid, solid,

and powdered extracts, all of which were manufactured from the

"flowering tops of the pistillate plants of Cannabis sativa L."

The advertised uses include: antispasmodic, analgesic, sedative,

aphrodisiac, narcotic, delirium tremens, insanity, hysteria,



In the late 1800's to early 1900s, Merck manufactured and sold the

"flowering top of the female plant" by the pound. They also sold, by

the pound, tops that were "ground for percola" as well has cannabis

oil with "infused tops." In addition, Merck sold fluid extracts,

tinctures, and pilular extracts.

The Advertised uses included increase appetite, anodyne,

antispasmodic, and rheumatism.


In the late 1800's to early 1900's, Squibb manufactured and sold

tinctures and tablets as well as "the dried flowering tops of the

female plant" which could be "ground for pecolation (sic)."

The advertised uses include anodyne, epilepsy, hysteria, sedative,

neuralgic attacks.


Sometime prior to 1938, Apex and Federick Stearns marketed a poultice

(cannabis combined with alcohol and ether; cannabis combined with

salicylic acid and collodion). The advertised use was for a Corn


Upon information and belief, the formulations - identified above as

more fully set forth in the attached - have never been changed. Those

formulations and the marketing of those products were discontinued on

the dates noted above.

In addition to the commercial manufacturing and marketing of these

products, the medical journals of the time described these products as



This describes cannabis as "the dried flowering tops of the pistillate

plants of Cannabis sativa Linne" and then further describes cannabis

in its various forms - unground flowers and leaves, the stem, and

powdered cannabis. American cannabis known as "Cannabis Americana" is

"yielded from the Cannabis sativa plants cultivated in various

sections of the United States." "It occurs on the market in the form

of broken segments of the inflorescence and more or less crumpled and

broken leaves, varying in color from brownish-green to light brown."

"Only the female plant produces the drug" and "Cannabis is used in

medicine to relieve pain, to encourage sleep, to soothe restlessness

... and will often relieve migranic headaches." The text notes that

"the only way of determining the dose of an individual is to give it

ascending quantities until some effect is produced." The formulations

noted are "exctractum, fluidextractum, and tinctura."


This text describes cannabis as "the dried flowering tops of the

pistillate plants of Cannabis sativa Linne" and then explains how to

"assay" the fluid extract in gelatin capsules using dogs to determine

the appropriate strength.


This discusses "extratum cannabis": "Prepare an extract by percolating

1000 Gm. of cannabis in moderately coarse powder, using alcohol as the

menstruum. ..." Eventually, the practitioner/ultimate user will

"evaporate the percolate to a pilular consistence ..."


This text notes the various formulations; to wit, extract,

fluidextract, and tincture, and further notes that Dixon [a well known

British authority] "recommends inhalation of the vapor as most

soothing." Though "Cannabis indica is very little employed", common

usage include: "allaying nervous excitability, pain of neuralgia or

migraine, promoting sleep in the presence of pain."


This text details how to prepare the various extracts and lists

cannabis use for "neuralgia, distressing cough, quiets tickling in

throat, does not constipate or depress like opium, gout, delirium

tremens, tetanus convulsions, chorea, hysteria, mental depression,

epilepsy, morphine and chloral habits, softening of the brain, nervous



This explains that "cannabis and its preparations must be standardized

by physiological assay according to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. The assay

is based upon the amount of drug which is required to produce symptoms

of incoordination in the dog." The text also explains that "cannabis

contains a resin named cannabin" and there are solid extracts, fluid

extracts, and tinctures which are used as an "antispasmodic,

analgesic, anesthetic and narcotic, a cebro-spinal stimulant and a

powerful aphrodisasc." "A ravenous appetite is usually one of its

early effect."


Notes cannabis is available in tinctures and extracts and also

available is "cannabinon" - the "resin from Cannabis indica" and

"cannabin tannas" - "a powdered prepared from Cannabis indica." The

solid extract and the cannabinon and cannabin tannas are available by

the gram. Uses include antispasmodic, anti neuralgic, anodyne, cough

sedative in tuberculosis, and migraine or sick headache."

Also included, but not separately summarized here, are cannabis

references found in: Pharmacopoeia of the United States (1936),

Remington's Practice of Pharmacy (1936), A Text-Book of Practical

Therapeutics (1916), Textbook of Materia Medica (1931), and Textbook

of Materia Medica (1928).


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By Martin Martinez

A Brief History of Cannabis Indications

The earliest known evidence of mankind's use of the cannabis hemp plant is dated at approximately 10,000 years ago from a stone-age village on the Asian island of Taiwan. Archeologists discovered pottery decorated with hemp cord at that site in 1972, proving that the industrial use of hemp, called Ma in Chinese, predates all known historical references. Arguably the "mother" of agricultural civilization, Ma provided a renewable food source and a durable textile fiber for the manufacture of rope and fabric, setting agro-industrial China far ahead of hunter-gatherer tribes in other parts of the world. Besides its many textile and medicinal uses, cannabis seeds rich in B vitamins, protein, and amino acids have served as China's second or third most important agricultural food source for thousands of years. Evidence of cannabis medication has been found in Egyptian ruins dated as early the 16th century B. C., and ancient Hebrew digs have also unearthed evidence of cannabis use long before the time of Christ. However, the pervasive influence of Ma has been a primary vehicle of China's continuous survival since prehistoric times.

Ancient Chinese medicine men used hemp stalks carved with snake figures as magical amulets to exorcise demons that were believed to be the cause of physical illness. By beating the headboards of their patient's beds with magical hemp stalks while reciting spells and incantations, ancient Chinese medicine men attempted to cure all sorts of diseases. Japanese Shinto Priests employed a similar ceremony using a short wand bound with undyed hemp fibers. It was thought that the purity of white hemp fibers would exorcise evil demons.

Shen-Nung, a legendary emperor who ruled in China around 2800 BC, is traditionally credited with introducing medicines to Chinese culture. It is said that Shen-Nung had a transparent abdomen, and intentionally ingested as many as 70 different plants per day so he could watch their effects and discover their various qualities. He identified hundreds of different medicines compiled in the oldest known medicinal text entitled the Pen Ts'ao. For that he was deified and acclaimed the father of Chinese medicine. Prior to the reorganization of China as a communist country, many drug stores offered periodic discounts in honor of Shen-Nung.

According to the Pen Ts'ao, ma-fen, the flowering tops of female cannabis plants, contain the greatest amount of yin energy; yin being the receptive female dynamic attribute linked with yang, the creative male element in traditional Chinese philosophy and medicine. Ma-fen was thus prescribed in cases of a loss of yin, such as in menstrual fatigue, rheumatism, malaria, beri-beri, constipation, and absentmindedness. The Pen Ts'ao warns that if too many Ma seeds were eaten it could cause one to see demons, but if taken over a long period of time, eating cannabis seeds could enable one to communicate with spirits. Shen-Nung also instructed the people in the cultivation of hemp for clothing and textiles.

In the first century AD, Taoist alchemists inhaled the smoke of burned hemp seeds in order to cause visions that were valued as a means of achieving immortality. Cannabis was regarded as a superior elixir that rejuvenated the mind and body. Traditional Chinese physicians have used cannabis for a wide variety of medical conditions. Hua T'o, a famous surgeon of the second century AD, performed complicated surgery using ma-yo, an anesthetic made from cannabis resin and wine. When methods of acupuncture and medicine failed to effect a cure, Hua T'o performed complex surgery including, amputations and organ graftings, all tied with sutures. With the use of ma-yo, these surgeries were reportedly painless. In the tenth century AD Chinese physicians reported that cannabis was useful in the treatment of waste diseases and injuries. Ma treatments were used to clear the blood and cool fevers as well as a cure for rheumatism and as an aid in easing childbirth.

In Western civilizations, as in China, the use of cannabis as a fiber material has been of immeasurable value throughout history. Greek sailors traded hemp fibers across the Aegean Sea as early as the sixth century BC according to written records on hemp trade, and undersea archeologists found hemp fiber bundles in the cargo hold of a Carthaginian trade ship which sunk near Sicily around 300 BC. In 450 BC Herodotus, the great historian, wrote of the fine quality of hemp clothing produced by the Greek-speaking Thracians. 400 years later Plutarch wrote that the Thracians made a habit of throwing the tops of the cannabis plant onto a fire, thereby becoming intoxicated by the smoke. A minor reference to the use of cannabis as a remedy for backache is found in Greek literature from about 400 BC. That is the only known reference to the medical use of cannabis in ancient Greek culture, despite the fact that Arabic and Hebrew medical practices did rely on cannabis medications during that same period.

Early ignorance was eventually replaced with one enduring entry in Western civilization's annals of cannabis indications. In 70 AD a Greek physician named Discordes in the employ of the world-conquering Roman legions wrote a compendium of medicines titled Materia Medica. Discordes' Materia Medica contained the fruits of his world travels with the Roman armies. He listed 600 medicinal plants, complete with descriptions, local names, natural habitats, and indications for treatment of various symptoms. Among those 600 plants Discordes identified Cannabis Sativa L. (from the Greek kannabis) as being useful in manufacturing rope and the juice of the seeds was said to be effective for treating earaches and for diminishing sexual desire. Discordes' Materia Medica was hugely successful, translated into every language of the known world, and remained an indispensable reference manual of Western medicine for at least 1500 years.

The word canvas is derived from the word cannabis, an etymological indication of the supreme importance of industrial cannabis in European seafaring technology. Clearly, the colonial expansion of European empires into remote parts of the world could not have occurred without the use of hemp products. In 1492, each one of the Columbus's trans-Atlantic vessels carried over 80 tons of hemp rigging and sails, the product of untold thousands of man-hours in the making. Nevertheless, European knowledge of cannabis as a medicine was limited to the references of Discordes and various folk remedies throughout medieval times.

As Western man arose from the Dark Ages and developed greater insight through the Renaissance period, the development of medical science uncovered a remarkable array of cannabis indications. In 1621 Robert Burton suggested that cannabis might be useful in treating depression in The Anatomy of Melancholy. In 1682 The New London Dispensatory briefly covered the use of cannabis seeds to cure coughs and jaundice. The New English Dispensatory of 1764 recommended boiling hemp roots and applying the poultice to reduce inflammation. The Edinburg New Dispensary of 1794 reported an increase of the medicinal uses of the cannabis plant, including the treatment of coughs, venereal disease, and urinary incontinence. The section on cannabis notes that "Although the seeds only have hitherto been principally in use, yet other parts of the plant seem to be more active, and may be considered as deserving more attention." In 1814 Nicholas Culpepper published his Complete Herbal which listed all of the known medicinal uses of cannabis. He included all of the references previously published and included a few new ones, such as easing colic, allaying humors of the bowels, staying troublesome bleeding, reducing inflammation of the head, and reducing pains of the hips and joints. Culpepper also recommended cannabis as an additive to salves in the treatment of burns. There is no historical evidence that European physicians were aware of any psychoactive effects associated with cannabis use until the exploration and colonization of India and the Far East broadened European understandings.

In 1753 a Swedish botanist named Carl Lineaus compiled the most complete reference manual of botanical classifications to date entitled Species Planetarium. Linaeus adopted Discordes' classification of cannabis sativa, but almost immediately some botanists argued that the newly studied Indian cannabis plant was distinctly different from the well-known European cannabis sativa grown for industrial and medical uses. In 1783 a French biologist named Jean Lamark examined the two types in his compendium titled Encyclopedia. Lamark noted that the species cannabis sativa commonly grown for fiber and textile uses was characterized by a height of twelve to sixteen feet, long stalks, sparse foliage, and slender leaves. Cannabis native to India, on the other hand, was typically four to five feet tall at maturity and was densely foliated with bushy clusters of comparatively broad leaves. Lamark dubbed the second species cannabis indica in deference to its country of origin.

There are literally hundreds of subspecies of cannabis, and botanists continue to argue over exact scientific classifications, but most experts concur that there are at least two distinctly different species encompassing all the various subspecies. In 1913, Lyster Dewey, botanist and hemp expert from the United States Department of Agriculture reported in the U.S.D.A. Yearbook that cannabis indica was " . . . different in general appearance from any of the numerous forms grown by this department from seed obtained in nearly all countries where hemp is cultivated." (USGPO, Washington D.C., 1914) Modern hybridization has altered the natural inclinations of the cannabis plant as growers have sought to promote particular traits, blurring distinction between the two primary species, but those natural tendencies remain visible in current practice. Typically, the tall stalks of cannabis sativa are cultivated for fiber industries, while the short cannabis indica bushes are cultivated for the medicinal and psychoactive properties of their flowers. Cannabis sativa grown for industrial uses usually has an active content of less than one per cent, with no medicinal or psychoactive value. While proper cultivation can produce much higher levels of therapeutic compounds in some types of cannabis sativa, the naturally potent cannabis indica varieties are definitely not fit for fiber production due to the shortness of their stalks.

Apparently originating in China, cannabis presumably spread west across Asia, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean and was thus adopted by many early cultures and eventually spread to nearly all civilizations around the globe, according to Western historians. Traditional Hindu teachings, however, tell an entirely different story. The origins of cannabis indica are recorded in the Veda's, India's four most sacred books. Written approximately 4,000 years ago, the Vedas tell the great legends of conquest, struggle, and spiritual development, which continue to shape every facet of traditional Hindu life. Among many other myths the Vedas tell of Lord Shiva, one of three primary Hindu Gods, being refreshed in the heat of the day by eating cannabis leaves. Lord Shiva adopted cannabis as his favorite food, hence he is honored with the title Lord of Bhang.

Bhang is a traditional Indian beverage made of cannabis, milk, and various herbs and spices which has been popular in India for ages. Bhang is a less powerful preparation of cannabis than the Ganja, which is prepared from flowering cannabis plants for smoking and eating. Charas, more potent than either Bhang or Ganja, consists of cannabis flower tops harvested at full bloom. Dense with sticky resin, Charas is nearly as potent as the concentrated cannabis resin preparations called hashish. All of these intoxicating preparations of cannabis pervade every important aspects of Indian life, from ritualistic worship to mundane survival. Warriors preparing for battle, couples about to wed, and pious Hindus on virtually every important occasion have celebrated and partaken the sacred blessings of cannabis indica.

The fourth book of the Vedas, the Athavaveda, which is translated as the "Science of Charms," calls bhang one of the "five kingdoms of herbs . . . which releases us from anxiety." One Hindu myth tells of the time before creation when the Gods churned the great cosmic mountain for the nectar of immortality. It is said that cannabis plants sprouted wherever the precious drops of nectar touched the earth. Another ancient myth reports that Siddhartha who became known as Buddha, "the enlightened one," lived on nothing but a single cannabis seed per day for six years prior to his spiritual awakening. These myths serve as a reminder that mystics practicing Tantric Buddhism in Northern India, Tibet, and Nepal have included cannabis as an essential sacrament in magical and religious rituals for untold millennia.

Traditional Indian medicine, called Aruveyda, has long used cannabis preparations for treatment of a number of illnesses, such as fever, dysentery, sunstroke and leprosy. Cannabis is said to clear phlegm, quicken digestion, sharpen the intellect, increase the body's alertness, and to be an elixir vitae. To Hindus, pragmatic medical use goes hand in hand with spirituality. It is said that cannabis gives delight to Shiva, the King of Gods, who is always pleased to receive offerings. According to the Rajvallabha, a 17th century Indian text, "This desire-fulfilling drug was believed to have been obtained by men on Earth for the welfare of all people. To those who use it regularly, it begets joy and diminishes sorrow."

Indian culture reveres cannabis as a sacrament. To use cannabis is to partake of cosmic forces and unite with the Gods. Although Western societies typically reject such spiritual experiences, the importance of these beliefs in Indian culture cannot be discounted. In 1893, after exhaustive study of cannabis use in their Asian colony, the British government released the largest single study of cannabis use to date in the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report. Years of research produced the determination that the use of hemp drugs was not harmful to the Indians, and that it would be a grievous error to attempt to separate that culture from the holy drug known to the West as cannabis indica. The policy of unrestricted cannabis use in India has prevailed through modern times, as India remains the one country exempted from the Single Convention Treaty which currently outlaws cannabis use in most countries of the modern world. (That ban includes African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and South American countries whose history of cannabis use has also been of great cultural significance.)

Upon discovering traditional cannabis therapeutics from Indian physicians, the effects of cannabis indica on European and American medical practices was swift and strong. After studying the Indian medical literature, and after discussing cannabis with many Indian scholars, the British East India Company Surgeon, William B. O'Shoughnessy began testing cannabis indica on animals, patients, and himself. O'Shoughnessy introduced the medicinal uses of cannabis to Europe and America in his 1839 paper titled On the Preparation of the Indian Hemp or Gunja. O'Shoughnessy found that cannabis relieved rheumatism, convulsions, and muscle spasms of tetanus and rabies. That research remains compelling evidence calling for further scrutiny in our current post-industrial era. Following O'Shoughnessy's work, the late 1800's saw a rapid increase of cannabis therapies in Western medical practices. In 1840 French physician Louis Aubert-Roche published a book on the use of hashish to treat symptoms of the plague and typhoid fever. In 1854 the United States Dispensatory listed many uses of cannabis extracts, recommending that cannabis preparations were indicated in cases of neuralgia, gout, tetanus, hydrophobia, cholera, convulsions, spasticity, hysteria, depression, insanity, uterine hemorrhage, and also for promoting relaxed uterine contractions during delivery. In 1890 Sir John Russell Reynolds, personal physician to Queen Victoria reported that cannabis was useful for treatment of dysmenorrhea, (painful menstruation) migraine, neuralgia, convulsions, and insomnia. Reynolds called cannabis "by far the most useful of drugs" in treating "painful maladies." Between 1840 and 1890 at least 100 medical papers were published on the uses of cannabis for the treatment of loss of appetite, insomnia, migraine headache, pain, involuntary twitching, excessive coughing, and treatment of withdrawal in cases of opiate or alcohol addiction. By the turn of the 20th century there were at least 30 different cannabis preparations made by leading pharmaceutical companies available in America, although the hypodermic injection of morphine had promoted a sharp decline in the use of cannabis medications by that time.

Domestic policies driven by capitalistic motives and marked prejudice against Mexicans and blacks, the primary users of "recreational" cannabis at that time, led to the wholesale criminalization of cannabis by the US government in the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. The details of that long and complicated topic are beyond the purview of this work specific to research on the potential medical uses of cannabis. Leave it to be noted that during the closed congressional hearings of 1937, the American Medical Association clearly objected to the prohibitive Marijuana Tax Act. The testimony of the American Medical Association's Legislative Counsel, Dr. William C. Woodward, in response to the fabricated testimony of law enforcement prohibitionists, criticized the proceedings and their determined intent. He told the Legislators:

"In all that you have heard here thus far, no mention has been made of any excessive use of the drug by any doctor or its excessive distribution by any pharmacist. And yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily upon the doctors and pharmacists of the country, and I may say very heavily--most heavily possibly of all--on the farmers of the country.

We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years, without any initiative, even to the profession that it was being prepared. . . . No medical man would identify this bill with a medicine until he read it through, because marijuana is not a drug . . . simply a name given to cannabis."

For his testimony, Dr. Woodward was rewarded with the following admonition:

"You are not cooperative in this. If you want to advise us on legislation you ought to come here with some constructive proposals rather than criticisms, rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something the Federal government is trying to do."

Regardless of the interests of the American Medical Association, numerous pharmaceutical corporations such as Parke-Davis and Ely Lilly, various hemp fiber industries, including the Ford Corporation, the United States government effectively banned all uses of all strains of cannabis in the prohibitive 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. The study of cannabis and its many potential medical applications was minimal for the following 30 years. While there were over 2500 studies of narcotics drugs done between 1938 and 1965, there were only 175 studies of cannabis undertaken during the same period. "Reefer madness" propaganda created a climate completely hostile to the cannabis plant, with the brief exception of the WW II era when the industrial uses of hemp fiber were hugely promoted by the US government to outfit American armies. The "Hemp for Victory" slogan was quickly forgotten at the close of the war. Since then, with the exception of sterilized hemp seed imported for bird food, and more recently for human consumption, the federal ban on cannabis products has been complete and resolute up to and including the present day.

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Nice find, I can edit my rants from 6000 years without killing anyone to 10,000 years without killing anyone. :innocent:

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Excellent find Danzig.

As instructive now as it was in 2005. Brilliant post :smoke:

Edit to add: Bump, cos you know it's worth it

Edited by Catfish Bob Cymru

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This is an amazing read - well done and thanks for posting it.

Take care,


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Nice read, thanks for the post :wassnnme:

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:wassnnme: interesting

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Regulation through Education! good post thanks post-25257-1196797965_thumb.jpg


Edited by noddy420

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Worth a bump in these times of reefer madness.

Great post Danzig,cheers mate. lol

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nice one man...loved it.. :yahoo:

it also highlites even more of the bollox that the governments constantly repeat when they talk of the strength of cannabis and what parts of the plant have been used over the years...

all those pharmaceutical companies that used cannabis for treating the hundreds of aliments, stated they used the flowering tops of cannabis sativa....

big, juicy, fat, resin coated buds.

not the 3% THC shite swag that the governments constantly mention that everyone was smoking in the past


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William Brooke O'Shaughnessy (October 1808, Limerick, Ireland - January 1889) was an Irish physician famous for his work in pharmacology and inventions related to telegraphy.

He is most notable for introducing the therapeutic use of cannabis sativa to Western medicine.

O'Shaughnessy studied forensic toxicology and chemistry in England, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 1829. In 1831, at the age of 22, he introduced intravenous fluid and electrolyte-replacement therapy in the treatment of cholera.[1] O'Shaughnessy joined the British East India Company in 1833 and moved to Calcutta, remaining in India for approximately nine years where he fulfilled the roles of surgeon, physician, professor of chemistry, and scientist.

His first stint in India was marked by work in the subjects of botanical pharmacology, chemistry, galvanic electricity, and underwater conduction, among others. At Calcutta, he was a member of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta, where he published one of his first papers on medical applications of cannabis[2]. He validated folk uses of cannabis in India, discovered new applications, and ultimately recommended cannabis for a great variety of therapeutic purposes. O’ Shaughnessy established his reputation by successfully relieving the pain of rheumatism and stilling the convulsions of an infant with cannabis. He eventually popularized its use back in England. His most famous success came when he quelled the wrenching muscle spasm of tetanus and rabies with resin. While he could not cure tetanus, he did observe that the cannabis mixture reduced their symptoms of spasticity and their suffering.[3] In 1841, he returned to England where he introduced cannabis sativa to Western medicine and continued his scientific writings.

In 1856 he was knighted by Queen Victoria for his work on the telegraph in India. He was also appointed Director-General of Telegraphs at this time. During the following years O'Shaughnessy wrote on telegraphy-related subjects, including a book of Private Codes for encrypted telegraphy. In 1860, O'Shaughnessy returned to Europe for sick leave where he remained in obscurity until his death in January, 1889.

^ Mikuriya, Tod H., MD, Marijuana Medical Papers, 1839-1972

^ O'Shaughnessy, W.B. (1839) Case of Tetanus, Cured by a Preparation of Hemp (the Cannabis indica.), Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Bengal 8, 1838-40, 462-469 Available online

^ Conrad, Chris. Hemp for Health pp.20-21

Information about W. B. O'Shaughnessy's pioneering work with cannabis is given in, among other places, Dr. Robley Dunglison's New Remedies Lea and Blanchard (1843).

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Typically, the tall stalks of cannabis sativa are cultivated for fiber industries, while the short cannabis indica bushes are cultivated for the medicinal and psychoactive properties of their flowers. Cannabis sativa grown for industrial uses usually has an active content of less than one per cent, with no medicinal or psychoactive value. While proper cultivation can produce much higher levels of therapeutic compounds in some types of cannabis sativa, the naturally potent cannabis indica varieties are definitely not fit for fiber production due to the shortness of their stalks.

i dont understand some of this, is it saying that cannabis sativa has no psychoactive or medicinal properties and it is all cannabis indica that has them? so how come we are growing and smoking pure sativa varieties and getting high?

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amazing info. great that this is pinned to the top of these forums. thanks

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interesting read but how does this help someone with MS who had to stop smoking six months ago when a chest infection and complications with his diabetise ended up with multiple organ failure from double pneumonia, pretty much recovered now despite bringing in the new year being resusitated in an ICU tho still some breathing problems which put an end to my thirty five year old cig habit. my question is, this spray which the canadians were going to llegalise for medical use? A) whats the chances of a british GP prescribing it for my MS? B) is it true that you don't get high from it?

i stopped recreational smoking years ago with just the odd re-visit from time to time purely for "medicinal" reasons, truth be told i never thought it worked, not with the type of gear available locally, 70's blow like the old red leb or black or plain old grass in moderation used to give that mellowed high which i could see as being beneficial, sadly my youthful late teens early twenties days of smoking daily didn't coincide with the advent of my MS in my thirties, then i didn't get round to trying the local gear until my forties having been out of the loop and not knowing where to buy. now i'm tempted to find something which now in my late 40's will kill two birds with one stone, replace the copious amounts of dihydrocodeine, diazepam and amatryptaline i take daily and to be honest, just get my pleasantly high, not shitfaced stoned, send expeditions to the local bakery at 3am for soda scones to toast and spread with melting butter and strawberry jam kind of high.

my question? what would you recommend? none of this pensioner bake it in cookies shit, none of this, try to stop the hand tremors long enough to try rolling a joint shit either, any ideas?

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