Marijuana (Cannabis) was available for medical treatment in the early years of the 20th Century in England and America It was used as an analgesic and was prescribed for migraine, neuralgia and dysmenorrhoea. The preparations available were the alcoholic tincture and aqueous extract.
It is of interest that the Practitioner's Encyclopaedia of Medical Treatment of 1915, from which this account is taken, did not consider it to be a very useful drug, although it could be used as a substitute for morphine if that drug was contraindicated.
Dr M. Geoffrey Miller
Cannabis Indica.-This drug consists of the flowering tops of the female plant of Indian Hemp,
Cannabis sativa ; from its oleoresin can be extracted cannabinol, which is the active principle.
Small amounts of ammonium bases allied to choline are also present. The drug and all its
preparations vary much in their physiological activity, and cannabinol itself, an aldehyde, is
unstable. The action on the brain appears to resemble that of opium, but is accompanied by
more restlessness in the earlier stages, and is credited with producing dreams and hallucinations
of a captivating character. There is marked analgesia. There is no disturbance of digestion.
There is some, paretic effect on the muscles, slight diuresis, and. but little action on the
respiration. Death occurs from cardiac failure. It is not a good drug, as the strength of the
preparations varies, considerably and the active principle is unstable. It may, however, be tried
as a substitute for opium where that drug is contra-indicated. It is sometimes given for neuralgia,
migraine and. dysmenorrhoea. There is some reason for the view that the effects of the oriental
preparations, of Cannabis are due to the other ingredients of the complex form in which it is
taken. Lactucarium, the dried juice of common lettuce, contains bitter principles, said to have
hypnotic action. It is practically valueless. Lupulus, the dried strobiles of hops, contains
lupumaric acid, a volatile oil and traces of other bodies. They have a mild hypnotic action.
"Hop pillows" once a favourite remedy for insomnia, probably owed their efficacy to mental
impressions rather than physiological activity.
Cannabis Indica (B.P., U.S.P.). Flowering tops of the female plant Cannabis sativa, grown in
the East Indies.
Extractum Cannabis Indicae (B.P., U.S.P.). Dose: 1-1 gr. (15-60 mg.).
Tinctura Cannabis Indicae (B.P.). Dose: 5-15 min. (3-10 dl.).
Fluidextractum Cannabis Indicae (U.S.P.). Average Dose: 1 minin. (5 cl.).
Lactucarium (U.S.P.). The dried juice of Lactuca virosa, the common lettuce.
Dose : 5-16 gr. (3-10 dg.).
Tinctura Lactucarii (U.S.P.).
Dose : 15-30 min. (1-2 ml.). Syrupu8 Lactunarine (U.S.P.). .Dose : 2 fl. dr. (8 ml.).
Dose,: 1-2 fl. oz. (30-60 mL).
Tinctura Lupuli (alcoholic).
Dose : 1 fl. dr. (2-4 ml.).
Cannabis Indica (B.P., U.S.P.). Flower tops of the female plant Cannabis sativa, Grown in the East Indies.
Extractum Cannabis Indica (B.P., U.S.P.). Dose : 1 gr. (15 mg.).
Tinctura Cannabis Indica (B.P.). Dose : 10 -15 min. (3-10 dl.). Fluidextractum Cannabis Indica (U.S.P.).
Average Dose: 1 min. (5 cl.).
J. M. F.-B.
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