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Cannabis Indica.

Botanical name:

This drug (Cannabis sativa) is one of the Oriental products, the beginning of whose use is lost in antiquity. Its name threads the literature of Arabia and India, hashish (or bhang) being continually mentioned in the Arabian Nights (88); e. g., "going up to Gharib, blew the powdered Bhang into his nostrils, till he lost his senses." (Burton edition, vol. vii, p. 76. History of Gharib and His Brother.) Imported into Europe preceding 1690, it passed into disuse until Napoleon's expedition to Egypt (1809-10), when it was again revived by De Sacy and Bouger. Its introduction into European medicine followed (1838-39) the experiments of O'Shaughnessy in Calcutta (484), since which date cannabis and its resin have received a place in most pharmacopeias. From the beginning of East Indian history hemp has been smoked as a narcotic intoxicant, and when surreptitiously added to sweetmeats and foods, has in Oriental life been employed as a narcotic with the utmost recklessness. This is shown in the exaggerations of the Arabian Nights, which portrays so many life habits of those times. This writer found hashish of several qualities in the bazaars of Asia Minor and in Constantinople, one specimen "extra fine hashish" costing in a Constantinople bazaar over two dollars an ounce. (No comment—MM)


The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.



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