The very act of enforcement drives up the street price because of
the risks involved. Someone is always prepared to take the risk if the
price is right. In that respect enforcement is no more than an escalating
problem for the authorities and a great tragedy for the individuals caught
up in this nonsense. We do not have to travel the whole road of American
Prohibition, of Al Capone, Elliot Ness and the machine guns to
understand what will happen.
Manual of Cultivated Plants by L. H. Bailey and the Staff of the Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University.
Monograph of the U.S.D. 21st Edition 1926
Cannabis is the dried flowering tops of the pistillate plants of Cannabis sativa Linne. (Fam. Moraceae). Cannabis, in the form of the fluid extract, administered by the mouth to dogs in doses not exceeding 0.1 cc. for each kilogram of body weight of dog, produces a degree of in-coordination equivalent to that caused by the same dose of the standard fluid extract of cannabis, prepared as directed below.
It contains not more than 10 per cent. of its fruits, large foliage leaves, stems over 3 mm in diameter, and not more than 2 per cent. of other foreign organic matter. It yields not more than 5 per cent. of acid-insoluble ash, and not less than 8 per cent. of alcohol-soluble extractive.
U S.: Indian Hemp consists of the dried flowering or fruiting tops of the pistillate plant of Cannabis sativa, Linn., grown in India; from which the resin has not been removed..
Cannabis Indicae, Br.:
Hemp, Indian Hemp: Guaza, Ganja,.Herba Cannabis Indicae;
chanvre, Chanvre de l'lnde, Fr, Indischer Hant, G. Canamo, Sp.: Marihuana, Mex.
For many years the official cannabis was restricted to the drug which was used for centuries in India. The reason for this was that the Indian cannabis was more uniformly active. Recently the Indian Government has placed a high tax on every pound of the drug grown, The result has been that other markets have been sought and the hemp plant has been grown in other parts of Asia, Africa and America.
While, of course, much of this material is not equal to that grown in India yet the fact that it can be grown, as shown by experiments, in the United States (see Hamilton, J. .A. Ph. .A., 1913, ii;1915, iv, 389) of a very high quality has caused the framers of the U. S, Pharmacopeia to permit the use of a cannabis, no matter where it may be grown, provided it comes up to the biological standard as given in the definition.
Physiologically active cannabis is obtained at the present time not only from. India, but Africa,
Turkey, Turkestan, Asia Minor, Italy, Spain and the United States.
The cannabis sativa, or hemp plant, is a tall, rough annual, from four to sixteen feet or more in height, with erect, branching, angular stem. The leaves are alternate or opposite, and palmately-compound, with five to seven linear lanceolate, coarsely serrated leaflets. The stipules are subulate. The flowers are axillary and greenish; the staminate in long, branched, drooping panicles; the pistillate in erect, simple catkins. The stamens are five, with long pendulous anthers; the pistils two, with long, filiform, glandular stigmas, The fruit is an ovate achene.
The whole plant is covered with a fine pubescence, scarcely visible to the naked eye, and somewhat viscid to the touch. The hemp plant of India has been considered by some as a distinct species, and named Cannabis indica; but the most observant botanists, upon comparing it with our cultivated plant, have been unable to discover any specific difference. It is now, therefore, regarded merely as a variety.
Pereira states that in the female plant the flowers are somewhat more crowded than in the common hemp, but that the male plants in the two varieties are in all respects the same. a. sativa is a native of the Caucasus, Persia, and the hilly regions in Northern India. It is cultivated in many parts of Europe and Asia, and largely in our Western States.
The most important commercial varieties of cannabis are the India, American and African. Indian cannabis is obtained from plants grown in various districts of India, chiefly north of Calcutta. The flowering tops are collected when they have taken on a brownish color, the fruits shaken out and the herbage allowed to wilt and then subjected to the rolling and treading process in order to work resinous matter from the stems into the inflorescences.
There are two commercial grades of Indian cannabis, viz.: round and flat. The round is prepared by kneading each branch into a cylindrical or rounded mass. The flat grade is kneaded into a compressed flattened form. The color is grayish-brown. The commercial supplies of this variety are imported into the United States from Bombay, India. American cannabis is yielded by Cannabis sativa plants cultivated in various sections of the United States. It occurs on the market in the form of broken segments of the inflorescences and more or less crumpled and broken leaves, varying in color from brownish-green to light brown.
African cannabis from Cannabis sativa plants growing in various districts of Africa, comes into the market as broken leaves and flowering tops of a greenish-brown color.
In Bombay this matter is commonly neglected, so that Bengal ganjah; is much superior to Bombay ganjah. It is recognized in India that ganjah rapidly deteriorates on keeping, that which is one year old being not more than one-quarter as potent as the fresh stems into the inflorescences.
Fresh hemp has a characteristic odor, which is much less in the dried tops, which have a feeble bitterish taste.
Description and Physical Properties.
Unground Cannabis.-In separate tops or less agglutinated masses or fragments, consisting of the short stems with their leaf-like bracts and pistillate flowers or more or less developed fruits; color green to dark green or greenish brown ; odor agreeable, somewhat heavy narcotic; taste somewhat acrid and pungent. Leaves digitately compound, usually broken. Leaflets when entire, linear-lanceolate, nearly sessile, margin deeply serrate. Bracts ovate, pubescent, each enclosing lor 2 pistillate flowers or more or less developed fruits. Calyx dark green, pubescent and somewhat folded around the ovary. Styles 2, filiform and pubescent. Ovary with a single campylotropous ovule. Stems cylindrical, longitudinally furrowed, light green to light brown, strigosepubescent.
Structure of Stem.
Cortex composed of collenchyma and, in the larger stems, of numerous strands of more or less lignified bast.fibers; strongly lignified wood with medullary rays l-cell wide pith, often hollow; rosette aggregates of calcium oxalate numerous.
Dark green; epidermis from lower surface of leaves with sinuate vertical walls and numerous oval stomata, from upper surface with straight walls and no stomata; non-glandular hairs numerous, unicellular, rigid, curved, with a very slender pointed apex and an enlarged base usually containing calcium carbonate masses; glandular hairs of two kinds, one with a short l 1 celled stalk, the other with a long multicellular, tongue-shaped stalk, the head being globular and consisting of 8 to 16 cells; fragments of bracts and leaves showing yellowish-brown laticiferous vessels, numerous rosette aggregates of calcium oxalate, 0.005 to 0.030 mm. in diameter, and strands of spiral tracheal and phloem; fragments of fruits with palisade-like, non-lignified cells with yellowish-brown finely porous walls usually containing air; tissues of embryo and endosperm with numerous oil globules and aleurone grains, the latter from 0.005 to 0.010 mm. in diameter and displaying crystalloids and globoids. Diluted hydrochloric acid added to powdered Cannabis causes effervescence visible under the microscope." U.S.
The British Pharmacopoeia describes Indian cannabis as follows : " In compressed, rough, dusky-green masses, consisting of the branched upper part of the stem, bearing leaves and pistillate flowers or fruits, matted together by a resinous secretion. Upper leaves simple, alternate, 1-3 partite; lower leaves opposite and digitate, consisting of five to seven linear-lanceolate leaflets with distantly serrate margins. Fruit one-seeded and supported by an ovate-lanceolate bract.
Both leaves and bracts bear external oleo-resin glands and one-celled curved hairs, the bases of which are enlarged and contain crystoliths. Strong, characteristic odor; taste slight. When a mixture of 10 grammes of finely powdered Indian Hemp 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, yield a residue weighing, when dried at 100 C., hot less than 0.250 gramme. Ash not more than 15 per cent." Br.
For a histological description of the leaf by A. R. L. Dohme, see Proc. A. Ph. .A., 1897, 569.
The cannabis of the market may consist of fruiting tops and stems and
occasionally the staminate tops are admixed with it. William Beam in
Bulletin No. 4 of the chemical Section of the Welcome Tropical
Research Laboratories, Khartoum, has discovered a specific color
reaction which may be used for the detection of Cannabis indica and its
preparations. A petrolum ether extract of the suspected material is
prepared and evaporated to dryness in a test tube. To this is added
a few cc. of a reagent prepared by saturating absolute alcohol with dry
hydrogen chloride gas. In the presence of cannabis the liquid assumes
a bright cherry red color which is destroyed upon the addition of
water or alcohol. Constituents.
Cannabindon, C2H12O, is a dark red syrupy liquid obtained by Robert ( Chem. Ztg., 1894, 741) from Cannabis indica it is soluble in alcohol, ether and oils; it is affirmed to be narcotic in doses of from half a grain to two grains (0.032 - 0.13 Gm. ) .As a result of a reinvestigation of charras (churrus) from Indian hemp, Wood, Spivey, and Easterfield (J. Chem. S., vol. Ixix, 539) have found the following principles: 1, a terpene; boiling between 150 and 180 C ; 2, a sesquiterpene, boiling at 258 to 259 C.;3, a crystalline paraffin of probable formula C29H60, melting at 63.5 C. ; and 4, a red oil, boiling at 265 C to 270 C. under a pressure of 20 mm., to which they give the name cannabinol, and the formula C18H2402.
This latter constituent they consider the only active ingredient. It is probably the same substance as the dark red syrup of Robert, mentioned above under the name of cannlibindon. The authors found that cannabinol readily underwent superficial oxidation, at the same time losing its toxic activity. It is stated that cannabinol exhibits much more Powerful effects when dissolved in a bland oil such' as olive oil.
Frankel (A. E. P. P., 1903, p. 266) claims to have isolated the active principle of hashish as a pure and chemically well defined body. It has the formula C21H30O2, and is a phenol aldehyde. It is of a pale yellow color and of a thick consistency. When heated it becomes quite fluid and distils at 215 C., under a pressure of 0,5 mill. It oxidizes in the air, acquiring a brown tint. It responds to Millon's reaction, and can be acetylized, showing thus its phenol character. Frankel proposes that the name cannabinol be given to it and that the term pseudo-cannabinol be given to the substance of Wood, Spivey and Easterfield which Frankel asserts is inert.
Hooper (P;J. 1909,lxxxi, p. 80) describes a method for the chemical standardization of cannabis based upon its iodine value. He finds that the alcoholic extract of old samples has a lower iodine value than that from repeated distillation of the same portion of water from relatively large quantities of hemp recent specimens, and there is more or less constancy of relation between the age and the iodine value.
The U. S. Pharmacopeia,
gives a physiological test for the standardization of Cannabis indica. Up to the present no means have been suggested for determining, with even approximate accuracy, the relative potency of different samples of Cannabis indica, the physiological test simply demonstrating that the drug possesses a certain indefinite amount of physiological action. The official test is based on the degree of in-coordination produce in the dog in comparison with that produced by a standard preparation.
It is advisable to use the same animal for repeated tests, because the individual susceptibility of the dog varies so greatly, and the experimenter gradually learns the degree of reaction to be expected from a certain dog. It is convenient to employ two dogs ( fox terriers usually react well ) to one of which will be given the standard and to the other the drug to be tested. Three days later the test should be repeated in reverse order, that is the dog which at the first test received the standard, at the second test should receive the unknown and vice versa.
A fluid extract of the specimen to be tested is either evaporated into a soft extract and given in the form of a pill or mixed with an inert absorbing powder and enclosed in a capsule; it must not be given hypodermically. The symptoms caused by Cannabis indica in the dog recall those of alcoholism in the human being. There is at first a slight loss of control in the hind legs so that the animal staggers as he walks, later the ataxia becomes so marked that the dog is unable to stand up without leaning against some object, and about this time begins to show distinct drowsiness, and may eventually pass into a heavy sleep.
Use, adult dogs which weigh less than 15 kilogrammes and
which are susceptible to the action of Cannabis. The dogs must not be fed
for twelve hours before being used and observations should be made
within one hour after administration The same animal must not be
used for testing purposes at shorter intervals than three days.
Administer the fluidextract in gelatin capsules by the mouth. U.S.
The Bureau of Chemistry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, has indicated its willingness to supply such a standard fluidextract of cannabis for the use of those who desire to make bio-logical assays of this drug. It has generally been believed that cannabis deteriorates rapidly, but Eckler and Miller (J. .A.Ph.A., 1917, vi, p. 872) found that the crude drug showed practically no change after a year's storage but that after two years it had lost about half of its potency; Hamilton (J. .A. Ph. A.,1918, vii, p. 117) believes that the loss must be usually much slower because he found a sample fourteen years old to be 70 per cent. of standard, and an extract, which had been constantly used for assay purposes for nine years, has shown no appreciable change.
Aside from a slight 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 with 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. In the dog the earliest manifestation of equilibrium and later weakness of the legs and drowsiness.
Cannabis is used in medicine to relieve pain, to encourage sleep, and to soothe restlessness.Its action upon the nerve centers resembles opium, although much less certain, but it does not have the deleterious effect on the secretions. As a somnifacient it is rarely sufficient by itself, but may at times aid the hypnotic effect of other drugs. For its analgesic action it is used especially in pains of neuralgic origin, such as migraine, but is occasionally of service in other types. As a general nerve sedative it is useful in hysteria, mental depression, neurasthenia, and the like. It has also been used in a number of other conditions, such as tetanus and uterine hemorrhage, but with less evidence of benefit. One of the great hindrances to the wider use of this drug is its extreme variability. We are inclined to the opinion that one of the important reasons for the lack of confidence in this drug has been insufficiency in dosage. Because of the great variability in the potency of different samples of cannabis it is well nigh impossible to approximate the proper dose of any individual sample except by clinical trial. Because of occasional unpleasant symptoms from unusually potent preparations, physicians have generally been overcautious in the quantities administered. While the inclusion of a physiological assay in the Pharmacopoeia has some what improved the quality of drug upon the market it must be remembered that the present method of standardisation is not quantitatively accurate; all that can be hoped from this assay is the exclusion of inert samples.
The only way of determining the dose of an individual preparation is to give it in ascending quantities until some effect is produced. The fluid extract is perhaps as useful a preparation as any; one may start with two or three minims of this three times a day, increasing one minim every dose until some effect is produced.
According to C. R. Marshall (L. L., 1897, i, also J.A.M.A., Oct., 1898) the deterioration of cannabis is due to the oxidation of cannabinol, which he has found to act upon dogs and cats as the crude drug.
Dose, of cannabis, one to three grains (0.06 - 0.2 gm.).
Off. Prep.-Extractum Cannabis, U. S. (Br.) ;Fluidextractum Cannabis, U. S.;
Tinctura Cannabis (from Extract), Br.; Collodium Salicylici Composita
(from Fluid extract), N.F. Mistura Chlorali et Potassii Bromidi Composita
(from Extract), N. F.; Mistura Chloroformi et MorphinreComposita (from Tincture), N.F.
The Cannabis Monograph of
Martindale's Extra Pharmacopoeia Br. 24th Edition.
For more information see Indian Hemp Picture Monograph and Hemp as Field crop and Martindales 24th