Cannabis indica

18 d. Dec. 2nd, 1868, 11 o’ clock a.m. Took 2 gr. Squire’s extract of C. indica. Shortly after, cold feeling in stomach, very disagreeable, as though I had drunk cold water. From 1 to 2 p.m., frequent empty eructations of wind flavoured with C. 10 p.m., sharp pain in r. side of head, running from inner canthus of eye up back and out. Pain from bottom of orbit through brain and in ear. All afternoon and headache, pressing outwards over eye. Viscid mucus on tongue over whole upper surface. Tongue and throat has a dry feeling, but no particular desire for water. Aching pain in leg, near l. external malleolus, while lying on back, not when lying on side. 4th, 9 a.m., an icy coldness across root of nose, comes on when leaning forwards writing, goes away when moving about. 11 a.m., boring pain in r. parietal protuberance.

18 e. Jan. 13th, 1869, 6 a.m. – Took 3 gr. of same. Immediately on lying down again disagreeable rumbling in abdomen, as though looseness was coming on. Singing in l. ear. Stinging pain in l. ear. Boring pain r. ear. Boring pain in r. lower molar teeth, better from pressure, worst from grinding them together. Bone pain in metatarso-phalangeal joint of r. foot. Cold burning (as from turpentine) in vermilion border of lip and point of nose, l. side. Heavy frontal headache, in brain, more to l. side. Warm tingling sensation over whole l. side of face. Cool burning stinging in inner corner and canthus of l. eye and adjacent side of nose. 9 a.m., boring pain immediately above and back of r. ear. Dull pain in r. lower molar teeth. Stinging burning, as of a blister, on back part of tongue, r. side, an anterior pillar of fauces. Dry, feverish feeling of l. nostril. 10 a.m., pain in r. upper jaw, at root of first molar tooth. 3 p.m., a well-marked burning line from lip to chin, straight down l. side, as though it were a cicatrix. 14th. – Was wakeful all n.; mild pleasant dreams; cat naps. 6 a.m., before rising, considerable collection of thick mucus on tongue; tongue feels dry, as if scalded. 4 p.m., pain very severe in outer edge of trapezius muscle. (Am. Journ. of Hom. Mat. Medorrhinum, N.S., i., 11.)

19. About 3 p.m. I ate 3 or 4 dried buds of “gunjah,” each being the size of a small nut. About 6 p.m. I felt a most unusual thrilling sensation passing through arms and chest, reminding me of the effects of a very weak induction current. The thrill gradually extended itself till it became general; in fact, the usual symptoms of hemp intoxication had begun. I was immediately seized with an irresistible desire to be alone, and left my friends on some excuse, and went out of doors. After the first few breaths of fresh air, the tingling sensation increased most pleasantly, and I walked at the rate of 5 miles an h., for I left that I must walk. When I had walked 200 yards, all feeling of touch seemed to have disappeared. I felt as if my body was composed of some immaterial essence, through which the blood, which seemed to be a shade less immaterial than the rest of the frame, was coursing rapidly. It seemed to me as if my veins, arteries, and blood had been suddenly endowed with feeling. Sometimes I fancied I could almost hear this extremely pleasant tingling of every fibre of the body. When I reached the park I sat down to enjoy my pleasure sensations. The sense of touch had already disappeared or, rather, become modified. I touched nothing, felt nothing; I accidentally struck my hand violently against a post, but though the blow left a large bruise behind it I did not feel it; all I knew was that my hand had been stopped in its movements on something. About this time my sense of time and distance left me. I seemed to have lived centuries since I left my friends. How long I really sat enjoying myself I know not, but it at last occurred to me that I had better take the train home. I rose from the seat, and instantly found myself in a chemist left the shop to get it, and after he had apparently stopped away about ten h., I rushed out of the shop, cursing his dilatoriness, for I was very thirsty. I sped along the street at a furious pace, threading my way in and out the crowd most cleverly. All this time the thrilling sensation continued to increase, and everything I looked at seemed to glisten before my eyes. Presently it again occurred to me that I was thirsty, and I turned into a confectioner’s, and asked for some tea. I had at first intended taking claret and water, but I thought the alcohol might interfere with the experiment. I sat down on nothing, laid my arm on a marble table made of nothing, and my feet touched nothing as they rested on the floor; everything was etherealised. My pulse was not quickened, and the thrilling seemed to keep time with it. I was pretty warm, owing doubtless to my violent exercise. My brain was perfectly clear, and I debated with myself a long time whether I should take the tea that was brought to me or not, not knowing what a disturbing effect it might have on the hemp. I argued, however, that all it would do would be to decrease the violence of my symptoms, which were increasing in strength every moment. In order to see how far my brain had been affected, I took up a paper, and found that by a very slight effort I could cease taking cognissance of the thrills, and read and understand what I read with perfect ease, though the letters glistened every now and then with great brilliancy. I could also write with perfect steadiness. I tried numerous experiments with my memory and will, and found them both obedient; the latter, however, was exceedingly skittish. My hearing, smell and taste were unaffected. except that near sounds seemed to come from an enormous distance. After leaving the shop, my sensations, though perfectly pleasurable, became somewhat alarming. What if I had taken too much! What if I should die! Prudence dictated an antidote, but I did not know of one. Who did? Running through the list of my medical friends, it struck me that Dr. Lankester (the corner) would be the best person for me to go to; so I set off to his house at a furious space, longing to be able to tell everybody I met that I was in an Indian hemp paradise. Had I been alone, I know I should have hurrahed or laughed boisterously, but I managed to restrain myself. When I neared his house, a most absurd thought entered my head. What if I died in Dr. L -‘s presence! How in the name of all that was ridiculous could he, as coroner, possibly summon himself before himself, and listen to his own evidence as to the cause of my death? This was a little too much for me, and I laughed loudly and wildly till the tears ran down my face. When I recovered from my fit of laughter I gave up all ideas of antidotes. A wonderful change had taken place, the thrilling had diminished, and my brain had actually split into two halves, one of which was perfectly sane and the other in possession of the demon of hemp. I once more started for the train, my mad self thinking the most ridiculous thoughts, and continually urging my sane self to commit absurdities. I had an almost irresistible impulse to pull young ladies’ hair, to shriek in old gentlemen’s ears, or to bonnet young ones, all in the purest good nature. After battling in this way for about 2 or 3 h. I at last found myself sitting quietly, my mad half thinking endless absurdities and my sand half quietly enjoying the fun. The gentle throbbing still continued, and appeared more audible than ever, and there was a slight oppression of the chest that found vent in a heavy sigh now and then. The oppression manifested itself rather by a feeling of warmth in the locality of the diaphragm than by any positive pressure. The clock struck 7 p.m. and my train left at 7.30 p.m., so I stepped at once from where I was into the station, which was really some distance off. This was the second occasion upon which time and space had become annihilated, and on both I had felt the need of extreme haste. At the station I met a friend, and we stood conversing at the carriage door for at least 10 m. My mad self was put down for the time, and my sane self exerted all his power. My friend noticed nothing strange in me. I found that I could read, think, and speak with perfect ease, in spite of the gambols of my madder half, and of the audible thrilling, the warm diaphragm, and the pleasant weight on my chest. My ride home in the train was most enjoyable; the rattling of the carriages and the puffs of steam from the engine seemed to keep time with the throbbing of an immense soft ball of etherealised velvet inside my chest, the pleasant thrilling of my whole body still keeping up, but somewhat more feebly. The mad fellow at my side was particularly ridiculous and entertaining. Towards the end of my journey he became very confused, and would only half think his absurdities, breaking off in the middle in a very tantalising manner. Then came a period when he would think his thoughts over and over again, when he was in fact afflicted with a fit of mental stammering. I remember that it occurred to the sane man that the mad one had suddenly turned into mental Dundreary. Then it struck one of us – I do not well know which – that Sothern must have thought out his great character under the influence of haschisch. All this time I felt no pain or inconvenience. I had a mad fellow sitting by my side who amused me infinitely. My brain, so to speak, was polarised, and my veins ran with perceptible blood, both veins and blood being as ethereal and incorporeal as a halo. When I arrived home I was still enjoying my sensations, and had them more than ever under my control. I met my wife coming down the road with a scared face, and the thought instantly struck me that she knew all. Could my friend who gave me the drug have telegraphed to her? While I was asserting my superiority over my mad companion she said, “I have had such a fright. What do you think Willie has been eating?” “Good heaven!” I cried, utterly thrown off my balance, “What! Not haschisch?” “No, only blacklead,” was the reply. This was the only time that I lost control over myself. My abnormal feelings gradually left me; my blood became silent again and my veins sensationless; the weight gradually left my chest, and the two halves of my brain coalesced. The rest of e. I spent in perfect calm both of body and mind. I felt no other effects save the pleasurable feeling that one experience after a very pleasant dream. (Chemist and Druggist, xi, 34.)

Richard Hughes
Dr. Richard Hughes (1836-1902) was born in London, England. He received the title of M.R.C.S. (Eng.), in 1857 and L.R.C.P. (Edin.) in 1860. The title of M.D. was conferred upon him by the American College a few years later.

Hughes was a great writer and a scholar. He actively cooperated with Dr. T.F. Allen to compile his 'Encyclopedia' and rendered immeasurable aid to Dr. Dudgeon in translating Hahnemann's 'Materia Medica Pura' into English. In 1889 he was appointed an Editor of the 'British Homoeopathic Journal' and continued in that capacity until his demise. In 1876, Dr. Hughes was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Organization of the International Congress of Homoeopathy Physicians in Philadelphia. He also presided over the International Congress in London.