Cannabis indica

2. Surgeon, second officer, and Custom-house officer on a ship (at Calcutta) took some extract to experience stimulant and exhilarating action only; dose was too strong, and I learnt from the surgeon that they had about 3 gr. each. They were in state of collapse. Stimulants soon roused the doctor. Second officer required external and internal stimulants and cold affusions, and the poor Custom-house officer, being weaker, had nearly succumbed; it took 2 h. before he was out of danger, with the aid of turpentine enema, cold affusions, ammonia and constant moving about. Next d. they all had headache and lassitude. Effects seemed to be same as those of opium; contracted pupil, pale, clammy countenance, and stupor unless roused. (Lond. and Ed. Medorrhinum Journ., xiv, 270.)

3. A young Hindu was admitted about 4 p.m., April 5th. He was in the habit of smoking bhang or ganjah, and had smoked it that m. His symptoms were, total insensibility; sensation completely in abeyance; ano reflex action could be excited by tickling soles or by pinching skin; nor was latter felt; eyes were open and fixed vacantly, pupils natural; jaw fixed and immovable; mouth closed. The arms could be flexed or extended easily, but in whatever position they were placed they remained; thus when stretched out in front of him, or when placed vertically above head, they remained in the position until moved again. Lower extremities, too, could be placed in any position, and remained so. In spite of douches and other local measures, he continued in same condition till 8th, when he lay as it were asleep, breathing calmly; eyeballs turned upwards; muscles of arms and legs quite relaxed; very slight reflex action when soles are pinched or tickled; loudest calling or roughest shaking does not rouse. Seven h. later I found him being led about by two friends, moaning incessantly, and with difficulty prevented from putting hands into mouth, apparently to bite them; continually opening and shutting mouth. Two d. subsequently there were signs of returning consciousness; he could be roused by calling to him in a very loud voice, when he turned towards speaker, but then relapsed into same condition, and walked to and fro, moaning continually. Next d. consciousness was regained, but he had lost all recollection of what had occurred from m. of day of admission. (Medorrhinum Times and Gaz., xviii, 135 (1859).)

4. Mrs. S -, aet. 31, suffering from spasmodic asthma, had same symptoms twice after dose of 30 min. of tinct. Head became giddy, then came drawing pain at chest, later at heart. Next pinching pains in flesh of body, and bearing down pain in loins [ “Dr. Simpson said at the Edinb. Obstetrical Society, July, 1850, that C. ind. was oxytocic. I have noticed the uterine contractions acquire great increase of strength and frequency immediately on taking drug, or 4-5 m. afterwards. In 7 cases out of 16 to which I gave it proved oxytocic.” (MCGRIGOR, Monthl. Journ. of Medorrhinum Sc., 1852, p.124) ]; and bowels and bladder acted with force. Then tongue became swollen and drawn to food of mouth; flesh felt puffed all over, and tingled. Then retching came on; then continual yawning, with a shiver; then she felt as if she wanted to be held tight, as in hysterics, power of speech seems lost, and all sounds heard seemed to be at a distance. So it continued 5 or 6 h., head being very bad all the time, with noises in ears; and when it was laid down it felt heavy, with a hot swimming coming over it repeatedly. She then fell into an unnaturally deep sleep, lasting all n.; after which, having taken a little coffee, same symptoms continued more or less during day till they gradually went off. (H. DOBELL, Ibid., 1863, ii, 245.)

5. Three Hindu patients suffering from rheumatism (two acute, one chronic) each took 1 gr. of resin in solution at 3 p.m. At 4 it was reported that one of them was becoming very talkative, singing songs, calling loudly for extra supply of food, and declaring himself in perfect health. At 6 he was falling asleep; 8 he was lying on his cot quite insensible. On raising his arm it remained in the altered position; he was in a state of catalepsy, perfectly pliant and stationary in whatever position we placed him, no matter how contrary to the natural influence of gravity on the part. He was almost sensible to all impressions: gave no sign of understanding questions; could not be roused. A sinapism to stomach gave no pain. Pharyngeal muscles acted freely in deglutition of a stimulant medicine. The second patient had meanwhile been roused by the noise, and seemed vastly amused at the strange aspect and statue-like attitude in which the first had been placed; when on a sudden he uttered a loud peal of laughter, and exclaimed that four spirits were springing with his bed into the air. In vain we tried to pacify him; his laughter became momentarily more and more uncontrollable. We now observed that the limbs were rather rigid, and in a few m. more his arms or legs could be bent and could remain in any desired position. He did not complain of any pain from a sinapism; but his intoxication led him to such noisy exclamations that he was removed to a separate room. Here he soon became tranquil, his limbs in less than an h. gained their natural condition, and in 2 h. he said he was perfectly well and excessively hungry. The first patient remained cataleptic till 1 a.m., when consciousness and voluntary motion quickly returned; and by 2 a.m., he was in exactly the same state as the second. The third man had no symptoms; he was accustomed to smoke gunjah in his pipe. (As 3.)

6 A woman took for neuralgia about right orbit 45 drops of tinct. of resin (gr. iij to 3j) every morning when pains began. It made her feel a little light headed, there was also intense itching round orbits and over body and extremities, especially lower ones; itching round orbits is referred to numerous close- set points, elsewhere the points are distant. Itching very intense for several h. after dose, afterwards gradually diminishes, but is felt at distant parts of surface 20 h. after dose. (LYNCH, Prov. Medorrhinum and Surg. Journ., vi, 9.).

Experiments on animals

L. M. Lieutaud found that the preparations of hemp invariably produced in carnivorous animals and fish a sort of intoxication manifested by oscillating movements, dullness and sluggishness, while herbivorous animals offer no sign of its influence in whatever dose it is administered. The experiments made by O’ Shaughnessy gave essentially the same results, the those performed by Mabillat led to a similar conclusion. (STILLE.).

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.