CANNABIS, GANJA, HEMP, HASHISH
Cannabis has a medical history in
China and India of at least 1,500 years and it is still used today in many
systems of medicine. For example, the seeds are given by Chinese physicians
as a tonic, laxative, and emollient.
Known in Indian and Chinese herbals for more than 1,500 years,
cannabis was brought to Europe by Napoleon after his Egyptian exploits. Popular as a mild but illegal
narcotic drug, it is also useful as a source of fibres for making sacking, string, and rope. Cultivated in China,
India and southern Russia, the wild plants are sometimes found
in temperate Europe and North America. An annual, cannabis has leaves of long, deeply serrated leaflets.
Separate male and female plants bear small inconspicuous
flowers in late summer.
Leaf, resin, seeds.
A resin containing over 60
components called cannabinoids; volatile oil; flavonoids.
Reduces muscle tension and spasm; relieves pain; narcotic; a cerebral sedative.
Used herbally for neuralgia, spasmodic cough, and migraine.
Prescribed by doctors in the United States for the relief of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients on chemotherapy.
A synthetic cannabinoid (nabilone) is also given in orthodox medicine for
the same purpose. Chinese medicine uses the seeds as a tonic, laxative, and emollient.
Resin, dried leaf, tincture, nabilone capsules.
Possession of cannabis is illegal in most countries.