Advertisement

Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis

  • Vera Rubin

Abstract

An Associated Press dispatch, headlined “Pot the Health Food,” reported that a young man charged with possession of ten pounds of marihuana claimed that he was a vegetarian and protested the seizure of his food supply. This was described in the news item as “a novel defense” (New York Post, August 13, 1975).

Keywords

ChroniC Otitis Medium Cannabis Sativa Antibiotic Effect Hemp Seed Indian Hemp 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Francois Rabelais learned about cannabis cultivation on the estate of his father who “grew much hemp on his property” (Stearn, in press).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The “fictionalized version of the plant (named) after his giant hero” Pantagruel (Grinspoon, 1971: 33).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cannabis sativa is known by many names in different world areas. Ganja, the Hindi term, is prevalent in areas where the plant, and possibly the complex surrounding its multipurpose uses, was diffused from India.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    O’shaughnessy (1842) and other 19th-century Western physicians reported on the beneficial therapeutic effects of cannabis as an anticonvulsant. Reports which “suggest that marijuana may possess an anticonvulsant effect in human epilepsy” are cited in a recent article by Consroe, Wood, and Buchsbaum (1975).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    This information appears in a Russian publication, by L. V. Antzyferov, “Hashish in Central Asia,” Journal of Socialist Health Care in Uzbekstan (1934).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Some of the medicinal uses reported are for: aches/pains, arthritis, asthma, “blood pressure,” breathing difficulties, constipation, chest pains, eardrops, “bad eyes,” fever, “fits,” gonorrhea (also taken as a prophylactic), “heart,” headaches, indigestion, kidneys, malaria (with other “bush”), marasmus (in newborn), “bad skin,” swellings and yaws. Poultices made of dried leaves of ganja ashes are used to treat open wounds/ulcers. Tea/tonic users may consume as much as the equivalent of 2–3 spliffs (ganja cigarettes) daily. Healing practices by Fundamentalist cult leaders include medication with folk herbals, of which ganja is a “secret” ingredient, although ganja use per se is proscribed.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The term “hemp,” generally associated with the use of cannabis for manufactured products, is a generic synonym for cannabis in Eastern Europe.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    As is well known, it was also extensively used in Western medicine during the nineteenth century and was included in the pharmacopoeia of the United States (extractum cannabis) from 1850 until 1942.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dr. Kabelik notes that “the male bushy types of hemp with big headed blooms” are suitable for hashish and seeds, “and especially for antibiotic properties.” He adds, “It is interesting to note that in older times they considered that the hemp which carried seeds was the female type” (Kabelik, 1955: 7).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Louis Harris has suggested that THC “may lead to new drugs to prevent transplant rejection and to combat cancer” (Newsweek, September 2, 1974). Dr. Sallan (Harvard University) has used THC effectively as an anti-emetic agent in cancer therapy (Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 1975), and Drs. Butler and Regelson have demonstrated the anti-depressant effects in delta-9-THC in terminal cancer patients (New York Post, September 20, 1974).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    However, the full report of the study of chronic marihuana use by Dr. Jack H. Mendelson (Harvard University), funded by the U. S. Army, which has now been released, refutes the “amotivational” allegations: “No impairment in motivation to work for money even when users smoked a large number of marijuana cigarettes” is one of the conclusions listed in the abstract. The Journal notes that the Mendelson report “clearly substantiates many of the conclusions drawn in the Jamaica-Ganja study.” (The Journal, November 1, 1975, published by the Addiction Research Foundation, Toronto).Google Scholar

References

  1. Benet, S. Early diffusion of folk uses of hemp. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  2. Benoist, J. Réunion: Cannabis in a pluricultural and polyethnic society. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  3. Consroe, P. F., Wood, G. C, & Buchsbaum, H. Anticonvulsant nature of marihuana smoking. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1975, 234 (3), 306–307.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. de Pinho, A. R. Social and medical aspects of the use of cannabis in Brazil. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  5. Elejalde, B. R. Marihuana and genetic studies in Colombia: The problem in the city and country. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  6. Emboden, W. A., Jr. Ritual use of Cannabis sativa L.: A historical-ethnographic survey. In P. Furst (Ed.), Flesh of the gods. New York: Praeger, 1972.Google Scholar
  7. Fisher, J. Cannabis in Nepal: an overview. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  8. Great Britain. Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1893–1894. Marijuana report. Silver Springs, Md.: Thomas Jefferson, 1969.Google Scholar
  9. Grinspoon, L. Marihuana reconsidered. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  10. Hutchinson, H. W. Patterns of marihuana use in Brazil. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  11. Kabelik, J. (Ed.). Hemp as medicine. Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis, 1955, 6(2), 27–114Google Scholar
  12. Khan, M. A., Abbas, A., & Jensen, K. Cannabis usoge in Pakistan: a pilot study of long-term effects on social status and physical health. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  13. Li, H. The origin and use of cannabis in Eastern Asia: their linguistic-cultural implications. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  14. Martin, M. A. Ethnobotanical aspects of cannabis in Southeast Asia. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  15. Mikuriya, T. H. (Ed.). Marijuana medical papers 1839–1972. Oakland, Calif.: Medi-Comp Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  16. O’shaughnessy, W. B. On the preparation of the Indian hemp orgunjah (Cannabis indica): The effects on the animal system in health, and their utility in the treatment of tetanus and other convulsive diseases. Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Bombay, 1842, 8, 421–461.Google Scholar
  17. Partridge, W. L. Cannabis and cultural groups in a Colombian municipio. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  18. Radosevic, A., Kupinic, M., & Grlic, L. Antibiotic activity of various types of cannabis resin. Nature, 1962, 195, 1007–1009.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rubin, V. Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  20. Rubin, V. & Comitas, L. Effects of chronic smoking of cannabis in Jamaica. Report, 1972, Research Institute for the Study of Man, Contract No. HSM-42-70-97, National Institute of Mental Health.Google Scholar
  21. Rubin, V. & Comitas, L. Ganja in Jamaica: A medical anthropological study of chronic marihuana use. The Hague: Mouton, 1975.Google Scholar
  22. Schultes, R. E. Plant kingdom and hallucinogens. Bulletin on Narcotics, 1969, 21(3), 3–16.Google Scholar
  23. Schultes, R. E. Man and marihuana. Natural History, 1973, 82, 59–68, 78, 82.Google Scholar
  24. Schultes, R. E., Klein, W. M., Plowman, T., and Lockwood, T. E. Cannabis: An example of taxonomic neglect. In V. Rubin (Ed.) Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar
  25. Snyder, S. H. Uses of marijuana. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  26. Stearn, W. T. Typification of Cannabis sativa L. In V. Rubin (Ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, 1975, in press.Google Scholar

Appendix

  1. 1.
    Krejci, Z.: “The Antibiotic Effect of Cannabis indica,” Dissertation, Masaryk University, Brno, 1950.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Krejci, Z.: “The Antibacterial Effect of Cannabis indica,” Lekarske listy 1, 20, 500–503 (1952).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kabelik, J.: “Hemp — its History — Traditional and Popular Application,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 31–41 (1955).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Krejci, Z. “The Antibacterial Effect of Cannabis indica.” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 43–57 (1955).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Krejci, Z., Santavy, F.: “Isolation of Other Substances from the Leaves of the Indian Hemp,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 59–66 (1955).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Klabusay, L., Lenfeld, J.: “Pharmacodynamic Effect of Substances Isolated from Cannabis indica,” Acta Univ. Olomuc, Fac. Med. 6, 67–72 (1955).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Soldan, J.: “Therapeutical Results in Stomatology after Application of Substances Obtained from Cannabis indica,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 73–78 (1955).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Simek, J., et al: “Application of the Cannabis indica Extract in Preserving Stomatology,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 79–82 (1955).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hubacek, J.: “Study on the Effect of Cannabis indica in Oto-Rhino-Laryngology,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 83–86 (1955).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Navratil, J.: “Effectiveness of Cannabis indica on Chronic Otitis Media,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 87–89 (1955).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Procek, J.: “Preliminary Study on the Local Effect of Cannabis indica: A Remedy for Specific Fistulas,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 6, 91–92 (1955).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sirek, J.: “Importance of Hempseeds in the Tuburculosis Therapy,” Acta Univ. Olomuc Fac. Med. 6, 93–108 (1955).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Krejci, Z., Heczko, P.: “On the Treatment of the Papilla Rhagadae in Suckling Puerperial Mothers and on the Prevention of Mastitis Caused by Staphylococci,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 14, 277–282 (1958).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krejci, Z., Horak, M., Santavy, F.: “Constitution of the Cannabidiol Acid and of an Acid of the M. P. 133°C Isolated from Cannabis setiva L.,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 16, 9–17 (1958).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kabelik, J.: “Hanf (Cannabis sativa) — antibiotishes Heilmittel.” 1. Mitteilung: Hanf in der Alt — und Volksmedizin. Die Pharmazie 12, 439 (1957).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Krejci, Z.: “Hanf (Cannabis sativa) — antibiotishes Heilmittel.” 2. Mitteilung: Methodik und Ergebnisse der bakteriologishen Untersuchung und vorlaufige klinishe Erfahrugen. Die Pharmazie 13, Heft 3. 155–166 (1958).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Krejci, Z., Horak, M., Santavy, F.: “Hanf (Cannabis sativa) — antibiotishes Heilmittel.” 3. Mitteilung: Isolierung und Konstitution zweier aus Cannabis sativa gewonnener sauren. Die Pharmazie 14, Heft 6, 349–355 (1959).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kabelik, J., Krejci, Z., Santavy, F.: “Hemp as a Medicament,” Bullet, on Narcotics 12, No. 3, 5–19 (1960).Google Scholar
  19. 1.
    Part — Kabelik, J.: “Treatment with Cannabis in Ancient Folk and Official Medicine up to the beginning of the 20th Century,” Pp 5–8.Google Scholar
  20. 2.
    Part — Santavy, F., Krejci, Z.: “A Brief Survey of the Methods of Isolation and the Physical and Clinical Properties and Structure of the Isolated Antibacterial Substances,” Pp 8-12.Google Scholar
  21. 3.
    Part — Krejci, Z.: “Methods and Results of the Bacteriological Experiments,” Pp 12–19.Google Scholar
  22. 4.
    Part — Krejci, Z.: “Survey of Clinical Experiences,” Pp 19–22.Google Scholar
  23. 19.
    Krejci, Z.: “To the Problem of Substances with Antibacterial and Hashish Effect in Hemp,” Cas. lek. ces. 43, 1351–1354 (1961).Google Scholar
  24. 20.
    Krejci, Z.: “Antibacterial Substances of Cannabis Used in the Prevention and Therapy of Infections,” Dissertation, 259 Pp (1961).Google Scholar
  25. 21.
    Krejci, Z., Vybiral, L.: “Thin Layer (Aluminum Oxide) Chromatographic Isolation of Biologically Active Substances from Cannabis sativa L. and the Biological Detection of Antibacterially Active Substances,” Scr. M e d. Brno 35, 71–72 (1962).Google Scholar
  26. 22.
    Santavy, F.: “Notes on the Structure of Cannabidiol Compounds (Absolute Configuration),” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 35, 5–9 (1964).Google Scholar
  27. 23.
    Krejci, Z.: “Applications de la chromatographie sur couches minces a l’analyse du cannabis,” United Nations Document ST (SOA) SER. S/13, 1–15 (1965).Google Scholar
  28. 24.
    Krejci, Z.: “L’analyse du hachiche et du chanvre indien a l’aide de la chromatographie sur couche mince,” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. 43, 111–124 (1966).Google Scholar
  29. 25.
    Krejci, Z.: “Micro-method of Thin-layer Chromatography Adapted for the Analysis of Cannabis,” United Nations ST (SOA) SER.S/16 (1967).Google Scholar
  30. 26.
    Krejci, Z.: “Changes with Maturation in the Amounts of Biologically Interesting Substances of Cannabis,” The Botany and Chemistry of Cannabis, J. A. Churchill, London (1970).Google Scholar
  31. 27.
    Hrbek, J., Krejci, Z., Komenda, J., Siroka, L., Navratil, J.: “Influence of Smoking Hashish on Higher Nervous Activity in Man, ”(Symposium on the Chemistry and Biological Activity of Cannabis), Acta Pharmaceutica Suecica 8, 689–690 (1971).Google Scholar
  32. 28.
    Navritil, J., Medek, A., Hrbek, J., Krejci, Z., Komenda, S., Dvorak, M.: “The Effect of Cannabis on the Conditioned Alimentary Motor Reflexes in Cats,” Activitas Nervosa Superior 14/2, 109 (1972).Google Scholar
  33. 29.
    Hrbek, J., Komenda, S., Siroka, L., Krejci, Z., Navratil, J., Medek, A.: “Acute Effect of THC (4, 18, 16 mg) on Verbal Associations,” Activitas Nervosa Superior 14/2, 107–108 (1972).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 30.
    Hrbek, J., Komenda, S., Krejci, Z., Siroka, A., Navratil, J.: “On the Effect of Some Drugs on the Higher Nervous Activity in Man. Tetrahydrocannabinol (4, 8, 16 mg)” Acta Univ. Olomuc. Fac. Med. (1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Rubin
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for the Study of ManNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations