The consciousness that Cannabis is a powerful natural medicine was well-developed in Europe of the 1800s. Knowledge of the medical uses of Cannabis, Coca Leaf and Opium came to Europe from the Andes and Asia first through explorers and traders of the 1600s and 1700s, then increasingly through travelers, writers, adventurers, scholars and missionaries in the 1800s.
Of course Cannabis also came to Europe as Hashish at the same time as it arrived as dried, pressed flowers, so Europeans had a Cannabis concentrate to work with from the earliest days. In the beginning there was some confusion over whether Cannabis flowers and Hashish were the same thing – a confusion soon to be mirrored with Coca Leaf transmuted into Cocaine, and Opium Sap transmuted into Morphine and Heroin.
Americans who find the history of Cannabis fascinating will enjoy browsing the following essay, which I discovered in a public domain EU document. The entire document is mostly about drug control in Europe, but this essay which is intended as background for discussions of control happens to be the best concise history of early medical use of Cannabis in Europe that I have read, and so I’m happy to share it with you here on Panacea Chronicles.
Cannabis as medicine in Europe in the 19th century
As in the previous centuries, hemp was predominantly used in the 19th century as a fibre material. Herbal cannabis played a marginal role as a medicinal plant, although its seeds were used medicinally, mostly in the form of pressed oils or hemp milk as medicine against gonorrhoea or cystitis. In tandem with prevailing interest in plants, products and culture from the Orient, medicinal use of cannabis arrived in Europe from the East during the 18th century.
Much has been written on the historical knowledge in Europe of the psychoactive properties of hemp prior to the 18th century: among readers of Herodotus’ description of Scythian cannabis-incensed burial rites; by alchemists, in particular the herb Pantagruelion lauded by author François Rabelais; via knowledge of Islamic medicine via al-Andalus, and elsewhere (Bennett et al., 1995; Booth, 2003; Mercuri et al., 2002).
However, widespread scientific writings on its psychoactive properties came later. For example, Gmelin wrote in 1777 of the Eastern use of bhang for stupefying (‘etwas Betaeubendes’), mind-clouding (‘Benebelung des Verstandes’) and intoxicating effects (Fankhauser, 2002); and in 1786 the Comte d’Angiviller thanked a certain Boulogne for his sending of Indian hemp plants with the prophetic words ‘Cette plante sera peut- être un présent intéressant pour l’Europe’.
At the end of the 18th century, the French naturalist Sonnerat informed Lamarck’s 1873 Encyclopédique de botanique of Cannabis indica (Emboden, 1974) and brought Indian hemp home to France after a journey to the Orient. Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt and the Near East introduced colonial troops — notably the scientists Silvestre de Sacy, Rouyer and Desgenettes — to hashish (Abel, 1980; Booth, 2003).
European interest in this ‘new’, or rather rediscovered, plant grew only hesitantly. The first comprehensive description of the medical usefulness of Indian hemp in Europe was written in 1830 by the German pharmacist and botanist Friedrich Ludwig Nees von Esenbeck. Until that point in time, use of hemp for medical purposes had remained at a low level.
This situation changed significantly prior to the middle of the 19th century. William B. O’Shaughnessy (1809–1889/90), an Irish medical doctor stationed in Calcutta, India, published in 1839 a comprehensive study on Indian hemp. Thanks mainly to his On the Preparations of the Indian Hemp or Gunjah, Cannabis indica now also became recognised within European-school medicine. O’Shaugnessy used various hemp compounds in his investigations, partly with great success, against the following indications: rheumatism, rabies, cholera, tetanus, convulsions and delirium tremens.
With hashish he had found a well-suited medicine to give his patients relief, and in the case of cramps, even total disappearance of symptoms. For concluding remarks, he wrote: ‘The presented cases are a summary of my experience with cannabis indica, and I believe that this medicine is an anticonvulsivum of great value’ (O’Shaughnessy, 1839).
Europe reacted promptly to this new knowledge from India. This is not surprising as until then no adequate treatment existed against recognised diseases such as rabies, cholera or tetanus. Great hopes were based on O’Shaughnessy’s results. The French were the first to engage themselves intensively with the plant. As early as 1840, the French medical doctor Louis Aubert-Roche (1809–1874), who resided in Egypt, used hashish seemingly successfully against pestilence (Hirsch, 1884–1886). Nearly simultaneously, his compatriot and friend, the psychiatrist Jaques Joseph Moreau de Tours (1804–1884), began to experiment with hashish. He started out with experimenting upon doves and hares, giving them large doses of hashish extracts with their fodder. Then he tested hashish on friends, colleagues, patients and himself. He was convinced that hashish was the supreme medicament for use in psychiatry. His book, Du Hachich et de l’aliénation mentale (1845), caused a great sensation at the time, and is still understood as the origin of experimental psychiatry and psychopharmacology (Weber, 1971).
The works of Moreau de Tours had an impact not only in medical circles, but also among writers and artists. The poet Théophile Gauthier (1811–1872), for instance, received hashish samples from Moreau de Tours. In 1843 he described extensively a self-experienced hashish intoxication in the Paris newspaper La Presse under the title ‘Le Club des Hachichins’. The club of hashish eaters, of which Gauthier was one of the founders, had regular meetings in Hôtel Pimodan on the Seine island of St Louis.
He and Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) shared a penthouse in the hotel for several years. Other prominent club members were Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) and Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) (Moreau, 1904). Further well-known contemporaries such as Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880) and Victor Hugo (1802–1885) participated occasionally (Behr, 1982).
Inspired by Moreau de Tours and later by pharmacy professor Eugène Soubeiran (1797–1859), the pharmacist Edmond de Courtive published in 1848 his widely noted dissertation, Haschish. In addition to chemical analysis, he carried out self-experiments with miscellaneous hashish compounds and gave exact descriptions of their physical and psychic effects (De Courtive, 1848).
Many medical doctors took advantage of the promising results of the pioneers O’Shaughnessy, Aubert-Roche and Moreau de Tours and used these new drugs for therapeutic purposes. Initially, primarily doctors from the colonial powers of England and France showed interest in the use of compounds made of Indian hemp. The necessary commodities or compounds were imported in great quantities to Europe from the colonies, especially from India (Smith and Smith, 1847). Hemp was in this period sold to Europe primarily in three commercial variations:
Ganjah: consists solely of the blooming tips of the female, carefully cultivated plant. Mostly 24 blooming tips are bundled in a length of approximately 1 m, and 11 cm thickness.
Charras: consists of the resin, which is extracted foremost from the blossom, but also from leaves and stalks of the female plant. Today, the extracted resin is called hashish.
Bhang: extracted from the leafless stalks of the female hemp plant. Bhang was predominantly exported to Europe in powder form.
In Europe ganjah was the first to be pharmaceutically exploited. Initially, the fields of application known to O’Shaughnessy were adopted. Later on, the therapeutic application of hashish was considerably extended. In particular, the English and French medics applied this new wonder drug against tetanus (Martius, 1844). Encouraged by many positive reports, especially from England, the Bulgarian medic Basilus Beron intensively engaged in this problem in a dissertation. His work concludes:
I was so contented that, after having used almost all known antitetanic drugs without result, the sick person that had been assigned to me was totally cured after use of the Indian hemp (…) wherefore the Indian hemp is strongly recommended against tetanus. (Beron, 1852)
Homeopathy, founded by Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) and rapidly advancing in this period, was also quick to include Indian hemp in its medical catalogue. Towards the middle of the 19th century, in addition to the illnesses already mentioned, Indian hemp was mainly used against neuralgia and other pains, chorea, hysteria, insanity, haemorrhage and insomnia. Since prepared products did not yet exist, cannabis extracts and tinctures were mostly used.
The real success story of cannabis as a medicine began in the second half of the 19th century after the publication of Beron’s dissertation in 1852. In the same year, Franz von Kobylanski published a dissertation on the effect of cannabis as an oxytocic (1852). Four years later, the German Georg Martius wrote his comprehensive work Pharmakognostisch-chemische Studien über den Hanf, which attracted much attention.
Interest was also aroused by the experiments of the Viennese Carl Damian Ritter von Schroff (1802–1887). Martius was among the few who did not deem cannabis compounds as harmless. He wrote that:
the Indian hemp and all its compounds show great diversity concerning the degree and type of effect according to individual differences in healthy as well as in pathological conditions. It therefore belongs to the unsafe agents, and the medic should under all circumstances use it with great care.
(Von Schorff, 1858)
At the same time, Ernst Freiherr von Bibra (1806–1878) published his standard work, Die narkotischen Genussmittel und der Mensch. Here, he discussed hashish for over 30 pages. In addition to experiences of others, he describes a self-experiment with hashish. His concluding judgement was as follows: ‘Recent experiments and experiences made on the medical effect of the hemp plant and its compounds very much point to their advantage’ (von Bibra, 1855).
In this period, most European countries, as well as the USA, included Indian hemp in their national pharmacopoeia. The monographs Herba Cannabis indicae, Tinctura Cannabis indicae and Extractum Cannabis indicae enjoyed increased prominence,
whereas Semen/Fructus Cannabis and Oleum Cannabis became more and more rare. It was first of all France and England, and to a lesser extent the USA, that significantly contributed to the definitive breakthrough of the drug into Western medicine.
The study of Indian hemp was even pursued in Germany. A comprehensive work of Bernhard Fronmüller, written in 1869, is frequently cited. He had studied the qualities of the hemp plant for a long time, and carried out cannabis experiments within the framework of ‘clinical studies on the euthanising effect of the narcotic drugs’ with exactly 1 000 test patients. These test patients suffered from heavy insomnia due to various illnesses. The results of his investigation were positive. Thus, he concluded in his work: ‘The Indian hemp is, among the known anaesthetic drugs, the narcosis which most perfectly achieves a replacement of natural sleep, without particular repression of expulsions, without bad repercussions, without paralyses’ (Fronmüller, 1869).
Well-known medical experts or pharmacologists of the time wrote more-or-less comprehensive essays on Cannabis indica. Some of these articles criticise the unreliability of hemp compounds. Indeed, the standardisation problem continued to be an issue for cannabis compounds until they disappeared. Kobert is one of very few who discussed the dangers of long-term consumption: ‘The habitual consumption of any effective hemp compound deprives the human being and brings him to a mental institution’ (Kobert, 1897).
The period 1880 to 1900 can be considered a peak in the medical use of cannabis. The use of hashish compounds had become commonplace in almost all European countries and in the USA. Nonetheless, it was still scientists from England, France, Germany and the USA who persistently continued cannabis research. It is, therefore, not a coincidence that most of the products on the market (‘specialities’) originated in these
countries. It is first of all through the contribution of the company E. Merck of Darmstadt, Germany, that cannabis compounds became more widely used in Europe towards the end of the 19th century. One of the preferred source materials in the production of cannabis compounds in this period was Cannabinum tannicum Merck. In addition, the company Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. in England produced cannabis compounds. In the USA, cannabis compounds were manufactured by Squibb and sons in New York (‘Chlorodyne and Corn Collodium’), and, later, Parke-Davis & Co. in Detroit (‘Utroval’ and ‘Casadein’) and Eli Lilly (‘Dr Brown’s Sedative Tablets’, ‘Neurosine’ and ‘The One Day Cough Cure’). These companies delivered sufficient quantities of high-quality raw materials and produced compounds for the market.
Probably the most-used hemp compound was the sleeping pill Bromidia, of the American company Battle & Co. This was a combined drug, that is, in addition to cannabis extract it contained bromine potassium, chloral hydrate and henbane. While single compounds dominated during the 19th century, combination compounds were preferred in the 20th century. Most cannabis drugs were for internal use, but there existed topical compounds, for instance, creams or the common clavus tinctures.
In the meantime, France continued its 50-year tradition and honoured medical doctors and pharmacists with doctoral degrees based upon works on hashish. In 1891 Georges Meurisse (born 1864) published his work Le Haschich, and five years later Le chanvre indien by Hastings Burroughs (born 1853) appeared. The latter is strongly based on Villard’s work, but also upon his own therapeutic experiments. He summarises: ‘In therapeutic doses, the Indian hemp is safe and would deserve to be more frequently used’ (Burroughs, 1896).
In Germany, the PhD students H. Zeitler (‘On Cannabis indica’, 1885) and M. Starck (‘How to apply the new cannabis compounds’, 1887) first wrote their graduation dissertations, before the pharmacist Leib Lapin in 1894 published his dissertation, ‘A contribution to the knowledge of Cannabis indica’, under the guidance of the leading figures Johan Georg Dragendorff (1836–1898) and Rudolf Kobert (1854–1918). In the first part of his work, he gives an overview of ‘common, manufactured and officinal hemp compounds’ in use at the time. In the second part he describes the pharmacology of ‘cannabindon’, a cannabis derivate first studied by him. In the preamble of his investigation, he makes a remark which shows the uncertainty that existed regarding the medical safety of Indian hemp:
Had it been so simple to solve the hashish question, it would certainly have been solved by one of the numerous previous investigators. I believe that I have contributed to the definitive resolution, and this belief gives me the courage to publish the following as a dissertation.
A scientific contribution of extraordinary importance within the cannabis research of the 19th century was the so-called Indian Hemp Report of 1894. This census, carried out by Great Britain in its colony India, primarily studied the extraction of drugs from cannabis, the trade in these drugs and the implications for the total population. Additionally, the study set out to clarify whether prohibition of the compounds might be justified, and an expert commission was established for this purpose. Its report impressively shows the significance of the stimulant and drug cannabis in India towards the end of the 19th century. The main conclusion of the commission was: ‘Based upon the effects of the hemp drugs, the commission does not find it necessary to forbid the growing of hemp, nor the production of hemp drugs and their distribution’ (Leonhardt, 1970).
Towards the 20th century, Indian hemp enjoyed an important position in the materia medica of Western medicine. Evidence of misuse of cannabis compounds was practically non-existent until then. Kunkel writes:
The chronical misuse of cannabis compounds — cannabism — is believed to be widespread in Asia and Africa. It results in chronic, heavy disruption of the entire organism, especially mental disorder — attacks of raving madness and a subsequent condition of weakness. It is not observed in Europe, Indian doctors report however daily frequent cases of this disease.
To sum up, hashish played a significant role as a medicine in Europe and in the USA towards the end of the 19th century. The most important applications were against pain, especially migraine and dysmenorrhoea, pertussis, asthma and insomnia. Additionally, hashish was relatively frequently used as an additive in clavus supplements. Rare applications were stomach ache, depressions, diarrhoea, diminished appetite, pruritus, haemorrhage, Basedow syndrome and malaria. Cannabis compounds were also used in numerous single cases, partly with good results. These were, however, of smaller significance.
Typically, doctors who worked intensively with cannabis drugs for years would classify them as valuable medicines. Others criticised them, and frequently looked upon them as worthless or even dangerous. However, both groups agreed on the unpredictable effect of cannabis compounds.
After keen use of cannabis compounds around the turn of the century, they disappeared completely in the middle of the 20th century. The main reasons for the disappearance of hashish medicaments are medical developments. Even before the 20th century, new, specific medicines were introduced for all main applications of cannabis compounds.
Vaccines were developed for the treatment of infectious diseases (cholera, tetanus, etc.), which not only fought the symptoms as cannabis did, but also gave protection against infections. Other bacterial illnesses, such as gonorrhoea, that were frequently treated with cannabis could somewhat later be treated successfully with chemotherapeutica.
Cannabis indica received competition as a sleeping and tranquillising drug in the form of chemical substances such as chloral hydrate or barbiturate. Contrary to the numerous opium drugs, cannabis compounds were also replaced as analgesics by chemical substances. In this area, aspirin achieved great importance shortly after its introduction in 1899.
Another reason for the decline of cannabis as medicine was pharmaceutical instability. The varying effectiveness of the hashish compounds has often been noted. Very different factors, such as origin, age, storage and galenic preparation, affected effectiveness of the medicine. Unlike, for instance, alkaloid drugs such as opium, the isolation of active ingredients was not successful until the middle of the 20th century. This resulted in standardisation problems. There were also legal constraints. The use of cannabis compounds became more and more restricted in international and national law.
Hashish compounds were defined as anaesthetics sometime in the 20th century. This complicated their use enormously, until finally a general ban made it impossible to apply them.
Finally, economic aspects contributed to the decline in use of medical cannabis. Import into Europe of high-quality Indian hemp became more and more difficult due to constraints in the producing countries (mainly India) and the influences of the two world wars. Laws of supply and demand also applied to cannabis, resulting in a massive price increase for raw materials (e.g. herba Cannabis indicae) as well as for compounds (e.g. extractum Cannabis indicae).
Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I was browsing a Medical Marijuana forum and noticed that one of the contributors cited the recipe for “Cannabis Caramel” from my 1981 book “Marijuana Foods” and called it “The best Cannabis candy recipe ever”. I was pretty happy about receiving such a nice compliment, especially considering how diverse the field of Cannabis cooking has become since my wife and I did the original recipe research in our New Mexico kitchen all those years ago.
So while my original intent in writing this post was just to offer just that recipe, then I thought – why not post the whole chapter, one section at a time starting with Cannabis Sweets. In subsequent posts I’ll cover some of the other kinds of recipes that we originally developed for friends in New Mexico and Colorado who wanted to use Cannabis for several different health issues but, each for their own reasons, couldn’t or didn’t want to smoke.
Just one further note. If you have a food allergy to cow dairy then you can substitute goat butter for cow butter in any Cannabis butter extract without changing anything else about the extraction technique you’re using. And you’ll find that goat butter actually makes a number of these recipes tastier, so even if you don’t have a cow dairy allergy go ahead and experiment with goat butter. You’ll be glad you did.
(From) Chapter Four – Marijuana Foods by Bill Drake (1981)
Cannabis Sweet Treats
Marijuana Chocolate Chip Cookies
YIELD: 48 cookies
POTENCY: 1/2 teaspoon per cookie
This variation on the classic cookie recipe which can be found on every bag of chocolate chips in the world is guaranteed to please.
1/2 cup marijuana butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons turbinado (unrefined) sugar
1 large fertile egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream the butter with the brown and white sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, sea salt, and baking soda together, and stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Chill the cookie dough for at least two hours. This is a precaution against the dreaded flat cookie: Chilled dough bakes vertically, not horizontally. But, if you like flat cookies, don’t chill the dough.
Drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets by the teaspoon-size lump about 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for eight minutes, or until as brown as you like them. DO NOT eat more than one. If you must, bake another batch with regular butter, keeping careful tract of which batch is which.
Jam-Filled Ganja Crumbles
YIELD: 35 to 45 cookies
POTENCY: +/- 1/2 teaspoon per cookie
2/3 cup marijuana butter
3/4 cup Turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cups good-quality rolled oats
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup fruit jam or preserves
Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, oats, and salt. Mix well. Combine and sift together the flour and baking powder, then add to the bowl. Stir in the pecans. Chill the dough 2 hours.
Drop by the teaspoon on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Make a slight depression in each center with your thumb, and spoon in a good portion of jam. 5. Bake 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350° F oven. Allow to cool before removing from the cookie sheet.
Sinsemilla Orange Drops
YIELD: 36 cookies
POTENCY: 2/3 teaspoon per cookie
2 large, fresh organic eggs
1/2 cup light, potent marijuana butter (Use some of your most aromatic for these light cookies.)
1/2 cup raw clover honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
11/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or equal parts ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup grated orange rind (from a ripe organic orange)
1 cup flaked oats
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
In a large bowl beat together the eggs, butter, honey, and salt. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice, and stir into the egg mixture. Stir in the orange juice, orange rind, oats, and hazelnuts. Taste the batter and adjust the flavoring, if desired, by adding more salt, orange juice or rind.
Chill the dough 2 hours. 4. Drop by teaspoonful onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crisp around the edges.
Jalapeno Gold Muffins
YIELD: 24 muffins
POTENCY: 1 teaspoon per muffin
1/2 cup marijuana butter
1/3 cup Turbinado (unrefined) sugar
2 large fresh eggs
8 ounces creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated lemon peel
1/2 cup seeded, finely chopped Jalapeño peppers
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, creamed corn, and sour cream. Sift the salt, baking powder, and flour together and combine with the creamed mixture.
Stir in the grated cheese, grated lemon, peppers, and corn meal. If necessary, adjust the taste with just a bit more sugar at a time.
Grease muffin tins with marijuana butter or any other shortening, and fill the cups two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated 450° F oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
High Lime Pie
YIELD: 12 slices
POTENCY: 1 to 2 teaspoons per slice, depending on the ratio chosen for the pastry crust (See Below).
1/4 cup water
1 package un-flavored gelatin
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon. salt
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup lime juice, preferably Mexican limes (the tiny ones)
2 teaspoons grated lime peel, plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
1 cup whipping cream
1 baked Rich Marijuana Pastry Crust (See Below)
Sweetened whipped cream
Key Lime slices – small, Mexican limes work best
1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
Combine the water and the gelatin. Allow to soften 5 minutes. Mix in half the sugar with the salt, egg yolks, and Lime juice. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture just begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 2 teaspoons of grated lime peel. Add three drops of green food coloring at this point for a more pronounced color effect, if desired.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill until slightly jelled. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the cream, and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chilled, somewhat jelled mixture. Fill the pastry crust and chill the pie until the filling has firmly set. Spread more sweetened whipped cream over the pie, place slices of fresh lime around the edge, and sprinkle crushed pistachios over the top.
Golden Valencia Goodies
YIELD: 40 to 48 pieces
POTENCY: 1/8 teaspoon per piece
This is a light-potency candy which makes a nice early evening treat along with a flowery white wine, a sort of a garden-party high. You’ll find a candy thermometer handy in working with this recipe. They only run about $10 and are a good tool to have around if you enjoy candy and want to create your own.
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons potent marijuana butter
Grated peel from a firm, organic Valencia orange
2 cups turbinado (unrefined) sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup chopped skins-off pecans or almonds
In a large saucepan, combine the heavy cream, butter, orange peel, sugar, and corn syrup.
Cook the mixture, stirring continuously over medium high heat, until the candy thermometer reaches 238°. Or, cook stirring constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches the stage where a bit of it rolled between the thumb and index finger forms a soft ball in ice cold water.
Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the nuts. Allow the mixture to cool somewhat. Drop spoon-sized pieces onto a wax-paper-covered cookie sheet. Cool, put in a tight tin, and keep in a cool place.
YIELD: 100 pieces
POTENCY: 1/4 teaspoon per piece
Wrap each piece individually in wax paper, not in foil. Even better, if you’ll be traveling with them, wrap them in the commercial wrappers from a tin of regular wrapped caramels.
2 cups turbinado (unrefined) sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup potent marijuana butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
2 cups pecans – use only high quality pieces
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring a mixture of the sugar, salt, 1 cup of the cream, corn syrup, and butter to a boil. Boil slowly for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Don’t scrape the bottom.
Dribble in the remaining cream, continuing to stir. Add the cream slowly enough not to disturb the boiling.
Continue to cook until a little of the mixture, when plopped into cold water and rolled between your thumb and index finger, forms a firm but not hard ball.
When the firm-ball stage is reached, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla, rum, and pecans. Pour out onto a buttered cookie sheet with sides, and allow to cool.
When the mix has cooled, cut into bite-sized pieces and wrap.
YIELD: 45 to 50 1 1/2 inch squares
POTENCY: 1/3 teaspoon per brownie
An old Southern recipe, & an inspired way to use your best flowers.
1/3 cup mild-tasting marijuana butter plus 1/3 cup regular butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 large fresh eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon rum
2 tablespoons molasses or heavy dark honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup small marshmallows
Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Remove the mixture from the heat; allow to cool.
Blend the eggs and sugar, and stir into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the rum, molasses, and vanilla and blend well.
Sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the mixture. Stir in the pecans and marshmallows.
Grease a 9 x 12 inch pan with butter or shortening. Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the pan and bake in a preheated 325° F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and then cut into 1 & 1/2 inch squares.
Black Ganja Mousse
YIELD: 8 servings
POTENCY: 1 1/2 teaspoons per serving
5 medium or 4 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups turbinado (unrefined) sugar
4 tablespoons grated bitter chocolate
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup marijuana butter plus 3/4 cup regular butter
1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur, such as Cherry Suisse
Grated chocolate for garnish
Beat the egg yolks until smooth. Add half the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grated chocolate.
In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk slowly to a low boil, then dribble it into the yolk/sugar mixture, beating briskly with a whisk. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook over a very low heat until it thickens nicely.
Fill a large bowl one-third full with ice cold water. Put the custard into a smaller bowl, set it into the larger one, and whisk the custard until it has cooled.
In another bowl, beat the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the custard, and beat the mixture until it’s smooth and velvety. Swirl in the liqueur with a light touch.
Pour the mousse into eight small, attractive mousse dishes, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for four hours or more. Serve cold, topped with an additional bit of grated chocolate.
Red Yam Pie
Potency = 1/2 teaspoon/slice
Begin with 4-5 purple yams or dark red sweet potatoes. Scrub vigorously under warm water then slice into thin rounds. Layer them into a pot, sprinkle with a dash of salt, and cover with boiling water.
Cover & cook over medium heat until slightly tender to the fork.
Pour off & reserve liquid. Transfer the slices to a lightly oiled baking dish (peanut or grapeseed oils work well).
Take reserved liquid and add:
3/4 cup Turbinado or white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup nuts ( pinon, walnut, pecan)
2 tablespoon concentrated frozen Orange juice
Several sprigs fresh mint
Stir together and pour over sliced yams.
Take 1 tablespoon Marijuana Butter and dot the surface evenly.
Cut strips 1/2″ wide from thawed pie shell and arrange in criss-cross pattern on the surface. Drizzle small amount of Maple syrup across entire surface.
Bake at 425° for 15-25 minutes until crust is a honey brown. Remove from oven and serve after allowing to cool a little.
Classic Date Nut Bars
Potency = 1/2 teaspoon/Bar
The first choice in making these bars is very well-aged honey, you know, the kind that has turned granular in the jar at the back of your cupboard.
Combine by adding sugar gradually and whipping until very light
1 cup granular honey, (or 1 cup Turbinado or white sugar)
1/2 cup Marijuana Butter
dash of salt
In a separate bowl beat together
6 eggs, yolks only ( freeze the whites if you want to save them)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( Option: 1 teaspoon Marijuana extract like cognac or rum)
2 teaspoon ice-cold water
Combine the yolk mixture with the sugar/butter blend. Sift and gradually stir in 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour.
2 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup grated Orange & Lemon peel
1/2 cup nuts ( pecans, toasted hazelnuts)
When thoroughly mixed together transfer to an oiled & floured baking dish 9-10″ by 12-14″. Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove from dish onto a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
Allow to cool completely, then cut into about 40 small finger-length bars. These bars keep well at room temperature but do better in the fridge in a closed container.
Peanut Butter Cookies
Potency: less than 1/2 teaspoon/cookie
Combine and blend until light:
1/2 cup soft Marijuana Butter
1/2 cup Turbinado sugar
1/2 cup commercial brown sugar
Combine and blend into sugar/butter mixture:
1 cup organic peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract( Option: 1 teaspoon Marijuana extract like cognac or rum)
Sift then measure 1.5 cups organic all-purpose flour and add gradually to the cookie mix, working it in until the dough is stiff & blended. Chill for an hour, then roll into little balls by hand, flattening them with a fork onto a lightly oiled (peanut oil, of course) cookie sheet. Brush lightly with honey thinned with a little vanilla extract.
Bake at 375° F for 15-20 minutes.
MAJOR HINT: Place all cookies & other things baked with Marijuana butter on hard, non-absorbent surfaces to cool, or else you’ll lose a lot of the potency to the paper towel & trash can.
Extra cookie sheets, large flat pans, even aluminum foil works fine, and the excess butter can be wiped up with a slice of bread after the cookies are cooled & removed to their permanent home.
Maui Bread Pudding
Potency: @ 1/2 teaspoon/serving
Make 1.5 cups of bread crumbs from fresh bread, such as you may have just used to wipe up from a cookie bake ( see above). Otherwise just use any good fresh whole grain bread.
Mix with 1 cup milk and heat together in a small saucepan for a minute or two. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl blend:
1 cup drained unsweetened crushed pineapple
1 egg yolk ( set aside white )
1/2 cup granulated honey or turbinado sugar
1.5 Tablespoons vanilla extract
(Option: Use a Marijuana Rum extract)
2 Tablespoons Marijuana butter
1 Tablespoons Lemon juice
1 Tablespoons grated Lemon peel
1/4 cup crushed Macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon each of grated nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon
Take reserved egg white, add pinch of salt, and whip until stiff. Fold into the mix in the bowl along with the cooled bread/milk. Transfer blended batter to a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned on top. Remove and allow to cool for an hour or so.
About 75 cookies
Potency @ 1/2 teaspoon/cookie
Combine and whip until light:
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup butter- 50/50 Marijuana & Regular
Blend together and beat in
1 large egg
1 cup molasses
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Ginger Extract or
1 Tablespoon powdered ginger
Sift and measure 4 cups organic all-purpose flour into a bowl. measure & blend in
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
Blend the moist and dry ingredients, and allow to rest for an hour or so. Blend again and then roll out very thinly on a lightly floured surface. Cut into whatever shape you like, the equivalent of a 2-3″ round cookie. Bake at 350° F for 8-10 minutes.
Quick & Easy Cookie hint – Take any rolled cookie mix from the supermarket cooler section, open the package and peel apart the cookie dough. Take 1/2 teaspoon Marijuana butter and work into each cookie patty using a fork, then pat it back into shape using your hands.
Simply bake as directed and enjoy!
Classic Brown Betty
Potency: 1/2 teaspoon/serving
Combine in a bowl:
1 Tablespoon Marijuana butter
2 Tablespoon regular butter
1.5 cups dry whole grain bread crumbs
Lightly oil a 9-12″ diameter baking dish and press about a third of the crumb-butter mix onto the bottom. Set aside the remainder of the mix.
Prepare & set aside:
1/2 cup currants or raisins
1/2 cup thawed concentrated frozen apple juice
Peel, core and dice into small pieces 2-3 firm baking apples to make:
2.5 cups chopped apple
Blend together in a separate bowl:
3/4 cup Turbinado sugar
1 Tablespoon grated Orange peel
1/2 teaspoon each of salt, clove, cinnamon & grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon extract such as vanilla or Marijuana/Cognac
Put half the chopped apples combined with 1/4 cup currants or raisins into the bowl on top of the pressed crumbs.
Drizzle with a little Lemon juice, then sprinkle with 1/2 the sugar/spice mixture, then top evenly with half the remaining crumbs. Press down lightly with your fingers, then add the remaining apples & currants or raisins, drizzle with lemon juice, top with the remaining sugar blend. DO NOT press down.
Take the 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate and moisten the surface as evenly as possible. Finally add the remaining bread crumbs, making a top layer which will brown nicely.
Place covered dish into a 375° F oven for 35-45 minutes, then remove cover and raise the heat to 400° F, and allow to brown for 15-20 minutes more. Cool before serving. Wonderful with a good whole bean vanilla ice cream.
Zesty Bread Pudding
Potency 1/2 teaspoon/serving
Combine and allow to soak:
1 cup dry whole grain bread crumbs
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
1.5 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 Tablespoon Marijuana butter
3 Tablespoons regular butter
Stir everything together and pour into a baking dish wiped very lightly with a bland oil. Bake at 375° F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with fresh strawberries and sprigs of mint.
Servings: @ 24
Potency: 1/2 teaspoon/serving
1.75 cups Turbinado sugar
1 cup whole cream ( not half & half)
1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
Stir together until the sugar is dissolved, then cook over high heat in a heavy saucepan for about three minutes at the boil.
Remove from the heat and add:
4 Tablespoons Marijuana butter
4 Tablespoons regular butter
Replace on the heat and cook until the toffee is light brown and quite thick. If you have a candy thermometer the mark is 290° F; if not, it is the hard crack stage.
Remove from the heat and stir in:
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract, Marijuana rum extract, or extract of your choice
Pour the toffee into a lightly buttered Pyrex dish and allow to cool thoroughly.
When cold cut into about 24 pieces.
Marijuana Pastry Crust for Quiche and Pies
YIELD: two 9 to 10 inch crusts
POTENCY: 3 teaspoons per crust
This is an excellent short crust for quiche. It’s very light and crumbly, and works well at any altitude. You don’t roll out this crust; rather, you pat it into shape in a buttered pie pan or baking dish with buttered fingers.
2 cups unbleached white pastry flour
2 tablespoons marijuana butter plus 2/3 cup regular butter, softened
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Suggestions For Preparation
Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together in a broad bowl.
Using a wide-tined fork or a dull dinner knife, blend the butter with the flour mix until you get a coarse, gravel-like mixture, then mash it around with well-buttered fingers until you have a nice grainy blend. Don’t expect a smooth mixture.
Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in a dry clean cloth, and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and pat it flat on an unfloured surface. (Whenever you are going to work a crust by hand you don’t want to flour it, because that will prevent the pieces from molding together.)
Pat the dough out in a circle with thick edges, the size of the pan bottom.
Place the dough into the pan, and pinch the dough up the sides of the pan. You may set aside a bit of the dough before beginning so that you’ll have a stockpile for repairs to this basic crust.
Finish the top edges with nice little scalloped pinches just like on Grandma’s apple pie, then prick the crust thoroughly with a fork. Prick all over the bottom and on the sides. This will prevent bubbling of the crust during pre-baking.
Set the oven at 375° and, allowing time for preheating, bake the crust for 10 minutes.
You now have a finished crust, which you can fill and continue cooking, or which you can freeze.
Rich Marijuana Pastry Crust for Pies and Tarts
YIELD: 12 slices
POTENCY: 1/2 teaspoon per slice
This crust is much richer than the preceding crust.
2 tablespoons marijuana butter, softened
2 tablespoons regular butter, softened
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup turbinado (unrefined) sugar
Suggestions For Preparation
Blend the butter with the flour until you have a grainy mixture.
Blend the egg, yolks, salt, and sugar together, and beat into the flour/butter mixture. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
Work this dough into your pie pan with lightly buttered fingers. Poke holes in the bottom and sides with a fork.
Bake in a 400° oven for five to seven minutes if you are going to fill and bake some more, which you would do if you were using this crust in a tart recipe.
If you are going to fill a completely baked crust, as in the case of High Lime Pie, bake at 375° for 20 minutes.
NOTE: This recipe makes one l0 inch crust, with about 1 teaspoon of potency per slice. To cut the potency, use half marijuana butter and half regular butter.
Wow – talk about an apparent contradiction in terms! Hot water or alcohol (red wine) extracts of Erythroxylon Coca, the Coca plant, along with simple alcohol tinctures or oil extracts of Cannabis, as safe and effective cures ( note – that’s “cures”, not “treatments”) for addiction to Alcohol, Heroin, Morphine, Nicotine, Cocaine, and Amphetamine. Does not compute – right?
Well, hold on there just a minute podner – I have some news for you. Actually I’m not sure that I should be calling information from the 1700s & 1800s ‘news’, but the fact is that thousands of doctors in the US and Europe in the 1700/1800s considered Coca Leaf tea and tonics as highly effective cures for Opium, Nicotine and Alcohol addictions, and later on for Morphine, Heroin and Cocaine addictions, enabling addicts to complete withdrawal programs with very little suffering and to successfully stay clean afterwards. And as pointed out in several of the physicians quoted below, when extract of Coca Leaf was not quite sufficient, adding extract of Cannabis to the treatment virtually guaranteed success.
I can hear the snorts of disbelief from here. Cure drug addiction with a drug – sure. But hold on again just a minute – what about Methadone beloved of contemporary opiate addiction docs? What about all the pharma-technology being used by all those thousands of (highly profitable and minimally effective) drug treatment centers? What about will-power, prayer, and 12 steps?
All good and useful – for some. No doubt. But what about all the people who are not and can not be helped rid themselves of chemical dependence using these “modern” approaches?
And remember – we’re not talking about replacing heroin or morphine injection, or alcohol slurping, or a three-pack-a-day cigarette habit with snorting a line of Cocaine or, worse, firing up a crack pipe. By the late 1800s doctors realized that white powder (pharmaceutical) Cocaine could be just as much of a drug problem as the fruit of the poppy or the vine. Ample evidence exists from the 1860s to the present day that Cocaine is only minimally useful as a medicine and is one of the more dangerous recreational drugs, so we are definitely not talking here about the use of Cocaine as a treatment modality.
We are talking about using the whole, natural leaf of the divine plant of the Andes as a simple tea, or in many cases as a wine extract of the whole leaf – as in the widely used and justly famous “Vin Mariani”. And in fact doctors in the 19th Century used Coca leaf tea quite successfully to treat Cocaine addiction too – which it turns out was very common among physicians who, of course, were first in line to discover that a little tweak up the nose at the end of a hard day made everything seem OK. For a while.
I don’t mean to be flip about physician addiction. It was a terrible and increasingly pervasive problem in the 1900s and today it has grown like a cancer that seems to prey on the most compassionate and caring of physicians – the ones who feel their patients’ pain and suffering most acutely. And of course Pig Pharma is right there with a huge selection of readily available drugs for these physicians to use to, first, deal with the pain and ultimately to become addicted and to descend into the kind of despair from which there is often no exit (that they can see).
If you want to learn more about this tragic problem and the efforts being made to help addicted and suicidal physicians check the link to the DisruptedPhysician blog in the links section of this blog. In fact I am so blown away by this blog that I’ve decided that it makes powerful sense to include addicted physicians in my “Coca Road – Journey To Natural Healing™” project – they would certainly benefit as much from a month of Coca Leaf therapy in the mountains of Peru as anyone suffering from any of the conditions/diseases that originally inspired this project.
But, back to the reductionist approach of Pig Pharma to natural medicines. Before Pig Pharma brought its scientific reductionism onto the natural medicine scene, Opium was just Opium and Coca Leaf was just Coca Leaf. Yes Opium could become a habit, but when you read the medical and scientific literature of the 17th-19th centuries most doctors knew how to deal with that addiction. Not surprisingly, as you will read later in this post, one of the most effective ways they had to deal with both Opium, Alcohol and Nicotine addiction was – wait for it – Coca Leaf extract and in stubborn cases, Cannabis extract (which was called Cannabis Indica at the time). And it is a rock-solid fact that nobody, ever, anywhere in the scientific and medical record became addicted to either Coca Leaf or Cannabis although, as I just said, there were plenty of people, both physicians and laymen, who were able to safely and effectively withdraw from Opium, Morphine, Nicotine, Heroin and Alcohol addiction with the help of these pure, natural medicines.
Once Pig Pharma turned its reductionist lenses onto the Opium Poppy and Coca Leaf – voila – the world was gifted (sic) with Morphine, Heroin, Nicotine, Cocaine, Amphetamines, and all the poisonous variants of these scientific (and commercial) wonders.
Let me explain what I mean by scientific reductionism. Let’s start with the naturally-occurring Coca plant as it grows wild and cultivated in the Andes. Scientific Reductionism is not content with saying “Well, here is a plant whose leaves have been healing people and improving the quality of their lives for thousands of years. What a wonderful discovery.” Scientific Reductionism instead says “Wow, look at what this plant can do! There must be some single active principle that is responsible for the plant’s almost magical powers. If we can isolate and extract that active principle then there’s no need to go through the messy (and expensive) process of growing the plant – we can just figure out how to make that active principle in our laboratories and then we can patent it and get enormously rich. And even better, we’ll use our political, economic and military power to make sure that the indigenous people who have used this plant with respect and moderation for thousands of years don’t have access to the natural plant so then they’ll have to buy exclusively from us or from our very close friends the drug cartels!”
So if you’ve read this far you might be intrigued by what these 19th Century doctors learned about using Coca Leaf tea as a withdrawal support for addicts, supported if called for by the use of extract of Cannabis, and why they considered this a superior approach to anything else available at the time. (Or since, I would add.)
Obviously in this post I can’t cover all of the 19th Century medical literature on this subject, so I’ll just offer you a few selections, most taken from the original source materials that I have compiled in my new 700+ page eBook “The Coca Leaf Papers”.
Several others are from 19th Century narcotic addiction literature which, while it can be rather steamy, also occasionally discussed the extreme difference – night and day really – between synthesized pharmaceutical cocaine and the pure natural leaf of the Coca plant. In “Coca leaf Papers” you’ll find an extensive bibliography with hyperlinks to dozens of original sources, many of which will offer you detailed insight into how these doctors of long ago managed to accomplish with simple Coca Leaf teas and tonics what industrial-scale anti-addiction programs of today largely fail to do – permanently cure opiate and alcohol addiction.
Of course it is important to note that today’s drug problems are far more complicated that those faced in the 1800s – thanks in no small part to the antics of the corporate and government anti-drug bureaucracies and their partners-in-crime, Pig Pharma. (Not a typo.) It is no accident that legally prescribed pharmaceuticals are a major cause of drug death today, along with the toxic products of the ever-inventive street chemists serving the demands of brain-fried addicts. However, as I read the findings of these pioneering doctors, it seems pretty clear to me that the same Coca Leaf cure that worked with alcohol and opiates in the 1800s would probably work pretty well with the speed freaks of today. But, of course, nobody really knows because Coca Leaf is illegal and so it can’t actually be tested to see if it would succeed where all the modern medical ‘cures’ somehow only seem to make the dispensers more wealthy while leaving the addicts to gradually expire in a pool of their own body fluids.
From “The History of Coca” by Dr. William Golden Mortimer, 1901
Excerpt from Chapter XIV “The Physiology Of Coca”
Coca & The Curing Of Drug Addiction
“Prominent in the application of Coca is its antagonism to the alcohol and opium habit. Freud, of Vienna, considers that Coca not only allays the craving for morphine, but that relapses do not occur. Coca certainly will check the muscle racking pains incidental to abandonment of opium by an habitué, and its use is well indicated in the condition following the abuse of alcohol when the stomach can not digest food. It not only allays the necessity for food, but removes the distressing nervous phenomena. Dr. Bauduy, of St. Louis, early called the attention of the American Neurological Association to the efficiency of Coca in the treatment of melancholia, and the benefit of Coca in a long list of nervous or nerveless conditions has been extolled by a host of physicians.”
(From) Erythroxylon Coca: By W.S. Searle, MD
New York, 1881
Coca Leaf & Opiate Addiction
“Perhaps one of the most valuable as well as wonderful properties of Coca is the facility with which it meets and extinguishes the craving for opium in the victims to that fearful habit. Professor Palmer, of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, has an article upon this subject in the Louisville Medical Journal, for 1880, and he therein narrates three cases in which he found the Coca a complete and easy substitute for the opium or morphine which had been habitually taken. One sufferer had been in the habit of taking thirty grains of morphine daily, and yet abandoned that drug wholly, and at once, and without the slightest difficulty, by resorting to the fluid extract of Coca whenever the craving attacked him.”
“Nor can this be considered simply an exchange of masters, since the uniform testimony of even those who have used Coca for a long time, and continuously, is that abstention from its employment is perfectly easy, and is not accompanied by any feelings of distress or uneasiness whatever.”
“Were Coca of no other use than this it would be a boon to afflicted humanity such as no one who has not been bound hand and foot in the slavery of opium can appreciate.”
From “Coca And Its Therapeutic Applications” by Angelo Mariani (1890)
Excerpt from Chapter V
“Dr. Villeneuve, among other cases of morphinomania conquered by the combined use of the pate and the Vin Mariani, communicated to us in 1884 the following observation: “M. X , barrister, 32 years of age, five years ago began to use morphine preparations as a remedy against a very alarming chronic bronchitis and granulations in the throat, which were irritated constantly by cigarette smoking.”
“The patient at first only used morphine, but his physicians committed the imprudence of treating him by hypodermic injection. A notable change for the better was produced during the first month, but, unfortunately, abuse succeeded promptly the use of the medicament – so much so that when I commenced to treat the patient, he was taking daily from 1 gramme 50 centigrammes to 1 gramme 80 centigrammes of morphine hypodermically. When he was four hours without his dose there appeared insomnia, hallucinations and delirium; constipation lasting sometimes for fifteen days, which brought on in the spring a very alarming perityphlitis, jerking of the muscles, sudden frights, dyspepsia, and at last frightful congestion of the face whenever he drank a drop of wine or brandy.”
“After a month’s treatment I had succeeded in reducing the daily doses without causing alarming symptoms; the physiological functions seemed to awaken again. However, the congestion and especially the dyspepsia was very grave, and the cough which had been suppressed by morphine returned. It was then that I treated my patient with phosphate of lime, the pate and the Vin Mariani. Lacking his habitual stimulant, he was plunged in a semi-coma from which he could not always be relieved with weaker daily doses of morphine.”
“The danger I feared most was a relapse of bronchitis, and that the cough and expectoration might end fatally. But in about a week, during which he took ten doses of Pate de Coca daily, the cough became less fatiguing and disappeared entirely in about twenty days. The patient then commenced to take small doses of Vin Mariani (two Madeira-glasses a day). At first congestion appeared, but little by little, as digestion became more easy, my patient, who on account of his profound anӕmia could not tolerate any table wines, took at first a small glass, then two, then three glasses at a meal. Now he can go and take his dinner in town, which he had not been able to do for three years; he regained his former vigor, is able to undertake anew his occupations, and has entirely given up his morphine habit.”
From “The Treatment of Opium Addiction”
J.B. Mattison MD, NY 1885
“Should there be minor discomfort, one-half-ounce doses of fld. ext. coca, every second hour, have a good effect. Cases occasionally require nothing else. If, however, as usually occurs, despite the coca, the characteristic restlessness sets in, we give full doses of fluid extract of cannabis indica, and repeat it every hour, second hour, or less often, as may be required. When the disquiet is not marked, this will control.”
“Having thus crossed the opiate Rubicon, treatment relates, largely, to the debility and insomnia. For the former, of internal tonic-stimulants, coca leads the list.”
“On the discovery of cocaine, it was thought its use, hypodermically, might prove of value in the treatment of this disorder, and, on asserted foreign authority, somewhat extravagant claims. Statements were made of its merit in this regard; but repeated trials by the writer have failed to prove them, and, in his opinion, it is much inferior to a reliable fluid extract of coca.”
From: “The Modern Treatment of Alcoholism and Drug Narcotism”
C.A. McBride, MD, New York 1910
Cocaine is an alkaloid obtained from the coca leaves. The leaves themselves have a very
stimulating effect upon those who use them. The Indians of South America are known to chew coca leaves in order to enable them to carry heavy burdens over long distances and to climb mountains without undue fatigue. When taken in this form, the habit does not seem to be contracted in the same way as when the alkaloid cocaine is taken by itself. We ourselves have tested its use in connection with our army in order to ascertain whether our men could stand a more fatiguing march by its use than otherwise. For some reason or another we have not heard any- thing further of its use in that direction.
Athletes at one time were accustomed to chew the leaves before entering upon some strenuous competition. To a great extent I believe that that has also dropped out of fashion, but it is said that in some of the recent Marathon races a well-known athlete used these leaves to sustain his strength during the contest. That he came in fresher than most of his competitors might be accounted for in this way.
There are several preparations upon the market containing an extract of the leaves and sold as tonics. The general public will be well advised to take none of these preparations without first consulting their doctor.
From “The Opium Habit And Alcoholism, Including Their Therapeutic Indications”
(by) Dr. Fred Heman Hubbard 1881
Case No. 2. Mrs. Julia L., 31 years old,, 5 years married. The incentive inducing her to take the drug, was association with a sister who was an opium eater.
She possessed a delicate organization, with hysterical tendencies, enjoying, however, apparently good health before forming the habit, although her immediate friends supposed her to be consumptive. Seeing her sister take the drug, she would occasionally indulge, and being frail and easily influenced, soon formed the habit.
Patient No. 2 on coming under our observation, was consuming twelve grains of morphia per day. When she was fatigued by over-exertion, the dose was increased; the morphia supporting her during such emergencies, as the power to undergo physical endurance under its action is wonderful. While prostrating in the end, its direct effects are to sustain the system.
Our patient’s natural tendencies rendered her susceptible to the pestiferous effects of the poison, so that she early foil under its influence and was reduced to a skeleton. In appearance her skin was dark and jaundiced, indicating a degeneration of the nutritive constituents of the blood; the hair and nails ceased to grow, the latter becoming brittle, showing a suspension of their nutrition.
As is usual with opium eaters, anorexia and constipation aggravated her case. She had not menstruated since forming the habit, and had imagined herself to be with child for some months. During the tenth month of the practice, her family were horrified by her having a
hemorrhage, apparently from the lungs. It did not suggest itself to them that the habit was the exciting cause of the suppressed menses and its vicarious elimination from the system, by hemorrhage. Her strength failed progressively from this time, the hemorrhages recurring, with some degree of regularity, every three or four months. She was given up as irrevocably doomed to slow consumption, a weak, hacking cough giving color to the supposition.
We considered her case a desperate one and so informed her family. She insisted, however, upon being treated, if only that she might die free from the monster, opium.
In order to decrease her consumption of morphia slowly, we prescribed:
Cannabis Indica, 3 v.
Belladonna Tr ? vi.
Glycerine, ; xv.
Alcohol, § xx.
Salt Baths were ordered to be taken three times a week; the diet to include a liberal allowance of fruit and vegetables and a lemon or orange was ordered to be taken
before breakfast and on retiring. If the bowels in these cases do not respond to a fruit diet, it is necessary to facilitate their action every other day by an enema, consisting of one ounce of castor oil. As there was general poverty of the nerve centres in this case, we ordered syrup of bypophosphites, taken alternately every other week, with the following:
IJ. Iodide Lime, gr. x.
Phosphate Iron, 3 i-
Quinia, 3 i-
Lactopeptine, 3 ii-
Syrup simple, 3 v.
M. Sig. Teaspoonful at nine, three and nine o’clock.
During the subsequent forty days this patient’s improvement was phenomenal, and was accompanied by a ravenous appetite. She gained flesh at the rate of three pounds per week. Her bowels did not, however, relax, or show any disposition to regulate themselves, displaying an atonic condition, which it was absolutely necessary to overcome before a cure could be effected. On the thirty- fifth day of treatment she had a hemorrhage, more profuse than usual, succeeded by hemoptysis for three days.
The lime, iron and quinia were discontinued, and the following pill was given: —
r£. Ferri sul. gr. xv.
Colocynth, ext. gr. x.
Henbane, ext. gr. iv.
Leptandrin, gr. lii.
Podophyllin, gr. li.
Aloes, gr. iv.
Capsicum, gr. v.
M. Pills xxv. Sig. One pill after meals.
Some years previous to forming the habit, the patient had suffered dysmenorrhcea and leucorrhcea, receiving treatment at that time for ulceration of the os-uten An examination displayed a congested and thickened os with two or three cicatrixes, the results of former ulceration. On the seventieth day of treatment, she experienced for the first time expulsive pains, severe in character accompanied with backache and followed by leucorrhcea. Warm injections of castile soap water, preceded an injection of tea twice the strength of that commonly used at the table, and as warm as was consistent with comfort. The next morning we ordered the castile soap water repeated, using the following as a final vaginal injection.
5- Glycerine, iii.
Carbolic acid, 3 ii.
Camphor aqua, 3 i.
Aqua, 3 x.
This, in a measure, controlled the symptoms, but we were hastily called three days afterwards, and found the patient suffering general prostration. The bowels had not acted for three days, the movements excited by injections were unsatisfactory, giving no relief. Anorexia being complete, the sight or smell of food induced nausea.
With our present experience we would not pursue the course resorted to in her case, where the bowels were unrelaxed. As it was, the prescriptions Nos. 1 and 2 were stopped and baths ordered. Electricity was applied with sponges over the abdominal viscera and rectum, exciting a passage, which was, however, scant, and forced, and not sufficient to relieve the system. Calomel of the tenth trituration, with full doses of podophyllin, was administered during the evening. At four o’clock the following morning, we were called and informed by the messenger that our patient was dead, having breathed her last a few moments before. She was indeed dead to all appearances, being in hysterical catalepsy, with no appreciable action of the heart or respiratory muscles.
She had suffered greatly during the night, vomiting incessantly, with no action upon the part of the bowels. We administered, hypodermically, one-half grain of morphia, when a little cold water sprinkled in the face excited reflex centric spinal action and revived her.
This instance only confirmed the conviction that it is impossible to cure the opium habit, and bridge the patient over the crisis, without having the bowels freely relaxed.
The condition unmistakably indicates – and the indication should not be misinterpreted – a state of the nerves’ periphery, which affects the system at large by a reflex action, showing that nature is oppressed by some obstacle which precludes the possibility of an immediate cure. The indications are broadly presented, demanding that no further effort be made to reduce the dose. The patient should be put on the smallest amount of opium consistent with a quiescent state of the nerves, and means should be taken to build up the general health by the judicious administration of tonics, to excite deposits of nutritive principles that give tone and strength to the nervous system.
A rule, scrupulously to be observed, is not to allow the patient to advance into the crisis until the bowels have freely relaxed, involving the entire canal. The crisis is a condition following the withdrawal of the last infinitesimal amount of opium. In preparation for it, patients may be kept as near the verge as the physician wishes, and they will improve, it being only a question of time when their improvement will revivify theantonic nerves.
The activity of the nerves’ periphery, presiding over the abdominal viscery, will be a true criterion of their condition throughout the system and a signal for the treatment to be resumed in safety, with victory near at hand. Drastic cathartics will not facilitate the action of the bowels, as paralyzed nerves recognize no such master.
We kept our patient on a small quantity of opium, slowly reducing that amount every third day, allowing the system time to recuperate. We prescribed the following:
IJ. Morphia, 3 ii.
Alcohol, 5 v.
Glycerine, 3 vi.
Aqua, I vii
M. Sig. Teaspoonful after meals.
Bottle No. 2 contained :
B/. Cannabis Indica, 3 vi.
Belladonna Tr. § iii.
Alcohol, 3 iv.
Ginger Tr. 3 v.
Gentian comp. Tr. 3 vi.
Syrup Ferri Iodide, 3 iv.
M. sig. Every third day replace what is taken from
No. 1, with the above.
“We directed the patient’s husband to inform us at once when her bowels fully relaxed. Thirty-seven days afterwards our presence was requested ; we found her greatly improved in every respect, presenting quite a natural appearance, her bowels having relaxed the previous night, moving twelve times before morning, with accompanying expulsive pains and profuse vaginal secretions, her catamenia appearing for the first time in three years. The attendants kept the first large discharge for our inspection, as it excited their curiosity by its peculiarity of character. It consisted of a mass of black coagulated matter, thickly studded with fibrinous laminae, or flakes, emitting a putrid odor; also a mass of remarkably bard scybala, baving stamped on their surface the imprint of numerous crescentic folds from the columnar epithelium, showing that it must have remained impact in one spot for some time. The relief experienced by the patient was complete, although she was exhausted. Prescriptions Nos. 1 and 2 were stopped and the patient was given one grain of quinia every hour, with instructions to chew coca leaves, retaining the juice extracted, which enabled her to pass safely through the crisis, without suffering nervous irritability. Within five days she was doing housework.”
“A letter from her brother, who is also a physician, written two years later, gives a glowing account of her perfect health, hemorrhages and other phthisical symptoms having disappeared, menstrual functions being normal, while her former frail state was entirely gone and replaced by robust health.”
I have a wide range of friends and colleagues in and outside of the medical and scientific communities, and I am always impressed by the range of reactions that they have to information from their long-ago peers – the doctors and scientists of the 18th & 19th Centuries. On any given subject their opinions generally fall on a normal curve.
On one tail of the normal curve are those who, while not doubting the sincerity of these long-dead writers, simply don’t see how the knowledge that they gathered during their lifetimes of research and practice could possibly be relevant today. There is simply no arguing with these people – one can usually spot them because of how fond they are of using the royal “We” when talking about the medical approach they are taking, e.g. “We believe that this treatment will be best for you…”
On the other tail of the normal curve are those who feel that for all the advances in medical hardware technology, bio-technology, diagnostic and imaging technology etc – they feel that these old-time doctors who had only their hands, eyes, ears, nose, and a lifetime of being intimately involved with their patients, must have had a set of sense-based tools that modern physicians simply don’t have. As an example I have one doctor friend who tells me, and I completely believe her, that she can smell certain kinds of cancer long before it is detectable by technology. Well, it is well-known that there are dogs that can do this – so why not humans? And of course there are many, many doctors who turn to the ancient herbal remedies and give them a chance to do their healing work long before they are forced to use the toxic tools of Pig Pharma.
And then there are all those physicians and practitioners who fall under the great central bell of the curve. They don’t think much about the knowledge of the past, but they don’t discredit it either. The problem that this group has is that the knowledge of the past is almost totally lost to both them and to society. Physicians don’t encounter it in their medical training, and scientists only encounter it as a vague set of building blocks upon which modern medicine and technology has been erected (unless they are those rare birds who actually study the history of science and medicine).
In this blog I am working to discover and bring forth lost knowledge for the potential benefit of those doctors and scientists who dwell in the progressive forward tail of the curve and all those moderate souls who are positioned under the great center of the curve. I try not to speak for the voices of the past but to recover them and give them a venue where their knowledge is available to be re-discovered, by doctors and scientists certainly but more importantly by intelligent people from all walks of life who are seeking to understand the great secrets of living long, and well, and in the full vigor and creative energy that is life at its best.
Those who have ears, let them hear; those who have eyes, let them see.