Skip to main content

Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

See other formats

CANNABIS  SATIVA OR INDICA                                          685

and a sexual desire. He also feels quite happy and contented as though he
belongs to some .Raja's family, and has got all what he wants. Sometimes
datura is mixed with majun.

3.    Ganja.—This has  a rusty green colour and a characteristic odour
and consists of the flowering or fruiting tops of the female plant coated with
resin and grown on the plains.    It is mixed with a little tobacco, and is
usually smoked in a pipe (chilam).   The person using the smoke feels heavy
and lazy, and indulges in pleasant reveries, though he is able to discharge
his ordinary duties.   It is largely indulged in by Sadhus and Fakirs.

The leaves and flowering tops of the American hemp plant (Cannabis
Americana or Marihuana) are rolled into cigarettes called "reefers" and

The flowering tops (Ganja) are the constituents of the official prepara-
tions of Extractum Cannabis (dose, J to 1 grain), Tinctura Cannabis (dose,
£ to 1J minims), and Cannabinoa Tannas (dose, 4 to 8 grains).

4.    Charas.—This is of a dark green or brown colour and is commonly
known as hashish.   It is the resin exuding from the leaves and stems of the
plants, which grow on mountainous regions from six to eight thousand feet
above the sea-level.   It is smoked with tobacco in a pipe or a hukka, and is
the most potent of all the forms.

Symptoms.—Persons not accustomed to its use or from an overdose
suffer from toxic symptoms. They appear soon after smoking ganja or charas
and within half an hour after swallowing bhang, and are characterized by
two stages : stage of intoxication and stage of narcosis.

The first stage is characterized by excitement with visual hallucinations,
euphoria, laughter, talkativeness, marked increase in appetite and purpose-
less muscular movements. The patient loses all perception of time and
space, gets dreadful hallucinations, becomes wildly delirious, and sometimes
has a homicidal tendency. He feels giddy, atoxic, complains of tingling and
numbness of the skin, becomes drowsy, suffers from muscular weakness and
then passes into the second stage of narcosis with dilated pupils. In severe
poisoning there may be general anaesthesia. Recovery usually follows deep
sleep. Death, although extremely rare, may occur from respiratory failure.

Chronic Poisoning,—This occurs from the excessive consumption of can-
nabis1 sativa in one or more of its forms for a prolonged period. The symp-
toms are loss of appetite, general weakness, emaciation, trembling, loss of
sexual power, slothfulness, moral and mental deterioration, and insanity
(mania, melancholia or dementia),

In insanity caused by cannabis sativa the patient may suffer from
hallucinations and delusions of a persecuting nature and sexual infidelity,
which lead to crimes of violence. The patient is sometimes overpowered by
an irresistible impulse to destroy wilfully life and property of which he has
no recollection afterwards,

Fatal Dose.—Unknown. Eight ounces of Neurosine equivalent to 4.8
grains of cannabis sativa taken in two days-and-a-half produced alarming
symptoms in a woman.27 About one-and-a-half grains of the extract may
produce poisonous symptoms.

Fatal Period.—Death is very rare, but it has ensued in twelve hours, and
may be delayed for several days.

Treatment.—Evacuation of the stomach, cold affusions to the head, stry-
chnine hypodermically and artificial respiration.

Post-mortem Appearances.—Not characteristic.
27.   Q, Creswell Burns, Jour. Amer. Med, Assoc., Apffil 11, 1931, p. 122i.