This page is dedicated to the past.  Here we have photos & text from a Pharmacy Book from 1885, when Cannabis was medicine.  

Book Owner Signature

J. T. Dobson 7-8-19 (July 8, 1919)

Title Page

Practice of Pharmacy
A Treatise
On the modes of making and dispensing official, unofficial, and extemporaneous preparations, with descriptions of medicinal substances, their properties, uses, and doses

Intended As

A hand-book for pharmacists and physicians
A text-book for students



Joseph P. Remington, Ph.M., Phar.D., F.C.S.

Chairman of the committee of revision of the pharmacopoeia of the United States of America; Dean, Professor of Theory and Practice of Pharmacy, And Director of The Pharmaceutical Laboratory, in the Philadeliphia College of Pharmacy; Pharmaceutical Editor of the United States Dispensatory; Honorary Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, Etc.

Assisted By
E. Fullerton Cook, P.D.

With Over Eigth Hundred Illustrations

Publication Dates

1885, 1889, 1894, 1905, 1907, 1917

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CANNABIS. U.S. Cannabis
[Cannab. - Cannabis Indica, U.S.P. VIII Guaza Ganjah] {Page 1184}

     The dried flowering tops of the pistillate plants of Cannabis sativa Linne, or of the variety indica Lamarch (Fam. Moraceae), freed from the thicker stems and large foliage leaves and without the presence of admixture of more than 10 per cent. of fruits or other foreign matter. Cannabis, made into a fluidextract in which 100 mils represent one hundred grammes of the drug, when assayed biologically, produces in coordination when administered to dogs in a dose of not more than 0.03 mil of fluidextract per kilogramme of body weight.

Page 98


                The assay of Cannabis and its preparations has been made a requirement and is based upon the fact that this drug produces certain symptoms of muscular incoordination. The method consists of ascertaining the dose of the preparation to be tested with will product these symptoms of incoordination in dogs and the adjusting its strength by comparison with a standard preparation.

                Dogs - The animals differ considerably in susceptibility to the drug and therefore it is best to make preliminary tests upon several dogs with average sized doses and select from among them the animals which react easily to the drug. As a rule, fox terriers serve very well for the purpose, but any dog may prove satisfactory. It is best to provide at least two dogs for each assay, but if many samples are to be examined more dogs will be needed. The dogs should be at least on year old and in normal health and must be kept under the bet sanitary conditions. They may be used repeatedly for the purpose but not at shorter intervals than three days. Each series of tests should be conducted by the same person who should be perfectly familiar with the peculiarities of each animal in order that he may recognize more certainly deviations from the normal. While the tests are being made the animals should be kept in a perfectly quiet room, free from disturbance and separated so that they cannot see each other.

                Preparation of the Drug. - The drug may be given most conveniently in the form of the fluidextract which is administered in gelatin capsules, or the extract made into soft pills may be used; but whichever form is chose, the same should be used for both the standard and the preparation that is to e tested.

                Before administration the animal should not be fed for twenty-four hours in order to hasten absorption. The head of the animal being held, its mouth is opened and the capsule or pill is placed upon the back of the tongue. Usually the drug is easily swallowed when given in this way, but this may be facilitated by giving the animal a small amount of water to drink.

                Assay. - An average dose of the known or standard preparation is given to one of the dogs and a like dose of the preparation to be standardized is given to the second dog. After one hour both dogs are observed very carefully for symptoms of muscular incoordination. The incoordination is manifested differently in different animals, but in small doses it shows itself most frequently in slight swaying, when the animal is standing quietly, or in some ataxia when it runs about. The observation should be made frequently during the second hour following the administration of the drug.       

                The results obtained from the first test should be confirmed after an interval of not less than three days by repeating the administration but reversing the order, that is, giving the known strength drug to the dog which received that of unknown strength before and vice versa.

                In subsequent tests which are carried out, the dose of the preparation of unknown strength is modified so as to produce similar symptoms to those produced by the standard. If the preparation to be tested in below the standard in strength, its dose must be increased, or if it is above strength its dose is lessened until equivalent doses of the two are found. Dogs may be used over long periods of time, even for some years, but occasionally they have to be discarded, as in some cases they seem to learn the effects of the drug and so refuse to stand up. A certain degree of tolerance is sometimes gained which necessitates larger doses.


Official Description

{Page 1184}  In dark green or greenish-brown and more or less agglutinated fragments, consisting of the short stems with their leaf-like bracts and pistillate flowers, some of the latter being replaced with more or less developed fruits; stems cylindrical, of varying length, not more that 3mm. in diameter, longitudinally furrowed, light green to light brown, strigose-pubescent; leaves digitately compound; leaflets, when soaked in water and spread out, linear-lanceolate, nearly sessile, margin deeply serrate; bracts ovate, pubescent, each enclosing one or two pistillate flowers, or more or less developed fruits; calyx dark green, pubescent and somewhat folded around the ovary or fruit; styles two, filiform and pubescent; ovary with a single campylotropous ovule; fruit light green to light brown, broadly ellipsoidal, about 3.5 mm. in length, finely wrinkled and slightly reticulated.  

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Test for Identity and Purity

{Page 1184}  Odor and Taste - Odor agreeable aromatic; taste characteristic.

Test for Identity and Purity. The powder is dark green, giving a strong effervescence on the addition of dilute hydrochloric acid; numerous sharp-pointed fragments of upper portion of non-glandular hairs and fragments of bracts and leaves showing yellowish-brown laticiferous vessels, rosette aggregates of calcium oxalate from 0.005 to 0.02 mm. in diameter; non-glandular hairs unicellular, with a very slender pointed apex and a considerable enlarged base containing, usually in the lumen, some calcium carbonate; glandular hairs of two kinds, one with a short, one-celled stalk and the other with a multicellular, long, tongue-shaped stalk, the glandular portion being globular and consisting of from 8 to 16 cells, fragments of fruits with palisade-like, non-lignified sclerenchymatous cells, walls yellowish-brown, finely porous, the lumina usually containing air; tissues of embryo and endosperm with numerous oil globules and aleurone grains the latter from 0.005 to 0.01 mm. in diameter and consisting of large crystalloids and globoids.

Test for Identity and Purity

{Page 1185}  Odor and Taste, cont.

The yield of alcohol extractive is not less than 8 per cent. And the alcoholic solution is of a bright green color.

Cannabis yields not more than 15 per cent. of ash.

Assay. – Prepare a fluidextract and proceed as directed under Biological Assays (Chapter LXII).

USP Preparations – Extractum Cannabis; Fluidextractum Cannabis; Tinctura Cannabis

NF Preparations – Collodium Salicylici Composita (from Fluidextract); Mistra Chlorali et Potassii Bromidi Composita (from Extract); Mistura Chloroformiet Morphinae Composita (from Tincture).

Cannabis contains a resinous substance, cannabinine, volatile oil, and tetanocannabinine. Alcohol is the best solvent for the active principles. The Pharmacopoeia has permitted the use of cannabis sativa, no matter where grown, provide it conforms to the biological standard. Much cannabis is now cultivated in America and in tropical countries. The standardization of the drug and all of its preparations is required.

Uses – It is used as an anodyne and nerve stimulant. Dose, one grain (0.065 Gm.).

Thank You to Margarita of Hemplements (Colo Springs) for letting us borrow and photograph her amazing Pharmacy Handbook 

This book illustrates was how medicine once was made in America.