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Cannabis sativa

Botanical Name: Cannabis sativa
Nepali  Name: Bhang or ganja
common Name: Indian Hemp or Marijuana

Origin, distribution and composition:
Indian Hemp is a robust, tall, erect, annual herb, 1to 5 meters high, usually with male and female plants in roughly equal numbers. It has angular stems bearing palmately or hand shaped divided leaves with greenish flowers. The hemp plant provides three products, namely, fibre, from the stems, oil from the seed and narcotic from the leaves and flowers.

Chemical Constituents
The chief constituents of Indian hemp are cannabinol, pseudocannabinol and cannabinin. It also contains cannin, a resin.
The biological activity of cannabis is due to alcoholic and phenolic compunds. The resin contains a crystalline compound, cannin.

Healing power and curative properties
Its narcotic and anodyne properties were appreciated by Western medical men in the early years of the last century and was incorporated in the British and United States pharmacopoeias.
The leaves of the plant are used as a drug to reduce excitement, irritation and pain as well as to induce deep sleep. They are also used as a drug to counteract spasmodic disorders, to increase the secretion and discharge of urine and arrest any secretion or bleeding.
Three types of narcotics are produced from the hemp plant, namely bhang or hashish which constitute the dried leaves and flowering shoot of male and female plants- has a low resin content. Ganja which is the dried unfertilized female inflorescences of special varieties grown in India and charas, which is the crude resin collected by rubbing the top of the drugs, the active principle is a resin from the glandular hair on its leaves, stems and inflorescences.

Diarrhoea and Dysentery
The leaves are beneficial in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. Two grams of dried leaves can be taken with sugar and black pepper.

The leaves help in insomnia. They can be administered to induce sleep where opium cannot be used. Charas which is the active principle of hemp, as well as ganja, are effective drugs to introduce deep sleep.

Digestive Disorders
Bhang or hashish is considered useful in digestive disorders like dyspepsia and other bowel complaints. It also acts as an appetizer when taken in small doses.

Nervous disorders
Charas is of great value in periodical headaches, migraine, acute mania, insanity and delirium, nervous vomiting, nervous exhaustion, convulsions and neuralgia.

The seeds of the plant are not narcotic. Their infusion is useful in gonorrhoea. Bhang or hashish can also be taken in this disorder.

The juice of Indian hemp removes dandruff and head lice.

Skin Disorders
A paste of the fresh leaves is the useful in resolving tumours. The powder of the leaves serves as a useful dressing for wounds and sores. Ganja is externally applied to relieve pain in itchy skin diseases.

Dosage: 250-500 mg
Fatal Dose:
the average toxic dose is 0.035 mg/kg  
Tincture: 10 Drops
Extracts: 90 mg

Toxic Effect:
---A single dose of cannabis for an inexperienced user, or an over­dose for an habitual user, can sometimes induce a variety of intensely unpleasant psychic effects including anxiety, panic, paranoia and feelings of impending doom.

----In some instances cannabis use may lead to a longer-lasting toxic psychosis involving delusions and hallucinations that can be misdiagnosed as schizophrenic illness

----Cannabis can have untoward long-term effects on cognitive performance, i.e. the performance of the brain, particularly in heavy users.

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