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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Bhang, Grass, Hashish, Hemp, Indian Hemp, Marijuana, Marihuana, Pot, Weed
(Cannabis sativa)
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Some varieties with little or no narcotic content are permitted by law with appropriate licensing for fiber production.

SEEDS = 25% high quality protein and 40% fat in the form of oil. The oil is high in Omega-3 plus some GLA's. Also choline, trigonelline, zylose, inositol, phytin, lipase, maltase, emulsin, linamarasse, amylase, urease, nuclease, erepsin, tryptase, calalose.
OIL contains 57% linoleic and 19% linolenic acids in perfect 3 to 1 ratio that matches human nutritional needs. Natural anti-inflammatory effect has been used for arthritis and autoimmune disorders.

A hairy annual (with plants being either male or female) from 3 to 10 feet, found growing wild globally and cultivated in warm climates. Stems are rough and angular, bearing opposite (alternate near the top), palmate leaves with 5 to 7 narrow, lanceolate, coarsely serrate, pointed leaflets. Flowers are small and green, being either male or female, the male growing in axillary panicles, the female appearing in spiky clusters from August to October; fruit is a small achene filled with seed. Its origins are uncertain but it is believed to have originated in an area slightly north of the Himalayas. Has been cultivated both for fiber and drug use in Asia and the Middle East for 4000 years. Its medicinal uses were described in both Indian and Chinese texts from 1000 years BC to 500 years BC. It is known to have been used by the Chinese for fiber as early as 2800 BC. It was certainly known and grown in Europe by 500 AD. In parts of Asia and the Middle East, the dried plant resin is commonly smoked or eaten. Its euphoric properties were known to the Scythians and Thracians who roasted the seeds and inhaled the fumes. Was included in the US Pharmacopoeia until the 1930's when it was restricted. Although its therapeutic uses have been crushed in the West, traditional Chinese medicine continues to avail itself of its values.

The intoxicating properties of Cannabis sativa are in the sticky resin produced most by flowering tops of female plants before the seeds mature; the main psycho-active compound in the resin is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Strains grown for oil production have low resin content. Seeds must be cleaned and washed before being pressed for oil; no THC is present in the final product. The oil is legal. The seeds are allowed commercially if sterilized to prevent germination.


BHANG: The dried plant material (dried leaves and flower tops) mixed into water, fruits, or candy. Least potent and cheapest to produce. Smoked like tobacco.
CHARAS (var sp Charras): The pure resin from plants grown at high altitudes and smoked or eaten with spices. The most potent.
GANJA: A mix of resin and parts of the flowering tops of the female plant. Stronger in action than Bhang.
HASHISH (var sp Hasheesh): Resin from the female plant which is usually smoked in water pipes. A lesser grade of charras.

NEEDS: Plants grown in dry, sandy soil said to be the most medicinally active.
PART USED: C.s. subsp sativa = whole plant (hemp). C.s. subsp indica = flowering tops and seeds (medicinal). The medicinal properties deteriorate rapidly if not kept in an air-tight container.
C.s. subsp sativa = Hemp which is cultivated for fiber.
C.s. subsp indica = Marijuana (richer in essential oils and other chemical compounds).


C.s. subsp indica is considered analgesic, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, laxative, hypotensive; has been used for the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, to reduce pressure in the eye from glaucoma, and to assist AIDS patients in gaining weight.
Has been used externally for corns, sores, and leg ulcers.
In Chinese medicine, the seeds (huo ma ren) have been used to treat constipation as a result of debility, fluid deficiency, wasting diseases, with febrile illnesses, post-partum, and anemia. The seeds are considered sweet, neutral, demulcent, nutritive, laxative and not to contain the intoxicating properties of the leaves and flowers; affects spleen, stomach, colon. As a laxative, one ounce of pounded seed meal is simmered in 1 quart of water until the liquid is reduced to 1 pint; taken 3 times daily in 9 to 30 g doses. The seeds in the form of an infusion have also been used in post childbirth pain and prolapsed uterus.
Until 1937 in the United States, Cannabis was used medicinally as analgesic-hypnotic, topical anesthetic, antiasthmatic, antibiotic, antiepileptic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, tranquilizer, antitussive, appetite stimulant, oxytocic, preventative and anodyne for neuralgia and migraine, as an aid to psycotherapy and for alcohol and opiate withdrawal. Was also used for gout, rheumatism, delirium tremens, insanity, infant convulsions, insomnia.
The tincture was once used for gonorrhea, menorrhagia, chronic cystitis, and urinary tract problems.


A renewable source of pulp for paper. C.s. subsp sativa is used for fiber to make cloth, rope and other products.
Seeds have been eaten as food in parts of China and processed into a milk substitute, for tofu, etc.
A varnish was produced from the seeds.
Several twigs collected in spring were said to drive away bedbugs.

©2005 by Ernestina Parziale, CH