Cannabis and lock jaw
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Hasheesh Eater – Fitz Hugh Ludlow
A rapid glance showed most of [the drugs] to be old acquaintances.
‘Conium, taraxacum, rhubarb – ha! What is this? Cannabis Indica’.
‘That’ answered the doctor, looking with a parental fondness upon his new treasure, ‘is a preparation of the east Indian hemp, a powerful agent in cases of lock jaw’
On the strength of this introduction, I took down the little archer, and removing his outer verdant coat, began the further prosecution of his acquaintance. To pull out a broad and shallow cork was the work of an instant, and it revealed to me an olive brown extract, of the consistency of pitch, and a decided aromatic odour. Drawing out a small portion upon the point of my penknife, I was just going to put it to my tongue, when
‘Hold on’ cried the doctor ‘do you want to kill yourself? That stuff is deadly poison’
‘Indeed’ I replied ‘no, I cannot say that I have any settled determination of that kind’
and with that I replaced the cork, and restored the extract, with all its appurtenances to the shelf…….
… the doctor was both right and wrong; right inasmuch as a sufficiently large dose of the drug, if it could be retained in the stomach, would produce death, like any other narcotic, and the ultimate effect of its habitual use had always proved highly injurious to mind and body; wrong, since moderate doses of it were never immediately deadly, and many millions of people daily employed it as an indulgence similarly to opium.