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|The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937|
Answers to Marihuana Questionnaire
Dr. W. L. Treadway
Division of Mental Hygeine
Public Health Service
1. Cannabin. Contained in the resin produced by the female pistillate plant of Indian
2. Cannabin is considered as the active principle. Any active principle, may be
curtailed by other substances which, in themselves, are inert, or it may be enhanced, but
I do not know of any substance in hemp which activates Cannabinis regarded as the active
principle or substance. You may have a drug which has a specific physiological action but
that drug may be enhanced by the addition of some other substance which, in itself, is
probably inert. For example, take calomel combined with soda -- you would enhance the
action of the calomel by the presence of that alkali.
3. It occurs largely in the resin that is found in the flowers of the tops of the
pistillate plant. It also occurs in small quantities in the smaller leaves of the tops of
the plant and, possibly, to a slight extent, in the fresh or young stalk of the plant.
4. In the seed.
5. I do not know. That would depend upon further experimentation. I do not think it
woud be practical, from a commercial standpoint, to attempt to get any considerable yield
from any part of the plant other than the resin. It would involve great technical
knowledge to make it commercially possible in terms of contraband trade. The small
quantitiess in the leaves and stalks would hardly be sufficient to warrant anyone going to
the trouble to get a satisfacgtory yield from it. In other words, it may be technically
possible but it would be impractical.
6. That is a moot point. I think it is most generally accepted, however, that the resin
from the female plant conains the largest amount of Cannabin..
7. Yes. Top leavews and resin dried and kept for from a year to eighteen months becomes
practically inert. It loses the strength rapidly. This is also true of the fluid extract
of Cannabis. It tends to become inert, or lose its physiological strength.
8. Yes, if kept in dry storage for a long time it deteriorates.
9. Hemp fiber has almost been replaced by cotton because it can be produced cheaper
(clothing, etc.) It is also cultured for rope but has been replaced by Sesseli, of the
Cactus family, and Abacca fiber, grown in the Philippine Islands, both of which are more
desirable for rope and cheaper. Sesseli is the more desirable of these two.
10. It is difficult to say whether the seed in its early development or in its
embryonic form, may be contaminated by the presence of this resin. The resin acts as a
medium for the collection of pollen. The seed does not contain the active principle of
Cannabin. Theoretically, and from the standpoint of tradition, hemp seed is included in
bird seed -- probably because of the idea that it did contaiin this resin and make the
11. I suppose you could pinch off the tops of the plants but it would have to be done
two or three times for, after each pruning, theyy would produce another series of buds.
Like chrysanthemums, after each pruning, they would probably make an extra effort to
produce more fruit and, while this pruning would probably temporarily stop the production
of ths deleterious substance it woudl eventually enhance and increase it.
12. I do not know.
13. It has been employed since about 500 B.C. for its sedative action. The principle
pharmaceutiical product is the fluid extract but it is very rarely used now in medicine
because there are so many more desirable hypnotics. It is used, however, as an analgesic
in corm plaster. From the standpoint of the Pharmacopoeia, it has been in each revision,
but in talking with some of the men interested in the new revision they question whether
it is desirable to continue including it.
14. Cannabis Indica does not produce a dependence such as in opium addiction. In opiium
addiction there is a complete dependence and when it is withdrawn there is actual physical
pain which is not the case witth Cannabis. Alcohol more nearly produces the same effect as
Cannabis in that there is an excitement or ageneral feelingg of lifting of personality,
followed by a delirious stage, and a subsequent narcosis. There is no dependence or
increased tolerance such as in opium addiction. Aas to the social or moral degradation
associated with Cannabis it probably belongs in the same category as alcohol. As with
alcohol, it may be taken a relatively long time without social or emotional breakdown.
Marihuana is habit-forming, altthough not addicting, in the same sense as alcohol might be
with some people, or sugar, or coffee. Marihuana produces a delerium with a frenzy which
might result in violence; but this is also true of alcohol.
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