Boericke & Tafel Cannabis Sativa Tincture

When O'Shaughnessy introduced cannabis into Western medicine in 1839, he reported, on the basis of experiments with patients, that tincture of hemp was an effective analgesic. In this and a variety of other indications the drug achieved popularity in medical therapeutics during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Dr. J. R. Reynolds, speaking from 30 years of experience, referred to it as "by far the most useful of drugs" in treating painful maladies....Despite enthusiastic endorsement, cannabis preparations fell from favor because of their variable effects and the introduction of alternatives. Aspirin and the barbiturates became popular, and the hypodermic syringe made rapid delivery of water-soluble opiates possible. The latter were naturally preferred over the less potent and slower acting cannabis extracts....A number of early pharmacologists recommended cannabis for functional pain; that is, pain associated with anxiety and aggravated by its meaning for the patient. Prominently mentioned indications were dysmenorrhea, migraine, labor pain, and the pain of terminal illness. Its tranquilizing and sedative properties were felt to enhance its value in these indications. Hare, who held its tranquilizing properties in high regard, made the following observation regarding its influence on the pain experience: "During the time that this remarkable drug is relieving pain a very curious psychical condition sometimes manifests itself; namely, that the diminution of the pain seems to be due to its fading away in the distance, so that the pain becomes less and less, just as the pain in a delicate ear would grow less and less as a beaten drum was carried farther and farther out of the range of hearing".

Excerpt from page 531 of Noyes and Baram's 1974 article Cannabis Analgesia, in Comprehensive Psychiatry, 15(6), pp. 531-535.

According to Bert Easterbrook's Antique Cannabis Book, Chapter 4, where the images are from, the bottle is from approximately 1895, give or take 10 years.

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