Prof. Jan Kabelik - HEMP AS A MEDICAMENT

Summary of the Study

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Authors: J. Kabelik, Z. Krejci, F. Santavy

The Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (Director: Prof. Dr. J. Kabelik) and the Institute of Medical Chemistry (Director: Prof.  Dr. F. Santavy) of the Medical Faculty of the Palacky University, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia

The cycle of lectures and discussions "Hemp as a Medicine" was originally created for a scientific conference of universities held in Olomouc on December 10, 1954. One section was dedicated to medicinal and especially to the antibiotic effects of hemp.

Other section comprises experiences with matters contained in the hempseed. These matters were extracted by water or salt solutions and hot milk – they principally include edestin, cholin and trigonelin. The first one is a perfect protein providing all the important amino acids necessary for treatment of tuberculosis and for growth, while the others are important for liver.


Within the scope of a systematic study of antibacterially effective substances present in the flora growing in the temperate climate of Czechoslovakia, the researchers have undertaken to investigate more than 3,000 different plant species. In this way they came upon the Indian hemp plant - Cannabis sativa var. indica - which has been investigated in detail. The subsequent finding of the antibacterial effect of the extract from Cannabis indica - direct evidence was provided some years ago at our Institute of Hygiene - stimulated much interest in cannabis from the medical point of view, and resulted in numerous reports published from different institutes and departments. Independently from the Kabelik's team, the antibacterial effect of the extracts from Cannabis sativa was described and studied some years later, particularly by Ferenczy and Drobotko. The interest of Czech clinicians was aroused in this respect by the very good results achieved with the antibacterially effective substances from various plants referred to in the literature,

The preliminary results obtained were published in 1952 in the Czechoslovakian medical journal Lekarske listy and in a compilation of communications submitted at the scientific conference held by the university in Olomouc in 1955. A survey of their work was published in the journal, Die Pharmazie, 1957-1959.

The Study is divided into the following sections:

  1. History of the medicinal use of hemp. Treatment with cannabis in ancient, folk and official medicine up to the beginning of the twentieth century.

  2. Properties of isolated substances. A brief survey of the methods of isolation and the physical and chemical properties and structures of the isolated antibacterial substances. Preparation of extracts, bacteriological technology, spectrum of bacteria sensitive to Cannabis indica.

  3. Methods and results of the bacteriological experiments. On the basis of the mentioned dependence, conclusions should be drawn as to the practical utilization of the preparations with antibacterial substances from cannabis at varying pH of some pathological processes as, for example, in suppurant wounds, furuncles, otitis, sinusitis and the like.

  4. Survey of clinical experiences. A systematic investigation of the mid-European flora has been carried out in order to establish the presence of antibacterially effective substances. A high content of remarkably active substances has been found present in Cannabis sativa var. indica and in Cannabis sativa, a plant cultivated for the industrial utilization of the hemp fibre. It has been investigated in detail from the bacteriological and the chemical viewpoint and from the standpoint of the eventual applicability of the effective substances in clinical practice.

    Experimentally we could evidence the bactericide effect of the substances from cannabis in vitro upon a number of micro-organisms. Finally, the experiments made in clinical practice, particularly in stomatology, otorhinolaryngology, gynecology, dermatology, phthisiology, with some pharmaceutical preparations containing antibacterial substances from cannabis have been reported.

    Attention has been drawn to the advantageous utilization of the active substances from cannabis in veterinary medicine, and particularly in preventive medicine for anthropozoonoses.

  5. Therapeutic results in stomatology. Application of substances obtained from hemp in teeth treatment and preservation stomatology.

  6. Cannabis indica in oto-rhino-laryngology. A positive response due to antibiotics obtained from hemp could be observed in patients with otitis, sinusitis, ulcers of the anterior narines, furuncular otitis and chronical otitis.

  7. Importance of hemp seeds in the tuberculosis therapy. The application of the hempseed in the tuberculosis therapy is based on a thirty years' experience acquired with regard to diet at the sanatorium in Jince. The right function of the liver has always been considered by the authors as the necessary supposition for complete assimilation: that is why those commands and limitations, nowadays known as the fundamental rules of a liver diet, have been stressed.

  8. References of the study.


Integral text of the Study in a PDF format document to download.


Sources: UNODC - Bulletin on Narcotics - 1960 Issue 3 - 002

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