Essential James E. Talmage
James P. Harris, editor

Chapter 3
“The Effects of Narcotics upon the System”
(Entries from the Journal of James E. Talmage, while at Johns Hopkins University, 1884,
Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)

[p.10]March 17—I have been engaged some time in the study of the effects of Narcotics upon the system, i.e. studying the same theoretically only. Today I found a gentleman who works in the same Laboratory as I, and who has for 2 years been addicted to the habit of eating Hashish or extract of Cannabis Indica. He was very willing to give me any data from his own experience; and gave me such.

March 18—My Hashish eating friend gave me further details at odd times today. Three of us in the University have entered upon the study of the Narcotics in use.

March 21—The result of our work in research upon Narcotics has been tolerably satisfactory. We utilize my friend referred to above, with his Hashish eating experience—and find four or five others whom he knows have also an experience upon the subject. But the effects experienced by the different ones are so widely different that we can scarcely draw a conclusion. The opium habit is well explained by books, and the bad after effects of the same are sufficiently appalling to keep down experimentation upon the subject. But, the ill effects are reported very low in the Hashish or Hemp administration; and we have concluded to try effect of small dose upon ourselves.

Of course, such a course is the proper one for the study of the effects of the drug, though I very much disliked the idea of doing such a thing, for as yet I have never known what it is to be narcotized either by tobacco, alcohol, or any drug…

March 22—This being Saturday, was the day I selected to study practically the effects of Hashish. This evening, after work and all was over, I took at 3 doses each an hour after the preceding, 5 grains solid extract Cannabis Indica. At this writing—midnight—5 hours since last dose, I have experienced no effect whatever. The effect is said to be widely different in different people.

[p.11]March 23—Sunday. Spent quietly. Have had no result to be noted of my physiological experiment yesterday.

I do not feel inclined to try again till the end of next week—as the realization of the effects of the drug are not desirable on working days.

April 5—This evening—first opportunity which has presented itself—I attempted my experiment on the effects of Hashish as referred to March 22 (page 26). Took in all 15 grains. No effects.

April 6. Sunday … Continued my experiment by taking 20 grains Cannabis Indica and the effect was felt in a not very agreeable way. My fellow experimenters & I concluded I should take no larger dose—but perhaps vary the trial in the future…