Cannabis Becomes a Standardized Medicine

The U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 imposed regulations requiring labeling of the contents in drug products. The Sherley Act of 1912 prohibited labeling of medicines with false therapeutic claims intended to defraud the purchaser. Health claims and use of the word “cure” became prohibited. The prescription and dispensing of medicines were being forced into the modern age. Advances in glassmaking allowed machine molded bottles to proliferate. This, more than anything, changed the apothecary into our modern day pharmacy. Ingredients were no longer dispensed from the precious jars and formulated according to an individual’s prescription. Instead, formulas were standardized, branded and dispensed by the bottle. The railroad and the telegraph enabled national distribution. This gave advantage to name branding, mass advertising and the development of the large pharmaceutical houses. Cannabis remained an important medicine as the Roaring Twenties brought prosperity and maturity to the pharmaceutical industry. Stable medical varieties had been bred. Improved processing and packaging brought quality and standardization to the product. Many major pharmaceutical companies were making Cannabis preparations. Left to Right: Cough Special For Children, The Warren-Teed Products Co., Columbus, OH, 4″ Fluid Extract Indian Cannabis, Cannabis Sativa, John Wyeth & Bro., Philadelphia, PA, 4 5/8″ Abbott’s Alkaloidal Granules, Indian Cannabis, The Abbott Alkaloidal Co. Chicago, IL, 3″ Tincture Cannabis Indica, The Upjohn, Pill and Granule Co., Kalamazoo, MI, 3 1/4″ Cannabis Indica, Extract, Parke-Davis & Co., Manufacturing Chemist, Detroit, MI, 4 1/8″ Fluid Extract, Indian Cannabis, Cannabis Indica, U. S. P., Davis & Co., Detroit, MI, 3 1/4″ Tablet Triturates, B&T Quality Cannabis Indica, Boericke & Tafel, Philadelphia, PA, 5 3/8″ Fraser’s Tablets, 100 Cannabis Indica Extract, The Fraser Tablet Company, NY, 2 1/2″ Cannabis Extract, 100 Gelatin-Coated Pills, Shuemann-Jones Co., Cleveland, OH, 2 5/8″ Homoeopathic Dilution Cannabis Americana, Boericke & Tafel, Philadelphia, PA, 5 1/2″ Extract Cannabis Indica, 100 Soluble Pills, Scheffelin & Co., New York, NY, 1 5/8″ Fluid Extract Cannabis Indica, No. 203, 4 oz., Sharp & Dohme, Baltimore, MD, 4 3/4″ Cannabis Extract, 1/4 gr. No. 467, Eli Lilly & Company, Indianapolis, IN, 2 1/2″ Cannabis, Specific Medicines, Specific Indications, Lloyd Brothers, Cincinnati, OH, 4 1/2″, “Indications: Nervous depression, tendency to melancholia, with wakefulness, mental illusions or delusions or forgetfulness” Cannabis Extract, 100 sugar coated pills, 1 gr. Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, IN, 3 1/2″