One night in 1839, a woman knocked at the door of a British Army doctor named William O’Shaughnessy who was stationed in India. The woman’s infant was having seizures and needed help. The doctor tried several 19th-century remedies, including opium and leeches, but the convulsions grew worse over several days until the baby stopped eating and was convulsing almost constantly.
Not knowing what else to do, the doctor tried hemp, which the locals used as medicine.
A few drops of a cannabis tincture under the child’s tongue stopped the seizures almost immediately. Regular doses over the next few weeks brought the convulsions to an end.