Kurokol was a cough syrup that contained alcohol, chloroform, and cannabis, which could have referred to either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. The use of the cannabis plant can be traced as least as far back as ca. 1500 B.C.; in the Ebers Papyrus hemp made from the plant was applied to inflamed areas of the body to cure ingrown toe-nails and other aliments. By the late 1880’s, cannabis was used frequently in cough syrups and related medicines and this continued to be the case until the 1930’s. Cannabis was valued as a pain killer and sedative that was also capable of drying up, expanding and unclogging the throat and air passages, without causing the constipation or depressed respiration associated with morphine.


“Cough Syrups, Chapter 8.” THE ANTIQUE CANNABIS BOOK – 2nd EDITION. Accessed 12 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap8/CoughSyrup.htm.

“Kurokol.” Cough Syrups. Antique Cannabis Book. Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap8/Kurokol.htm.

“Generic Cannabis Ad’s III:.” Magazine, Newspaper Advertisements for Medical Cannabis. Indianapolis Star, 12 Oct 1924.  Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap12/Generic2.htm

“Problems with Generic Ads: Cannabis Advertisments.” Magazine, Newspaper Advertisements for Medical Cannabis. Accessed 13 Nov., 2008 from: http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap12/Advertise.htm. 

Tryniski, Tom. “The Auburn Citizen.” 27 Oct 1927. Accessed 12 Nov., 2008 from: http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%202/Auburn%20NY%20Citizen/Auburn%20NY%20Citizen%201927.pdf/Newspaper%20Auburn%20NY%20Citizen%201927%20-%200230.PDF.


Annie Elias

November 13, 2008