CBD Oil In The Bible

The plant known as kaneh-bosm in Aramaic is considered by most mainstream Biblical scholars to be calamus, an herb with well-known medicinal effects. But some people believe that kaneh-bosm is actually cannabis, and that Jesus used highly… Did Jesus use cannabis oil to perform miracles? As marijuana grows more acceptable in the US, fringe groups and experts are beginning to consider its role in the Christian faith. Could cannabis According to Bennett, the role that the great ganja played in the Bible actually remains misunderstood by many because of an error in translation which…

The Anointed One: Did Jesus Perform His Miracles with Cannabis Oil?

The plant known as kaneh-bosm in Aramaic is considered by most mainstream Biblical scholars to be calamus, an herb with well-known medicinal effects. But some people believe that kaneh-bosm is actually cannabis, and that Jesus used highly.

“Jesus Healing the Blind” from 12th Century Basilica Catedrale di Santa Maria Nouva di Monreale in Sicily.

Last month the Salt Lake City Tribune ran a story titled “Families Migrating to Colorado for a Medical Marijuana Miracle.” It profiled just a few of the hundreds of children and parents currently uprooting their lives and flocking to the Rocky Mountain State in search of a non-psychoactive cannabis medicine that’s shown promise in treating serious pediatric ailments, even when all other possible treatments have proven futile.

“You’re completely re-establishing your whole life,” one father of a two-year old epilepsy sufferer explained of his family’s recent decision to relocate from Tennessee. “We don’t have a support system. We don’t have friends. We had to find a new church.”

“We can’t leave the state with [cannabis] or it would be a federal offense,” his wife added. “But we just felt like if we knew something was out there that might work and we didn’t try it we’d be doing the ‘what if’s’ our whole life.”

Tales of “miraculous” healing through the use of highly-concentrated cannabis oil have been circulating within the global marijuana community for almost ten years, but they only broke into the popular consciousness this August, when Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, offered millions of viewers a painful apology for previously dismissing mounting evidence in favor of medical cannabis, describing himself as having been “systematically misled” on the subject.

Then Dr. Gupta introduced the world to six-year-old Charlotte Figi from Colorado Springs, Colorado, who used to suffer 300 gran mal seizures per week, even after cycling through every anti-seizure medicine in the pharmacopeia and enduring a series of painful procedures that left her unable to walk, talk or eat. Those seizures started when Charlotte was just three months old, and yet in all that time, not one medical professional ever so much as mentioned cannabis. Her parents only learned the herb might help treat Dravet’s—the rare, intractable form of epilepsy tormenting their child—by watching a video on Youtube, and even then only decided to try it after all else failed.

The first time they gave their daughter a dose of wholly plant-derived non-psychoactive high-CBD cannabis oil, her seizures ceased for seven straight days—a completely astonishing response. She’s now down from more than 1,200 major seizures per month to just two or three mild ones. Towards the end of the CNN segment, as Charlotte happily pedaled her bicycle, her father asked, “Why were we the ones that had to go out and find this natural cure? How come our doctors didn’t know about this?”

SCATTERING SEEDS

Now imagine Charlotte Figi living not in modern day Colorado, but in the Middle East, roughly 2000 years ago. Whether an object of pity, scorn, fear, or fascination, that poor young girl likely would’ve been thought to be demonically possessed—her deeply religious community would have had no concept of epilepsy as we know it today. At least until the day a stranger came to town, calling himself Jesus of Nazareth, but named by his disciples as Christ—a Greek word meaning the anointed.

Following the recipe for holy anointing oil found in the Old Testament (Exodus 30: 22-23), this healer of local renown would infuse nine pounds of a plant known in Aramaic as kaneh-bosm (fragrant cane) into about six quarts of olive oil, along with essential extracts of myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia. He would then apply this unguent concoction topically to the infirm, allowing it to absorb transdermally.

According to conventional Biblical scholarship, the “250 shekels of kaneh-bosm” listed in ancient Hebrew versions of the Old Testament supposedly refers to calamus, but Chris Bennett, author of the 2001 book Sex, Drugs, and Violence in the Bible claims that this is a misconception, and likely a misdirection as well, one stemming from a perhaps willful mistake made the first time the Old Testament was translated into Greek.

Kaneh-bosm, he writes, was cannabis.

_The first solid evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis was established in 1936 by Sula Benet, a little known Polish etymologist from the _Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw. The word cannabis was generally thought to be of Scythian origin, but Benet showed that it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, and that it appears several times throughout the Old Testament. Benet explained that “in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant.”

_Benet demonstrated that the word for cannabis is _kaneh-bosm_, also rendered in traditional Hebrew as _kaneh_ or kannabus. The root kan in this construction means “reed” or “hemp”, while bosm means “aromatic”. This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel…. and has been mistranslated as calamus, a common marsh plant with little monetary value that does not have the qualities or value ascribed to kaneh-bosm. The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint in the third century BC, and was repeated in the many translations that followed._

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While that etymogical argument in no way serves as material proof, the “aromatic reed theory” can serve as the basis for a set of assumptions. Assuming the oil described in Exodus did in fact contain high levels of cannabis, the effective dose of the plant’s medicinal compounds would certainly be potent enough to explain many of the healing miracles attributed to Jesus, as marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for everything from skin diseases and glaucoma to neurodegenerative conditions and multiple sclerosis. Also, while it’s highly unlikely anybody back then had herb capable of competing with the 20-25 percent THC super-chronic Cannabis Cup winners of today, there’s also no reason to believe that artful botanists of the ancient world couldn’t have bred and grown plants in the 10 percent THC range—with perhaps even higher levels of CBD than our modern hybrids—a cannabinoid profile that advocates claim is potent enough to produce a truly profound reaction when absorbed in such large amounts.

MOSES THE STONED SHAMAN

Kaneh-bosm makes its first, rather auspicious appearance in the Bible as part of the story of Moses and the burning bush, when the revered Jewish prophet gets the holy anointing oil recipe direct from the Lord, along with clear instructions to anoint only the priest class—a restriction later eased to allow kings access as well.

Exodus 30:31

You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.

Unfortunately for the priests and their erstwhile marijuana monopoly, however, many other competing religions and spiritual paths active at the time—including pagans and those who worshipped the Goddess Ashera—had their own far more free-flowing kaneh-bosm supply. Cannabis, after all, has been grown as a food crop since at least 6,000 BC and was well known and widely available in Moses’s time.

“There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion,” according to Carl P. Ruck, a professor of classical mythology at Boston University who studies the way psychoactive substances have influenced humanity’s spiritual development. “There is no way that so important a plant as a fiber source for textiles and nutritive oils and one so easy to grow would have gone unnoticed… the mere harvesting of it would have induced an entheogenic reaction.”

Which means it wasn’t so much the cannabis plant that ancient Judaic priests tried to keep to themselves, as the healing potential of high-potency anointing oil passed down to them by Moses. A prohibition they maintained by targeting for elimination anybody who dared to break God’s commandment by sharing the elixir with the masses, assuming that kaneh-bosm is cannabis.

JESUS THE REBEL

Aside from crucifixion, Jesus’s baptism is considered by many researchers the only historically certain fact about his life. The New Testament’s vivid accounts of the ceremony make it clear that the apostles considered their savior’s encounter with John the Baptist to be a pivotal and transformative event, one that marks the beginning of his public ministry.

Mark 1: 9-13

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him. And there came a voice from Heaven, saying, ‘Thou Art My Beloved Son, In Whom I Am Well Pleased.’ And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him.

But if water served as the catalyst for Jesus’s spiritual ascension, why does he never perform a baptism? Why take the name Christ? And why anoint his flock in oil before sending them out to anoint others, as described in Mark 6:13: They cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

To those who believe that Christ used cannabis oil, the answer lies in non-canonical Christian texts. The canonical texts of the New Testament, that is the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc, were not selected as such until around 325 years after Jesus’s death, when the Roman Catholic Church culled them from a large number of contenders in hopes of uniting all of Christendom under one banner—their own. The Church then sought out and destroyed every account that differed from their now official version of events. Allowing the very empire Jesus once virulently opposed to seize control over the practice of Christianity for a thousand year period known as the Dark Ages.

Meanwhile, any Christians who continued to promote alternate views of Jesus and his teachings were labeled heretics and brutally suppressed. Much of their scripture and dictates were thought to be lost forever as a result, until 1945, when an Egyptian peasant digging for fertilizer in a cave unearthed a dozen leather-bound codices inside a sealed jar, a treasure trove purposely buried there by scribes at a nearby monastery sometime around AD 367, when the Church first condemned the use of non-canonical texts.

Within these volumes—many of which predate the books of the New Testament—Biblical experts discovered a parallel but radically different telling of the life of Jesus, one that places the anointing ceremony squarely at the center of Christianity. So much so that these various sects were given the blanket name Gnostics (from the Greek word for “knowledge”) to highlight their shared focus on first-hand experience of the holy oil as what defines a christian, rather than second-hand faith in scripture or the priesthood.

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The Gnostic tractate The Gospel of Phillip, for instance, proclaims that any person who “receives this unction…is no longer a christian but a Christ.” A transformation then compared to the placebo act of baptism adopted by the Roman Catholic Church, in which would-be initiates “go down into the water and come up without having received anything… [Because] there is water in water, there is fire in chrism [an anointing].”

Basically, the Gnostics believed Jesus’s baptism took place, but only as a kind of cleansing ritual, in preparation for receiving holy anointing oil—the true sacrament. As Chris Bennett writes, “The surviving Gnostic descriptions of the effects of the anointing rite make it very clear that the holy oil had intense psychoactive properties that prepared the recipient for entrance into ‘unfading bliss.’”

THE SKEPTICS

Lytton John Musselman, a Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University and author of A Dictionary of Bible Plants (Cambridge 2011), says he’s familiar with the theory that keneh-bosem refers to cannabis, but remains wholly unconvinced, calling the evidence claiming marijuana to be part of the holy anointing oil “so weak I would not pursue it.” He also defends calamus as capable of producing medicinal effects on par with those described in the Bible.

“Calamus is a very important component of Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to have efficacy,” according to Musselman. “For example, in Sri Lanka it is available in any herbal remedy shop and also universally grown in home gardens. The North American species was and is so important to Native Americans in the Northeast that land with natural populations is highly sought after.”

Like most Biblical scholars, Musselman gives little consideration to the idea that Jesus used marijuana to perform the kind of healing miracles we now see on CNN and read about in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Understandably, for children like Charlotte Figi and their families, religion, history, politics, medicine, and the law all must take a backseat to the positive effects they are experiencing treating illness with marijuana. As Jesus said to his apostles after preaching at Lake Galilee:

Mark 4: 21-23

Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.

Remember, lamps back then were fueled with oil.

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Did Jesus use cannabis oil to perform miracles?

As marijuana grows more acceptable in the US, fringe groups and experts are beginning to consider its role in the Christian faith. Could cannabis oil have helped Jesus perform miracles?

Ear restored. Image credit: Herbert Ruben, 2012. Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/7020007877).

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In the U.S. over the last couple of decades or so, the outlook on marijuana has undergone a complete paradigm shift. According to the most recent Pew Research Center poll, 61 percent of Americans back legalizing cannabis on the federal level. This goes across generational and to some extent, party lines. Lots more Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, for serious, legitimate illnesses. This new outlook is even filtering down into some unexpected places, such as among a couple of fringe Christian groups. Consider Deb Button. She’s the founder of Stoner Jesus Bible Study.

Button swears she had a deeply fulfilling spiritual experience while high on pot. “I’m sitting in my living room and the cannabis was kicking in at a higher dose, and I could literally feel God,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I was filled with love, an indwelling of love.” The 40-something Coloradan now holds Bible study in her home, which she’s converted into a “Bud & Breakfast.” Weekly sessions combine cannabis use with discussions on scripture.

Another example is California’s Sisters of the Valley, who are to be the subject of the upcoming documentary, Breaking Habits. The order, founded by “Sister Kate,” grows cannabis and produces medical marijuana products, mostly cannabidiol salves and tinctures, to heal the sick. While not affiliated with any official order, the women wear habits and refer to each other as “sister.” Now, two experts are questioning whether or not there’s an actual, Biblical connection between Christianity and cannabis.

See a preview for Breaking Habits here:

Carl Ruck, a professor of classical mythology at Boston University, is one proponent of this radical theory. “There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion,” he told The Guardian. Ruck believes that Jesus may have anointed those he healed with cannabis oil, which is referred to in Aramaic as kaneh-bosem (Exodus 30:22-36). Traditionally, this was thought to be the herb calamus. Nine pounds of one of these herbs is used in the recipe.

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The ancient Hebrews only anointed the priestly class (and later kings). This practice came from the story of the burning bush, where God instructed Moses on how to make the anointing oil and when to use it. Jesus is said to have broken with tradition by anointing the common people and sometimes when doing so, he performed miracles. Take the passage, “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them (Mark 6:13).” Epilepsy could have looked like demonic possession, and CBD—a phytochemical in cannabis, has been shown, anecdotally, to treat it.

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Although research into the healing powers of cannabis has been severely restricted by marijuana’s federal classification, cases such as Charlotte Fiji’s, covered by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, lend this theory a modicum of credence. The then six-year-old was having up to 300 grand mal seizures per week. After a consistent regimen of CBD oil, Fiji now only has one or two mild ones per month. Ruck says that Jesus and followers doused themselves in the oil, which would’ve been absorbed through the skin. Nine pounds of marijuana would’ve meant a lot of CBD.

CBD oil is hailed by some for what, anecdotally, is considered its many healing properties. Some experts contend that among the ancient Hebrews, it was only used by the priestly class, until Jesus democratized it. Image credit: Getty Images.

In addition to this, CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, to lessen pain and calm anxiety. It may even help with eczema and glaucoma, which might be why Jesus is often explained as healing skin and eye conditions. Chris Bennett, the author of the book, Sex, Drugs, Violence, and the Bible, is a supporter of the cannabis oil view. “The medical use of cannabis during that time is supported by archaeological records,” he told the BBC.

“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient Christian anointing oil, as history indicates,” Bennett said, “receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians.” Skeptics, and there are many, say the evidence is just too weak. What’s more, while cannabis was widely used throughout the ancient world, so was calamus, which was also revered for its healing properties.

Supporters of this theory would have a long road ahead. First, the medicinal properties of cannabis would have to be proven through vigorous research, which could take years. Then, they’d have to prove that the ancient Hebrew anointing oil did, in fact, contain cannabis and not calamus.

What The Bible Says About Cannabis Oil And Blessed Herb

As if we needed more reasons to toke up, here’s another fun fact: cannabis has been mentioned (indirectly) numerous times in the Bible. It’s probably safe to say that Jesus and his bros enjoyed the occasional hit.

Chris Bennett, a Bible scholar, wrote a book in 2001 called Sex, Drugs, Violence, and the Bible. In the book, Bennett argues that the anointing oil used in the Old Testament is actually made up of cannabis, among other ingredients. In Exodus 30:22-23, the healing oil was made up of cinnamon, cassia, olive oil, myrrh, and kaneh-bosm. Bennett says that kaneh-bosm is one of the oldest names of cannabis.

“The word cannabis was [once] generally thought to be of Scythian origin, but. it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, and. it appears several times throughout the Old Testament,” Bennett writes. He also adds that there are 5 “”references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant.” The said references supposedly are located in Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, The Song of Songs, and Exodus.

According to Bennett, the role that the great ganja played in the Bible actually remains misunderstood by many because of an error in translation which happened in the early scriptural history of the book. Bennett says, “ “The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint in the third century BC, and was repeated in the many translations that followed.” Because of this, scholars mistook cannabis for calamus, which is a marsh plant.

Other Mentions of Cannabis in the Bible

Many Bible and literary experts agree that cannabis is a plant that was given to man by God. Hemp is one of the many herbs that are “yielding seed after its kind”.

Genesis 1:29-31 says, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth… To you it will be for meat.”

The Bible also makes mention of a special plant: “I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of heathen any more.” (Esekiel 34:29)

During Biblical times, marijuana was used in many different ways: paper, cord, clothing, incense, sealant, food, medicine, relaxation, and in religious ceremonies. “I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.” (Isaiah 18:4-5)

Heck, Jesus even tells us not to judge other people by their habits. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; that which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man.” (Mat 15:11)

In the New Testament, Jesus chose to anoint his disciples instead of baptizing them. Jesus used his oil, and instructed his 12 apostles to go out and do the same. “And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13). In ancient times, diseases like epilepsy were believed to have been caused by a spiritual imbalance such as a demonic possession. Curing someone of their illness was practically the same thing as exorcism. It’s no surprise that cannabis is recognized as one of the most powerful medicines in treating epilepsy today, as well as many other illnesses that Jesus cured others of, which are mentioned in the Bible. These include eye problems, skin diseases, and menstrual discomfort – the very same things that many of you out there are using cannabis for! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

What do you think about what the Bible says regarding cannabis? Share with us in the comments below!