Although some may find the idea a bit challenging to their traditional religious beliefs, there is ample historical and scientific evidence that Jesus Christ was a cannabis user and that he used the plant to heal the sick.
In 2003, High Times published an article written by Chris Bennett titled “Was Jesus a Stoner?” which explored the likelihood that cannabis was a key ingredient in the “anointing oil” used by Jesus and his followers in rituals and for healing purposes.
Bennett’s argument was backed by scholarly works that provided scientific evidence supporting his assertions. Since the article appeared, other researchers have examined and debated the theory, with many agreeing that it has merit.
From the original High Times article:
“Christ“ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew “Messiah.“ In modern English, this term would be translated as the “anointed one.“ The title “Christ“ was only placed upon he who had “God’s unction upon him.”
This holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of the recipe in Exodus (30:22-23), contained over six pounds of kaneh-bosem, a substance identified by respected etymologists, linguists, anthropologists, botanists and other researchers as cannabis, extracted into about six quarts of olive oil, along with a variety of other fragrant herbs. The ancient anointed ones were literally drenched in this potent mixture.
Kaneh-bosem = cannabis?
Kaneh-bosem certainly does sound like the modern day term cannabis, and there is little doubt that hemp was widely used by the Hebrew culture in those times.
As reported by High Times, Carl P. Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University, wrote:
“There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion…. 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.”
Ritual and medicinal use of cannabis
Entheogen – a term coined by Professor Ruck – refers to any substance used to induce spiritual experiences. The use of entheogens such as cannabis, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms has been linked to the formation of nearly all the world’s religions, so it’s perhaps no surprise that cannabis likely played a role in the birth of Christianity.
It’s easy to understand the role, considering the near-miraculous healing properties of the plant. We are now beginning to rediscover the myriad medicinal uses for cannabis – remedies that have been known for thousands of years, but which have been forgotten amidst the government-created anti-marijuana hysteria that has existed in the United States for more than half a century.
Fortunately, those attitudes are changing now, and the Christ–cannabis connection debate is perhaps an example of an overdue reexamination of some of our collective beliefs that have been clouded by propaganda.
What would Jesus do?
Those familiar with the history of the outlawing of marijuana in the U.S. are well aware that this was a direct result of pressure by corporate interests. Then later, of course, the failed War on Drugs went into full swing, and punishing marijuana users and dealers became big business for law enforcement and run-for-profit prisons.
Cannabis and the hemp plant in general offer us a cheap, effective and renewable source of a great number of beneficial products – some with almost miraculous properties – but since there is little profit in it for Big Pharma and other big business interests, the progress toward legalization has been slow and met with bitter opposition every inch of the way.
One might wonder, what would Jesus think about that?
From The Guardian:
Quoting the New Testament, Mr Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other followers. This could have been responsible for healing eye and skin diseases referred to in the Gospels.
“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil _ [sic] and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ,“ Mr Bennett concludes.