Did Jesus Use Medicinal Cannabis?

In the Bible, Exodus Chapter 30, Verse 22 gives the ancient recipe for holy anointing oil The passage describes combining 9 pounds of a mysterious herb known as “Kaneh Bosm” with olive oil and spices like myrrh and cinnamon

The concoction would cure pains and illnesses where all other methods failed For millennia, scholars have assumed this miracle ingredient kaneh-bosm was calamus, a common herb used to make perfumes during Jesus’ lifetime But recent research suggests this couldn’t be further from the truth Writer Chris Bennett claims the herb was actually cannabis, and that the healer Jesus liberally used the now-illegal drug Cannabis, or marijuana, is the most common illegal drug in the world

According to a 2012 UN report, there are around 224 million regular cannabis users worldwide The Food and Drug Administration classifies it as a Schedule 1 Drug, meaning that it “has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” Under the law, it is considered more dangerous than crystal meth and cocaine The drug contains an active ingredient called THC This can produce a feeling of euphoria, alter your sense of time and make sounds and visuals more vivid

Chris Bennett argues that in the Bible, after Jesus performed miracles, his followers displayed very similar reactions to the effects of cannabis He notes that the people Jesus “healed” were ""literally drenched in this potent mixture… Although most modern people choose to smoke or eat pot, when its active ingredients are transferred into an oil-based carrier, it can also be absorbed through the skin"" Boston University Classical Mythology Professor Carl Ruck says that this is because cannabis was used by Jesus in his healing ceremonies Ruck notes, “There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion… the long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism would inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures"" It is quite possible that Jesus used the cannabis-based ointment described in the Old Testament: it may be why they called him Christ or the Messiah – both of which mean “the anointed one” in Greek

The miraculous properties of cannabis are well known In 2013 CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta gave a televised apology for reporting that cannabis was not medically useful Gupta claimed he had been “systematically misled” on its healing properties His shocking u-turn was caused by the case of Charlotte Figi The 5 year old suffered from Dravet’s Syndrome, a type of epilepsy that induces 300 extreme seizures a week

Charlotte Figi still suffered these despite undergoing “cutting edge” medical treatment that left her unable to walk, talk or eat When her parents treated her with cannabis products her fortunes completely reversed Giving Figi a dose of non-psychoactive cannabis oil instantly stopped her seizures With continued cannabis use her seizures reduced from 1200 a month to 2 a month Cannabis has now been proven to ease symptoms of a number of chronic health conditions, including glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crohn's Disease and anxiety disorders

Its incredible medical properties have led to 27 American states legalising the drug, including 9 states where it legalised for recreational use too This means that 20% of Americans can now smoke a joint without requiring a doctor’s letter Ancient remains suggest that its medical use stretches back to the time of Jesus The buried corpse of a girl from 1,623 years ago found in Bet Shemesh in Israel contained the drug Archaeologists found 6

97 grams of cannabis in her stomach They said, “We assume that the ashes found in the tomb were cannabis, burned in a vessel and administered to the young girl as an inhalant to facilitate the birth process” This is not the only proof of weed’s ancient beginnings In 1997 a rope dating to 26,900 BC was discovered in the Czech Republic Under analysis the rope was discovered to be made from hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant

Journalist Bryan Hill says this shows that, “For thousands of years marijuana was not only legal, but an important crop among cultures throughout history, and held commercial, medicinal, and spiritual value” In 1936 Polish etymologist Professor Sula Benet analysed the origins of the word “cannabis”, which had long been thought to originate within the ancient Scythian community Benet says that actually, the word comes from Kaneh-bosm – a mix of the Hebrew word “kan” meaning hemp, and “bosm” translating as “aromatic” This is the same word used in the Bible Benet claims the reason that the word Kaneh-bosm is now translated as calamus, instead of cannabis, is because it was mistranslated in the third century Greek version of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint

Subsequent versions used this same translation, so the error endured to this day Scientists like physician Dr Yosef Glassman believe that ancient Jewish groups in the Middle East used cannabis The first known record of cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 BC; from there it was imported into the Middle East between 2000 and 1400 BC While there is no hard proof that the drug was available in Jerusalem during Jesus’ time, Dr Glassman believes that scripture does refer to cannabis in ancient Jewish rituals In this case, the drug would have been around in the same place, at the same time, for the same purpose that Jesus intended

However, most evidence for this theory comes from comparing cannabis’ incredible medical qualities to Jesus’ healing powers Neither the historical nor biblical evidence definitively proves Jesus used cannabis Lytton John Musselman, a Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University, says there is absolutely no evidence that any herbs mentioned in the Bible refer to marijuana He says the argument is “so weak I would not pursue it” Musselman also says that the main argument against Kaneh-bosm being calamus – that it is too weak to have the effects described in the Bible – is deeply flawed, as consuming the herb can actually produce very powerful results

But even this cannot be proven The lack of ancient sources means that the evidence for Kaneh-bosm being calamus is just as scant as the evidence for it being cannabis There is a lot of evidence that human civilisations have been using cannabis for millennia But there is very little proof to directly link the drug to Jesus or his early followers Nevertheless, the possibility remains that Jesus did use some kind of mind-altering drugs to heal the sick

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