Jesus was almost certainly a cannabis user and an early proponent of the medicinal properties of the drug, according to a study of scriptural texts published this month. The study suggests that Jesus and his disciples used the drug to carry out miraculous healings.
The anointing oil used by Jesus and his disciples contained an ingredient called kaneh-bosem which has since been identified as cannabis extract, according to an article by Chris Bennett in the drugs magazine, High Times, entitled Was Jesus a Stoner? The incense used by Jesus in ceremonies also contained a cannabis extract, suggests Mr Bennett, who quotes scholars to back his claims.
“There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion,” Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University said.
Referring to the existence of cannabis in anointing oils used in ceremonies, he added: “Obviously the easy availability and long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism _ would inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures.”
Mr Bennett suggests those anointed with the oils used by Jesus 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”.
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 _ 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.
Last June, Chris Bennett addressed the issue of cannabis in the Bible. This month, he concludes his investigation with a more detailed examination of the cannabis-enriched anointing oil used by Jesus and his followers. “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew “Messiah.” In modern English, this termwould 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.
Carl P. Ruck, the scholar who coined the term “entheogen,” is a professor of classical mythology at Boston University, and has researched the history of psychoactive substances in religion for over three decades, working with such luminaries as the father of LSD, Albert Hoffman; entheobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, and mycologist R. Gordon Wasson. On the subject of Old Testament cannabis use he explains:
“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.”
Ruck comments further on the continuation of this practice into the early Christian period: “Obviously the easy availability and long-established tradition of cannabis in early Judaism… would inevitably have included it in the [Christian] mixtures.”
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, which is in fact one big organ. In the Bible’s New Testament, Jesus baptized none of his disciples, as is practiced by the Catholic church, but instead anointed them with this potent entheogenic oil, sending out the 12 apostles to do the same. “And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13).
Likewise, after Jesus’ passing, James suggests that anyone of the Christian community who was sick should call to the elders to anoint him with oil in the name of Jesus (James 5:14).
It should be understood that in the ancient world, diseases such as epilepsy were attributed to demonic possession, and to cure somebody of such an illness, even with the aid of certain herbs, was the same as exorcism, or miraculously healing them. Interestingly, cannabis has been shown to be effective in the treatment of not only epilepsy, but many of the other ailments that Jesus and the disciples healed people of, such as skin diseases (Matthew 8, 10, 11; Mark 1; Luke 5, 7, 17), eye problems (John 9:6-15), and menstrual problems (Luke 8:43-48).
According to ancient Christian documents, even the healing of cripples could be attributed to the use of the holy oil. “Thou holy oil given unto us for sanctification… thou art the straightener of the crooked limbs” (The Acts of Thomas).
One ancient Christian text, The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles, which is older than the New Testament, estimated to have been recorded in the second century AD, has Jesus giving the disciples an “unguent box” and a “pouch full of medicine” with instructions for them to go into the city and heal the sick. Jesus explains that you must heal “the bodies first” before you can “heal the heart.”
These findings shouldn’t really be all that surprising, as the medical use of cannabis during that time is supported by the archeological record, and the ailments described above had been treated with cannabis preparations throughout the area for many centuries prior to the Christian era.