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What does religion have to say about marijuana? Is it a sin to do so?

Cannabis may be a religion to you, depending on your connection with the plant or where you attended high school or college (assuming you remember anything from those years). But, what do the world’s main faiths have to say about cannabis, and should you convert?

The first known human usage of cannabis dates back to the Stone Age in Taiwan in East Asia. Those results suggest that cannabis was being utilized to make hemp fiber at the time, but what about for religious or spiritual purposes? Nowadays cannabis products like CBD vapes, delta 8 gummies, and THC cookies are widely available and popular.

Researchers discovered that smoking cannabis was a significant component of funeral rites as far back as 500 BCE in a remote area of western China in 2019.

According to Herodotus, who wrote in the fifth century B.C.E, residents of the Scythia area in ancient Greece breathed the smoke of burning hemp seeds and delighted in an ecstatic dance? Scientists discovered “large depositions” of T.H.C., nicotine, and even cocaine in many internal organs when investigating the remains of a mummy dating from approximately 950 B.C.E. 

Cannabis was also used by ancient Israelites east of the Nile Delta during the Kingdom of Judah circa 700 B.C.E. These discoveries were part of a May 2020 study by researchers who disclosed detecting cannabis residue, including T.H.C., CBD, CBN, and a range of terpenes, inside a holy sanctuary in southern Israel.

Cannabis was most likely used “as an intentional psychoactive, to produce ecstasy as part of cultic rites,” according to the experts. But, although historical writings and archaeological findings show that in antiquity, what do the world’s major faiths say about the plant?

What does Christianity have to say about marijuana?

Even though Christianity is built on the teachings of a guy who advocated turning the other cheek and helping your neighbor, it does not mention cannabis. On the other hand, Conservative Christian denominations are mostly hostile to it.

“Oh, that garbage!” exclaims the narrator. As she attempted to argue with him in the drugstore aisle, Decker recalled the guy saying. Decker, who has chronic obstructive lung disease, was kindly requested to leave by the nurse attending the guy. She left without giving the nurse a Genesis 1:29 business card with a map of Texas wrapped in a giant cannabis leaf and the words “One Mission End Prohibition!”

But how much of this disagreement is based on Christian liturgy?

Romans 13:12, which declares, “Let every soul be subject to the ruling authority,” is an often referenced and increasingly ancient scripture in the age of legalization. As a result, whoever opposes the authority opposes God’s commandment.”

Another passage, on the other hand, is not subject to the changing sands of secular law. This verse could be interpreted as a mandate to heal and protect the body, including plant-based medicines. Still, it could also be interpreted as a call to abstain from mind-altering chemicals and drugs that could harm the body.

The scripture in Galatians 5:19-21 mentions “the works of the body” that will prohibit a person from receiving God’s kingdom, including “drunkenness” and “carousing,” both of which may be taken as warnings against any intoxication, including that given by high T.H.C. cannabis. But, if God made wine “to gladden man’s heart,” as Psalm 

What does Judaism have to say about marijuana?

God made it obvious early in the Old Testament that he enjoys sharing his herb. “Then God replied, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire world, and every tree that produces fruit with seed in it,” Genesis 1:29-30 states.  It could mean cannabis, at least in its most natural, unprocessed state.

Cannabis, on the other hand, makes much more explicit appearances in the Bible, including in Exodus 30:23, where several holy anointing oils are described, including one called, which sounds eerily familiar. The plant is mentioned in God’s instructions for anointing the Hebrew tabernacle and is translated as reed (“kanji”) and fragrant (“bosom” – also the word for cologne/perfume in today’s Hebrew).

These citations in the liturgy and the above-mentioned archaeological finds from the Kingdom of Judah show that cannabis held a revered place in ancient Jewish rituals, but where do things stand today?

Tens of thousands of Israelis receive legal, medical marijuana regularly, and the country’s illicit recreational marijuana market is remarkably active. And it’s unlikely that the late President Richard Nixon would be surprised (“every one of the bastards who are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish.”) To know that there are many Jews in the legal cannabis industry today, read “What the Christ is the Matter with the Jews?”

But what do Jewish law and religious authorities have to say about it?

According to the Times of Israel, the rabbi of the Israeli settlement of Mazkeret Batya, Rabbi Efraim Zalmanovich, claimed in 2013 that although selling and using medicinal marijuana is legal, using cannabis for enjoyment or “to leave this world” is not.

A few years later, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the ultra-Orthodox world’s preeminent authority on Jewish law, declared that during the eight days of the Passover festival, when strict dietary regulations are in force. In an interview with The Cannigma, kosher supervisor Rabbi Yaakov Cohen said that cannabis is intrinsically kosher as a plant, as long as the blooms are free of insects.


It isn’t to say that all observant Jews support cannabis use – far from it. Any chemical that induces drunkenness might prohibit someone from carrying out the mitzvot (Jewish “commandments”) and distract them from learning the Torah.

Furthermore, in places where cannabis is prohibited, using it may contradict the Jewish Journal’s definition, which states that Jews must respect secular and rabbinical regulations. But, although the legal status of cannabis is changing in nations throughout the globe.

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