Cannabis in the Bible

Conservative Christians tend to be the biggest opposition to cannabis reform.  They tend to frown on the “devils lettuce” more than most.


The concept of sobriety is closely associated with Christianity.  Strict rules against drug and alcohol consumption tend to come down from the “higher ups” of most churches.

Granted there are many references in the bible to alcohol and even Catholicism allows a very small amount of wine consumption (or the blood of Christ) during their service.

But what does the bible have to say about cannabis?  Quite a bit actually!

Few people know about the important role that cannabis plays within the “Good Book”. It comes up often and can even be front and center in the storyline. Let’s look closely:

Is Smoking Cannabis a Sin?

In the Chapter of Genesis, the first chapter of the Bible, there is a very clear reference to the cannabis plant and God’s association with it, as a plant put on earth by God for consumption by humans.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.” (Gen. 1:29)

Meaning God put all plants, including cannabis, on earth for humans to benefit from. The line refers to all plant bearing seed in its fruit.  Which the cannabis and hemp plant do.  The cannabis plant is an Achene plant, which produces a type of fruit also named Achene.  Similar to that of grapes, strawberries, and sunflower seeds.

During biblical times, people cultivated hemp for a variety of purposes. There are references to it in ancient egyptian hieroglyphics.  In the Middle East it was an important source of fiber and played a big role in religious ceremonies.

The Anointed One

Turns out, the way Jesus Christ got his name has something to do with cannabis.   The word Christ roughly translates to the Anointed One in modern day English. So, Christ was the Anointed One and most likely smeared with some form of ceremonial substance.  Many scholars, including Carl P. Ruck, believe this substance contained cannabis. 

Exodus (30:22-23) speaks a bit on the recipe for this anointing oil. Among the herbs used in this recipe, olive oil and other components, an herb called Kaneh-bosm played a key part of the anointing oil. Many agree that Kaneh-bosm is a reference to cannabis. Jesus would direct his apostles to smear this potent and aromatic oil on themselves and others. A very strong possibility that Jesus used it himself and used it to cure the sick. 

Medical marijuana……

Anointing oil was also used in many religious ceremonies.  Even believed to be used for baptismal purposes.  Water replaced it much later on. 

After the death of Jesus, his disciples continued to anoint worshippers with this powerful oil. It was smeared on the sick and most likely triggered what was thought to be miraculous healing. Consider what we know today behind the science of medical cannabis. 

The Healing Power of Cannabis

The bible may be one of the first accounts of cannabis as medicine. The bible accounts of Jesus healing Lazarus’ leopardsy. It is very posible that Jesus could have rubbed the oil on his skin and the cannabinoids from the oil provided relief and even cured the condition. 

Cannabis, when absorbed into olive oil, quickly absorbs into the skin. Through this method, its still used today in balms, salves and massage oils to treat many illnesses. The most common ailments treated in the Bible, including epilepsy, eye issues, and menstrual problems are some of the same illnesses treated with cannabis today.