posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 02:59 PM
Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for over 4,800 years. Surviving texts from Ancient India confirm that its psychoactive properties were
recognized, and doctors used it for a variety of illnesses and ailments. These included a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia,
headaches and as a pain reliever, frequently used in childbirth.
The name cannabis is generally thought to be of Scythian origin. Sula Benet in Cannabis and Culture argues that it has a much earlier origin in
Semitic languages like Hebrew, occurring several times in the Old Testament. He states that in Exodus 30:23 that God commands Moses to make a holy
anointing oil of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, kaneh bosm, and kassia. He continues that the word kaneh bosm is also rendered in the traditional Hebrew as
kannabos or kannabus and that the root "kan" in this construction means "reed" or "hemp," while "bosm" means "aromatic." He states that in
the earliest Greek translations of the old testament "kan" was rendered as "reed," leading to such erroneous English translations as "sweet
calamus" (Exodus 30:23), sweet cane (Isaiah 43:24; Jeremiah 6:20) and "calamus" (Ezekiel 27:19; Song of Songs 4:14). Benet argues from the
linguistic evidence that cannabis was known in Old Testament times at least for its aromatic properties and that the word for it passed from the
Semitic language to the Scythians, i.e. the Ashkenaz of the Old Testament.
"In the Judaic world, the vapors from burnt spices and aromatic gums were considered part of the pleasurable act of worship. In proverbs (27:9) it is
said that 'Ointment and perfumes rejoice the heart.' Perfumes were widely used in Egyptian worship. Stone altars have been unearthed in Babylon and
Palestine, which have been used for burning incense made of aromatic wood and spices. While the casual readers today may interpret such practices as
mere satisfaction of the desire for pleasant odors, this is almost certainly an error; in many or most cases, a psychoactive drug was being inhaled.
In the islands of the Mediterranean 2,500 years ago and in Africa hundreds of years ago, for example leaves and flowers of a particular plant were
often thrown upon bonfires and the smoke inhaled; the plant was marijuana." (Edward Preble and Gabriel V. Laurey, Plastic Cement: The Ten Cent
Hallucinogen, International Journal of the Addictions, 2 (Fall 2967): 271-272.
"The earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia brewed intoxicating beer of barley more than 5,000 years ago; is it too much to assume that even earlier
cultures experienced euphoria, accidentally or deliberately, through inhalation of the resinous smoke of Cannabis?" (Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L,
"It is said that the Assyrians used hemp (marijuana) as incense in the seventh or eighth century before Christ and called it 'Qunubu,' a term
apparently borrowed from an old East Iranian word 'Konaba,' the same as the Scythian name 'cannabis.'" (Plants of the Gods -- Origin of
Hallucinogenic Use by Richard E. Schultes and Albert Hofmann)
"It is recorded that the Chinese Taoist recommended the addition of cannabis to their incense burners in the 1st century as a means of achieving
immortality." (Marijuana, the First Twelve Thousand Years by Earnest Abel, page 5)
"There is a classic Greek term, cannabeizein, which means to smoke cannabis. Cannabeizein frequently took the form of inhaling vapors from an incense
burner in which these resins were mixed with other resins, such as myrrh, balsam, frankincense, and perfumes." (Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L)
"Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. observed the Scythians throwing hemp on heated stone to create smoke and observed them inhaling this smoke.
Although he does not identify them, Herodotus states that when they 'have parties and sit around a fire, they throw some of it into the flames. As it
burns, it smokes like incense, and the smell of it makes them drunk, just as wine does us. As more fruit is thrown on, they get more and more
intoxicated until finally they jump up and start dancing and singing.'" (Herodotus, Histories 1.202.)
Cannabis as a medicine was common throughout most of the world in the 1800s. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin.
Modern medical and scientific inquiry began with doctors like O'Shaughnessy and Moreau de Tours, who used it to treat melancholia, migraines, and as
a sleeping aid, analgesic and anticonvulsant.
By the time the United States banned cannabis (the third country to do so) with the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, the plant was no longer extremely popular.
Skepticism about marijuana arose in response to the bill. One of the main opponents to the bill was the representative of the American Medical
"I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any
more." (Ezekiel 34:29)
" Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things." (Gen 9:3).
On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations.
"I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour
grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches." (Isaiah 18:4-5)
Revelations 15:8 "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power."