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. The title "Messiah" is much older than Christianity, as all the ancient kings of Israel are referred to as the "Messiah".
The ancient recipe for this anointing oil, recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus (30: 22-23) included over nine pounds of flowering cannabis tops, Hebrew "kaneh-bosm", extracted into olive oil, along with a variety of other herbs and spices. The ancient chosen ones were literally drenched in this potent cannabis holy oil. The "m" is a pronounced plural, and the singular kaneh-bos sounds remarkably similar to the modern cannabis.
Although often mistranslated as "calamus", the word has been translated as "fragrant-cane" in most modern bibles, and specifically designates the fragrant flowering tops of cannabis.
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.
From the time of Moses until that of the later prophet Samuel, the holy anointing oil was used by the shamanic Levite priesthood to receive the "revelations of the Lord". At the dawn of the age of Kings, Samuel extended the use of the anointing oil to the Hebraic monarchs by anointing Saul (and later David) as "Messiah-king". These kings lead their people with the benefit of insights achieved through using the holy anointing oil to become "possessed with the spirit of the Lord."
"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.
Find an extensive article on this in the "Cannabis and Christ" article.