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A Brief History Of Cannabis Use In Religion
Cannabis has been used since the dawn of mankind. It has fascinated civilizations across the globe and throughout history has deep ties to religion.
It is thought the first use of cannabis was in Taoism, an ancient Chinese religion dating back to the 4th century. The first mention is in early Taoism texts that state cannabis was used in incense burners, along with other ritual herbs, to induce a state conducive to their practices, mainly achieving a life free of selfish desires.
Other mentions can be found littered throughout the history of Hinduism, Buddism and even in the old testament.
A Stoner's Journey Through The Rabbit Hole
I am not religious myself, though have gone through stages of 'spiritual enlightenment' in my late years of high school and early years of college.
My close friends can attest, having experimented with religions (such as Christianity, Buddism, Krishna, Rasta and Islam), drugs (such as LSD, DMT, Mushrooms, 5MEO-MIPT, Flouro-Amphetamines, MDMA, Methylone, Ayahuasca and Mescaline), as well as spending time amongst various social societies (such as living in the Kwahani, a rural township in Tanzania for 8 months, on a deserted island with only a small solar panel, on a massive game farm, to blocks of dorm flats), and learning about finance and politics (having been in Crypto since 2013 and owning property in a country that may well soon destroy property rights), that my mind has been busted open as it where a long time ago. .
The culmination of experiences with society, mind-altering drugs, and various religions have impacted my life in extreme ways cannabis has always been a constant throughout it all and as I sit here smoking what would prob be my 100,000th joint on this earth, I cannot help but appreciate the experiences I have been through with herb and how it has helped keep me grounded through it all.
For me, cannabis has always allowed me to take a step back and change mindsets. Whether that be creating beats (Or mellow out cos the trip was coming on too strong) back when I was a music producer to solving a coding challenge (to balance out that strong cup of joe) or even writing this blog post. Unlike most other drugs, cannabis inspires contemplation rather than complete intoxication.
Cannabis is my meditation, my relaxation, my mood stabilizer, my creative enhancer, my sole shaker, and money maker.
Coming from a small town to creating a career within the cannabis niche, I am all in so it where and while I do not use it for religious purposes, it encompasses my life, much like religion would.
a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. - dictionary.com
Modern society has very few rituals these days, especially if you do not identify with one single religion or ideology.
Perhaps its a Birthday of a God or a time to remember or a moment to feel grateful for the Sun rising. You sing, dance, say some ancient words, dress in special clothing or eat some strange food and in this ritual, you somehow reconnect to an idea, find inner peace, cleaned of your sins or absolved of your daily stresses.
I would argue cannabis users have many rituals which mimic ancient tea ceremonies. Often times we come together to smoke a joint, bowl or pipe. Whoever has the weed normally crushes and sorts it while whoever is joining sits around and starts to chat about life. There are certain unspoken rules such as passing to the left or handling a chillum the correct way. Some smoking circles will even have their own rules such as fist-bumping every time the weed is passed.
I for one crush my morning cannabis while contemplating what tasks need to be completed as well as using the time smoking my first joint of the day brainstorming various new angles and challenges to tackle that will lead to my personal and company goals.
a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. - dictionary.com
Cannabis has been shrouded in myths over the course of human history. Ever since the beginning of recorded history humans has used myths surrounding cannabis to influence communities. From early shamans inducing a high so that their local tribe would feel connected with their ancestors to Nixon's war on drugs campaign that proliferated the myth that cannabis is a gateway drug so that he could target minorities.
I would argue smoking cannabis is a natural social phenomenon embedded into our ancestry and that small communities that partake in cannabis together without necessarily knowing what they where taking induced supernatural events that had to be explained through myth. From those looking in, this had to also be explained in a way that kept society blissfully unaware of the benefits and kept big pharma in business. (Funded by the Nixon era cronies).
Sacrement & Symbolism
a thing of mysterious and sacred significance; a religious symbol.
Many religions use symbolism and embue significance onto items they use in rituals. From the infamous Christain Cross to the Star of David.
Cannnabis is no different.. Having picked up the symbol of the cannabis leaf, the red green, and gold flag, words like "420", or holding up your hand like you smoking a spliff, the cannabis community has adopted these symbols and have deeply entrenched them into the culture.
.. Hell even Smoke has the cannabis leaf emblazoned into the logo.
One of my favorite Sacraments is a chillum loaded with hash and tobacco. There is something about taking in large amounts of smoke that you can hardly handle and getting insane amounts of THC rushing through your system while sharing the experience with those that share similar views on the world. . .
The experience would always leave me with a similar feeling I had at church as a kid. A feeling of being connected with something bigger than oneself.
Do you mix #religion and cannabis?