Book 11, Hymn 6, Verse 15 of Atharva Veda-Samhita
पञ्च राज्यानि वीरुधां सोमश्रेष्ठानि ब्रूमः।
दर्भो भङ्गो यवः सह ते नो मुञ्चन्त्व् अंहसः॥
“To the five kingdoms of the plants which Soma rules as Lord we speak.
Darbha, hemp, barley, mighty power: may these deliver us from woe.”
‘भङ्ग’ (bhang) refers to the cannabis plant.
Introduction: India infused with the belief was considered as the land of mystery and magic in the ancient times; currently it is considered one of the most ethnic diverse countries in the world and home for one of the oldest religions on Earth, which has descriptions of the rituals based on many psychotropic drugs. The Vedas, whose texts were compiled during the second millennium BC and were essentially passed down verbally through generations and are still considered to be the same in the written form as they were when they used to be chanted only. The drug mentioned in the Vedas is a sacred holy drink called Soma (Amrita) - the "nectar of immortality". It is believed that it was Soma that gave Vedic worshipers an ephemeral taste of Divinity.
Vedas meaning “knowledge” are a collection of hymns and religious texts composed during 1500 – 1000 BCE in India. But before that, they were not present in the written form. So people used to chant them. Vedic texts are collection (Samhita) of four Vedas namely
Rig Veda: Knowledge of Hymns of Praise – is the largest of 4 collections; consisting of 1028 hymns, written with similes and citations that are quite hard to understand.
Sama Veda: Knowledge of Melodies – written entirely from Rig Veda but the verses are arranged in a way that makes it easy to chant.
Yajur Veda: Knowledge of Sacrificial formulas – contains explanatory prose commentaries on how to perform religious rituals and sacrifices, not the animal sacrifices.
Atharva Veda: Knowledge of Magical formulas – has charms and magical invocations with folkloristic style.
Although ancient Indians and the present population of India believed in many gods, more than half of the hymns in Rig Veda call upon Lord Indra (Storm / Sky God also known as God of War), Agni (God of Fire) and Soma (God of Nature).
According to Vedic texts, Soma is great deity with enormous spiritual power and was a personification of the sacred soma plant, whose juice is considered to be holy and intoxicating to gods and men. Rig Veda (VIII.91.1) characterizes soma as watery plant, or plant that grows near water which when crumpled yields milky juice.
There is an experiment done by cracked (A Youtube channel). Where they consumed Soma. You can check out the video here:
Most of the early Vedic medicine was blended with religion, magic and empiric elements and compiled in Atharva Veda.
One of the oldest plants cultivated by humans is Cannabis sativa but has always remained an epicenter of controversy till date.
Earliest known reports regarding the sacred status of cannabis in India came from Atharva Veda estimated to have been written sometime around 2000-4000 BC. Atharva Veda (XI.6.15) specifically mentions five great plants of which Soma is the best, including marijuana, barley and darbha (kusha or durva), showing that many plants have soma-like qualities.
Here I would like to also mention that Soma is also very much famous in countries like afghanistan, pakistan, magnolia, and some others, as in the ancient times the Indian religious text were very much famous and we're followed in these regions.
One must take into account that soma is basically a secretion in the brain due to spiritual practices of yoga, pranayama and meditation. That means you don't need to take intoxicated materials from outside, but if you practice yoga, you get that blissful feeling, and also you feel high but in a controlled way. At a yogic level, crown chakra (center of spiritual power) is referred as soma, which when opened by yogic insight, liberates one’s body with heavenly, ecstatic feeling. This inner Soma is the main subject of the Vedic hymns; it therefore does not refer to a single soma plant but is ancient, yogic and shamanic customary tradition of using sacred and various types of mind altering plants as well as special preparations made using these plants. People of each community or geographical region had its own Somas or sacred plants.
Soma therefore is a substance that can be found in many plants and has corresponding mind altering capabilities.
Now this might seem to be a familiar substance that was talked in the scientific community, and yes you are right, it is the famous DMT.
Atharva Veda not only mentions Cannabis to be one of the five sacred plants but signifies cannabis leaves as the guardian angel. In certain Vedic rituals, cannabis stems were thrown into the yagna (ritual fire) to overcome evil forces.
According to Vedas; Cannabis is referred to as a source of happiness, joy giver and liberator.
Other references alluding to the ancient historical use of Cannabis in the ancient Indian culture can be found in Rig-Veda, Sushruta Samhita and the Mahabharata.