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Role of Cannabis in Spiritual and Religious Rituals

Role of Cannabis in Spiritual and Religious Rituals

Let’s face it some people do smoke weed religiously! Jokes aside, marijuana and religion can both be touchy subjects at the dinner table, perhaps this is due to the generational gap between parents and children or simply due to the lack of knowledge on one or even both subjects. Regardless, let’s set the record straight on whether smoking weed is a sin  or if in fact, quite the religious experience. 

Weed and Religion

Cannabis and religion both date back centuries, but when and where did their paths diverge? Well, to put it plainly, weed in Islam began to go their separate ways in the 14th century, making it the earliest religion to put restrictions on cannabis. Interestingly enough, cannabis made quite the comeback! Though the Quran deemed alcohol to be a forbidden intoxicant, it technically never stated cannabis to be. Although they were associated as similar, many Muslim jurists felt differently. These days, cannabis is consumed in various parts of the Islamic world, that is medicinally, not recreationally. 

Modern times suggest cannabis is kosher! When it comes to Judaism and cannabis they have also had their differences in the past. The OG Hebrew Old Testament places cannabis as an intoxicant and incense, though skeptics state it was in fact used in ritual ceremonies in earlier times. As the 1970s rolled around Jewish law prohibited the use of cannabis due to its “harmful effects”,  but come the early 2000’s the medicinal use of marijuana has become more widely accepted. Some authors have even written about cannabis use being a safe and unique tool to “evoke mystical experiences”. We are not saying bring your bongs to the synagogue type of appreciation, but we wouldn’t call weed a forbidden flower either. 

Christianity and cannabis have quite the “smorgasbord” of opinions and feelings toward cannabis consumption. From country to country, state to state, and Christian-based cohort to cohort, it seems everyone has their own opinion on the matter. That said, perhaps the answer to the question: Is smoking weed a sin? Is just that, a personal preference and opinion! While one Christian may argue that smoking weed is modern-day sorcery and witchcraft, another might praise the idea and straight up roll a joint with Jesus. 

These opposing views are similar to the myth of the “Garden of Eden” or as I like to call it, the Garden of Weed-en. This biblical story can be depicted as either “ the fall of man” or the discovery of cannabis, the beginning of agriculture, and honestly the birth of civilization as we know it. 

Weed’s Role in Spiritual and Religious Rituals 

The Rastafarian Movement 

Perhaps the most iconic duo regarding religion and weed dates back to the 1930s known as The Rastafarian Movement. Jamaica regarded the plant and the use of marijuana as a way to get closer to God as well as an essential part of their religious traditions. It is said to prompt feelings of love, peace, and deep introspection. Cannabis has been woven into religious rituals in the most creative of ways. From being a main ingredient in anointed oils to cannabis-infused drinks and hotboxing tents, there is no shortage of innovative methods that marijuana doesn’t shine its spiritual light around the world.

Hinduism Enjoys A Spiritual High 

Take Hinduism for example where cannabis is commonly named one of the five most sacred plants on earth! Considered an inspiring source of happiness and is associated with Shiva, the god of destruction. Cannabis is said to harness his divine powers for the good of the world. Hindus also use cannabis in many of their religious ceremonies and festivals. During the festival of Holi, a cannabis-infused religious drink called bhang, is consumed. Bhang is best known for its spiritual and cleansing properties and is believed to unite one with Shiva, cleanse your sins, and fight off negative karma. This cannabis- infused beverage is also seen as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment and build connection to the divine. 

Cannabis Community  

It is important to note that while cannabis has a long history in religions such as  Hinduism, Judaism, and Rastafarianism; its use and interpretation may vary among different sects and individuals within that religion. For some, cannabis is rooted deeply  in their culture, holy traditions, and beliefs, while others have yet to discover the benefits cannabis can have on the spiritual side of things. 
It is true for many that the mind-altering nature of cannabis can positively realign the way we look at things while nurturing our creative side. This special plant can bring people together as a community by providing a shared experience, happiness in our hearts, and  a sense of belonging. It is so important to continue to evolve and grow your knowledge on worldly cannabis topics and spread its light and love as the sacred plant that it is. That said, pass the pipe.

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