Did Jesus use cannabis oil to perform miracles?

As marijuana grows more acceptable in the US, fringe groups and experts are beginning to consider its role in the Christian faith. Could cannabis oil have helped Jesus perform miracles?

In the US over the last couple of decades or so, the outlook on marijuana has undergone a complete paradigm shift. According to the most recent Pew Research Center poll, 61% of Americans back legalizing cannabis on the federal level. This goes across generational and to some extent, party lines. Lots more Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, for serious, legitimate illnesses. This new outlook is even filtering down into some unexpected places, such as among a couple of fringe Christian groups. Consider Deb Button. She’s the founder of Stoner Jesus Bible Study.


Button swears she had a deeply fulfilling spiritual experience while high on pot. "I'm sitting in my living room and the cannabis was kicking in at a higher dose, and I could literally feel God,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I was filled with love, an indwelling of love." The 40-something Coloradan now holds Bible study in her home, which she’s converted into a “Bud & Breakfast.” Weekly sessions combine cannabis use with discussions on scripture.

Another example is California’s Sisters of the Valley, who are to be the subject of the upcoming documentary, Breaking Habits. The order, founded by “Sister Kate,” grows cannabis and produces medical marijuana products, mostly cannabidiol salves and tinctures, to heal the sick. While not affiliated with any official order, the women wear habits and refer to each other as “sister.” Now, two experts are questioning whether or not there’s an actual, Biblical connection between Christianity and cannabis.

See a preview for Breaking Habits here:

Carl Ruck, a professor of classical mythology at Boston University, is one proponent of this radical theory. "There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion," he told The Guardian. Ruck believes that Jesus may have anointed those he healed with cannabis oil, which is referred to in Aramaic as kaneh-bosem (Exodus 30:22-36). Traditionally, this was thought to be the herb calamus. Nine pounds of one of these herbs is used in the recipe.

The ancient Hebrews only anointed the priestly class (and later kings). This practice came from the story of the burning bush, where God instructed Moses on how to make the anointing oil and when to use it. Jesus is said to have broken with tradition by anointing the common people and sometimes when doing so, he performed miracles. Take the passage, “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them (Mark 6:13).” Epilepsy could have looked like demonic possession, and CBD—a phytochemical in cannabis, has been shown, anecdotally, to treat it.

Although research into the healing powers of cannabis has been severely restricted by marijuana’s federal classification, cases such as Charlotte Fiji’s, covered by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, lend this theory a modicum of credence. The then six-year-old was having up to 300 grand mal seizures per week. After a consistent regimen of CBD oil, Fiji now only has one or two mild ones per month. Ruck says that Jesus and followers doused themselves in the oil, which would’ve been absorbed through the skin. Nine pounds of marijuana would’ve meant a lot of CBD.

CBD oil is hailed by some for what, anecdotally, is considered its many healing properties. Some experts contend that among the ancient Hebrews, it was only used by the priestly class, until Jesus democratized it. Image credit: Getty Images.

In addition to this, CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, to lessen pain and calm anxiety. It may even help with eczema and glaucoma, which might be why Jesus is often explained as healing skin and eye conditions. Chris Bennett, the author of the book, Sex, Drugs, Violence, and the Bible, is a supporter of the cannabis oil view. “The medical use of cannabis during that time is supported by archaeological records,” he told the BBC.

"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient Christian anointing oil, as history indicates,” Bennett said, “receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians." Skeptics and there are many, say the evidence is just too weak. What’s more, while cannabis was widely used throughout the ancient world, so was calamus, which was also revered for its healing properties.

Supporters of this theory would have a long road ahead. First, the medicinal properties of cannabis would have to be proven through vigorous research, which could take years. Then, they’d have to prove that the ancient Hebrew anointing oil did, in fact, contain cannabis and not calamus.

To hear more about this theory, click here:

‘A rare sight’: Astronaut snaps incredible photo of 5 spaceships

The photos were taken the same day as Russian cosmonauts investigated a mysterious hole discovered in one of the craft.

Alexander Gerst
Surprising Science
  • The spacecraft belong to Russia and two private American aerospace companies.
  • Six astronauts are currently aboard the International Space Station to conduct a variety of experiments.
  • On Monday, Russian cosmonauts conducted a spacewalk to investigate the nature and cause of a mysterious 2-millimeter-wide hole in a Russian spacecraft.
Keep reading Show less

NASA releases first sounds ever captured on Mars

On Friday, NASA's InSight Mars lander captured and transmitted historic audio from the red planet.

NASA
Surprising Science
  • The audio captured by the lander is of Martian winds blowing at an estimated 10 to 15 mph.
  • It was taken by the InSight Mars lander, which is designed to help scientists learn more about the formation of rocky planets, and possibly discover liquid water on Mars.
  • Microphones are essentially an "extra sense" that scientists can use during experiments on other planets.
Keep reading Show less

Heart wrenching letter confronts tech companies' accidental cruelty

"Didn't you see me Googling 'baby not moving?'" Gillian Brockell wrote a heartbreaking open letter to big tech companies imploring them to change the ways they target ads to users.

Gillian Brockell's letter posted on Twitter (Twitter)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Advertisers are increasingly using hyper-specific information on users, collected by big tech companies, to sell products.
  • An open letter published Tuesday outlines how this kind of ad targeting can be not only creepy, but also inadvertently cruel and distressing.
  • Also on Tuesday, the House questioned Google's CEO, partly on issues related to data privacy.
Keep reading Show less