Cannabis Time Lapse And The Most Influential Users In History
THE ROOTS OF KANEH-BOSM (cannabis)
Something I haven’t even thought of until recently. Where did this word originate from in our history? How was it used? The word, I mean… not the plant. I am after all a self-proclaimed cannabis connoisseur. I consider myself highly educated in all of the ways it can be “used”. I haven’t taken the time, however, to investigate its roots, and analyze its use in the most influential, prominent, powerful humans in history.
The more I investigated this topic the more I realized that Cannabis has had an influence on the entire thread of human history.
This is what I found.
The first substantial evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis wasn’t established until 1936 by Sula Benet, a Polish etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw.
The word cannabis was commonly believed to be of Scythian origin, but Benet showed that it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew and that it recurs several times throughout the Old Testament.
Benet explained that “in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant.”
Benet illustrated that the word for cannabis is kaneh-bosm, also depicted in traditional Hebrew as kaneh or kannabus.
The root of the word kan in this construction translates to “reed” or “hemp while bosm means “aromatic”. This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the books of Exodus, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Song of Songs, and Isaiah.
The word kaneh-bosm shows to have been mistranslated as calamus, a common marsh plant with no monetary value that does not possess the attributes or value ascribed to kaneh-bosm. The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint in the third century BC, and was repeated in the various translations that followed.
The Pharaohs of Egypt
Long before there was ever a 'United States of America', a British Empire, or even a Roman one, there were the pharaohs of Egypt. The pharaohs presided over a vast civilization on the banks of the Nile River. Dynasties in Ancient Egyptian first gained power in 3150 BC and lasted, in varying lines and kingdoms, until 30 BC.
Throughout their extended reign, dynasties of Ancient Egypt started to apparently use cannabis. Cannabis pollen has since been found on the mummy of a pharaoh, Ramesses II. Details on medical papyri (or scrolls) are described as having a number of medical uses for marijuana listed on them.
These guys created the pyramids! Today most people still don't fully understand how Ancient Egypt was even equipped to construct the pyramids, but they did it! If Egyptian pharaohs felt that using marijuana was worthy of being mummified with, way back in 2000 BC, perhaps we should be listening to them.
The Torah is the central reference of Judaism. It has a range of meanings. It can most specifically mean the first five books (Pentateuch) of the 24 books of the Tanakh.
WRJ commissioned the work of more than 100 of the world's leading Jewish female Bible scholars, rabbis, cantors, theologians, historians, philosophers, sociologists, poets, and archaeologists, whose collective efforts resulted in the first comprehensive commentary on the Five Books of Moses to be authored only by women. The Torah: A Women’s Commentary was published in 2007 and includes individual Torah portions as well as the Hebrew and English translations, giving dimension to the women's voices in our tradition.
The Torah: A Women’s Commentary explains that the oil used to anoint sacred objects as well as the priests were to be made of four precious spices — myrrh, cinnamon, cane, and cassia — combined with olive oil.
The traditional English translation of the third ingredient, replicated in most English versions of the five books of the Old Testament, is “aromatic cane.” However, a different translation appears in The Living Torah where Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan writes that some sources identify “fragrant cane” — “keneh bosem” in Hebrew — with the English and Greek word “cannabis” referring to the hemp plant.
The Scythians were humans who developed nomadic tribes. They were ruthless and they traveled across Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about 600 BC to 600 AD. Scythians were fierce warriors, savages if you will. On the battlefield, Scythians were known to behead their enemies and drink their blood!!
The Greek historian Herodotus described Scythian culture and rituals in his Histories. Herodotus claimed that the Scythians would throw hemp seeds on hot stones in order to produce steam "that no Grecian vapor-bath can surpass." According to Herodotus, the Scythians would perform this ritual after a burial.
Archeologists have since discovered cannabis and opium residue at a preserved Scythian ritual site, supporting Herodotus' claim.
Herodotus was the first to make any mention of cannabis in Western literature: “The Scythians put the Seeds of this hemp under the bags, upon the burning stones; and immediately a more agreeable vapor is emitted than from the incense burnt in Greece. The Company extremely transported with the scent, howl aloud.”
Sure, Scythians have propagated a bunch of destruction—drinking an enemy's blood is obviously taking things a bit far. But technically they seemed to have shared their stash with the people they were attacking, which was generous of them. Face it, if you have to clean off a lot of gore and carnage, a "marijuana sauna" seems like the best way to do it.
Ancient Greece provided the foundation for Western civilization. Ancient Greek civilization lasted from about 750 BC to 600 A.D., during which time the Greeks created democracy, developed philosophy, and wrote plays and poems that are still studied and performed today.
In addition to the above innovations, ancient Greeks also came up with interesting new uses for marijuana. Different Greek writers talked about utilizing cannabis to get rid of tapeworms, halt nosebleeds and diminish ear inflammation. They are even said to have had given teenage boys hemp seeds in order to "dry up semen," so that the boys could then get through the night without unwanted ejaculations. Hopefully, those patients at least had a few pleasant side effects.
THEN GOD SAID, I GIVE YOU EVERY SEED-BEARING PLANT ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH, AND EVERY TREE THAT HAS FRUIT IN IT.”
Those words seem straightforward enough, and while they may not directly point to cannabis, it can at least be said to definitely include cannabis plants. Still, cannabis and most other psychoactive medicine plants have been outlawed and condemned in our society. Those who use these plant gateways to other states of consciousness or for the proven medical benefits that they have are often thrown in cages for doing so.
THEN THE LORD SAID TO MOSES, “TAKE THE FOLLOWING FINE SPICES: 500 SHEKELS OF LIQUID MYRRH, HALF AS MUCH OF FRAGRANT CINNAMON, 250 SHEKELS OF KANNABOSM, 500 SHEKELS OF CASSIA – ALL ACCORDING TO THE SANCTUARY SHEKEL – AND A HIND OF OLIVE OIL. MAKE THESE INTO MAKE THESE INTO A SACRED ANOINTING OIL, A FRAGRANT BLEND, THE WORK OF A PERFUMER. IT WILL BE THE SACRED ANOINTING OIL.EXODUS 30:22
YOU HAVE NOT BROUGHT ANY KANEH FOR ME, OR LAVISHED ON ME THE FAT OF YOUR SACRIFICES. BUT YOU HAVE BURDENED ME WITH YOUR SINS AND WEARIED ME WITH YOUR OFFENCES.
Jesus was almost certainly a cannabis user and an early advocate of the medicinal properties of the drug, according to a study of scriptural texts that have been published. 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 cites scholars to support his assertions.
"There can be little doubt about a role for cannabis in Judaic religion," Carl Ruck, professor of classical mythology at Boston University said. 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."
Researchers found traces of cannabis on clay pipes which came from Shakespeare's home in Stratford-Upon-Avon. We can't be certain that those pipes belonged to Shakespeare himself, but we know they were made in the 17th century (Shakespeare died in 1616), and they were found on his property. Shakespeare also wrote about a "noted weed" in one of his sonnets. I think we can all guess what he was talking about.
To me, the ability to be at a heightened sense of creativity through the use of marijuana is nothing new, nor a surprise. Many musicians have openly admitted to smoking marijuana and many even declaring the positive effects that it has on their creativity. Very influential musicians such as Jay Z, Tu Pac, Biggie Smalls, Sean Combs, and Bob Marley, Longtime marijuana advocate Willie Nelson was one of the first musicians to develop his own strains of weed... The list goes on.
The first president of the US actually documented as having had his own hemp farm, and was apparently known for separating out the most potent seeds to grow plants with higher concentrations of THC, perhaps.
The evidence proposing George Washington grew and smoked cannabis originates from these sections from his diary: "Began to separate the male from female plants rather too late….Pulling up the (male) hemp. Was too late for the blossom hemp by three weeks or a month."
Clearly, Washington was talking about cultivating cannabis. But was he growing it to get high? Certainly, according to Russ Belville in a 2014 High Times article in which he wrote that Washington's notes indicate that the founding father was attempting to grow "female plants with higher THC content."
James Monroe was the 5th president of the United States. He was a representative at the Continental Congress, and before becoming president, he served as minister to both France and Britain.
In the book, The Great Book of Hemp, Rowan Robinson wrote that Monroe "was introduced to hashish while he was serving as ambassador to France, and he continued to enjoy the smoke until he was seventy-three years old."
Rumors swarm that multiple of our Founding Fathers used marijuana, but most lack definitive proof. Robinson's account of Monroe smoking hashish when he went to France is the most solid source for any of these claims. If it's true, this would imply that Monroe would have continued smoking marijuana while he was in the White House.
Louisa May Alcott Louisa May Alcott was a 19th-century American author best known for her novel, Little Women. Alcott was also an outspoken abolitionist and suffragette. She was actually the first woman in Concord, Massachusetts to register to vote.
There is no record of Alcott acknowledging that she used marijuana, but her short stories indicate that she most likely did. She wrote one story called "Perilous Play," which involves two lovers getting high and then getting engaged on a boat. One character explains the effects like this: “A heavenly dreaminess comes over one, in which they move as if on air." Spoken like someone who has experienced being high before, eh.
Even though Alcott didn't admit to smoking herself, she did the next best thing by writing a story that ended with the line, "Heaven bless hashish if its dreams end like this!" sounds like a ringing endorsement of weed, doesn't it?
10. Bob Marley
“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.”
Many remember Marley for his public embrace of marijuana and his belief in its healing powers. Marley’s website describes the musician as “a staunch supporter of the plant’s meditational, spiritual and healing abilities, and a fierce opponent to those (“political forces”) who tried using marijuana as a vehicle for oppression, and to keep certain groups of people out of the societal mainstream.”
One quote from Marley sums up the problem the musician had with political opposition to marijuana.
“Herb, herb is a plant. I mean herbs are good for everything. Why, why these people who want to do so much good for everyone, who call themselves governments and this and that. Why them say you must not use the herb?”
John F. Kennedy
JFK was president of the United States in the early 1960's, and he had the highest approval rating of any American president after World War II. He was assassinated in Dallas, TX in November of 1963.
Several written accounts of JFK's life claim that the president used marijuana to cope with his severe back pain.
He also may have used it recreationally. John F. Kennedy: A Biography contains a story about JFK smoking three joints with a woman named Mary Meyer. He allegedly said, after the third joint, "Suppose the Russians did something now."
Plenty of presidents and presidential candidates have admitted they smoked pot, but they all claim to have only done it when they were young. JFK lighting up in the White House is a different story and a really cool one!! I mean when was the last time you heard of a pothead threatening war?
Carl Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist and astrophysicist who wrote a ton of scientific papers and books. He is most famous for his theories about extraterrestrial life, and for writing and narrating the TV series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Throughout his life, he earned several awards, including a Pulitzer and two Emmys.
When he was 35 years old, in 1969, Sagan wrote an essay under a pen name talking about the insights he got when he smoked marijuana and advocating for marijuana legalization. Later in life, Sagan openly advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana. It wasn't until three years after Sagan's death that the public learned he was the author of that 1969 essay.
Carl Sagan was a distinguished scientist who wrote that being high actually encouraged him to think of some of his great ideas. Sagan's essay makes a substantial case that marijuana is a valuable instrument for intellectuals.
As you can see cannabis has played a prominent roll in the fabric of our society stemming back thousands of years. The benefits of a natural plant capable of growing naturally on this earth as opposed to pumping yourself with synthetically made pharmaceuticals are more than I have time to name. Punishing and even putting people in cage's for possessing a plant, a plant that history has tried to spell out for us is not only a gateway to a higher consciousness but also carry's a multitude of other health benefits and medicinal qualities for curing any number of ailments.