Drugs in the bible

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/28/drugs-in-the-bible.html


Also the dude who wrote Revelation was on some kind of heroic trip. Completely high out of his mind.

And some of the descriptions of angels in Ezekiel are straight out of a mescaline trip.


I’ve always had my own suspicions about the specific kind of “burning bush” God is said to reveal himself in.


looking at this, I thought “kaneh-bosem” sounded suspiciously like cannabis. sure enough, that is one of the theories going around


the problem with these types of academic papers is that most of these substances are not useful in their raw forms, and while pharmaceuticals can be derived from them, almost all aromatic spices and herbs contain a number of active compounds that when isolated are considered drugs. so do things like cheese, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, cumin, etc. they weren’t being used in as drugs, either recreationally or medically…

these aren’t the drugs that you are looking for.


I’m wondering just when Jess Sessions will be going after these folks. Is this a ‘three strikes you’re out’ kind of thing?


I’m personally dubious about the “kaneh bosem = cannabis” theory, but I do know of some renegade phytochemists who made up batches of “Holy Annointing Oil” according to the biblical recipe (myrhh, cinnamon, kaneh bosem, and cassia in olive oil) with cannabis extract for the “kaneh bosem”, and the resulting product was quite enthusiastically reviewed by the medical patients they supplied.

(Later, while experimenting with making cinnamon canna-pops, they produced a tasty mix that people began referring to as “that good shit.” When they altered the Holy Anointing Oil recipe to use the same cinnamon candy flavoring, the result was dubbed “Holy Shit”.)


John, the author of The Revelation, wrote it while exiled on the Isle of Patmos.

Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms are endemic to Patmos.

And John was a numerological mystic given to dabbling in gematria and kaballah.

Need I say more?


Someone – it might as well be me – should mention The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East, John Allegro’s 1970 book about the linguistics of early Christianity and fertility cults in the Ancient Near East.

Wikipedia states:

Allegro argues, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, and many other religions, lay in fertility cults, and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants to perceive the mind of God, persisted into the early Christian era, and to some unspecified extent into the 13th century with reoccurrences in the 18th century and mid-20th century, as he interprets the fresco of the Plaincourault Chapel to be an accurate depiction of the ritual ingestion of Amanita muscaria as the Eucharist. Allegro argued that Jesus never existed as a historical figure and was a mythological creation of early Christians under the influence of psychoactive mushroom extracts such as psilocybin. His claims have often been subject to ridicule and scorn due to Allegro’s unconventional theory.

Allegro’s work influenced writer Philip K. Dick:



they don’t even mention hitting that body and blood of Christ that stuff is AMAZING

What’s more plausible really? A somehow perfect god got so angry at the humanity he created to be imperfect and evil in the first place, that he raped a girl so she could give birth to himself so he could kill himself as a sacrifice to himself so that he doesn’t have to be angry at humanity anymore, and then that guy came back to life.


People enjoy doing drugs.


Actually, all the psychedelic woo in Revelation is just ancient political cartoons. Sorry. No ancient astronauts either.


Yeah, I agree that the most plausible explanation for revelation is a criticism of Rome. But still, drugs are way more plausible than the dude really seeing the end of the world.

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I used to have a copy of “Marijuana and the Bible” by the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, which basically claimed that every mention of smoke in the Bible was Cannabis-related. Yes, Moses’ pillar of smoke by day/ fire by night was a giant chillum.


Wait. Stop. The hell I just read? Back up just a minute.

Pomegranate is rich in serotonin, melatonin, and other tryptamines.

Um… no it’s not.

I can’t find anything anywhere that validates this claim.

I’ve eaten pomegranates all my life and I’ve never had any kind of resultant psychoactive effect. And believe me, I know a psychoactive effect when I see one.


the rolling paper of choice in a prison near you! holy smokes.

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i read that in 83. it was one of two books a masters student in fine arts had to read for a class he was taking in aesthetics. the other was “death and sensuality.” the professor paired the books in order to open up his students to the esoteric possibilities hiding in unexpected places. “sacred mushroom” was a difficult read primarily because of the in-depth linguistic analysis involved in his thesis. it was sometimes hard to get a handle on how likely or unlikely the connections he was making were.

pdf versions of each work are available online.

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Isn’t that a basic tenet of Rastafarianism?

Aside: I remember reading in Albert Hoffman’s LSD: My Problem Child a report of a graphic designer in Switzerland, never having been exposed to Mexican art, drawing some very Mexican-looking designs after taking psilocybin mushrooms.

A guy I knew as a kid died from eating Amanita Muscaria, back in the 80s.