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Note: Due to the width of the table, this page is best viewed full screen or as wide as possible. The word ‘kaneh bosm’ appears several times in the Old Testament(  ) “both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant,”(  ) but a specific example sees Moses using it in Exodus 30:23 when God commanded him to make “holy anointing oil of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, kaneh bosm, and kassia.” Benet explains that in this passage the Hebrew definition of kaneh bosm is ‘aromatic reed,’ kan meaning ‘reed’ or ‘hemp,’ while bosm means ‘aromatic.’(  ) The linguistic resemblance of the word ‘kaneh bosm’ to the Scythian word cannabis, and the Hebrew definition of kaneh bosm provide Benet and Bentowa with enough evidence to assert that the intoxicating properties of cannabis were probably first used by the peoples of the Near East and then spread through contact with the Scythians.(  ) Today, there are groups such as The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church who fully believe in the teachings of the Bible and that “marijuana is a godly creation from the beginning of the world… Its purpose in creation is as a fiery sacrifice to be offered to our Redeemer during obligations… Ganja (cannabis) is the sacramental rights of every man worldwide.”(  ) As further confirmation of this belief, they point to the Encyclopedia Brittanica’s section on Pharmacological Cults, which states: “the ceremonial use of incense in contemporary ritual is most likely a relic of the time when the psychoactive properties of incense brought the ancient worshipper into touch with supernatural forces.”(  ) Before continuing with an outline of several cultural uses of the cannabis plant’s psychoactive properties, it is important to describe the climatic conditions required for growing cannabis since this is an influential factor in the cannabis plant’s production of the psychoactive resin (THC).
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (April 22, 2002)
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