Experts Believe That Jesus May Have Used Cannabis Oil To Perform His Miracles

Published September 20, 2018
Updated November 19, 2021

"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ."

Jesus Anointing

GettyA depiction of Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of Jesus Christ.

Jesus and his apostles might have used cannabis oil to perform his healing miracles — a controversial theory that is being championed by a number of experts.

Author David Bienenstock, who is also the editor-in-chief of High Times magazine, believes that cannabis was widely available during Jesus’ era 2,000 years ago. He also believes that cannabis was used all across the Middle East to treat various illnesses and ailments.

In an interview with the Daily Star Online, Bienenstock said:

“There is nothing different in the efficacious cannabis oil used today that wouldn’t have been available to people in Jesus’ time – it’s simply a matter of concentrating the cannabis into the oil and absorbing it through the skin.”

Scholars have pointed to a specific text from the Bible to support this theory. They claim that a recipe for Jesus’ holy anointing oil in Exodus 30: 22-25 actually contains cannabis:

“Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of q’aneh-bosm, 500 shekels of cassia– all according to the sanctuary shekel– and a hind of olive oil. Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.”

In that Bible passage, there’s a mysterious herb mentioned, q’aneh-bosm, that is now commonly identified as “keneh-bosm,” and some historians have reason to believe that this herb was in fact, cannabis.

Cannabis Oil

Adam Ward/Newspix/Getty ImagesThe Bible outlines the ingredients that are necessary to make the anointing oil. One of those ingredients might be cannabis.

Chris Bennett, a cannabis historian and author of a number of books related to the subject, believes too that cannabis is right in the good book, and even asserts that:

“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ.”

Legalize Weed

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty ImagesOne historian who believes this theory claims that forbidding cannabis use is inherently anti-Christian.

Bennett further cites the work of a little-known Polish etymologist Sula Benet. In 1936, Benet demonstrated that the root of the word “Kan” translates to “hemp” or “reed,” while the “bosom” translates to aromatic.

Most historians believe that “keneh-bosm” refers to the root extract calamus, which is used for its medicinal purposes to this day. But Benet claims that this is the result of a simple mistranslation, which she argues occurred sometime during the third century.

The theory that “keneh-bosm” refers to cannabis in the Bible naturally has its skeptics. Lytton John Musselman, a Professor of Botany at Old Dominion University who’s familiar with the theory, maintains that the correct translation of “keneh-bosm” is the original one — calamus.

Musselman also asserts that the medicinal properties of calamus align with the healing benefits of the anointing oil that’s described in the Bible. He explains:

“Calamus is a very important component of Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to have efficacy. For example, in Sri Lanka it is available in any herbal remedy shop and also universally grown in home gardens. The North American species was and is so important to Native Americans in the Northeast that land with natural populations is highly sought after.”

Regardless, people the world over love to think that Jesus was a toker. Indeed, the Stoner Jesus Bible Study in Colorado insists that: “Jesus was peaceful and loving. He went from house to house and was always accepted. Only a stoner could do that.”

Next up in cannabis, check out these pictures of a 100-foot joint that was rolled in Massachusetts. Then, find out all about Yeshua, the real name of Jesus.

Bernadette Deron
Bernadette Deron is a digital media producer and writer from New York City who holds a Master's in publishing from New York University. Her work has appeared in Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Insider.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.