Cannabis In Religion & Mythology

Cannabis In Religion & Mythology


Throughout history, cannabis has been used as a sacramental means for communing with and increasing connection to one’s faith; there are many examples across many spiritual traditions of cannabis being mentioned in scripture/religious/sacred texts and the holy herb (cannabis/hemp) is often ascribed as having divine/heavenly origins.


Following are examples of where cannabis is mentioned in religious/sacred texts (presented in the chronological order of when each book/text was first written/authored…):



Cannabis is one of the Five Sacred & Essential Plants of The Vedas 🕉

Cannabis (aka Indra’s food, bhang, soma, charas, amrita, heavenly nectar) is one of the five sacred & essential plants mentioned in the Vedas (Hindu scriptures, some of whose authorship dates have been astrologically calibrated/dated at ~6,000 years ago which indicates cannabis's religious use is at least that old...):

"Asvattha [sacred fig]; Darbha [meditation grass]; King of Plants is Soma [cannabis/bhang/charas], deathless sacrifice; Barley and Rice are all healing balms, the immortal sons of Heaven.”


From Atharvaveda, Book 8 Hymn VII [A charm to restore a sick man to health], Verse 20



Vedic Hymn to Soma


"Like wild winds the draughts have raised me up
Have I been drinking soma?

The draughts have borne me up, as swift steeds a chariot
Have I been drinking soma?

The hymn has reached me, as a cow to her dear calf
Have I been drinking soma?

Not even as a mote in my eye do the five tribes count with me
Have I been drinking soma?

As a chariot-maker bends a chariot-seat, I bend this frenzy round my heart
Have I been drinking soma? 

In my glory I have passed beyond the sky and the great earth
Have I been drinking soma?

I will pick up this spacious earth, and put it here or put it there.
Have I been drinking soma?”


From Rig Veda Book X, Hymn 119 Verses 2-9. Composed 2800+ Years Ago (800+ BC)



Ma Gu, Taoist Goddess of Cannabis ☯️

Ma Gu is the ancient Taoist goddess of cannabis - the elixir of life, healing and longevity - revered for millennia throughout Asia (particularly China, Korea & Japan), her full name is Her Holiness Princess Ma Gu, Goddess of Cannabis. She has appeared in Chinese mythology since at least 200 BC, her religious sect has been in existence since at least 500 AD. In Korean mythology she's known as Mago, a form/aspect of the original Great Mother Goddess. According to the Taoist Ma Gu scriptures, The Goddess Ma Gu dwells within the cannabis plant, they are considered one and the same being; consuming the cannabis plant produces a mystical union with the Princess of Cannabis, Ma Gu. Ma Gu’s divine immortal mission is to plant the seeds of the cannabis plant everywhere; in the Taoist cannabis-creation myth the cannabis plant has divine origins as “a gift from the union of Heaven and Earth”.


In a popular story from Chinese mythology, Ma Gu is invited to the Immortal Peach Banquet and offers, as her gift to the divine Queen Mother Of The West, a healing elixir of cannabis flowers brewed with wine upon which the Queen Mother proclaimed “Ma Gu Xian Shou” (Ma Gu’s mantra and a statement/invocation of faith, it means “Ma Gu Offers Longevity”).


Several temples, shrines, and other Ma Gu sacred sites still exist throughout China and can be visited today (along with the Ma Gu mountains in present-day Nancheng). Ma Gu remains a popular figure, appearing on modern-day birthday cards (China etc.) and other objects as a symbol of longevity, wisdom and good luck.


Ma Gu Xian Shou! 麻姑獻壽









The Holy Bible (New Testament) ✝️

"Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the main street of the city. On either side of the river stood a tree of life, producing twelve kinds of fruit and yielding a fresh crop for each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations."


Holy Bible, New Testament, Revelation 22:1-2











Get the whole story on cannabis's ubiquitous role in world religions, sacred & ancient texts, and mythology in our book!

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