kaneh-bosm (cannabis) in the Bible



By Chris Bennet

Part 3 in a series on the
History of Cannabis and
Human Consciousness

GENESIS 1:29-30

Those words seem straightforward enough, and yet cannabis and most other psychoactive medicine plants are outlawed in our society. Those who use these plant gat eways to other states of consciousness are jailed for doing so.

Ironically, the major force for continuing this plant prohibition is a group referred to as the Christian Right. They claim to believe in both the Bible and old Yahweh, yet Yahweh’s opinion on the matter is stated quite clearly in the above quotation.

This article shows how the Old Testament Prophets were none other than ancient shamans, and that cannabis and other entheogens played a very prominent role in ancient Hebrew culture.


The first solid evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis was established in 1936 by Sula Benet, a little known Polish etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw (1).

The word cannabis was generally thought to be of Scythian origin, but Benet showed that it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, and that it appears 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 (2).”

Benet demonstrated that the word for cannabis is kaneh-bosm, also rendered in traditional Hebrew as kaneh or kannabus. The root kan in this construction means “reed” or “hemp”, while bosm means “aromatic”. This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

The word kaneh-bosm has been mistranslated as calamus, a common marsh plant with little monetary value that does not have the qualities 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 many translations that followed (3).

more: http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/1090.html


24 Responses to “kaneh-bosm (cannabis) in the Bible”

  1. i am pretty sure Marijuana is ok to use, but in moderation, because anything not in moderation is gluttony. Therefore, i believe it is ok to light up a joint every now and then, but not every day (which would be gluttony) but i aint doin it, seeing as it ruins u at sports if u do it too much, but i see no problem in smoking weed. and if u decriminilization it, it would make millions

  2. I was told by my pastor it was not in bible and it was said your body is the temple of GOD.We has christain should not us it.I am trying to joint this church but I am afraid if I use it to help me with all my ailments that I will not be accepted.some where in the bible he says do not worry about what goes into the body but what comes out of the body.

  3. You’re an idiot. Pull your head out – how can you take a drug which which has the sole purpose of separating you from reality, when God in fact dwells in reality (God is Truth – and Truth and reality are obviously strongly related. Hello, McFly.) Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth…” since truth and realityu are so closley related, how can you divorce yourself form reality and say you are in the the Truth. “God is Trugth, and those who worship Him must whorship him in Spirit and Truth.”

  4. Wow, Larry’s a bit judgemental. Let’s see, where to begin. I’m not saying one way or another if it’s in the Bible until I really study it myself, first of all. I’m not making light of the the truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but when you talk about “reality”, one has nothing to do with the other. Have you ever studied “reality”? God, in fact, does not dwell within our reality. God dwells outside time and space. Truth has nothing to do with time or space. Now, my main point. As for marijuana, I use very little of it for medical reasons at night. I take pain meds during the day prescribed by my doctor so that I can work. God did put it here on earth and my argument is that it’s better naturally than anything the pharmaceutical companies come up with that have worse side effects than what they’re treating.

  5. slumberland Says:

    Larry isn’t judgemental he’s just drunk. Let him sleep.

  6. ok well let me see. how many deaths do u get with liquor, tylenol,prescription drugs,and tabacco?? way too many to count. how many people have dies of cannabis? 0! those who dnt believe think of this. u take 20 hydrocodons, or 20 asprins of any kind, what happens to u??? if u dnt knw den how close minded kan u be?? consume as much cannabus as u want and wat happens? u sleep and wake bak up. it is not the cannabis that is bad but the intentions the person has for it. smoking it yes is bad due to the fact that u r adding a combustion substance to burn it, so u ask how to consume it?? well u kan make it in food, u kan also use a vaporizor, which only heats up the cannabis to a certain temp, not causing to burn. as for yes we our body is the temple of God, and that is y putting a flame to this herb can harm the body. and God says do not take in what wud hurt your body. vaporizors dont hurt the body infact cannabis has several things that the body cannot get thru any other source of food. every prescription has a side effect, n guess what marijuana dont. ppl think jus because a person crashed under the influence of buds, that it is bad, how many wreks du u get with all the other things ive mention up above, exkluding tabacco. if u really knw how to properly use it, it shud make u more alert, how???? it makes u pay attention to the speed limits so u wnt get stoped, it makes u more aware of your soroundings.

  7. God created cannabis, not the government, if God has blessed us with such herb as a gift, who do you think would want to take that away from us?? very simple answer d devil, who do d devil control?? the government, not only do we c it today but he did say give to the church wath belongs to the church, and give ceaser what belongs to ceaser. so how can the devil take it away?? by having control of the government, and banning it to take it away and making it seem like a bad thing. cannabis isnt even a drug. dey say it is but is not. a drug:meth,prescriptions,coke,xtasy,crak,speed,morphine. what r dey??? man made. diffrence between mans will and Gods will. man has even created a imposter cannabis. you got spice, k2, and other things made to impercinate Gods creation.

  8. Chandler Says:

    Next time the church says something bad about marijuana imma bust this on em’. I wish I had a vaporizer so I wasn’t poisoned with smoke, or maybe if marijuana wasn’t illegal i could make brownies in my house without parents. Corrupted society we live in.

  9. The notion that the old testament condones Cannabis is false. Just because the Old Testament says ‘I give you every seed baring plant, does not mean you are supposed to eat them all, or you could try some box poison And the priest did not use cannabis in the anointing. in fact two of the sons of Eli were slain by the Lord for burning strange incense in the temple. Its use would be suitable homeopathicly. And another similar bog was saying that Exodus 30: 22,23 is in favour of cannabis well those verses don’t even refer to it instead it refers to Acorus calamus which is a reed like palm that is very sweet similar in fragrance to Turmeric and cinnamon, or cloves. How many Deaths from cannabis;? they die spiritually. Use righteous judgement; wisdom.

  10. If GOD did not want you to get high then he would of not through the Word, his son Jesus Christ would not have made Marijuana. Furthermore, he would have made it differently.

    John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    Marijuana is an herb. It also bears seed. GOD made it a point after creating Adam the very first thing he commanded to him was:

    Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    To accept a gift from GOD is to appreciate it, GOD and your life. It is a blessing. To deprecate, refute or refuse GOD’s gifts is to be cursed or even damned.

    The seeds of Cannabis Sativa are the only known source of complete protein on the planet. It has all the amino acids essential to human life. It has one of the highest concentrations of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) and one of the few sources to have them in the perfect ratio.

    Matthew 4:4 But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    What was the first thing that GOD told our species? Meat is not only food for the body but in this case also food for the mind. There you go, the rule of three. What more evidence do you need? It is obvious what GOD intended. There is plenty more evidence all you have to do is seek and you shall find.

    Imagine if atheists have to read the Bible to keep out of prison or stop getting high!


    I did not know that boxwood is an herb. I always thought of it as a shrub. Bon apetit! How does Qaneh Bosm tranlate to Calamos. Calamus is highly toxic and carcinogenic when reduced to an essential oil, which the Holy Anoiting Oil is.

    Those With Discerment, Let Them See and Hear

    Qaneh Bosem = Kaneh Bosm = Canna Bos = Cannabis
    See the etymology (the study and science of words)?
    Qaneh Bosm is English spelling for the term used in the Ancient Hebrew Torah in Exodus 30:32 for sweet cane, sweet smelling cane, fragrant cane, sweet fragrant cane, aromatic cane and sweet aromatic cane. Obviously, the root for cannabis is rooted from the Hebrew.

  12. Exodus 30:32 is a typo. It should read Exodus 30:23!

  13. Sutter Kane Says:

    Larry, your premise is false. Cannabis does not seperate you from reality, it opens the doors to a broader perception. It brings you into a closer covenant with divinity. It does atrophy such.

  14. Sutter Kane Says:

    Whoops, meant to say does NOT atrophy.

  15. Not only is Kaneh bosm mentioned in the Bible (Cannabis) but also the TREE OF LIFE is mentioned in the Bible ~ Just let this sink in for a moment and think about it… Which Plant on Earth can produce 12 types of Raw materials? Which Plant has a holistic healing-power? Which plant can feed the Whole World with seeds (nuts) that contain All the Amino acids (whole protein) and All the Omega fatty acids (EFA’s 3-6-7-9) and about 20 other important fats? Which Plant can Cloth All of us with fabrics from Silk to rough twain and all there between, with enormous benefits to the soil and No use for any Chemicals? Which Plant Can easily provide All the Paper we need World Wide, though Locally and thereby prevent total deforestation? Which Plant can easily provide All the plastic we need 100% biodegradable and recyclable and can be mixed together with compost after it has served its purpose? Which Plant can provide easily All the Energy the World needs for All purposes (Bio-Diesel – Ethanol – Methanol – Methane – Charcoal and Tar)? Which Plant can easily provide the Whole World with Superior Building materials Like “….timber” and “….cement” that is 4 times lighter and stronger than traditional materials, that is cold, heat and sound isolating and is naturally insect and pest proof? Which Plant has followed Mankind since the beginning of time to this day and provided them with All mentioned her above?

    Which Plant is now Banned namely for the same reasons?

    In my eyes it is Truly the TREE OF LIFE !

    ~OneLove~ Johannes Bjarmarsson

  16. Wow, right on with that last comment Johannes…I believe cannabis could unite all religions and economies and simplify our lives so much! It is too bad we took the wrong turn we did in this country when we prohibited it. How can you prohibit a plant? And the blatant propoganda campaign the American government had to bombard the American people with to get the laws enacted. Its absolute lunacy that at this day in age we are so blind to the truths staring us in the face from the pages of the Bible and other ancient texts! Gotta protect the interest of big pharma and the oil conglomerate though!! In fact world wide legalization of cannabis would most likely do away with all war….think about it people.

  17. Btw…I wrote a good portion of that last post while holding in a monster rip of medical grade white widow from here in LA off my 3 footer.

  18. sumguy from mt. Says:

    I read a lot of good stuff on here ! i already know someone who has ended up saved because of studies like this that happen !! Praise Jesus !!! As for the “Larry” type ,well anyway. we should all pray for the misled . Don’t by into the smoke/temple bit ,if there is individual conviction then or not to refrain will rein in my cave ! GOD bless !!!!


  20. GoGreen Says:

    @Larry…. Seriously?!? Who are you to judge anyone?!? If you dont agree then why are you on the site?!? (enough of that)

    I whole heatedly believe that this plant was used during those times. This plant has so many benefits! You can boil the leaves in a tea bag and make tea. The effects are no way near as strong as smoking, however, it still gives you a calming feeling. Many people abuse it and use it to escape reality. Now that in itself is wrong! I use it for meditation, it blocks out thoughts when I pray and listen to the word of God. It takes me to a different level. I suffered from insomnia due to an over stimulated brain. I would lie awake for hours and be so frustrated in the am. After doing some research, I came across people using sleeping pills. I refused!
    I believe in an all natural approach in life. I suffer from it no more! A nice cup of tea does the trick for me. Wake up well rested and ready to take on the day!
    If you don’t believe that it’s the best way, then turn the volume up on your tv the next time a new prescription drug commercial comes on.
    Side effects are worse than what you are being treated for. Example: One drug for psoriasis is an injection you get 4 times a year…. (Google it) Why are the major side effects listed as cancer of the brain?!? So I can have aesthetically pleasing skin but riddled with cancer inside? Oh me oh my where do I sign up?!?

    Research in the UK has made huge strides with the active ingredient THC. They are studying the effects on rats with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Very promising…

    P.S. Alcohol was outlawed until the Gov found a way to make a profit off of it! 😉
    Just because it’s “legal” doesn’t make it right!!!
    “Don’t abuse it because the conscious will refuse it”. Moderation and purpose is key!

  21. Cannabis use is fine. Everyday use if fine too. Cannabinoids have incredible health benefits on the body. especially when ingested or used topically. the holy anointing oil was comprised of olive oil, Myrrh, cinnamon and cannabis. when you infuse olive oil with buds/trim, the cannabinoids are dissolved into the oil. this oil can be used to cook with, eaten with bread or put on the skin topically.

  22. It is not my first time to visit this website, i am visiting this web site dailly and get pleasant information
    from here every day.

  23. Thank you my Lord and Savior, king of kings and God of all God’s for giving/providing us with this wonderful herb.

    Revelation 22:2

    In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    I am diagnosed with ADHD. Doctors had me on just about every type of medication “didn’t work”. I have been self medicating with cannabis for nearly 10 years and every day i thank the Lord for this wonderful gift that not only saves me THOUSANDS of Rands but helps me function on a daily basis.

    God did NOT create any type of drugs!!! Man created drugs!

  24. Anonymous Says:

    God put cannabis on Earth because He wants You to be high. Have a nice day.

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