What are the chances that the ingredient "kaneh-bosm" in Annointing Oil is actually Cannabis?

I’m not sure what the original word was in Aramaic, or Hebrew, or what have you…


But some people believe that this ingredient is actually cannabis (or cannabidiol). This wouldn’t surprise me, considering cannabis not only stops the growth of cancer, but it actually kills cancer cells as well.



Soo… considering the Egyptions used cannabis for its healing powers, as well as the ancient Chinese… what are the chances you guys think the Bible was referring to cannabis as an ingredient of anointing oil???

Here’s why I’m asking, and it makes plenty of sense to me based on the links above, for example, but I’m definitely looking for your “etymological interpretations” here…


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. 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.”

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… and 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.

While that etymogical argument in no way serves as material proof, the “aromatic reed theory” can serve as the basis for a set of assumptions. Assuming the oil described in Exodus did in fact contain high levels of cannabis, the effective dose of the plant’s medicinal compounds would certainly be potent enough to explain many of the healing miracles attributed to Jesus, as marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for everything from skin diseases and glaucoma to neurodegenerative conditions and multiple sclerosis. Also, while it’s highly unlikely anybody back then had herb capable of competing with the 20-25 percent THC super-chronic Cannabis Cup winners of today, there’s also no reason to believe that artful botanists of the ancient world couldn’t have bred and grown plants in the 10 percent THC range—with perhaps even higher levels of CBD than our modern hybrids—a cannabinoid profile that advocates claim is potent enough to produce a truly profound reaction when absorbed in such large amounts.

Annointing oil uses aromatic HEMP, related th Cannabis, but of extremely low THC content. Yep, cannabis is one of the oldest cultivated plants. It was reserved for kings and high priests. Nothing scandalous or exciting here, move along, move along…

While some of the miracles might not be easily attributed to a ‘special’ cannabis (a Haifa high?) I’m sure many of the temple divinators used it…

Apart from what Crusaderbear said there is currently NO CURE FOR CANCER. Cannabis does NOT cure cancer.
I don’t understand why people claim a cure for a disease just because a substance might kill some cells in a lab. That is not a cure!

Ancient Christians would be able to distinguish between the application of a medicinal herb and a miraculous healing. Luke himself was a physician, and would not have been fooled.

Intoxicants were also well known, and if their use were common in religious ceremonies, they would be documented in scripture. Hence, wine is explicitly mentioned throughout the Old and New Testaments, both in ritual and in exhortations to temperance.

I believe a certain oil is required for use in sacramental anointings. The particular oil would be guaranteed by the Church’s infallibility; if different oils were used historically, then these anoitings were symbolic, not sacramental.

Yes, thank you for this excellent pot.

That’s some Freudian slip, Clare. :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

I hope Clare doesn’t get her nose out of joint over such a blunt comment.


:extrahappy::extrahappy::extrahappy: :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

clare’s slip is showing? Horror’s! Gotta go find some pretzels…

That’s hysterical!


Someone’s got the munchies? :ehh:


Well, suffice it to say…this thread went up in smoke.

Yep, time to go blow this joint.

Has definitely strayed out into the weeds.


Nice to see all the “buds” in one place though.

yup. true true very true.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.