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Tryggvi
Monday, April 19th, 2004, 05:13 PM
Monday, 6 January, 2003, 19:18 GMT

Cannabis linked to Biblical healing

http://www.forums.skadi.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=10893&stc=1
Many of the miracles concerned healing

Jesus Christ and his apostles may have used a cannabis-based anointing oil to help cure people with crippling diseases, it has been claimed.

Researchers in the United States say the oil used in the early days of the Christian church contained a cannabis extract called kaneh-bosem.

They suggest the extract, which is absorbed into the body when placed on the skin, could have helped cure people with a variety of physical and mental problems.


The medical use of cannabis during that time is supported by archaeological records.
~ Chris Bennet
The author of the article, published in the US drugs magazine High Times, says his findings are based on a study of scriptural texts.

Wide use

The article does not question the validity of the miracles reported in the Bible but rather examines whether the early Christian Church may have made use of substances with an active medical effect.

It does not rule out the role played by blind faith in Christ.

Chris Bennett said cannabis was widely used at the time to heal the sick.

"The medical use of cannabis during that time is supported by archaeological records."

He said the ancient anointing oil contained high levels of cannabis extract.

"The holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of the recipe in Exodus, contained over six pounds of keneh-bosum - a substance identified by respected etymology, linguists anthropologists, botanists and other researchers as cannabis extracted into about six quarts of olive oil along with a variety of other fragrant herbs.

"The ancient annointed ones were literally drenched in this potent mixture."

Miracles

Mr Bennett suggested the drug may have played a role in some healing miracles carried out by Jesus and his disciples.

He wrote: "In the ancient world, diseases such as epilepsy were attributed to demonic possession.

"To cure somebody of such an illness, even with the aid of certain herbs was considered exorcism or miraculous healing.


Jesus often becomes the final hope for the pharmacologically impaired.
~ JesusJournal.com (http://www.jesusjournal.com)
"Interestingly, cannabis has been shown to be effective in the treatment of not only epilepsy but many of the other ailments that Jesus and the disciples healed people of such as skin diseases, eye problems and menstrual problems."

Mr Bennett said the findings suggested that it was unchristian to persecute people who used cannabis.

"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient Christian anointing oil, as history indicates, 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."

However, Christian groups in the United States have rejected Mr Bennett's claims.

They have insisted that the arguments made in the article are lame.

In a response to the article published on JesusJournal.com, critics said: "As many of us know firsthand, Jesus often becomes the final hope for the pharmacologically impaired."

John Cunyus, the author of a book on Christian healing, said: "Well, the Bible does say that St. Stephen was stoned... but perhaps not in that sense!"

[Source (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2633187.stm)]

Mac Seafraidh
Thursday, December 2nd, 2004, 08:28 AM
Cannabis linked to mental illness risk

Sarah Boseley, health editor
Thursday December 2, 2004
The Guardian

Some young people who smoke cannabis are at real risk of developing psychotic mental illness, according to a major study announced yesterday.
The new survey of 2,500 young people aged 14 to 24 will be discussed at the start of an international conference today on cannabis and mental health convened by the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

It shows that regular cannabis smoking increased the risk of developing psychosis by 6% over four years.

But there was a substantially greater impact on young people who had already been identified by psychiatrists as having the potential to become psychotic. Regular cannabis smoking raised their risk of developing psychotic mental illness by 25%.

The study aimed to answer a question that has been unsettling psychiatrists for some time. People with psychosis, whose symptoms include hallucinations, paranoia, hearing voices and a persecution complex, are more likely than not to have a marijuana habit.

But doctors have not known whether they are smoking it for relief from their symptoms, or whether cannabis itself might be the problem.

Cannabis may be a harmless recreational drug for most of its users and has medicinal benefits for others, but the study will add fuel to the debate on its legalisation.

One of the authors of the study, carried out by researchers from the Netherlands, said that although cannabis triggered psychosis in a minority of people, this was a good reason to legalise it, not ban it, so that government can promote advice and information, as it does on alcohol.

Jim van Os, a professor in the department of psychiatry and neuropsychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where cannabis is legal, said a ban would be hard. "It is going to be very difficult to tell the whole Dutch population to stop using cannabis because it is bad and you will develop psychotic illness. But perhaps it is better to say if you have a family history or mental instability you are perhaps particularly at risk of negative consequences of cannabis use.

"The way to get the message across is for young people to talk about the issues and have more social control among themselves, rather than the big brother approach."

Zerrin Atakan, honorary senior lecturer at the national psychosis unit of the Institute of Psychiatry and a speaker at today's conference, said cannabis had medicinal uses and, like alcohol, was not a problem in moderation. She pointed to the different effect on the brain of the two compounds it contained - tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis high in THC was stronger and potentially more dangerous, while CBD might be responsible for its beneficial effects.

"I personally believe it should be legalised so it is tightly regulated and it says on the packet how much THC is in it," she said. "At the moment it is worse because people think it is legalised and there is confusion and it is in the hands of the dealers. That is not a good situation."

The study, published in the online version of the British Medical Journal, followed 2,437 young people living in Munich, Germany.

All had a psychiatric assessment at the start of the study, to identify those who might be vulnerable to psychosis. Four years later, they were asked about their cannabis use and their mental health was assessed again. Regular users of cannabis who had been identified as vulnerable to psychosis were much more likely to become psychotic than those who were neither.

Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, said there were still many unanswered questions, such as: "If half the world smokes cannabis, why aren't they all psychotic?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1364259,00.html