BHANG CHAI
During the Indian festival of Holi, people consume bhang which contains cannabis flowers. According to one description, when the amrita(elixir of life) was produced from the churning of the ocean by the devas and the asuras, Shiva created cannabis from his own body to purify the elixir (whence, for cannabis, the epithet angaja or "body-born"). Another account suggests that the cannabis plant sprang up when a drop of the elixir dropped on the ground. Thus, cannabis is used by sages due to association with elixir and Shiva. Wise drinking of bhang, according to religious rites, is believed to cleanse sins, unite one with Shiva and avoid the miseries of hell in the after-life. In contrast, foolish drinking of  bhang without rites is considered a sin.

In some sections of rural India, people believe in the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. If taken in proper quantity, bhang is believed to cure fever, dysentery and sunstroke, to clear phlegm, aide digestion, appetite, cure speech imperfections and lisping, and give alertness to the body.
Bhang lassi is a preparation of powdered green inflorescence with curd and whey put in a village blender (a hand blending operation is carried out till the butter rises). It is regarded as tasty and greatly refreshing, with one or two large glasses having little effect. Bhang goli, on the other hand, hits after approximately two hours, sending one into a dreamlike state.

Cannabis used medically has several well-documented beneficial effects. Among these are: the amelioration of nausea and vomiting, stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, lowered intraocular eye pressure (shown to be effective for treating glaucoma), as well as general analgesic effects (pain reliever).b[›]

Less confirmed individual studies also have been conducted indicating cannabis to be beneficial to a gamut of conditions running from multiple sclerosis to depression. Synthesized cannabinoids are also sold as prescription drugs, including Marinol (dronabinol in the United States and Germany) and Cesamet (nabilone in Canada, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom).b[›]

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved smoked cannabis for any condition or disease in the United States, largely because good quality scientific evidence for its use from U.S. studies is lacking.[19] Regardless, sixteen states have legalized cannabis for medical use.[20][21] The United States Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Coop and Gonzales v. Raich that it is the federal government that has the right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes. Canada, Spain, The Netherlands and Austria have legalized some form of cannabis for medicinal use.[22]

Unprocessed Forms

Dried Cannabis flowers in natural herbal form

The terms cannabis or marijuana generally refer to the dried flowers and subtending leaves and stems of the female cannabis plant.[citation needed] This is the most widely consumed form, containing 3% to 22% THC.[30][31] In contrast, cannabis varieties used to produce industrial hemp contain less than 1% THC and are thus not valued for recreational use.[32]

Processed

Kief

Main article: Kief

Kief is a powder, rich in trichomes, which can be sifted from the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants and either consumed in powder form or compressed to produce cakes ofhashish.[33]

Hashish

Main article: Hashish

Hashish

Hashish (also spelled hasheesh, hashisha, or simply hash) is a concentrated resin produced from the flowers of the female cannabis plant. Hash can often be more potent than marijuana and can be smoked or chewed.[34] It varies in color from black to golden brown depending upon purity.

Hash oil

BHO

Main article: Hash oil

Hash oil, or "butane honey oil" (BHO), is a mix of essential oils and resins extracted from mature cannabis foliage through the use of various solvents. It has a high proportion of cannabinoids (ranging from 40 to 90%)[35] and is used in a variety of cannabis foods.

Residue (resin)

Because of THC's adhesive properties, a sticky residue, most commonly known as "resin", builds up inside utensils used to smoke cannabis. It has tar-like properties but still contains THC as well as other cannabinoids. This buildup retains some of the psychoactive properties of cannabis but is more difficult to smoke without discomfort caused to the throat and lungs. This tar may also contain CBN, which is a breakdown product of THC. Cannabis users typically only smoke residue when cannabis is unavailable. Glass pipes may be water-steamed at a low temperature prior to scraping in order to make the residue easier to remove.[36]

Routes of administration

Main article: Cannabis consumption

joint

A forced-air vaporizer. The detachable balloon (top) fills with vapors that are then inhaled.

conduction vaporizer, with flexible extension tube ("whip"). A small serving of cannabis is heated on a metal platform (center).

Cannabis is consumed in many different ways, most of which involve inhaling vaporized cannabinoids ("smoke") from small pipesbongs (portable version of hookah with water chamber), paper-wrapped joints or tobacco-leaf-wrapped blunts.

vaporizer heats herbal cannabis to 365–410 °F (185–210 °C),[citation needed] causing the active ingredients to evaporate into a vapor without burning the plant material (the boiling point of THC is 390.4 °F (199.1 °C) at 760 mmHg pressure).[37][not in citation given] A lower proportion of toxic chemicals is released than by smoking, depending on the design of the vaporizer and the temperature setting. This method of consuming cannabis produces markedly different effects than smoking due to the flash points of different cannabinoids; for example, CBN (usually considered undesirable) has a flash point of 212.7 °C (414.9 °F)[38] and would normally be present in smoke but not in vapor.

Fresh, non-dried cannabis may be consumed orally. However, the cannabis or its extract must be sufficiently heated or dehydrated to cause decarboxylation of its most abundant cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), into psychoactive THC.[39]

Cannabinoids can be extracted from cannabis plant matter using high-proof spirits (often grain alcohol) to create a tincture, often referred to as Green Dragon.

Cannabis can also be consumed as a tea. THC is lipophilic and only slightly water-soluble (with a solubility of 2.8 mg per liter),[40] so tea is made by first adding a saturated fat to hot water (i.e. cream or any milk except skim) with a small amount of cannabis.

Mechanism of actionMechanism of action

The high lipid-solubility of cannabinoids results in their persisting in the body for long periods of time. Even after a single administration of THC, detectable levels of THC can be found in the body for weeks or longer (depending on the amount administered and the sensitivity of the assessment method). A number of investigators have suggested that this is an important factor in marijuana's effects, perhaps because cannabinoids may accumulate in the body, particularly in the lipid membranes of neurons.[41]

Until recently, little was known about the specific mechanisms of action of THC at the neuronal level. However, researchers have now confirmed that THC exerts its most prominent effects via its actions on two types of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor, both of which are G-Protein coupled receptors. The CB1 receptor is found primarily in the brain as well as in some peripheral tissues, and the CB2 receptor is found primarily in peripheral tissues, but is also expressed in neuroglial cells as well.[42] THC appears to alter mood and cognition through its agonist actions on the CB1 receptors, which inhibit a secondary messenger system (adenylate cyclase) in a dose dependent manner. These actions can be blocked by the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (rimonabant), which has been shown in clinical trials to be an effective treatment for smoking cessation, weight loss, and as a means of controlling or reducing metabolic syndrome risk factors.[43] However, due to the dysphoric effect of CB1 antagonists, this drug is often discontinued due to these side effects.

Potency

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), "the amount of THC present in a cannabis sample is generally used as a measure of cannabis potency."[44] The three main forms of cannabis products are the flower, resin (hashish), and oil (hash oil). The UNODC states that cannabis often contains 5% THC content, resin "can contain up to 20% THC content", and that "Cannabis oil may contain more than 60% THC content."[44]

A scientific study published in 2000 in the Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) found that the potency (THC content) of confiscated cannabis in the United States (US) rose from "approximately 3.3% in 1983 and 1984", to "4.47% in 1997". It also concluded that "other major cannabinoids (i.e., CBDCBN, and CBC)" (other chemicals in cannabis) "showed no significant change in their concentration over the years".[45] More recent research undertaken at the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project[46] has found that average THC levels in cannabis samples between 1975 and 2007 have increased from 4% in 1983 to 9.6% in 2007.

Australia's National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) states that the buds (flowers) of the female cannabis plant contain the highest concentration of THC, followed by the leaves. The stalks and seeds have "much lower THC levels".[47] The UN states that the leaves can contain ten times less THC than the buds, and the stalks one hundred times less THC.[44]

After revisions to cannabis rescheduling in the UK, the government moved cannabis back from a class C to a class B drug. A purported reason was the appearance of high potency cannabis. They believe skunk accounts for between 70 and 80% of samples seized by police[48] (despite the fact that skunk can sometimes be incorrectly mistaken for all types of herbal cannabis).[49][50] Extracts such as hashish and hash oil typicality contain more THC than high potency cannabis flowers.

While commentators have warned that greater cannabis "strength" could represent a health risk, others have noted that users readily learn to compensate by reducing their dosage, thus benefiting from reductions in smoking side-hazards such as heat shock or carbon monoxide.

A number of analytical laboratories serving the medical marijuana industry in the Western US have evaluated THC levels of medical cannabis. Typical levels range between 16–17% while cannabis materials with less than 10% THC are an anomaly. Currently upper THC limits for herbal cannabis grown in California are 23–25%.[51]

Difference between Cannabis indica and sativa

Types of Cannabis

Cannabis indica plant may have a CBD/THC ratio 4–5 times that of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis with relatively high ratios of CBD:THC is less likely to induce anxiety than vice versa. This is be due to CBD's antagonistic effects at the cannabinoid receptor, compared to THC's partial agonist effect. CBD is also a 5-HT1A agonist, which contributes to an anxiolytic effect of cannabis.[52] The relatively large amount of CBD contained in Cannabis indica, means, compared to a sativa, the effects are modulated significantlysativa are well known for its cerebral high, hence used daytime as medical cannabis, while indica are well known for its sedative effects and preferred night time as medical cannabis.[citation needed]

Adulterants

Chalk (in the Netherlands) and glass particles (in the UK) have been used to make cannabis appear to be higher quality.[53][54][55] Increasing the weight of hashish products in Germany with lead caused lead intoxication in at least 29 users.[56] In the Netherlands two chemical analogs of sildenafil (Viagra) were found in adulterated marijuana.[57]

According to both the "Talk to FRANK" website and the UKCIA website, Soap Bar, "perhaps the most common type of hash in the UK", was found "at worst" to contain turpentine, tranquilizers, boot polish, henna and animal feces—amongst several other things.[58][59] One small study of five "soap-bar" samples seized by UK Customs in 2001 found huge adulteration by many toxic substances, including soil, glue, engine oil and animal feces.[60]

Detection of use

Main article: Cannabis drug testing

THC and its major (inactive) metabolite, THC-COOH, can be measured in blood, urine, hair, oral fluid or sweat using chromatographic techniques as part of a drug use testing program or a forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal offense. The concentrations obtained from such analyses can often be helpful in distinguishing active use from passive exposure, prescription use from illicit use, elapsed time since use, and extent or duration of use. These tests cannot, however, distinguish authorized cannabis smoking for medical purposes from unauthorized recreational smoking.[61] Commercial cannabinoid immunoassays, often employed as the initial screening method when testing physiological specimens for marijuana presence, have different degrees of cross-reactivity with THC and its metabolites. Urine contains predominantly THC-COOH, while hair, oral fluid and sweat contain primarily THC. Blood may contain both substances, with the relative amounts dependent on the recency and extent of usage.[61][62][63][64]

The Duquenois-Levine test is commonly used as a screening test in the field, but it cannot definitively confirm the presence of cannabis, as a large range of substances have been shown to give false positives. Despite this, it is common in the United States for prosecutors to seek plea bargains on the basis of positive D-L tests, claiming them definitive, or even to seek conviction without the use of gas chromatography confirmation, which can only be done in the lab.[65] In 2011, researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice reported that dietary zinc supplements can mask the presence of THC and other drugs in urine. Similar claims have been made in web forums on that topic.[66]

Gateway drug theory

Further information: Gateway drug theory

Since the 1950s, United States drug policies have been guided by the assumption that trying cannabis increases the probability that users will eventually use "harder" drugs.[67] This hypothesis has been one of the central pillars of anti-cannabis drug policy in the United States,[68] though the validity and implications of this hypothesis are hotly debated.[67] Studies have shown that tobacco smoking is a better predictor of concurrent illicit hard drug use than smoking cannabis.[69]

No widely accepted study has ever demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship between the use of cannabis and the later use of harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. However, the prevalence of tobacco cigarette advertising and the practice of mixing tobacco and cannabis together in a single large joint, common in Europe, are believed to be cofactors in promoting nicotine dependency among young people trying cannabis.[70]

A 2005 comprehensive review of the literature on the cannabis gateway hypothesis found that pre-existing traits may predispose users to addiction in general, the availability of multiple drugs in a given setting confounds predictive patterns in their usage, and drug sub-cultures are more influential than cannabis itself. The study called for further research on "social context, individual characteristics, and drug effects" to discover the actual relationships between cannabis and the use of other drugs.[71]

Some studies state that while there is no proof for this gateway hypothesis, young cannabis users should still be considered as a risk group for intervention programs.[72] Other findings indicate that hard drug users are likely to be "poly-drug" users, and that interventions must address the use of multiple drugs instead of a single hard drug.[73]

Another gateway hypothesis is that a gateway effect may be detected as a result of the "common factors" involved with using any illegal drug. Because of its illegal status, cannabis users are more likely to be in situations which allow them to become acquainted with people who use and sell other illegal drugs.[74][75] By this argument, some studies have shown that alcohol and tobacco may be regarded as gateway drugs.[69] However, a more parsimonious explanation could be that cannabis is simply more readily available (and at an earlier age) than illegal hard drugs, and alcohol/tobacco are in turn easier to obtain earlier than cannabis (though the reverse may be true in some areas), thus leading to the "gateway sequence" in those people who are most likely to experiment with any drug offered.[67]

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that the main factors in users moving on to other drugs were age, wealth, unemployment status, and psychological stress. The study found there is no "gateway theory" and that drug use is more closely tied to a person's life situation, although cannabis users are more likely to use other drugs.[76]

 

History

See also: CannabisHempWar on Drugs, and Legal history of cannabis in the United States

The use of cannabis, at least as fiber, has been shown to go back at least 10,000 years in Taiwan.[77] Má (), the Chinese expression for hemp, is a pictograph of two plants under a shelter.[78]

Cannabis is indigenous to Central and South Asia.[79] Evidence of the inhalation of cannabis smoke can be found in the 3rd millennium BCE, as indicated by charred cannabis seeds found in a ritual brazier at an ancient burial site in present day Romania.[6] In 2003, a leather basket filled with cannabis leaf fragments and seeds was found next to a 2,500- to 2,800-year-old mummified shaman in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China.[80][81] Cannabis is also known to have been used by the ancient Hindus of India and Nepal thousands of years ago. The herb was called ganjika in Sanskrit (गांजा/গাঁজা ganja in modern Indic languages).[82][83] The ancient drug soma, mentioned in theVedas, was sometimes associated with cannabis.[84]

Cannabis was also known to the ancient Assyrians, who discovered its psychoactive properties through the Aryans.[85] Using it in some religious ceremonies, they called it qunubu(meaning "way to produce smoke"), a probable origin of the modern word "cannabis".[86] Cannabis was also introduced by the Aryans to the ScythiansThracians and Dacians, whoseshamans (the kapnobatai—"those who walk on smoke/clouds") burned cannabis flowers to induce a state of trance.[87]

Cannabis sativa from Vienna Dioscurides, 512 AD

Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual use and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices like eating by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BCE, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus.[88] One writer has claimed that cannabis was used as a religious sacrament by ancient Jews and early Christians[89][90] due to the similarity between the Hebrew word "qannabbos" ("cannabis") and the Hebrew phrase "qené bósem" ("aromatic cane"). It was used by Muslims in various Sufi orders as early as the Mamluk period, for example by the Qalandars.[91]

A study published in the South African Journal of Science showed that "pipes dug up from the garden of Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon contain traces of cannabis."[92]The chemical analysis was carried out after researchers hypothesized that the "noted weed" mentioned in Sonnet 76 and the "journey in my head" from Sonnet 27 could be references to cannabis and the use thereof.[93]

John Gregory Bourke described use of "mariguan", which he identifies as Cannabis indica or Indian hemp, by Mexican residents of the Rio Grande region of Texas in 1894. He described its uses for treatment of asthma, to expedite delivery, to keep away witches, and as a love-philtre. He also wrote that many Mexicans added the herb to their cigarritos or mescal, often taking a bite of sugar afterward to intensify the effect. Bourke wrote that because it was often used in a mixture with toloachi (which he inaccurately describes asDatura stramonium), mariguan was one of several plants known as "loco weed". Bourke compared mariguan to hasheesh, which he called "one of the greatest curses of the East", citing reports that users "become maniacs and are apt to commit all sorts of acts of violence and murder", causing degeneration of the body and an idiotic appearance, and mentioned laws against sale of hasheesh "in most Eastern countries".[94][95][96]

Cannabis was criminalized in various countries beginning in the early 20th century. In the United States, the first restrictions for sale of cannabis came in 1906 (in District of Columbia).[97] It was outlawed in South Africa in 1911, in Jamaica (then a British colony) in 1913, and in the United Kingdom and New Zealand in the 1920s.[98] Canada criminalized cannabis in the Opium and Drug Act of 1923, before any reports of use of the drug in Canada. In 1925 a compromise was made at an international conference in The Hague about theInternational Opium Convention that banned exportation of "Indian hemp" to countries that had prohibited its use, and requiring importing countries to issue certificates approving the importation and stating that the shipment was required "exclusively for medical or scientific purposes". It also required parties to "exercise an effective control of such a nature as to prevent the illicit international traffic in Indian hemp and especially in the resin".[99][100]

In 1937 in the United States, the Marihuana Tax Act was passed, and prohibited the production of hemp in addition to cannabis. The reasons that hemp was also included in this law are disputed. Several scholars have claimed that the Act was passed in order to destroy the hemp industry,[101][102][103] largely as an effort of businessmen Andrew Mellon,Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family.[101][103] With the invention of the decorticator, hemp became a very cheap substitute for the paper pulp that was used in the newspaper industry.[101][104] Hearst felt that this was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America, had invested heavily in the DuPont's new synthetic fiber, nylon, and considered its success to depend on its replacement of the traditional resource, hemp.[101][105][106][107][108][109][110][111] The claims that hemp could have been a successful substitute for wood pulp have been based on an incorrect government report of 1916 which concluded that hemp hurds, broken parts of the inner core of the hemp stem, were a suitable source for paper production. This has not been confirmed by later research, as hemp hurds are not reported to be a good enough substitute. Many advocates for hemp have greatly overestimated the proportion of useful cellulose in hemp hurds. In 2003, 95 % of the hemp hurds in EU were used for animal bedding, almost 5 % were used as building material.[112][113][114][115] Legal status

Main article: Legality of cannabis

See also: Prohibition of drugs and Drug liberalization

Cannabis propaganda sheet from 1935

Since the beginning of the 20th century, most countries have enacted laws against the cultivation, possession or transfer of cannabis. These laws have impacted adversely on the cannabis plant's cultivation for non-recreational purposes, but there are many regions where, under certain circumstances, handling of cannabis is legal or licensed. Many jurisdictions have lessened the penalties for possession of small quantities of cannabis, so that it is punished by confiscation and sometimes a fine, rather than imprisonment, focusing more on those who traffic the drug on the black market.

In some areas where cannabis use has been historically tolerated, some new restrictions have been put in place, such as the closing of cannabis coffee shops near the borders of the Netherlands,[116] closing of coffee shops near secondary schools in the Netherlands and crackdowns on "Pusher Street" in ChristianiaCopenhagen in 2004.[117][118]

Some jurisdictions use free voluntary treatment programs and/or mandatory treatment programs for frequent known users. Simple possession can carry long prison terms in some countries, particularly in East Asia, where the sale of cannabis may lead to a sentence of life in prison or even execution. More recently however, many political parties, non-profit organizations and causes based on the legalization of medical cannabis and/or legalizing the plant entirely (with some restrictions) have emerged.

Price

The price or street value of cannabis varies strongly by region and area. In addition, some dealers may sell potent buds at a higher price.[119]

In the United States, cannabis is overall the #4 value crop, and is #1 or #2 in many states including California, New York and Florida, averaging $3,000/lb.[120][121] It is believed to generate an estimated $36 billion market.[122] Most of the money is spent not on growing and producing but on smuggling the supply to buyers. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims in its 2008 World Drug Report that typical U.S. retail prices are $10–15 per gram (approximately $280–420 per ounce). Street prices in North America are known to range from about $150 to $400 per ounce, depending on quality.[123]

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reports that typical retail prices in Europe for cannabis varies from 2€ to 14€ per gram, with a majority of European countries reporting prices in the range 4–10€.[124] In the United Kingdom, a cannabis plant has an approximate street value of £300,[125] but retails to the end-user at about £160/oz.

Truth serum

Truth serum

Maturing female Cannabis plant

Cannabis was used as a truth serum by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a US government intelligence agency formed during World War II. In the early 1940s, it was the most effective truth drug developed at the OSS labs at St. Elizabeths Hospital; it caused a subject "to be loquacious and free in his impartation of information."[126]

In May 1943, Major George Hunter White, head of OSS counter-intelligence operations in the US, arranged a meeting with Augusto Del Gracio, an enforcer for gangster Lucky Luciano. Del Gracio was given cigarettes spiked with THC concentrate from cannabis, and subsequently talked openly about Luciano's heroin operation. On a second occasion the dosage was increased such that Del Gracio passed out for two hours.[126]

Breeding and cultivation

Main article: Cannabis cultivation

It is often claimed by growers and breeders of herbal cannabis that advances in breeding and cultivation techniques have increased the potency of cannabis since the late 1960s and early '70s, when THC was first discovered and understood. However, potent seedless cannabis such as "Thai sticks" were already available at that time. Sinsemilla (Spanish for "without seed") is the dried, seedless inflorescences of female cannabis plants. Because THC production drops off once pollination occurs, the male plants (which produce little THC themselves) are eliminated before they shed pollen to prevent pollination. Advanced cultivation techniques such as hydroponicscloninghigh-intensity artificial lighting, and the sea of green method are frequently employed as a response (in part) to prohibition enforcement efforts that make outdoor cultivation more risky. It is often cited that the average levels of THC in cannabis sold in United States rose dramatically between the 1970s and 2000, but such statements are likely skewed because of undue weight given to much more expensive and potent, but less prevalent samples.[127] The average THC level in coffee shops in the Netherlands is currently about 18–19%, but new regulations adopted by the Dutch government in 2011 will force the THC content of cannabis sold in coffee shops to be limited to 15%, stating that cannabis in excess of 15% THC will be reclassified as a hard drug. These new regulations take effect in 2012.[128][129]

In arts and literature

See also

Addiction Recovery

Cannabis plant

Cannabis legality

Cannabis use demographics

Bhang (Hindiभांग, [bʱaːŋɡ]Punjabiਭੰਗ [pə̀ŋɡ]Bengaliভাং; [bʱaŋ]) is a preparation from the leaves and flowers (buds) of the female cannabis plant, smoked or consumed as abeverage in the Indian subcontinent. Bhang is illegal in any country where cannabis is prohibited.[1] Sub-continent

Bhang has been used as a cheap intoxicant for centuries in the sub-continent. Bhang in India is distributed as a religious offering during Shiva festivals like "Mahashivratri". It has now become synonymous with the Holi festival, to the point where consuming bhang at that time is a standard practice. It is also available as Bhang golis (balls) which is just freshly ground hemp with water. Apart from this, sweetened bhang golis are also widely available. These are not considered a drug, but a traditional sleeping aid and appetizer. Bhang is also part of many ayurvedic medicinal preparation, i.e. bhang powder is available at ayurvedic dispensaries

Bhang Ki Thandai also known as Sardai is a drink popular in many parts of sub-continent which is made by mixing bhang with thandai, a cold beverage prepared with almonds,spices (mainly black pepper), milk and sugar.

History

Bhang was first used as part of the Hindu rite in India around 1000 BC and soon became an integral part of Hindu culture. The herb was devoted to Lord Shiva on Shivratri, a Hindu festival.

Sadhus and Sufis use Bhang to boost meditation and to achieve transcendental states. Bhang or cannabis is also used amongst Sufis as an aid to spiritual ecstasy.

The Nihang sect of the Sikh community are one of the consumers of bhang as a pain relaxer from battle wounds. Though its strictly prohbited to consumes for pleasure in Sikhism and is followed very loyally . It started as an ayurvedic medicine whose main use for the Nihangs was to aid in reducing pain from battle wounds, and digestive assistant calledSukhnidhan [2]

Preparation

Anywhere on the ghats, one can find large number of men engaged in the process of preparing bhang. Using mortar and pestle, the buds and leaves of cannabis are ground into a green paste. To this mixture milk, ghee and spices are added. The bhang base is now ready to be made into a heavy drink, thandai, an alternative to alcohol; this is often referred to casually, if inaccurately, as a "bhang Thandai" also "Bhang LASSI" (made of Curd ). Bhang is also mixed with ghee and sugar to make a green halva, and into peppery, chewy little balls called 'golee' (which in this context means candy or pill in Hindi).

In Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a common preparation for bhang consists of first boiling the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant for a short time. Once the plant matter has become soft, it is mixed with khas khas or white opium poppy seed. The two ingredients are pulverized with a mortar and pestle for 30-60 minutes (adding a few drops of water now and again to keep the paste moist). The paste is then mixed with water by hand and the mixture is poured through a straining cloth to remove all excess plant matter. The remaining green water is known locally as "bhang" and consumed as is. The usage of oil-rich seeds allows THC, the fat-soluble psychoactive chemical from the cannabis, to beextracted into the poppy oil so that potency can be retained in a water-based mixture.

Culture

Bhang has become an integral part of tradition and custom in the Indian subcontinent. It has become symbolic for many things as it is associated with Lord Shiva.

In some sections of rural India, people believe in the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. If taken in proper quantity, bhang is believed to cure feverdysentery and sunstroke, to clear phlegm, aide digestionappetite, cure speech imperfections and lisping, and give alertness to the body.[3] Bhang lassi is a preparation of powdered green inflorescence with curd and whey put in a village blender (a hand blending operation is carried out till the butter rises). It is regarded as tasty and greatly refreshing, with one or two large glasses having little effect. Bhang goli, on the other hand, hits after approximately two hours, sending one into a dreamlike state.

The tradition of consuming bhang during Holi is particularly common in North India where Holi itself is celebrated with a fervor unseen elsewhere. Bhang is heavily consumed inMathura, an ancient town of religious importance to the Hindus. Here the practice is believed to have been introduced by the followers of Lord Krishna and has stayed over since. They begin the preparation by Sanskrit chants and recitation of prayers to Lord Shiva. Some people from Mathura take Bhang to work up their appetite while others do it to relieve themselves of stress. But the hub of bhang use is Varanasi or Banaras, the Land of Shiva, where the bhang is prepared on its famous ghats Ancient and modern India

Sadhu offering charas to Shiva

The earliest known reports regarding the sacred status of cannabis in India come from the Atharva Veda estimated to have been written sometime around 2000 - 1400 BC,[1] which mentions cannabis as one of the "five sacred plants".[2] There are three types of cannabis used in India. The first, bhang, consists of the leaves and plant tops of the marijuana plant. It is usually consumed as an infusion in beverage form, and varies in strength according to how much cannabis is used in the preparation. The second, ganja, consisting of the leaves and the plant tops, is smoked. The third, called charas or hashish, consists of the resinous buds and/or extracted resin from the leaves of the marijuana plant. Typically, bhang is the most commonly used form of cannabis in religious festivals.

Hinduism

Cannabis or ganja is associated with worship of the Hindu deity Shiva, who is popularly believed to like the hemp plant. Bhang is offered to Shiva images, especially on Shivratrifestival. This practice is particularly witnessed at the temples of BenaresBaidynath and Tarakeswar.[3] Bhang is not only offered to Shiva, but also consumed by Shaivite yogis. Charasis smoked by some Shaivite devotees and cannabis itself is seen as a gift (prasad, or offering) to Shiva to aid in sadhana.[4] Some of the wandering ascetics in India known as sadhussmoke charas out of a clay chillum.

During the Indian festival of Holi, people consume bhang which contains cannabis flowers.[3][5] According to one description, when the amrita (elixir of life) was produced from thechurning of the ocean by the devas and the asuras, Shiva created cannabis from his own body to purify the elixir (whence, for cannabis, the epithet angaja or "body-born"). Another account suggests that the cannabis plant sprang up when a drop of the elixir dropped on the ground. Thus, cannabis is used by sages due to association with elixir and Shiva. Wise drinking of bhang, according to religious rites, is believed to cleanse sins, unite one with Shiva and avoid the miseries of hell in the after-life. In contrast, foolish drinking of bhangwithout rites is considered a sin.[6]

Buddhism

In Buddhism, the Fifth Precept is to "abstain from wines, liquors and intoxicants that cause heedlessness." Most interpretations of the Fifth Precept would therefore include all forms of cannabis among the intoxicants that a Buddhist should abstain from consuming. However, the Precepts are guidelines whose purpose is to encourage a moral lifestyle rather than being strict religious commandments, and some lay practitioners of Buddhism may choose to make use of cannabis as a natural exaltator reasonably. Cannabis and some other psychoactive plants are specifically prescribed in the Mahākāla Tantra for medicinal purposes. However, Tantra is an esoteric teaching of Hinduism and Buddhism not generally accepted by most other forms of these religions.[7]

Ancient and modern Africa

According to Alfred Dunhill (1924), Africans have had a long tradition of smoking hemp in gourd pipes, asserting that by 1884 the King of the Baluka tribe of the Congo had established a "riamba" or hemp-smoking cult in place of fetish-worship. Enormous gourd pipes were used. [8]Cannabis was used in Africa to restore appetite and relieve pain of hemorrhoids. It was also used as an antiseptic. In a number of countries, it was used to treat tetanus, hydrophobia, delirium tremens, infantile convulsions, neuralgia and other nervous disorders, cholera, menorrhagia, rheumatism, hay fever, asthma, skin diseases, and protracted labor during childbirth.[9]

In Africa, there were a number of cults and sects of hemp worship. Pogge and Wissman, during their explorations of 1881, visited the Bashilenge, living on the northern borders of the Lundu, between Sankrua and Balua. They found large plots of land around the villages used for the cultivation of hemp. Originally there were small clubs of hemp smokers, bound by ties of friendship, but these eventually led to the formation of a religious cult. The Bashilenge called themselves Bena Riamba, "the sons of hemp", and their land Lubuku, meaning friendship. They greeted each other with the expression "moio", meaning both "hemp" and "life."

Each tribesman was required to participate in the cult of Riamba and show his devotion by smoking as frequently as possible. They attributed universal magical powers to hemp, which was thought to combat all kinds of evil and they took it when they went to war and when they traveled. There were initiation rites for new members which usually took place before a war or long journey. The hemp pipe assumed a symbolic meaning for the Bashilenge somewhat analogous to the significance which the peace pipe had for American Indians. No holiday, no trade agreement, no peace treaty was transacted without it (Wissman et al. 1888). In the middle Sahara region, the Senusi sect also cultivated hemp on a large scale for use in religious ceremonies (Ibid).

Ancient China

The sinologist and historian Joseph Needham concluded "the hallucinogenic properties of hemp were common knowledge in Chinese medical and Taoist circles for two millennia or more",[10] and other scholars associated Chinese wu (shamans) with the entheogenic use of cannabis in Central Asian shamanism.[11]

The oldest texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine listed herbal uses for cannabis and noted some psychodynamic effects. The (ca. 100 CE) Chinese pharmacopeia Shennong Ben Cao Jing(Shennong's Classic of Materia Medica) described the use of mafen 麻蕡 "cannabis fruit/seeds":

To take much makes people see demons and throw themselves about like maniacs (多食令人見鬼狂走). But if one takes it over a long period of time one can communicate with the spirits, and one's body becomes light (久服通神明輕身).[12][13]

Later pharmacopia repeated this description, for instance the (ca. 1100 CE) Zhenglei bencao 證類本草 ("Classified Materia Medica"):

If taken in excess it produces hallucinations and a staggering gait. If taken over a long term, it causes one to communicate with spirits and lightens one's body.[14]

If taken in excess it produces hallucinations and a staggering gait. If taken over a long term, it causes one to communicate with spirits and lightens one's body.[14]

The (ca. 730) dietary therapy book Shiliao bencao 食療本草 ("Nutritional Materia Medica") prescribes daily consumption of cannabis in the following case: "those who wish to see demons should take it (with certain other drugs) for up to a hundred days."

Beginning around the 4th century, Taoist texts mentioned using cannabis in censers. Needham cited the (ca. 570 CE) Taoist encyclopedia Wushang Biyao 無上秘要 ("Supreme Secret Essentials") that cannabis was added into ritual incense-burners, and suggested the ancient Taoists experimented systematically with "hallucinogenic smokes".[15] The Yuanshi shangzhen zhongxian ji 元始上真眾仙記 ("Records of the Assemblies of the Perfected Immortals"), which is attributed to Ge Hong (283-343), says:

For those who begin practicing the Tao it is not necessary to go into the mountains. … Some with purifying incense and sprinkling and sweeping are also able to call down the Perfected Immortals. The followers of the Lady Wei and of Hsu are of this kind.[16]

Lady Wei Huacun 魏華存 (252-334) and Xu Mi 許謐 (303-376) founded the Taoist Shangqing School. The Shangqing scriptures were supposedly dictated to Yang Xi 楊羲 (330-386 CE) in nightly revelations from immortals, and Needham proposed Yang was "aided almost certainly by cannabis". The Mingyi bielu 名醫別錄 ("Supplementary Records of Famous Physicians"), written by the Taoist pharmacologist Tao Hongjing 陶弘景 (456-536), who also wrote the first commentaries to the Shangqing canon, says, "Hemp-seeds (麻勃) are very little used in medicine, but the magician-technicians (shujia 術家) say that if one consumes them with ginseng it will give one preternatural knowledge of events in the future."[17][18]A 6th-century CE Taoist medical work, the Wuzangjing 五臟經 ("Five Viscera Classic") says, "If you wish to command demonic apparitions to present themselves you should constantly eat the inflorescences of the hemp plant."[19]

Yangshao culture (ca. 4800 BCE) amphora with hemp cord design

Cannabis has been cultivated in China since Neolithic times, for instance, hemp cords were used to create the characteristic line designs on Yangshao culture pottery). Early Chinese classics have many references to using the plant for clothing, fiber, and food, but none to its psychotropic properties. Some researchers think Chinese associations of cannabis with "indigenous central Asian shamanistic practices" can explain this "peculiar silence".[20] The botanist Li Hui-Lin noted linguistic evidence that the "stupefying effect of the hemp plant was commonly known from extremely early times"; the word ma "cannabis; hemp" has connotations of "numbed; tingling; senseless" (e.g., mamu 麻木 "numb" and mazui 麻醉 "anesthetic; narcotic"), which "apparently derived from the properties of the fruits and leaves, which were used as infusions for medicinal purposes."[21] Li suggested shamans inNortheast Asia transmitted the medical and spiritual uses of cannabis to the ancient Chinese wu  "shaman; spirit medium; doctor".

The use of Cannabis as an hallucinogenic drug by necromancers or magicians is especially notable. It should be pointed out that in ancient China, as in most early cultures, medicine has its origin in magic. Medicine men were practicing magicians. In northeastern Asia, shamanism was widespread from Neolithic down to recent times. In ancient China shamans were known as wu. This vocation was very common down to the Han dynasty. After that it gradually diminished in importance, but the practice persisted in scattered localities and among certain peoples. In the far north, among the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and Siberia, shamanism was widespread and common until rather recent times.[22]

Joseph Needham connected myths about Ma Gu "the Hemp Damsel" with early Daoist religious usages of cannabis, pointing out that Ma Gu was goddess of Shandong's sacred Mount Tai, where cannabis "was supposed to be gathered on the seventh day of the seventh month, a day of seance banquets in the Taoist communities."[23]

Ancient Central Asia

Both early Greek history and modern archeology show that Central Asian peoples were utilizing cannabis 2,500 years ago.

The (ca. 440 BCE) Greek Histories of Herodotus record the early Scythians using cannabis steam baths.

[T]hey make a booth by fixing in the ground three sticks inclined towards one another, and stretching around them woollen felts, which they arrange so as to fit as close as possible: inside the booth a dish is placed upon the ground, into which they put a number of red-hot stones, and then add some hemp-seed. … The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed, and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy, and this vapour serves them instead of a water-bath; for they never by any chance wash their bodies with water.[24]

What Herodotus called the "hemp-seed" must have been the whole flowering tops of the plant, where the psychoactive resin is produced along with the fruit ("seeds").[25]

Several of the Tarim mummies excavated near Turpan in Xinjiang province of Northwestern China were buried with sacks of cannabis next to their heads.[26] Based on additionalgrave goods, archaeologists concluded these individuals were shamans: "The marijuana must have been buried with the dead shamans who dreamed of continuing the profession in another world."[27] A team of scientists analyzed one shamanistic tomb that contained a leather basket with well-preserved cannabis (789 grams of leaves, shoots, and fruits; AMS

AMS dated 2475 ± 30 years BP) and a wooden bowl with cannabis traces. Lacking any "suitable evidence that the ancient, indigenous people utilized Cannabis for food, oil, or fiber", they concluded "the deceased was more concerned with the intoxicant and/or medicinal value of the Cannabis remains."[28]

Ancient Europe

In ancient Germanic paganism, cannabis was associated with the Norse love goddess, Freya.[29][30] The harvesting of the plant was connected with an erotic high festival.[29] It was believed that Freya lived as a fertile force in the plant's feminine flowers and by ingesting them one became influenced by this divine force.[31] Linguistics offers further evidence of prehistoric use of cannabis by Germanic peoples: The word hemp derives from Old English hænep, from Proto-Germanic *hanapiz, from the same Scythian word that cannabisderives from.[32] The etymology of this word follows Grimm's Law by which Proto-Indo-European initial *k- becomes *h- in Germanic. The shift of *k→h indicates it was a loanword into the Germanic parent language at a time depth no later than the separation of Common Germanic from Proto-Indo-European, about 500 BC.

The Celts may have also used cannabis, as evidence of hashish traces were found in Hallstatt, birthplace of Celtic culture.[33] Also, the Dacians and the Scythians had a tradition where they would make a big fire and on top of it they would place dried cannabis plants.

Hashish is known as the real Dionysos "wine".[34]

Ancient Israel

Main article: Holy anointing oil

Sula Benet (1967) claimed that the plant kaneh bosm קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible is cannabis,[35] although most dictionaries of plants of the Bible typically identify the plant in question as either Acorus calamus or Cymbopogon citratus.[36]

Islam Main articles: Halal and Islamic dietary laws

The Quran does not forbid cannabis; however, cannabis is deemed to be khamr (an intoxicant) by many religious scholars and therefore generally believed to be haraam(sinful).[37][38] Generally in orthodox Islam, conservative scholars deem cannabis an intoxicant and therefore, according to the Hadith, it is classified as haram (as is coffee). The Hadith is the book of sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, which states: "If much intoxicates, then even a little is haram." There are dissenting voices, however, who say that the word used in the Koran itself is khamr - which means "fermented grape" - and that this classification doesn't cover use of marijuana. Liberal Muslims believe that opposition to cannabis on religious grounds in Islamic countries has in essence been based on narrow-minded dogma that seeks to regulate all private pleasure in the name of religion.

Certainly some Islamic countries are closely associated with cannabis smoking and cultivation (Afghanistan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Egypt and Morocco, for example) but its use is often for recreational purposes and largely takes place among the lower classes. In Turkey, while cannabis use is not tolerated by the police or state, there is a smoking culture and a well-known saying, helal ottur, gunah yoktur ("it's a holy weed that carries no sin"). The intoxicant use of cannabis may in fact have permeated Islamic culture because alcohol is forbidden to adherents of Islam. Andre Malraux wrote in Man's Fate: "There is always a need for intoxication: China has opium, Islam has hashish, the West has woman."

Cannabis use for explicitly spiritual purposes is most common among Sufi believers, who are the most mystical of Islam's adherents. According to one Arab legend, Haydar, the Persian monk who founded the Sufis, came across the cannabis plant in AD 1155 in the Persian mountains.

Under normal circumstances he was a reserved and quiet man, but when he returned to his monastery after eating some cannabis leaves, his disciples were amazed at how talkative and animated he seemed. They cajoled Haydar into telling them what he had done to make him so full of spirit, and then they went out into the mountains and tried the cannabis for themselves. The Sufis' religion gives great importance to direct communion between God and man, and it is believed that cannabis is used as a sacrament - an aid to enlightenment.

Rastafari

Members of the Rastafari movement use cannabis as a part of their worshiping of their King, Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, and as an aid to meditation. The movement was founded inJamaica in the 1930s and while it is not known when Rastafarians first made cannabis into something sacred it is clear that by the late 1940s Rastafari was associated with cannabis smoking at the Pinnacle community of Leonard Howell. Rastafari see cannabis as a sacramental and deeply beneficial plant that is the Tree of Life mentioned in the BibleBob Marley, amongst many others, have quoted Revelation: 22:2, "... the herb is the healing of the nations." The use of cannabis, and particularly of long-stemmed water-pipes called chalices, is an integral part of what Rastafari call "reasoning sessions" where members join together to discuss life according to the Rasta perspective. They see the use of cannabis as bringing them closer to God, whom they call (Jah), allowing the user to penetrate the truth of things much more clearly, as if the wool had been pulled from one's eyes. Thus Rastafari smoke cannabis together in order to discuss the truth with each other, reasoning it all out little by little through many sessions. While it is not necessary to use cannabis to be a Rastafari, some feel that they use it regularly as a part of their faith, and pipes of cannabis are always dedicated to His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I before being smoked. According to the "anti-cult" group Watchman Fellowship "The herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness"[39] and is believed to burn the corruption out of the human heart. Rubbing the ashes from smoked cannabis is also considered a healthy practice.[40]

Other modern religious movements

Elders of the modern religious movement known as the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church consider cannabis to be the eucharist,[41] claiming it as an oral tradition from Ethiopia dating back to the time of Christ.[42]

Like the Rastafari, some modern Christian sects have asserted that cannabis is the Tree of Life.[43] Contra, some have asserted that it is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the forbidden fruit which the Serpent persuaded Eve, and Eve her husband Adam, to eat, which caused the Fall of Man.[44][need quotation to verify]

Other organized religions founded in the past century that treat cannabis as a sacrament are the Santo Daime church, the THC Ministry, the Way of Infinite HarmonyCantheism, the Cannabis Assembly, Temple 420, Green Faith Ministries, the Church of Cognizance,[45] the Church of the Universe,[46][47] The Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu,[48] The Free Life Ministry Church of Canthe[49]and the federally tax-exempt inFormer Ministry Collective of Palms Springs, CA.[50][51][52] The Temple of the True Inner Light believes that Marijuana is one of the parts of God's Body along with all the other Psychedelics such as LSD, DMT, Peyote, etc. [53]

Modern spiritual figures like Ram Dass[54] and Eli Wyld openly acknowledge that the use of cannabis has allowed them to gain a more spiritual perspective and use the herb frequently for both its medicinal and mind-altering properties.

In Mexico, followers of the growing cult of Santa Muerte regularly use marijuana smoke in purification ceremonies, with marijuana often taking the place of incense used in mainstream Catholic rituals.[55]

Footnotes

^ a: Weed,[130] pot,[131] and herb[132] are among the many other nicknames for marijuana or cannabis as a drug.[133]
^ b: Sources for this section and more information can be found in the Medical cannabis article

Citations

  1. ·  ^ Lyster H. Dewey and Jason L. Merrill Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material USDA Bulletin No. 404, Washington, DC, October 14, 1916, p. 25. "Hayo MG van der Werf: Hemp facts and hemp fiction". Hempfood.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  2. ^ "Dr. Ivan BÛcsa, GATE Agricultural Research Institute, Kompolt — Hungary, Book Review Re-discovery of the Crop Plant Cannabis Marihuana Hemp (Die Wiederentdeckung der Nutzplanze Cannabis Marihuana Hanf)". Hempfood.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  3. ^ Michael Karus: European Hemp Industry 2002 Cultivation, Processing and Product Lines. Journal of Industrial Hemp Volume 9 Issue 2 2004, Taylor & Francis, London.
  4. ^ "Many Dutch coffee shops close as liberal policies change, Exaptica". Expatica.com. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  5. ^ EMCDDA Cannabis reader: Global issues and local experiences, Perspectives on Cannabis controversies, treatment and regulation in Europe, 2008, p. 157.
  6. ^ "43 Amsterdam coffee shops to close door", Radio Netherlands, Friday 21 November 2008[dead link]
  7. ^ "UNODC.org" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  8. ^ "Report on U.S. Domestic Marijuana Production". NORML. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  9. ^ "Marijuana Crop Reports". NORML. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  10. ^ "Marijuana Called Top U.S. Cash Crop". 2008 ABCNews Internet Ventures.
  11. ^ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2008) (PDF). World drug report. United Nations Publications. p. 264. ISBN 978-92-1-148229-4.
  12. ^ European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2008) (PDF). Annual report: the state of the drugs problem in Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. p. 38. ISBN 978-92-9168-324-6.
  13. ^ Dearne Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) recovers cannabis with a street value of approximately £9,000
  14. a b Cockburn, Alexander; Jeffrey St. Clair (1998). Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press. Verso. pp. 117–118. ISBN 1-85984-139-2.
  15. ^ Daniel Forbes (November 19, 2002). "The Myth of Potent Pot". Slate.com.
  16. ^ "World Drug Report 2006". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Ch. 2.3.
  17. ^ "Dutch to reclassify high-strength cannabis". BBC News. 2011-10-07.
  18. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weed
  19. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pot
  20. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herb
  21. ^ "Marijuana Dictionary".

References

  1. ^ Courtwright, David (2001). Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World. Harvard Univ. Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-674-00458-2.
  2. ^ Touw, Mia. "The religious and medicinal uses of Cannabis in China, India and Tibet". J Psychoactive Drugs 13 (1).
  3. a b Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission. Simla, India: Government Central Printing House. 1894. http://www.druglibrary.net/schaffer/Library/studies/inhemp/4chapt9.htm. Chapter IX: Social and Religious Customs.
  4. ^ "Starting The Day With The Cup That Kicks"Hindustan TimesHT Media Ltd. 2007-11-04.
  5. ^ "The History of the Intoxicant Use of Marijuana". National Commission of Marijuana and Drug Abuse.
  6. ^ "Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report - Appendix".
  7. ^ Stablein WG. The Mahākālatantra: A Theory of Ritual Blessings and Tantric Medicine. Doctoral Dissertation, Columbia University. 1976. p 21-2,80,255-6,36,286,5.
  8. ^ [Dunhill, Alfred | "The Pipe Book" | London | A & C Black, 1924]
  9. ^ "History of Marihuana Use: Medical and Intoxicant". Druglibrary.org. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  10. ^ Joseph Needham and Gwei-djen Lu (1974). Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Part 2, Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality]. Cambridge University Press, p. 152
  11. ^ "Before the Christian Era" from Zuardi AW (June 2006). "History of cannabis as a medicine: a review". Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. vol.28 no.2 São Paulo. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  12. ^ Needham and Lu (1974), p. 150.
  13. ^ Compare "if taken in excess will produce visions of devils … over a long term, it makes one communicate with spirits and lightens one's body", Li Hui-Lin (1978). "Hallucinogenic plants in Chinese herbals". J Psychedelic Drugs 10 (1): 17–26.
  14. ^ Li Hui-Lin (1973). "The Origin and Use of Cannabis in Eastern Asia: Linguistic-Cultural Implications", Economic Botany 28.3:293-301, p. 296.
  15. ^ Needham and Lu (1974), p. 150. From ancient Chinese fumigation techniques with "toxic smokes" for pests and "holy smokes" for demons, "what started as a 'smoking out' of undesirable things, changed now to a 'smoking in' of heavenly things into oneself."
  16. ^ Needham and Lu (1974), p. 152.
  17. ^ Needham and Lu (1974), p. 151.
  18. ^ Rudgley, Richard (1998). The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances. Little, Brown and Company.
  19. ^ Joseph Needham, Ho Ping-Yu, and Lu Gwei-djen (1980). Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Part 4, Spagyrical Discovery and Invention. Cambridge University Press, p. 213.
  20. ^ Touw, Mia (1981). "The Religious and Medicinal Uses of Cannabis in China, India, and Tibet", Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 13.1:23-34, p 23.
  21. ^ Li (1973), p. 297-298.
  22. ^ Li, Hui-Lin. 1974. "An Archaeological and Historical Account of Cannabis in China", Economic Botany 28.4:437-448, p. 446.
  23. ^ Needham, Joseph. 1974. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Part 2, Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality. Cambridge University Press, p. 152
  24. ^ Herodotus. Histories. 4.75
  25. ^ Booth, Martin (2005). Cannabis: A History. Picador. p. 29. "As the seeds of cannabis contain no psycho-active chemicals, it is believed the Scythians were actually casting cannabis flowers onto the stones."
  26. ^ "Lab work to identify 2,800-year-old mummy of shaman". People's Daily Online. 2006.
  27. ^ "Perforated skulls provide evidence of craniotomy in ancient China". China Economic Net. 2007-01-26.
  28. ^ Hong-En Jiang et al. (2006). "A new insight into Cannabis sativa (Cannabaceae) utilization from 2500-year-old Yanghai tombs, Xinjiang, China". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 108 (3): 414–422. DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2006.05.034PMID 16879937.
  29. a b Pilcher, Tim (2005). Spliffs 3: The Last Word in Cannabis Culture?. Collins & Brown Publishers. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-84340-310-4.
  30. ^ Vindheim, Jan Bojer. "The History of Hemp in Norway". The Journal of Industrial Hemp. International Hemp Association.
  31. ^ Rätsch, Christian (2003–2004). The Sacred Plants of our Ancestors. 2ISBN 0-9720292-1-4.
  32. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
  33. ^ Creighton, John (2000). Coins and Power in Late Iron Age Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-521-77207-5.
  34. ^ http://www.circ-asso.net/index.php?action=art&id=121
  35. ^ Rowan Robinson, The Great Book of Hemp, Health & Fitness, 1995, pag. 89
  36. ^ Lytton J. Musselman Figs, dates, laurel, and myrrh: plants of the Bible and the Quran p73
  37. ^ Abdul-Rahman, Muhammad Saed (2003). Islam: Questions and Answers - Pedagogy Education and Upbringing. MSA Publication Limited. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-86179-296-9.
  38. ^ Pakistan Narcotics Control Board, Colombo Plan Bureau (1975). First National Workshop on Prevention and Control of Drug Abuse in Pakistan 25–30 August 1975. Rawalpindi: Workshop Report. p. 54.
  39. ^ Branch, Rick (2000), "Rastafarianism", Profiles (Watchman Fellowship ministry)
  40. ^ Owens, Joseph (1974). Dread, The Rastafarians of Jamaica. ISBN 0-435-98650-3.
  41. ^ "Marijuana and the Bible"Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church.
  42. ^ "Erowid Cannabis Vault : Spiritual Use #2".
  43. ^ "Abridged Theological Discussion".
  44. ^ "Abridged Theological Discussion".
  45. ^ Innes, Stephanie (2008-09-05). "Pot-Deifying Duo Guilty, Confident They'll Avoid Prison"Arizona Daily StarLee Enterprises.
  46. ^ Jackson, Hayes (2008). "Appeal Date Set For Pot Priests"The Hamilton SpectatorTorstar.
  47. ^ "Church of the Universe"Church of the Universe.
  48. ^ "The Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu"The Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu.
  49. ^ "The Free Life Ministry Church of Canthe"The Free Life Ministry Church of Canthe.
  50. ^ "Rev. Dennis Erlich's Marijuana Collective for cult victims.".
  51. ^ "Rev. Dennis Erlich's inFormer Ministry Collective IRS 990-N registration form.".
  52. ^ "Rev. Dennis Erlich's inFormer Ministry Collective in trade magazine.".
  53. ^ "Temple of the True Inner Light".
  54. ^ "Ram Dass: Longtime Spiritual Leader, Opponent of the 'War on Drugs'". 2004-03-08.
  55. ^ "Only on 9: The Dark Religion of the Santa Muerte | KTSM News Channel 9". Ktsm.com. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2011-04-20.

Further reading

Solowij, Nadia (1998). Cannabis and cognitive functioning. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-59114-7
Mean Physical harm




Data

Drug

Mean Physical harm

Acute harm

Chronic harm

Intravenous harm

Mean Dependence

Pleasure

Psychological

Physical

Mean Social harm

Intoxication

Social harm

Health-care costs

Heroin

2.78

2.8

2.5

3.0

3.00

3.0

3.0

3.0

2.54

1.6

3.0

3.0

Cocaine

2.33

2.0

2.0

3.0

2.39

3.0

2.8

1.3

2.17

1.8

2.5

2.3

Barbiturates

2.23

2.3

1.9

2.5

2.01

2.0

2.2

1.8

2.00

2.4

1.9

1.7

Street methadone

1.86

2.5

1.7

1.4

2.08

1.8

2.3

2.3

1.87

1.6

1.9

2.0

Alcohol

1.40

1.9

2.4

NA

1.93

2.3

1.9

1.6

2.21

2.2

2.4

2.1

Ketamine

2.00

2.1

1.7

2.1

1.54

1.9

1.7

1.0

1.69

2.0

1.5

1.5

Benzodiazepines

1.63

1.5

1.7

1.8

1.83

1.7

2.1

1.8

1.65

2.0

1.5

1.5

Amphetamine

1.81

1.3

1.8

2.4

1.67

2.0

1.9

1.1

1.50

1.4

1.5

1.6

Tobacco

1.24

0.9

2.9

0

2.21

2.3

2.6

1.8

1.42

0.8

1.1

2.4

Buprenorphine

1.60

1.2

1.3

2.3

1.64

2.0

1.5

1.5

1.49

1.6

1.5

1.4

Cannabis                           

0.99                    

0.9                 

2.1                   

0

1.51

1.9

1.7

0.8

1.50

1.7

1.3

1.5

Solvents

1.28

2.1

1.7

0

1.01

1.7

1.2

0.1

1.52

1.9

1.5

1.2

4-MTA

1.44

2.2

2.1

0

1.30

1.0

1.7

0.8

1.06

1.2

1.0

1.0

LSD

1.13

1.7

1.4

0.3

1.23

2.2

1.1

0.3

1.32

1.6

1.3

1.1

Methylphenidate    

1.32

1.2

1.3

1.6

1.25

1.4

1.3

1.0

0.97

1.1

0.8

1.1

Anabolic steroids

1.45

0.8

2.0

1.7

0.88

1.1

0.8

0.8

1.13

1.3

0.8

1.3

GHB

0.86

1.4

1.2

0

1.19

1.4

1.1

1.1

1.30

1.4

1.3

1.2

Ecstasy

1.05

1.6

1.6

0

1.13

1.5

1.2

0.7

1.09

1.2

1.0

1.1

Alkyl nitrites

0.93

1.6

0.9

0.3

0.87

1.6

0.7

0.3

0.97

0.8

0.7

1.4

Khat

0.50

0.3

1.2

0

1.04

1.6

1.2

0.3

0.85

0.7

1.1

0.8