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Why is Weed Used For Spiritual Purposes?

cannabis weed and spirituality

We see a lot of references to cannabis in religious context. Why is that? What has cannabis got to do with spirituality? Read on to find out more.

Cannabis is often thought of as a medicinal and recreational substance. However, did you know that cannabis has also been used for spiritual purposes for a long time? Since several thousand years ago, cannabis has been a critical component of rituals and ceremonies across the globe. Society from ancient Chinese Taoists to present-day Rastafarians has recognized its spiritual characteristics.

This article aims to explore the spiritual history of cannabis and its religious applications in the modern world.

A Spiritual Herb: Cannabis

There is no doubt that marijuana’s intoxicating compound, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the many spiritual uses of the plant. In addition to causing relaxation, euphoria, and a sense of general well-being, this chemical has several physiological and psychological effects.

Regular cannabis use is associated with spiritual enlightenment, according to some people.

Numerous civilizations have used these properties to aid rituals, ceremonies, and meditation since the third millennium BC. Many of us who are spiritually aware have benefited from these effects to this very day. Some believe that regular cannabis consumption allows one to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Ancient Chinese Use of Cannabis

In ancient China, marijuana was considered a sacred herb. Farmers in an area now known as Xinjiang in western China discovered the mummified remains of a man around 20 years ago.

In addition to being well dressed, the man appeared to have a high social status, and according to the farmers, a harp and archery equipment was also found with his body. There was also a large amount of marijuana in his possession – 789 grams, to be exact! Historians believe that he must have been a shaman because he was buried with these items.

The remains were dated to 2700 years old by radiocarbon dating. Plant matter has nevertheless been preserved exceptionally well. Consequently, scientists were able to definitively identify it as cannabis and confirm its presence of THC. The herb might have been used for divination or other shamanic rituals in this case because of its intoxicating powers.

This man was of Caucasian ethnicity, though his remains were discovered in China. Neither is it known who this man is nor what brought him there. Somewhat likely, he is a member of the Gushi tribe, an Indo-European nomadic tribe.

Spiritual Consumers Are On The Rise

Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness are being combined with cannabis practices nearly everywhere globally. Among the first churches of cannabis are the International Church of Cannabis in Colorado and the First Church of Cannabis in Indiana. Cannabis churches in Florida, Rhode Island, California, and Hawai’i: First Cannabis Church of Florida and the Healing Church of Rhode Island. In addition, many specialize in creeds that emphasize love, unity, toleration, equality, and kindness. In addition to these looser affiliations, cannabis-based religions and churches have also grown, including Cannamaste.

Through connection with oneself, others, and the Earth, these cannabis-based spiritual practices and communities honour the plant for providing a path to the divine. Cannabis is revered as a sacred flower enhancing the best aspects of oneself, finding a creative voice, and enriching the community, for example, at the aesthetically stunning International Church of Cannabis in Colorado.

What makes this new generation of spiritual cannabis consumers different from those who smoke recreationally and claim enlightenment as a by-product? The new wave treats plants as sacraments or refers to them as teachers with numinous messages to impart. You should do smoke and consume cannabis with intention. Cannabis consumption is sometimes accompanied by a ceremony or ritual, which imbues the plant with divine energy.

Besides its feel-good, curative, and palliative properties, hemp spirituality advocates a more holistic understanding of the plant. According to this philosophy, the commercialization of cannabis has been curtailed in recent years in an attempt to reclaim its roots. It is not uncommon for cannabis to be mentioned alongside market shares and industries since the Green Rush. Among these advocates of a more spiritual outlook is Swami Chaitanya, who has been cultivating Swami Select for more than a decade in the Emerald Triangle.

A mantra, a prayer, or a simple statement acknowledges the presence of divinity within the plant before a joint is lit, said Chaitanya. You can also use it in conjunction with the idea that enlists the help of the talisman in healing or creative endeavours.

The Power of Cannabis Rituals

Observing rituals and ceremonies can sometimes seem like a throwback to old-school religion or some irrational construct. Despite this, contemporary society is still primarily dominated by traditions: it’s a universal part of humanity. The rationality of rituals is profound because they are often highly effective in guiding an intention, increasing self-control, reducing uncertainty, or decreasing anxiety. In addition, rituals enhance social bonding. Nikki Lastreto, for example, and Chaitanya, his partner, both align themselves with Cannamaste.

As part of a religious rite, we occasionally gather to use cannabis exclusively as a sacrament. There is a creed and a defined sequence for the rituals, said Chaitanya. Each individual contributes a flower to the communal joint. Cannamaste! is noted with the right hand, the left hand covering the heart, and the recipient is always looked in the eye. Chaitanya believes ritual can enhance even the most direct interactions with plants, making them more meaningful.

 

Cannabis preparation involves multiple senses:

  • The smell of terpenes
  • The oily, waxy texture of the buds on the fingers
  • The meditative act of rolling a cigar

 

As a final note, smoking the joint is an act of exploration, a conscious act.

“Paying attention to its smoke, discussing its flavors and cultivar, acknowledging bodily sensations, heightened acuity, and the changes in one’s attitude,” said Chaitanya.

Chaitanya and Lastreto cultivate cannabis with spiritual intent. “We add a drop of holy water from the Ganges River in India to each container when we crack the seeds in water during the proper moon cycle during the Spring,” says Chaitanya. Chanting the ganja mantra over the seeds will facilitate physical and spiritual healing by drawing inspiration from the plant’s power.

Cannabis as a Teacher

It’s not new to think of sacred plants as teachers. However, there is a revival or manifestation of this notion among cannabis proponents. According to Chaitanya, cannabis teaches by challenging one to think outside the box. The regenerative agriculture, organic living soil cultivation, community organizing, and political action she teaches are all skills she has taught me. “She has shown me that joy and laughter lead to compassion and understanding by changing my consciousness as an ordinary psychedelic.”

Ganjasana Yoga founder Rachel Carlevale sees cannabis as a teacher. The purpose of Carlevale’s yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practices is to connect participants with the wisdom of cannabis. As mentioned, she recommends setting intentions before using the plant, consuming it mindfully, and quieting the mind to receive the teachings.

Final Words

Though it is unlikely that most cannabis consumers will begin to think of cannabis as a teacher/student relationship, it is undoubtedly true that what we put into our bodies impacts our minds and consciousness. Using the plant therapeutically may enhance the benefits we derive from it, particularly if we smoke or consume it with intention.

When we pass a joint around in a social setting, we can also become aware of deeper meanings when we lean toward supporting sustainably grown cannabis. We will be at least more enlightened. If you want to know more about cannabis, feel free to contact us, and we would be happy to assist you.

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