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Did the Ancient Judahites Smoke Marijuana?

Maybe the Ancient Tribes of Israel Only Burned Cannabis in Ceremonial Fires

cannabis use by ancient religious rite
Figure 2 Frontal view of the cella of the shrine at Arad, as rebuilt in the Israel Museum from the original archaeological finds. The inserts show a top−down view of the altars: on the left, the larger altar; on the right, the smaller altar. Note the visible black residue (Collection of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Photo © The Israel Museum, by Laura Lachman. Scale bar stands for 20 cm [1:7])

A recent paper published in the Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University suggests that the a shrine in ancient Israel may have burned cannabis as a type of incense in religious rituals.

Figure 1 The Holy of Holies during excavation. The two lying altars are in their original position on the second stair (at the cemter of the photograph) facing north (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, S.J. Schweig Collection, B96.0143 [p1666]).


“Two limestone monoliths, interpreted as altars, were found in the Judahite shrine at Tel Arad. Unidentified dark material preserved on their upper surfaces was submitted for organic residue analysis at two unrelated laboratories that used similar established extraction methods. On the smaller altar, residues of cannabinoids such as Δ9-teterahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) were detected, along with an assortment of terpenes and terpenoids, suggesting that cannabis inflorescences had been burnt on it. Organic residues attributed to animal dung were also found, suggesting that the cannabis resin had been mixed with dung to enable mild heating. The larger altar contained an assemblage of indicative triterpenes such as boswellic acid and norursatriene, which derives from frankincense. The additional presence of animal fat―in related compounds such as testosterone, androstene and cholesterol―suggests that resin was mixed with it to facilitate evaporation. These well-preserved residues shed new light on the use of 8th century Arad altars and on incense offerings in Judah during the Iron Age.”

Monastic Life

The use of cannabis can greatly reduce the tediousness of the religious life. Perhaps if the ancient tribes of Israel had of actually smoked marijuana instead of only burning it, they maybe would have obtained a better state of euphoria from the psychotropic medicinal herb that we know today as medical marijuana.

By Dean McAdams

Born a poor peckerwood in a Tujunga holler, Dean practiced secrets of the ancient & modern masters to end up liberated in the coastal paradise of West L.A.