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Holy Anointing Oil Recipe CBD | Is Cannabis or Calamus?


Does the holy anointing oil in the bible contain cannabis or weed? Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, two hundred and fifty, and of aromatic cane two hundred and fifty. (Exodus 30:23, RSV)

This scripture lists the ingredients in the “holy anointing oil” that was used by the priests to anoint the tabernacle and the priesthood. A lot of people have left comments in the comments section of my How to Make The Holy Anointing Oil video (check out that link) stating that the “aromatic cane” was not calamus, but was mistranslated and is “cannabis, also known as marijuana or hemp.” So, let’s look at the Hebrew phrase קנה בשם (which is qaneh bosem, kaneh bosem). In the Revised Standard Version this is translated as “aromatic cane” and in the KJV it says Calamus. So, which is it? There is quite a difference in these two oils and practically speaking, there is just cause for thinking it could be one over another.

The Hebrew word קנה (k’neh, is Strong’s 7070) literally means, according to Strong’s and Brown-Driver-Briggs, “reed” or “stalk.” This noun is derived from the root קנה (Strong’s 7069) meaning “to acquire, purchase or buy.” As a verb is derived from the parent root קן (qen, which is Strong’s 7064, which means “nest.” So, when you put this all together according to Jeff Benner, it is regarding a bird’s nest, which is made by acquiring “reeds.”

The Hebrew word בשם (bosem, is Strong’s #1314) and means, spice or “balsam” (an aromatic resinous substance). This noun is derived from the root word בשם (Semitic root) meaning “to be fragrant.”

So, the Hebrew phrase qaneh bosem is similar to the term cannabis which and for that reason many people believe this is the actual plant that was used in the holy anointing oil. One of the things to consider is in Exodus 30:23 is the word “cinnamon,” is not a translation of the Hebrew, but a transliteration. The Hebrew word is קנמון (qinamon, Strong’s #7076), which is the origin of the Greek word kinnamonon, the Latin word cinnamomum and the English word cinnamon. So, possibly since the Hebrew word qinamon is “cinnamon;” maybe kaneh bosem is the origin of the word “cannabis.”

Both calamus and cannabis as well as hemp were indigenous to the Middle East and was used for products in Solomon’s temple, medicine, and clothing for thousands of years in the Middle East. According to historical records, the Indo-Iranian people introduced Cannabis (qunubu in their language) to the Assyrians, and other people. The plant was also used by the Greeks and the historian Herodotus mentions it. So, no doubt, the Hebrew people were familiar with this plant.

In the 1960s, archeologists discovered an ancient shrine, dating to the 6th Century B.C., which was located about 30 miles west of the Dead Sea. They found residue on the altar that showed that animal fat, dung, and frankincense were burnt on the altar, but analyses of dark material on the altar proved inconclusive. In 2020, scientists using modern laboratory devices were able to analyze the dark material, and is was found to be Cannabis, with enough THC content to induce an altered state of consciousness by inhaling in its fumes.

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