Cannabis, Friend Or Foe

Photo Credit: Ashta-Ashram

Historically the use of cannabis amongst many cultures was acceptable.  From the Yangshao culture in China 4800 years ago, to Korea and spreading across Central Asia.

Many centuries-old tombs when excavated have been found to contain Cannabis. Most interestingly was the case of a Chinese Shaman. The tomb being 2800 years old, held an estimated 800 grams of cannabis. The use being for medicine in the afterlife…..

India currently still values cannabis for spiritual evolution and medicinal health.

The popular Hindu God, Shiva is known in parts of India as “Shiva, Lord of Bhang.” Bhang being cannabis.

Cannabis was legal in India up until 1985, and although illegal now due to pressures from other countries, it can be consumed or smoked on Maha Shivaratri.

In “The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,” this famous Guru’s disciple writes with honesty Sri Ramakrishna’s use of Hemp (Cannabis). Many yogis use Cannabis for spiritual upliftment and maintaining health.

In the 1890’s during the British occupation of India, Britain was concerned about the use of Cannabis and commissioned a study lead by Sir William Mackworth Young.  His findings:

“The moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all… It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The facts combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs.”

In Ancient times, we can safely ascertain that Cannabis was a highly respected plant.  It is known to be one of the five sacred plants.

In 2010, Dr. David Nutt conducted a study in which he ranked twenty drugs by their “harm to self or others.” Alcohol ranked the most harmful. Cannabis ranked low with tobacco ranking above it.  Interestingly, psilocybin was the lowest.

Even with positive research such as Dr. Nutts’ the centuries of dispute around cannabis remain.

The argument however, should no longer be whether cannabis is good or bad, but factually should address the fears that reside amongst those who do not understand the need for it.

Any fear around cannabis is based on an individual’s belief.  Cannabis is not the issue but “the fear of human expression by fellow humans” is more the issue.

Everyone has valid beliefs and concerns. The pendulum swings back and forth amongst lawmakers, politicians, neighbors and friends.  In the midst of this fight are humans whose mental suffering can be alleviated if taught how to use cannabis as a means to uplift themselves rather than for social benefit.

My own experience, which I have written about, details my personal suffering with Western medicine such as antidepressants followed by my final relief and freedom with Eastern Wisdom using cannabis and psilocybin.

Many medical professionals believe that some people are predisposed to happiness and some are predisposed to sadness.  This predisposition is determined by your childhood upbringing and environment.  It is essentially the way you view the world.

If people who are predisposed to sadness seek a means to overcome it, then who has the right to stop them?  You can never understand a man’s suffering until you have experienced in totality his world as he sees it.

My own experience with cannabis for mental health proved powerful and freeing.  The ‘bad’ trips some speak of are not bad at all. My ‘bad’ trip was in fact my own deep-seated memories which lay hidden from me and cannabis revealed.  There is no doubting the higher more intuitive guidance that prevails and the clarity which descends.

This type of experience cannot be attained through social use of cannabis, but only through introspective meditation and a daily, dedicated, disciplined practice of yoga.  This requires a level of self-honesty that is inconceivable to most.  It is a self-honesty that births trust, humbleness and surrender.

The intuitive wisdom that arises from within the silence of meditation evolves you and ultimately moves you away from cannabis use.  My experience is, if you find yourself wanting more cannabis then this is a sign of ‘imagination disease.’  The ancient Vedic texts talks about this.  Chasing after ego visions.

Cannabis used socially reaps little personal growth.  Cannabis used spiritually as a means of learning about yourself returns you to an authenticity that reveals an inner freedom that can be fearful at first but ultimately freeing.

As an evolved race, there are certain things we know:

• Anything taken in excess is harmful.

• Everything in life should be in balance.

• People seeking happiness from an external source are sad internally.

​What we don’t know is the depth of sorrow that fills another’s soul, nor the agony which keeps one awake at night.  I have walked this road and I can honestly say, our fellow humans need our support not our judgments and prejudices.

A need to babysit society is a need to make things comfortable for ‘yourself.’  Observe, is it not when things go against your beliefs that you oppose them?  Practice acceptance and cultivate understanding.

We must allow others to make choices that are supportive to them not our beliefs.