Article

Tantric Cannabis Use in India

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Abstract

The oldest religion on earth for which we have the complete texts, that of the Vedas with texts composed in North India in the 2nd millenium B.C., was based on ritual ingestion of a psychotropic drug, a plant hallucinogen made into a sacred beverage called Soma, the 'nectar of immortality' ('amrita'). Although the Vedas do not specifically identify Soma, the landmark study by Wasson and O'Flaherty ('Divine mushroom of immortality,' 1971) has argued that it was probably 'Amanita muscaria', the fly agaric mushroom. The mounting evidence that Soma was hallucinogenic is of great importance, according to the author (curator of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library, San Francisco), for it means that the fountainhead from which sprang the Indo-European religions may have had as an essential element the ritual use of drugs, which in turn must alter our concept of the origins of the human religious spirit, particularly in India. Tantric Cannabis use in India arose in about the 7th century A.D. in an explosive mingling of the doctrines and practices of Shaivite Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. The most important Hindu Tantric text available in English, the 'Mahanirvana ('greatest liberation') Tantra ('that which is woven together'), was composed about the 11th century A.D. There are 3 strands of Indian tradition, derived from the Vedic Soma cult, interwoven in the Tantras. The 1st is the magical or ceremonial use of marijuana, which can be traced back to the Atharva and is almost as old as the use of Soma. While Soma was the official sacrament, 'bhang' (Cannabis) was a special plant of the Atharvan magicians and shamans. As in so many other shamanistic traditions of ancient Asia, the earliest use of cannabis in India was both medical and religious. As time wore on, bhang became a mainstay of folk medicine, first prescribed by Hindu physicians as an antiphlegmatic agent and used by Buddhist monks as a remedy for rheumatism. Thereafter, it appears regularly in medical and religious texts. A 2nd strand of Hindu tradition is the concept of poison-drinking as a divine act, whose origins go back to the late Vedic period when the Aryan migrations deeper into the Indo-Gangetic plains cut them off from their supply of Soma in the mountains. In the search for substitute sacred intoxicants, some plants were called 'poison' because of their powerful effects; these became identified in the Tantric rituals, with the use of 'poisonous', dangerous, or forbidden elements in the pursuit of salvation or enlightenment. The 3rd strand of Indian tradition is much more familiar, the practice of yoga. What distinguishes Tantric practice is the profound emphasis on experimenting with physical and mental exercises to produce altered states of consciousness, 'experimenting with one's own mind'. Regardless of the preachings of contemporary orthodox swamis who urge their followers not to use drugs, the tradition of drug yoga is an ancient and honorable one in India, developed to its fullest extent in Tantric practice. Sex yoga developed concurrently with drug yoga in the late Vedic period. The Tantras transform Hindu sexual practices into a means of meditational yoga. Marijuans fits into sex yoga as well, for in Hindu folk medicine it is the aphrodisiac par excellence. Tantric practice brings together these 3 elements-- the ceremonial use of marijuana; the conscious employment of 'poisonous' or dangerous substances; and the practices of drug and sex yoga-- into a fully developed system for achieving 'mahanirvana'. A detailed description of the advanced Tantric rite is given. The marijuana drink ('vijaya', the victory drink) is sometimes only a little round green ball of moistened bhang in milk or water, or more often a delicious marijuana milkshake flavored with almonds, pepper, cardamon, poppy seeds, and other spices. The time that elapses between the drinking of the 'vijaya' in the first half of the rite and the climax of the ceremony in the second half is about 1 1/2 hrs, 'just long enough to get really 'high' on the drug'. From the moment of first awakening, the initiate's every action is intentionally made sacred and intensified. As he starts to feel higher and higher, going through carefully selected rituals for consecrating the 5 M's, the 'vijaya' functions as a sense-heightener, a euphoric booster of awareness. In this heightening of feelings and awareness, rather than as a mere disinhibiting agent, 'vijaya' is essential to the ceremony. Large oral doses of marijuana are truly hallucinogenic. Suggestibility is increased, and time and space become distorted. In such conditions the marijuans high augments the practice of yoga and vice versa. It seems an ideal way to attain a sense of one's own divinity through euphoric experimentation with the powers of one's mind. The role of cannabis in Tantric ceremony is thus to enable the worshippers to feel the divinity within and without themselves.

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... Besides linen-like cloth, hemp used in paper-making has been found in the grave of Emperor Wu (104-87 B.C.) of the Han Dynasty, which antedates by almost two centuries the supposed invention of paper (also largely made of hemp) by Ts'ai Lun (Li & Lin 1974). The Tibetans were sufficiently impressed by the durability and quality of hemp paper that their monastic histories were usually written on it (Aldrich 1977). The locus of first domestication, or at least first use, of cannabis is unclear. ...
... It was there that cannabis came into its own both as a narcotic and a medicine, largely because its association with religion gave it all the virtues conferred by holiness. The Atbarva Veda mentions it as one of the five sacred plants (Aldrich 1977) and says that a guardian angel resides in its leaves (Chopra & Chopra 1957). During certain rites hemp boughs were to be thrown into a fire "to overcome enemies" and evil forces (Aldrich 1977). ...
... The Atbarva Veda mentions it as one of the five sacred plants (Aldrich 1977) and says that a guardian angel resides in its leaves (Chopra & Chopra 1957). During certain rites hemp boughs were to be thrown into a fire "to overcome enemies" and evil forces (Aldrich 1977). The Vedas also refer to it as "source of happiness," "joy-giver" and "liberator" (Sharma 1977a; Bouquet 1950). ...
... He is regarded as the primal shaman who has the perfect understanding of all shamanistic arts and taught them to mankind (Ratsch, 2005). He is also pictured as the householder, domestically involved with his wife, Parvati, and his sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya (Smith, 2009 (Aldrich, 1977;Thomas, 2012). ...
... This story also recounts how demons attempted to seize the cannabis plant for their own use. The gods prevented this and so cannabis is also called vijia, meaning victory (Aldrich, 1977). The Vedas call cannabis a source of happiness, joy-giver, liberator that was compassionately given to humans to help us attain delight and lose fear (Abel, 1980;Sharma, 1977). ...
... The fat in the milk makes a good medium in which the psychoactive substances in cannabis can dissolve and be absorbed by the body. This mixture is not only consumed on various festivals, but it is also used to anoint the sacred lingam 1 (Aldrich, 1977). Bhang can also be used to refer to small balls of resinous cannabis leaves, soaked in water, and rolled into small balls (about the size of a child's marble). ...
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In India, Cannabis Indica has been used for literally thousands of years in the worship of the god Shiva. Cannabis is used in an orally administered form called bhang which can be either the wet resinous leaves formed into pills of a drink made of milk, cannabis, and various spices consumed by worshipers of Shiva on festival days or by smoking the flowering buds of cannabis-a practice generally reserved for holy men who dedicate their lives to ascetic practice and the worship of Shiva. This practice is codified in the Vedas as well as in legends about the origin of cannabis and its relationship to Shiva.
... Traditionally Hindu yogis have used Cannabis to aid in deepening their meditations, and male devotees use Cannabis as a symbol of fellowship in their frequent bhajan. Aldrich states that at the beginning of the ceremony, a potent cannabis preparation is consumed, with the peak effects of the drug not felt until about an hour into the meditation practice (Aldrich 1977). This method is also used in tantric ceremony practices to create a state of bliss. ...
... This method is also used in tantric ceremony practices to create a state of bliss. The role played by Cannabis in the tantric ceremony, or Kundalini yogi, allows the worshipers to feel their divinity within and without themselves (Aldrich 1977). It has also been said that those who are too old to work in the fields anymore stay home and consume ganja to help pass the time. ...
Chapter
Bhanga (Cannabis) has been reported with numerous therapeutic, traditional, commercial, and sacred uses in India and across the globe. Its uses are deeply rooted in the cultural, social, and economic lives of the people. The inclusion of Cannabis under ‘Scheduled E1’ drugs in India restricts its use. However, being a crop of economic and medicinal importance, the pharmaceutical and various other sectors are showing much interest in the plant. The present review article delineates traditional, culinary, cosmetic, ritual, social, spiritual, recreational, economic, and therapeutic uses of Cannabis. The review illustrates various uses of Cannabis across the globe; noted from articles, publications, and books providing description of various parts, viz. leaves and seeds (Bhanga), flowering and fruiting tops (Ganja), resin (Charas), extract, tincture, and whole plant, stalks (Fibers). The review may be helpful to researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies to carry out further research for developing cost-effective healthcare options.
... The use of cannabis in America is assumed to begin in South America, introduced to Brazil by the African slaves in the 16 th century. While in Europe, during this period, cannabis was cultivated exclusively for fibers [4]. Along with this, in course of time, cannabis was introduced in the western medicine in the middle of the 19 th century with the usage of cannabis extracts to treat epilepsy, tetanus, rheumatism, migraine, asthma, trigeminal neuralgia, fatigue and insomnia The western medicinal usage of cannabis declined significantly in the first decades of the 20 th century due to difficulties in obtaining consistent results from various batches of plants having different compounds. ...
... Similarly, in Madras, Kama (god of love), as well as Shiva and Kali, are worshiped with cannabis offerings [18]. Cannabis has different names in ancient India [4] as cannabis is held to bestow supernatural influence and powers on the user [18]. This practice of using cannabis in the socio-religious functions or rituals continue even to this day. ...
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Cannabis usage is controversial both in India and Thailand. Cannabis has a history of social, religious, recreational and medicinal usage dating back centuries. This article, based on literature review, focuses on the history of cannabis usage in India and Thailand in order to highlight the importance of more research regarding the medicinal use of cannabis in oncology in different countries as India and Thailand. As more countries approve cannabis use for therapeutic uses, physicians need to research more information regarding the risks and benefits of use. Hence the present article reviews the history, the importance of cannabis usage in different societies from the past to the present. There is difference in the form of cannabis usage between India and Thailand in the past as it was used for social, religious and medicinal purpose in traditional India. On the other hand, in Thailand, it was used mostly for recreational culture and industrial purpose. One similarity of the two countries at present is in the medicinal usage. Both countries are trying to legalize the use of cannabis for medical research and medicinal purposes. On the whole, more research should be done with the legalization of cannabis usage for therapeutic purposes and research in medical science.
... Traditionally Hindu yogis have used Cannabis to aid in deepening their meditations, and male devotees use Cannabis as a symbol of fellowship in their frequent bhajan. Aldrich states that at the beginning of the ceremony, a potent cannabis preparation is consumed, with the peak effects of the drug not felt until about an hour into the meditation practice (Aldrich 1977). This method is also used in tantric ceremony practices to create a state of bliss. ...
... This method is also used in tantric ceremony practices to create a state of bliss. The role played by Cannabis in the tantric ceremony, or Kundalini yogi, allows the worshipers to feel their divinity within and without themselves (Aldrich 1977). It has also been said that those who are too old to work in the fields anymore stay home and consume ganja to help pass the time. ...
... Of some curiosity, spirituality is not always a concept that is associated inversely with drug use among youth or adults. Many writers conjecture that people may use drugs, particularly hallucinogens, as a means of spirituality enhancement (e.g., Aldrich, 1977;Stafford, 1977). For example, Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, used LSD to obtain spiritual experiences long after quitting alcohol and developing a non-drug spirituality-based program. ...
Article
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... In addition, some writers assert that people may use drugs as a means of spirituality enhancement (e.g., Aldrich, 1977;Stafford, 1977), in search of transcendence or divine contact (Galanter, 2006). That is, there exist spiritual practices facilitated by drug use (Sussman et al., 2006). ...
... A common hallucination induced by large doses of cannabis is time and space distortion: minutes seem like hours, small rooms yawn into caverns, and every activity is imbued with a sense of timeless grandeur…More importantly, in the ecstatic union of the human and the divine represented by this ritual, the sense of self is transcended by both partners. The role of cannabis in Tantric ceremony is thus to enable the worshippers to feel the divinity within and without themselves (Aldrich, 1977). Accordingly, Melges (1982) cites a patient with schizophrenia who experienced 'mystical awareness' in which she felt she could 'see beyond' ordinary reality. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Converging lines of evidence point to an inextricable role of the endocannabinoid system in schizophrenia. Marijuana consumption (1) elicits psychotic symptoms similar to schizophrenia; (2) precipitates schizophrenia in susceptible individuals; (3) worsens psychosis; and (4) is more prevalent among schizophrenia patients. (5) Genetic linkage studies have mapped a locus around the CB1 cannabinoid receptor gene (CNR1), which potentially confers susceptibility to schizophrenia, and (6) within CNR1, several polymorphisms reportedly associate with this disease. (7) The endocannabinoid system controls brain areas and signalling systems implicated in schizophrenia, (8) and is overactive in patients, (9). It correlates with symptom severity and is reversible with certain antipsychotics. Finally, (10) the naturally occurring CB1 receptor antagonist cannabidiol exhibits a promising antipsychotic profile in pharmacological model-psychoses and schizophrenia. In summarizing the pertinent epidemiological and molecular data, we define schizophrenia as a manifestation of aberrant circuitry formation at the synaptic level and propose that the liability to develop psychosis is driven by imbalanced co-signalling between endocannabinoids and other neuromodulatory pathways already implicated in schizophrenia.
... ea and menorrhagia . . . " In a book about medicinal plants of India (Dastur 1962), we see the following (p. 67): " Charas [hashish] . . . is of great value in-dysuria . . . it is also used as an anaesthetic in dysmenorrhea . . . . Charas is usually given in one-sixth to onefourth grain doses. " A seed infusion was also employed to treat gonorrhea. Aldrich (1977) has extensively documented the Tantric use of cannabis in India from the 7th century onward as an aid to sexual pleasure and enlightenment (p. 229): ...
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... In the light of the consensus that most psychiatric disorders are multi-factorial in genesis, cannabis use and dependence is also linked to multiple factors, including biological, social, and psychological (Gruber & Pope, 2002), as well as cultural. Cultural use of mind altering substances has been a part of Indian reality, as Indian religious texts (such as Vedas), mention cannabis as sacred plants (Aldrich, 1977) and refer to it as "source of happiness," "joy-giver" and "liberator" (Sharma, 1977). Historically, Indian farmers gave it to their oxen to provide them strength to plough the fields (Margoob, 2008). ...
... As such, it is possible for spirituality to be employed as a means to promote drug use or misuse, rather than ameliorate drug use or misuse (Galanter, 2006; Sussman et al., 2006). In addition, some writers assert that people may use drugs as a means of spirituality enhancement (e.g., Aldrich, 1977; Stafford, 1977), in search of transcendence or divine contact (Galanter, 2006). That is, there exist spiritual practices facilitated by drug use (Sussman et al., 2006 ). ...
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Full-text available
Spirituality has long been integrated into treatments for addiction. However, how spirituality differs from other related constructs and implications for recovery among nonspiritual persons remains a source of discussion. This article examines ways in which spirituality is delineated, identifies variables that might mediate the relations between spirituality and recovery from substance abuse disorders, describes distinctions between spiritual and nonspiritual facets of addictions treatment, and suggests means to assist in further clarification of this construct.
... Bhang (leaves, fruit), Ganja (flowering tops and twigs) and Charas (Resinous exudation of leaves, twigs and stem). [5][6][7] The active constituent of cannabis is THC, the most common cannabinoid out of 70 identified so far. Use of THC leads to euphoria as it stimulates brain cells to release dopamine, because of which THC is a popular drug. ...
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Full-text available
Detection of drugs from hair samples has become an imperative technique in forensic toxicological analysis. In this study, hair samples were collected from 20 cannabis users undergoing treatment at de-addiction center at different time intervals. Hair samples were cleaned and digested, followed by extraction and quantification of THC by GC–MS. At LOD of 0.1 ng/mg of THC the concentration ranged from 0.16 to 2.3 ng/mg (mean, 0.95 ng/mg). Results indicate that THC is detectable after 3 months of last drug intake.
... En ese sentido hubo un cambio en el chamanismo y sacerdocio existente de esa época a nivel profundo. Otros autores como Aldritch (1977), Touw (1981), Sharma (1977) y Quirce, Tyler y Maickel (1988) han mantenido que el soma del Rig Veda era preparado a través del uso del Cannabis sativa. ...
Article
Resumen Este trabajo intenta abordar algunas de las teorías más modernas y prevalentes sobre el chamanismo. Se han incluido tanto las teorías tradicionales como las modernas que parecen indicar las tendencias interpretativas de tipo neurofisiológico sobre los estados alterados y superiores de la conciencia. Se ha mencionado el uso prevalente y central de los diversos psicodélicos y plantas que contienen sustancias alterantes entre las diversas culturas precolombinas. Los trabajos de la antropología psicodélica han sido incluidos y su contraste con las escuelas influenciadas por Mircea Eliade. Abstract This article presents some of the most current and widespread theories on shamanism. Both traditional and modern theories which lean towards neurophysiologic interpretations of altered and higher states of consciousness are dealt with. The generalized and central use of psychedelics and plants containing altering substances by the different pre-Columbian cultures are discussed. Moreover, work by psychedelic anthropologists has been contrasted with the schools of thought influenced by Mircea Eliade.
... Historically, cannabis is believed to be the loved substance of Hindu God Shiva, and has been an integral part of Hindu practice and culture. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Every year, in religious celebrations such as Shivaratri -a celebration in reverence of Lord Shiva, many people smoke cannabis and drink bhang (drink made from ground leaves and flowers from the female cannabis plant, spices and milk). The association of cannabis and Shiva has been described as 'benign' as it affords devotees the 'means of honouring the deity while more fully celebrating the festivals' and, for sadhus, 'union with the divinity by facilitating arduous physical and mental spiritual practice'. ...
Article
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Background: Despite being illegal in Nepal, cannabis grows wild, is cultivated, readily available and often consumed during religious festivals, such as those in honour of the Hindu god Shiva. Holy men (sadhus) also consume cannabis to aid meditation, and many are believed to suggest that as a substance favoured by Lord Shiva, and, as such, should be used. However, there are concerns that all cannabis use in Nepal is not benign, and that there are negative health and social consequences from its use for some consumers. Objectives: This study sought the views of sadhus in Nepal. Method: During the major Shiva festival at Pashupathinath temple complex in Kathmandu, Nepal, 200 sadhus were surveyed. Results: Most used cannabis daily, a quarter believed cannabis and its use to be legal in Nepal, and a further ten percent were unsure, about one third believed cannabis should be used by Hindus, but only fourteen believed Lord Shiva promoted its use. Those less educated and from the Naga sect were more likely to hold such views, and provide cannabis to devotees. Conclusions: Sadhus with evidence-based information about cannabis and its potential harms can play an important role in assisting to reduce harm and facilitate engagement in treatment. J Psychiatric Association of Nepal Vol .3, No.2, 2014, pp:9-14 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/jpan.v3i2.12379
... Prevention programs in schools focus on children's social and academic skills, including enhancing peer relationships, self-control, coping, and drugrefusal skills. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Prevention programs work at the community level with civic, religious, law enforcement, and other government organizations to enhance anti-drug norms and pro-social behaviors. Many programs coordinate prevention efforts across settings to communicate consistent messages through school, work, religious institutions, and the media. ...
Article
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Life throws up innumerable situations, which we greet with both negative and positive emotions such as excitement, frustration, fear, happiness, anger, sadness, joy et al. All human beings are not equipped to take on changes or difficult situations in life, naturally. Out of them, many don't adapt to those situations. The result normally is— those situations and accompanying stress overwhelm people. The mind-boggling changes in every sphere of life—culture, profession, modes of transportation and rapid lifestyle changes put pressure on men to adjust with equal speed. Stress begins to wear them out and there is a loss of resiliency against adverse situations of life. Consequently, they begin to pull away from others and give in to depression. It is said that life acts and you react. Our attitude is our reaction to what life hands out to us. A significant amount of stress symptoms can be avoided or aroused by the way we relate to stressors. Stress is created by what we think rather than by what has actually happened. For instance, handling adopted children, adolescents, academic failures, retirements or sudden loss of money needs a relaxed attitude, focused will and preparedness to face the quirks of life positively. Otherwise one tends to feel stressed and reacts in anger and frustration. Children of stressed out parents are more likely to be ill equipped to handle stressors positively. They may suffer from emotional disturbances, depression, aggressive behaviour or confusion besides chances of weak physical constitutions, which again can be a source of anxiety. With a better control of attention one can feel that the world is a more congenial place to live in. A right attitude can make a resilient person out of us in the face of stressful situations. We can choose to stand aside; or to take weak and ineffective measures; or to implement robust and enduring measures to protect the health and wealth of populations.
... In the light of the consensus that most psychiatric disorders are multi-factorial in genesis, cannabis use and dependence is also linked to multiple factors, including biological, social, and psychological (Gruber & Pope, 2002), as well as cultural. Cultural use of mind altering substances has been a part of Indian reality, as Indian religious texts (such as Vedas), mention cannabis as sacred plants (Aldrich, 1977) and refer to it as "source of happiness," "joy-giver" and "liberator" (Sharma, 1977). Historically, Indian farmers gave it to their oxen to provide them strength to plough the fields (Margoob, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study was taken up to investigate emotional intelligence and self esteem in cannabis abusers. Cross sectional hospital based study, Study is based on a sample of 200 individuals. 100 Cannabis dependent, diagnosed based on DSM-IV TR was selected from two different hospitals in north India. 100 healthy matched subjects constituted the control group. Assessment was done using MINI, General Health Questionnaire, Indian Adaptation of Emotional Intelligence Scale and Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. Significant differences were seen in Emotional Intelligence between the Cannabis dependent group and normal control group. The cannabis dependent groups scored significantly low on emotional intelligence in comparison with control group. Further, cannabis dependent group scored significantly lower on score of self esteem than the normal control group. Relationship between emotional intelligence and self esteem was found to be positively correlated. Our study suggests an association between low emotional intelligence, low self esteem and cannabis dependence and the prevention and treatment of cannabis dependence should lay focus on these factors.
... Historically, cannabis is believed to be the loved substance of Hindu God Shiva, and has been an integral part of Hindu practice and culture. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Every year, in religious celebrations such as Shivaratri -a celebration in reverence of Lord Shiva, many people smoke cannabis and drink bhang (drink made from ground leaves and flowers from the female cannabis plant, spices and milk). The association of cannabis and Shiva has been described as 'benign' as it affords devotees the 'means of honouring the deity while more fully celebrating the festivals' and, for sadhus, 'union with the divinity by facilitating arduous physical and mental spiritual practice'. ...
... Cannabis later spread to Asian countries and it was adopted in India, where it served a religious function. The Atharva Veda, one of the oldest books of Hinduism, included Cannabis as one of the five sacred plants and worshiped it (Aldrich, 1977). This provided the plant with the protection and reverence engendered by cultural or religious acceptance. ...
Article
Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) is a crop which is grown all over the world. The plant is one of the most hated, maligned and detested any where in the world and huge sums of money and efforts are being expended to annihilate its production, distribution, marketing and consumption. Cannabis sativa is erroneously believed to cause deleterious health problems among other controversies. However, studies have shown that this plant, apart from being regarded as one of the five sacred crops, has a lot of medical, recreational, commercial and social uses. Evidences have also shown that marijuana is useful in the control and management of chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Asthma, Glaucoma, Cachexia, Hypertension, Depression, etc. Nevertheless, further research is required to make this wonderful plant more useful to humanity.
... Hemp cultivation spread to Asian countries from China and it was adopted in India, where it served a religious purpose. In Atherveda, one of the oldest book of Hinduism, Cannabis has been mentioned as one of the five sacred plants and accordingly worshipped 7 . This recognized it as a plant with the protection and reverence engendered by cultural and religious acceptance. ...
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Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) has preserved the ancient artwork in India’s sacred Ellora Caves for 1500 years. The long life of earthen plaster of Ellora, despite damaging environmental parameters, may be attributed to the material properties of hemp which is fibrous and durable as studied through stereo and scanning electron microscope. The properties of Cannabis sativa (hemp) including its ability to repel insects and regulate humidity must have been known to the ancient Indian technicians in 6th CE. Moreover, Cannabis has an excellent carbon dioxide sequestering capacity and is green house negative and these properties were exploited by ancient Indians in cave murals of Ellora. The finding could be applied in future construction technology, as well as conservation of historical structures, where more sustainable materials are being sought. However, it would be illegal in places where Cannabis is banned. The numerous useful properties of hemp can also be exploited for several environmental friendly applications. This paper deliberates upon the utilization of this plant from the ancient period to its present use to regulate green house impact.
... This secret virtue eventually became part of numerous religious rituals in India. In Atharveda, the sacred book of Hinduism plant also holds religious importance and is considered one of the five sacred plants worshipped (Aldrich, 1977). In 'Sushrita' the first record of medicinal uses of Cannabis in India was compiled around 1000 BC and also in Indian texts like Tajnighuntu and Rajbulubha Cannabis has been listed (Bouquet, 1950;Schultes, 1970). ...
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The concern for the issues related to the growing needs of human civilization like resource depletion, pollution, climate changes, and health risk has led to a search for eco-friendly alternatives to environmental problems. Recently, hemp started gaining popularity for its medicinal, nontoxic, greenhouse negative, and biodegradable properties. Originating from the steppes of Central Asia, Cannabis sativa L. (hemp) is one of the oldest domesticated plants known to humans. Since 5000–4000 BC, different parts of the plant were used for spinning, weaving, papermaking, the seed for human feed, animal feeds, medicinal, and health purposes. Reports also suggest the use of hemp as an organic additive in the historic earthen plasters of Ellora Caves, India (6th Century). Due to its psychoactive and recreational properties, this environmentally friendly plant lost its importance eventually in the 19th century and its cultivation was made illegal. People, in general, changed their outlook towards the plant and considered it a sign of moral indignation. Recently, food, pharmaceutical, textile, paper, building, energy, and other industries found hemp to be a promising solution for synthetic-based economies. Since then, the cultivation of hemp has been reintroduced, legalized in some countries, and now in recent times, there has been a good reimplementation of the plant in creating a green economy. This review will highlight the application of hemp and display its outstanding qualities in minimizing environmental and health issues. Based on the knowledge gained from various scientific resources; the commercial, industrial, and agricultural potential of the plant will be unveiled to give more push towards the hemp cultivation.
... For example, an ancient mystical sutra tells us that Siddhartha (later known as lord Buddha) survived for six years, prior to his enlightenment, on a single Cannabis seed per day 2 . Cannabis is believed to be the favorite plant of Hindu god Shiva, and has been an integral part of Hindu practice and culture for ages [3][4][5][6][7][8][9] . Also, Muslims regarded it as a holy plant and in Unani Tibbi (the Muslim system of medicine) Cannabis was used for treating numerous diseases 10-12 . ...
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The history related to the use of medicinal Cannabis has been intimately intertwined with India since the beginnings of human civilization. Since its origin in the lower Himalayas, the diverse cultural, medical and religious uses of the Cannabis plant slowly disseminated around the world. After being outlawed as a narcotic drug in the 20th century, Cannabis has been rediscovered as a much needed medicine for chronically ill patients. Since 2000, a number of countries have initialized national programs to cultivate and distribute Cannabis for medical use, and to stimulate research and development to produce modern medicines from this ancient plant. Unfortunately and ironically, India has not benefitted from these developments, despite the countries’ claim to fame as a major source of information about the medicinal uses of Cannabis. In India untreated chronic pain is one of the major sources of patient’s sufferings and Cannabis medicine can prove to be a welcome alternative to the much more risky opioids derived from the Opium poppy. This review paper explores the origins of Cannabis medicine in India, its historical use as a treatment for chronic pain, and recent scientific developments with Cannabis and its main active constituents, the cannabinoids. Finally, the cannabinoids are compared to opioids for the treatment of pain, in order to make a recommendation for the reintroduction of Cannabis medicine for pain treatment in India today.
... En ese sentido hubo un cambio en el chamanismo y sacerdocio existente de esa época a nivel profundo. Otros autores como Aldritch (1977), Touw (1981), Sharma (1977) y Quirce, Tyler y Maickel (1988) han mantenido que el soma del Rig Veda era preparado a través del uso del Cannabis sativa. ...
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p>Este trabajo intenta abordar algunas de las teorías más modernas y prevalentes sobre el chamanismo. Se han incluido tanto las teorías tradicionales como las modernas que parecen indicar las tendencias interpretativas de tipo neurofisiológico sobre los estados alterados y superiores de la conciencia. Se ha mencionado el uso prevalente y central de los diversos psicodélicos y plantas que contienen sustancias alterantes entre las diversas culturas precolombinas. Los trabajos de la antropología psicodélica han sido incluidos y su contraste con las escuelas influenciadas por Mircea Eliade.</p
... Traditionally thought to be the favorite food of Shiva and frequently consumed by wandering ascetics as a "medicine of meditation" (Morningstar 1985, 144), cannabis is considered by many in India to be "at least as significant and respected as the wine used in Holy Communion is to Christians" (Touw 1981, 25). Cannabis is viewed as sacred in Tibet and was used to heighten meditative awareness by Tantric Buddhists (Aldrich 1977). Ancient Zoroastrians in Persia, who helped originate the religious doctrines of monotheism, the Last Judgment, and life everlasting (Boyce 2001), used cannabis for visionary purposes (De Jong 1998). ...
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... Substance abuse was present since ancient times in every culture and civilizations. [1][2][3] Substance abuse considered as social problems but in recent decade extensive development of neurobiology evident that substance abuse an outcome of bio-psycho-social interactions. [4][5][6] Advancement of the neurobiology of substance revealed effects of the substance on brain development and behavior of abnormality of substance. ...
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simple relationships in favor of more abstract assignations [3]: “…the word Vayu , does not imply ‘Wind’ in Ayurvedic literature, but
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Cannabis, one of humanity’s first domesticated plants, has been utilized for spiritual, therapeutic, recreational, and even punitive reasons for thousands of years. Humans have excellent practical knowledge of Cannabis uses, yet limited understanding of its sociocultural consequences, past or present due to its widespread prohibition. In Cannabis, Chris Duvall explores the cultural history and geography of humanity’s most widely distributed crop, which supplies both hemp and marijuana. This book provides a global view of the plant, with coverage of little-studied regions including Africa and Australia. This book focuses on the plant’s currently most valuable product, the psychoactive drug marijuana. Cannabis also covers the history of hemp and its use as a fiber source for ropes and textiles; as a source of edible hempseeds; and as a source of industrial oil for paints and fuel. This book does not advocate either the prohibition or legalisation of the drug but challenges received wisdom on both sides of the debate. Cannabis explores and analyses a wide range of sources to provide a better understanding of its current prohibition, as well as of the diversity of human–Cannabis relationships across the globe. This, the author argues, is necessary to redress the oversimplistic portrayals of marijuana and hemp that dominate discourse on the subject, and ultimately to improve how the crop is managed worldwide. This highly accessible, richly illustrated volume is an essential read given rapidly evolving debates about prohibition, and in light of changes in the legality of marijuana in Uruguay, some U.S. states, and other jurisdictions worldwide.
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Objective: The current legal, medical and diagnostic aspects of cannabis use are outlined as a resource for clinical practice. Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is the most widely used illicit substance in the world (Sofuoglu, et al., 2010). The public discussion about cannabis includes very diverse and polarized positions. There are large advocacy groups who see the use of cannabis as a sacred herb, a criminal activity, a harmless recreation, a medical treatment, or a harmful addiction that may even be a gateway to more dangerous drugs. This module will update clinical staff on the key issues related to cannabis use.
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Millions of years ago, humanoid creatures descended from the trees in Africa. These first men stood erect, their eyes peering into the beyond, their hands grasping rudimentary weapons and tools, ready to bend nature to their will.
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Historically, India has continued to produce and use Cannabis for medicinal, nutritional, spiritual-religious, and socio-cultural purposes, as documented in ancient Indian literature. Furthermore, various indigenous medicinal practices unique to India, such as the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani, indicate wide use of Cannabis in treating various disorders. Cannabis has had a very long unbroken tradition of cultivation and application in India for ages till the present. Various parts of the plant (Cannabis sativa Linn.), such as the flowers, leaves (and the resinous matter derived from there), fruit, young twigs, and stalk/stem, are commonly used in India and other parts of the world for different purposes. This book chapter gives an overview of the broad applicability of Cannabis in India, including cultural, medicinal, agricultural, commercial, and recreational uses.
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