Claims of drug use by biblical figures surprisingly have susbtance,
says Professor Carl Ruck of Boston University.
In ancient times cannabis was widely cultivated throughout the Middle East. It grows like a weed and provides nourishing seed, which is also a good source of fibre used to make rope.
People certainly knew of its pleasurable effects; it would have been impossible to harvest it without becoming ecstatic as the drug would be absorbed through the skin. And as long ago as 1935 a Slovakian linguist identified the plant known as “fragrant cane” in the English Bible as flowering cannabis, a link since accepted by some Jewish authorities.
Ancient people were fascinated by herbs and their healing powers and knew much more about them than we do; at least about mixing herbs to release their potency.
Ancient wines were always fortified, like the “strong wine” of the Old Test
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