From the Pulpit: Six Pastors Talk About CBD

What does your pastor think of CBD?

The growing opinion on CBD by many pastors is that they either don't know what it is or they don't know enough to comment on it. However some are seeing the light. Image Credit: By Hotaik Sung on shutterstock

When Christians are faced with a new cultural trend, we often turn to the pulpit for advice. To get an overview of what different pastors think about CBD oil and to understand how they talk to their own congregations about using it, I interviewed six different pastoral leaders from various denominations and locations around the country and asked them, “What do you think about CBD?”

Here are their responses:

Doug Webster, Pastor of the Following Church in Irvine, Calif.:
“I don’t know enough about the product to make an educated statement. But I give credibility to the authority of the FDA to approve a drug that’s not physically, mentally or emotionally destructive. If the THC has been removed that impairs or alters the brain and keeps users from getting high – and the drug is prescribed by a licensed physician – for me it’s a non-issue. I don’t know if CBD has addictive qualities compared to drugs like Morphine or opioids in general. This is different of course from smoking pot.”

Sarah Heath, Pastor of First United Methodist Church, Costa Mesa, Calif.:
“I don’t know much about it, honestly. I know that my local grocery store sells it, and I know it’s helped some friends from church with their back pain.”

Steve Simms, Pastor of the Salvation Army Church in Nashville, Tenn.:
“I don’t know. What does CBD mean?”

Chris Singer, Senior Pastor of Trinity Klein Lutheran Church in Spring, Texas:
“Bottom line, like most pastors and theologians, I find it difficult to make a simple response to CBD usage. Medically-prescribed, with proof of successful treatment for either pain or reduction of symptoms, would lead me to support it as a choice; just as I wouldn’t discourage a member from using pain medication after surgery or nearing death.

“Recreational use of marijuana continues to be more challenging as the government legalizes it. But, the reality for us as Christians is that God’s Word is the norm and rule to guide the way we live. The scripture reveals that we are not to get drunk on wine. Instead, the Lord calls us to be full of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). While God doesn’t always tell us the ‘why’ behind His commands, He does here by telling us that getting drunk leads to ‘debauchery’ or an excessive indulgence in sensual pleasure. So, note that He doesn’t say, “Do not drink.” He says not to excess. And perhaps the counter suggestion of being full of the Holy Spirit then leads us to understand more deeply the desire God has for us, these bodies or temples of God, that are to be ‘alert and self-controlled.’

“If a member asks about using marijuana for recreational use, then the next issue would become one of legality. In locations where it is illegal the decision becomes clear, as Christ asks His disciples to abide by the rulings of our authorities. But in places where it is now legal the next question I would entertain is whether or not there is such a thing as a marijuana ‘high’ that is equivalent to drinking a glass of wine at dinner. Further, we need to evaluate the ‘why’ someone chooses to use, the frequency, and what kind of actions does using lead to?

“Statements like marijuana being a gateway drug should be taken seriously as to their veracity by every person. It would also be important to guide a person to examine the effects of any usage according to God’s command with wine above.”

T.J., Pastor of a Christian Church, OH:

“I am not only an advocate for CBD but also medical marijuana as a whole. This is actually one of my most passionate positions. When I first entered ministry I started having a lot of health issues. In the end they all ended up relating to stress and anxiety. The doctors prescribed me Ambien for my insomnia. After sleeping two or three nights a week for about six months, they tried to put me on an SSRI. I refused this, but did take the Ambien for a few months.”

Neal Locke, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, El Paso, Texas:
“I acquired some CBD oil from a septuagenarian church member and leader in our community to try it for myself. I didn’t notice any great sensation of well-being or reduction of pain, stress, anxiety, etc. I did, however, sleep better at night after taking the CBD oil.

“As a pastor, I believe that there are a great many things in God’s creation that are useful and intended for our benefit. God also gave us intelligence and wisdom to determine the proper use of such things. I think CBD oil falls into that category – potentially useful and for our benefit, but subject to wise and intelligent usage.

“I do wish there were better governmental oversight and regulation of CBD oil, if nothing other than to ensure consistency and transparency in its manufacture. However, for those in my congregation who are good, staunch Presbyterians looking for something to help them relax, alleviate temporary pain, sleep better, or impart general cheer, I would still recommend a small shot of Scotch whiskey above all else. But I have no problems with those who wish to try CBD oil.”

From the responses of these 6 pastors, clearly CBD oil is still unfamiliar to many, including church leaders, despite its growing popularity and usage. Not every Pastor has the same response to CBD oil. Some have not researched it; others not only know about it, but also use it and recommend it to others. What is your pastor’s stance on CBD? Ask your Pastoral staff and church leaders what they think about CBD oil as a natural healing product. Then let us know what you discover. And, as always, consult your physician before trying CBD oil yourself.

Keith Giles
Keith Giles
Keith Giles
Keith Giles is an author, blogger and podcaster who posts regularly at He currently lives with his wife in Boise, Idaho.

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