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CBD oil is becoming a hot topic in the news and on the Internet. Many people claim it has great health benefits without some of the negative side effects of man-made medicines. But is it scripturally okay? Does it violate Christian principles to use a product derived from the same plant family as marijuana? Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding at Cana. It was his first public miracle mentioned in the Gospels. (Read about it in John 2.) But the Bible says nothing about the use of cannabidiol. Or does it?
One litmus test for CBD oil for Christ followers could be the six verses in 1 Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:6 and 5:8), 2 Timothy (4:5), and 1 Peter (1 Peter 1:13, 4:7 and 5:8) that all refer to being “sober.” According to Strong’s Concordance, the Englishman’s Concordance and the NAS Exhaustive Concordance, these references in the original Greek mean both being sober from intoxicants and vigilant or alert. Romans 13:13 cautions believers to “behave decently” and not to indulge in drunkenness. Likewise, Ephesians 5:18-21 says point-blank: “Do not get drunk on wine …” From these verses and others, we can discern that it seems important to God for Christians to refrain from intoxication.
So does CBD oil get you high? The short answer is “no.”
The term “CBD” is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of many chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in cannabis and hemp plants. The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That’s the psychoactive component that gets you high. However, CBD oil, when extracted from hemp and some cannabis plants, is not psychoactive and fits the biblical instruction to stay sober. In fact, to be legal, CBD oil has to be cultivated from plants that contain less than 0.3% THC. The other cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis plants are not intoxicating. And according to those who use them, they have some great health benefits.
Did you know that your body already has an endocannabinoid system? “Endo” means inner, meaning we produce endogenous cannabinoids and have cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system within humans maintains homeostasis and is responsible for other healthy bodily functions.
While scientists and the medical community are still researching the effects of CBD oil, so far the results are promising, especially for childhood epilepsy syndromes such Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD. CBD oil reportedly helps other conditions such as social anxiety, sleep issues, and even adult acne. Plus, the side effects reported are negligible, especially when compared to some pharmaceuticals used for seizures that can cause long-term liver damage and other serious health issues.
CBD Oil: What Would Jesus Do?
So what would Jesus do about CBD oil? Would he condemn those who take it? Consider it controversial and therefore off-limits? Would He take it Himself? While there is know way of knowing for sure this side of Heaven exactly what Christ would do with CBD oil, we can look to Scriptures that talk about our bodies and how we should treat them.
If your body is sick. James 5:14 says it should be anointed with oil by leaders of the church. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) offers a reason why this practice is important. I believe it is because the bodies of believers are sacred places:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Romans 12:1-2 says our bodies are to be presented to God as a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,” as a form of worship. That means we need to carefully consider everything we put in our bodies – from antibiotics to CBD oil to fried chicken or diet soda.
What would Jesus do about CBD oil? I think he would tell you to do your research before you decide. Talk to trusted friends and spiritual advisors like your pastor or small group leader. Pray about it. Ask God for wisdom and discernment where your body is concerned. After all, it houses the Spirit of God; and it needs to be healthy for the work God has called you to do.
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