Cannabis in the Bible | What Do the Verses Say?

Cannabis and Bible Verses

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so…and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12

Everything that grows on the earth was originally planted here by our Creator. God gave us every tree, herb, plant, flower and fruit for our benefit. He created it and he intended for us to enjoy it. This is why He says, “it was good.”

But, what about cannabis? Does all of this apply to cannabis, too? If yes, then does that mean that God is cool with people getting high on His supply? If no, then why would we single out cannabis as being off-limits and therefore, not “good” for us to enjoy along with everything else that God created?

Honestly, there is no one unanimous response to these questions. Some Christian Bible teachers and scholars will claim that plants like cannabis, poison ivy, hemlock, and poppies, for example, are the result of the curse that came over the world after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden. In their minds, God really did create a beautiful utopian garden filled with good things for us to enjoy. But as the result of our sin and disobedience, a few “not good” things began to rise up in the world – like thorns, thistles, poison fruit, and other dangerous and potentially deadly substances – which were not part of God’s original plan.

On one level, that does seem to make sense. But on another level, it doesn’t. Mainly because the Bible never explicitly says anything like this; not exactly.

What we do read in Genesis 3:18, after the fall of man, is that God does curse the ground, saying:

Thorns also and thistles shall [the ground] bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field…

So, we see that “thorns and thistles” rise up, but that’s it. Nothing about poisonous plants or hallucinogenic herbs showing up after Adam and Eve fall from grace. Instead, what we read about here is a simple contrast; Once they used to reach out their hands and eat from the plentiful supply of fruit that was abundantly available to them in the garden. But now because of their failure to obey God’s commands, they are expected to work hard and contend with the toil of growing their own food, wrestling with the thorns and thistles in the process.

In theory, the cursed earth idea supports the concept of a polluted ecology where mankind now has to suffer both good and bad varieties of foliage and plant-life.

But, that might not necessarily be accurate. For example, scientists have discovered a variety of beneficial uses for most poisonous plants. Hemlock, which is extremely toxic, has been used to create medicines that treat bronchitis, anxiety, and Parkinson’s disease. Even Poison Ivy has been used in homeopathic treatments and FDA-approved medicines to help with musculoskeletal injuries.

So, we shouldn’t be too quick to judge a plant by its immediate effects. Cannabis is no different.

In fact, Cannabis has also produced a variety of healing properties. Most recently, the FDA released a statement about approval for medicines derived from the plant:

The FDA has not approved cannabis as a safe and effective drug for any indication. The agency has, however, approved one specific drug product that contains the purified substance cannabidiol…for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age and older.

In addition to this, the FDA has also approved two drugs containing a synthetic version of a substance that is present in cannabis and, in the same statement referenced above, says:

The FDA is aware that there is considerable interest [in the use of cannabis] to treat a number of medical conditions, including, for example, glaucoma, AIDS wasting syndrome, neuropathic pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and certain seizure disorders.

Perhaps you’ve seen the dramatic videos and first hand testimonies about small children suffering from painful epileptic seizures who are instantly relieved of the effects after just a few drops of cannabidiol oil derived from Cannabis.

Dramatic examples like these are becoming too numerous to ignore. Many parents are especially driven to acquire the CBD oil their children need to find relief from their epilepsy, or other maladies like chronic pain, migraines, and nausea related to chemotherapy. Some are willing to either defy Federal laws to obtain the medicine, or to relocate their families to states like Colorado where the drugs are legal. Especially since CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects.

At any rate, cannabis certainly fits the bill as described in the book of Genesis as an herb that God seems to have placed here for us to enjoy, and to create medicines from, to bring healing, and hope and happiness to millions of people.

The Bible doesn’t specifically mention cannabis, or any other drug, to be honest. But we can glean from the Bible that God did give us a world filled with good things that, if used wisely, can be beneficial for us.

Do you agree?

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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