Is Cannabis a Sin? Can I Even Have It in My House?

Is Cannabis Sin

With the increasing legalization of cannabis, Christians are wanting to know, is cannabis a sin? Can we even have it in our pockets? We might more pertinently ask, is the cannabis plant itself inherently sinful? Does the Bible say anything about using cannabis?

As for the plant itself, cannabis is a part of God’s original good creation:

And God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. Genesis 1:11–13, ESV

And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:29–31, ESV

And on multiple later occasions, the Bible affirms the plants of the earth—which would still include cannabis—as being intended by God for our beneficial use:

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Genesis 9:3, ESV

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
Psalm 104:14–15, ESV

So no, there is absolutely nothing sinful about the cannabis plant. God created it, and God intended it for our use. As for having it in your house, so long as you are in a state where it would not violate the law, then there’s nothing wrong with that either.

The medicinal uses for cannabis and CBD are becoming well known, but what about the Bible? What does it have to say about using cannabis?

In opposition to using cannabis, many people cite Paul’s words to the church at Corinth:

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. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20, ESV

But does using cannabis actually violate this principle? We should be careful not to take Paul’s words here out of context. When he spoke of the body as a temple, he was directly opposing temple prostitution and sexual immorality:

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:15–18, ESV

So applying this to cannabis would be a bit of a stretch to begin with. But that aside, is there any reason why you could not “glorify God in your body” while using cannabis?

The short answer is: Of course not. Medicinal substances like CBD, which do not contain any hallucinogenic properties – which means you can’t get high from using it – and which are intended to provide relief from suffering and other healing properties to the user, are absolutely part of what it means to “glorify God in your body.”

Another passage people sometimes point to comes from the letter to the church in Galatia:

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19–21, ESV

While these verses are more relevant to the Christian life as a whole, they still don’t reference using cannabis. But they do reference drunkenness, which could be used as a parallel comparison. However, as we have already stated above, CBD does not contain any intoxicating substances, so for a Christian, this verse does not apply in the case of using CBD.

It’s also important that we don’t stop reading here with the negative “works of the flesh,” but that we continue on to the positive “fruit of the Spirit”:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22–23, ESV

In this verse, we actually find strong support for cannabis, as studies show that using cannabis and CBD actually increases these kind of traits. And “against such things there is no law.”

Finally, we should remember that Jesus and the Apostles gave us a very simple ethical principle to guide everything we do in life:

And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:37–40, ESV

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8–10, ESV

So we really need only ask ourselves, is there anything about using cannabis or CBD that is contrary to love? That is, would our use of cannabis do any wrong to a neighbor? If not, then according to Jesus and Paul, it isn’t a sin.

Carson Mills
Carson Mills
Carson Mills is a freelance writer and editor. He lives with his family in Washington state, where he enjoys the beautiful scenery, as well as the freedom afforded by Initiative 502. When not nose-deep in a book, he’s usually blogging about some controversial point of theology.

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