What religions smoke marijuana as a sacrament?

Published Feb 26, 2019 04:06 p.m. ET

Using marijuana for religious purposes is an old tradition in many cultures and places around the world.  The herb has qualities that induce spiritual and theological insight and was (and to some degree) still is used around the world.

What religions smoke weed? Ancient history records the use of entheogen in peoples’ religious beliefs. This is the practice of using the psychoactive substance in spiritual manners that were aimed at the development of a persons’ spiritual world. This practice is still practiced in the Indian subcontinent and groups there use cannabis as a sacred herb.

Religious views on cannabis vary greatly. There are religious groups today that oppose the use of intoxicants. They do however use cannabis for medical reasons and religious ceremonies. Here are some religions that smoke weed and use it in other manners as part of their daily devotion.


Buddhism and marijuana are partners when the herb is used for medicinal purposes. The Fifth Precept, the five rules of training are an important system of morality for the Buddhist layperson. The purpose of these rules is to develop the mind and character to progress on the road to enlightenment. In the scripture of the Buddhist, cannabis is mentioned by name. There is a reference to cannabis being prescribed as a medicinal herb along with other psychoactive drugs.


Taoism and marijuana began their relationship around the fourth century as mentioned in the texts of Taoism. Cannabis was used in their censers. The use of marijuana for religious purposes was done by the Santa Muerte cult in Mexico as a cleansing rite. The smoke from the censers was used for purification. This practice is much like the use of incense that is used in the mainstream Catholic faith.



Marijuana and Hinduism warrant the mention of the Hindu festival. The consumption of bhang, an Indian drink that contains the buds of the cannabis plant. Is consumed for cleansing. It is believed that bhang cleanses the body and mind of sins. The drink will unite one with the Supreme Being. The miseries of hell in the next life will be avoided. Bhang is believed to possess medicinal qualities if bhang is taken as a drink without the spiritual rites, the action is considered to be in sin.


Marijuana is used in several spiritual Pagan rituals. The use of cannabis for spiritual purposes as well as to increase fertility was common practice in ancient Europe. Pagans believed that the marijuana plant contains female energy. The consumption of the marijuana plant allowed the energy, love, beauty, and fertility to enter ones’ own body


The Rastafarian view on marijuana is as a sacred and beneficial plant. The religion looks upon the herb as the tree of life. Rastafari believe that the marijuana plant can bring the healing of all nations. Part of the religious ceremony and life is the incorporation of the water pipe known as the chalice. The chalice is used for religious discussions on their perspective of life. The pipes are filled with marijuana and passed to the members of the church. That smoking the herb will burn all corruption out of the heart is a belief of the Rastafarian Religion. The ashes from the burnt herb are rubbed on the skin and looked upon as a healthy practice.



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