Notes on Famous Cannabis Users.

The Bible

In Exodus, instructions are given for building the Tabernacle, which is the tent that God stays in.
Instructions are also given for the incense to be burned in this tabernacle.
The ingredients are myrrh, cinnamon and 'fragrant cane'. The hebrew words translated 'fragrant kane' are 'kanneh bosm'.

"Etymologist Sara Benetowa of the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw discovered in 1936, the connection between kaneh bosm in the Old Testament as the original Semitic Hebrew origins of the word cannabis.

Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1980 confirmed this information as correct. "

Note the "m" is the pural form so "kanneh bos" is the singular.

It is interesting to note that the ancient Ashkenazi (or Scythians) used cannabis in just this fashion: burning large quantities of it in a tent.
"Hemp grows in Scythia: it is very like flax; only that it is a much coarser and taller plant: some grows wild about the country, some is produced by cultivation. The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed, and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed;" - Herodotus, 430BC.

Isaiah 43:24
"Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices."

Jeremiah 6:20
"To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me."

Exodus 30:22-3 The Holy Anointing Oil
"Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Also take for yourself quality spices--five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon, two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane."

The debate on the The Holy Anointing Oil was reopened recently by several newspaper articles. And following a debate in some news groups I was sent this thesis by Tarak Kadia on the etymology of cannabis in the Bible.

Abraham Lincoln

There is reputed to be an endorsement on a Hohner harmonica box cover. As follows:

"Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica."
Abraham Lincoln, 1855

This claim is backed up by a letter to Hohner and this and also this.
However this claim is disputed based on the fact that he did not smoke tobacco.

In addition I have been reliable informed that as Hohner only opened for business in 1857 it would be hard for anyone to endorse them in 1855. I am indebted to Joe Wein of for the following:

The Lincoln quote at the above URL is almost certainly a fake. Don Wirtshafter, a leading expert on Cannabis, wrote about it:
"Concerning the Lincoln rumor, the source of this one was supposed to be a letter from Abe to the Honner Harmonica Company that was posted on the wall of their museum in Germany. I later saw a letter from the curator of the museum denying that the letter existed."

But perhaps the main reason for disputing it is no one has produced the actual Hohner box lid or a copy thereof.

Dr W.B. O'Shaugnessy

Dr W.B. O'Shaugnessy re-introduced cannabis to European medicine in the middle of the 19th century. He described the inebriating effects of marijuana as being "The most cheerful kind, causing the person to sing and dance, to eat food with great relish and to seek aphrodisiac enjoyments. In the persons of a quarrelsome nature it occasions, as might be expected, an exasperation of their normal tendency. The intoxication lasts three hours, when sleep supervenes. No nausea or sickness of the stomach succeeds nor are the bowels at all affected; the next day there is a slight giddiness and vascularity of the eyes, but no other symptoms worth recording."

Emperor Shen Nung

The first documented use of cannabis as a medicine appears about 2300 BC when the legendary Chinese emporer Shen Nung prescribed chu-ma ( female cannabis hemp) for the treatment of constipation, gout, beri-beri, malari, rheumatism and menstrual problems. ( Queen Victoria properly used cannabis extract for menstrual problems. )

If you can provide any more information please e-mail me and if possible say where the information came from.


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