Last month the Salt Lake City Tribune ran a story titled “Families Migrating to Colorado for a Medical Marijuana Miracle.” It profiled just a few of the hundreds of children and parents currently uprooting their lives and flocking to the Rocky Mountain State in search of a non-psychoactive cannabis medicine that’s shown promise in treating serious pediatric ailments, even when all other possible treatments have proven futile.
“You’re completely re-establishing your whole life,” one father of a two-year old epilepsy sufferer explained of his family’s recent decision to relocate from Tennessee. “We don’t have a support system. We don’t have friends. We had to find a new church.”
“We can’t leave the state with [cannabis]or it would be a federal offense,” his wife added. “But we just felt like if we knew something was out there that might work and we didn’t try it we’d be doing the ‘what if’s’ our whole life.”
Tales of “miraculous” healing through the use of highly-concentrated cannabis oil have been circulating within the global marijuana community for almost ten years, but they only broke into the popular consciousness this August, when Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, offered millions of viewers a painful apology for previously dismissing mounting evidence in favor of medical cannabis, describing himself as having been “systematically misled” on the subject.
Then Dr. Gupta introduced the world to six-year-old Charlotte Figi from Colorado Springs, Colorado, who used to suffer 300 gran mal seizures per week, even after cycling through every anti-seizure medicine in the pharmacopeia and enduring a series of painful procedures that left her unable to walk, talk or eat. Those seizures started when Charlotte was just three months old, and yet in all that time, not one medical professional ever so much as mentioned cannabis. Her parents only learned the herb might help treat Dravet’s—the rare, intractable form of epilepsy tormenting their child—by watching a video on Youtube, and even then only decided to try it after all else failed.
The first time they gave their daughter a dose of wholly plant-derived non-psychoactive high-CBD cannabis oil, her seizures ceased for seven straight days—a completely astonishing response. She’s now down from more than 1,200 major seizures per month to just two or three mild ones. Towards the end of the CNN segment, as Charlotte happily pedaled her bicycle, her father asked, “Why were we the ones that had to go out and find this natural cure? How come our doctors didn’t know about this?”
Now imagine Charlotte Figi living not in modern day Colorado, but in the Middle East, roughly 2000 years ago. Whether an object of pity, scorn, fear, or fascination, that poor young girl likely would’ve been thought to be demonically possessed—her deeply religious community would have had no concept of epilepsy as we know it today. At least until the day a stranger came to town, calling himself Jesus of Nazareth, but named by his disciples as Christ—a Greek word meaning the anointed.
Following the recipe for holy anointing oil found in the Old Testament (Exodus 30: 22-23), this healer of local renown would infuse nine pounds of a plant known in Aramaic as kaneh-bosm(fragrant cane) into about six quarts of olive oil, along with essential extracts of myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia. He would then apply this unguent concoction topically to the infirm, allowing it to absorb transdermally.
According to conventional Biblical scholarship, the “250 shekels of kaneh-bosm” listed in ancient Hebrew versions of the Old Testament supposedly refers to calamus, but Chris Bennett, author of the 2001 book Sex, Drugs, and Violence in the Bible claims that this is a misconception, and likely a misdirection as well, one stemming from a perhaps willful mistake made the first time the Old Testament was translated into Greek.
Kaneh-bosm, he writes, was cannabis.
Read the entire article at VICE.