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Ancient Taiwan & Cannabis: Ancient Taiwan's Medicinal and Ritualistic Practices

Updated: May 19, 2023


Cannabis has a long and complex history in Tibet, dating back centuries. The plant has been used in traditional Tibetan medicine to treat a range of ailments, including pain, inflammation, and anxiety. In Tibetan culture, cannabis is also used for spiritual and religious purposes, with some Tibetans believing that the plant has the power to enhance their meditation and connect them with the divine. The use of cannabis in Tibetan culture is believed to have originated with the Bön religion, which predates Buddhism in Tibet. Bön practitioners use cannabis to induce altered states of consciousness and connect with the spirit world. The plant is also used in traditional Tibetan medicine to treat a range of illnesses, including pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

Above, Buddhist Monk Meditating


In addition to its medicinal and spiritual uses, cannabis has also been used recreationally in Tibet for centuries. In the past, cannabis was commonly used by nomads on long journeys to help them stay awake and alert. It was also used by villagers during festivals and other celebrations. Despite its long history in Tibetan culture, the use of cannabis has become increasingly controversial in recent years. The Chinese government, which has controlled Tibet since the 1950s, has cracked down on the use of cannabis and other drugs in the region. They say this crackdown has been driven by concerns over its “impact” on public health. This is of course a localized opinion, as we now have many proven studies and evidences of the physical and emotional benefits of cannabis. However, some Tibetans continue to use cannabis for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes, despite the risks of legal repercussions. In recent years, there has been a growing movement among Tibetans to promote the legalization of cannabis for medicinal and religious purposes, citing its long history in Tibetan culture and its potential therapeutic benefits. As attitudes towards cannabis evolve around the world, it remains to be seen whether Tibetans will be able to reclaim their relationship with this ancient plant.



-Sean Despain


New Earth Integration and Plant Medicine

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