Author Topic: Church incense an 'upper'...'psychoactive smoke'? - Scientific study on incense  (Read 19751 times)

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Offline HabteSelassie

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Haha! Then all those 420 conspiracy theorists who suggest wrongly that cannabis resins were used in the Myron oil of the Jerusalem Temple as prescribed by Moses and Aaron are being literally redundant.  There is no need to add any psychoactive substances to an already psychoactive substance.  Further, this is very interesting.  I will vouch that pure and authentic frankincense or myrrh have always stirred in my heart and senses a deeply profound experience.  I always attributed it to the Spirit, which still very well  may be true, but I could also easily agree that there are psychoactive chemicals in the smoke which act on the brain to create as the scientific journal article suggests, "anxiolytic-like and antidepressive-like behavioral effects in wild-type (WT) mice with concomitant changes in c-Fos activation in the brain."

Should we worry that incense is getting us high? Doubtful.  However again, this is very interesting science, to point out that chemicals found in incense also have certain psychoactive effects on neurochemistry.  Of course, the second question to ask about this is can inhaling the smoke of burning resin also be psychoactive? The article says they used injections, not smoke.  There is a world of difference.  Only a few substances in the world are psychoactive when inhaled as smoke, the entirety of the rest need to be ingested directly.  That being said, EVEN if frankincense contains psychoactive chemicals, this does not automatically suggest that such chemicals are reactive in the human brain when inhaled.  In fact, until the Columbian exchange, no one in the Old World ever smoked ANYTHING! Cannabis and Opium were consumed as beverages, it was not until the introduction of tobacco and other smokable plants from the Americas that the Old World adopted smoking culture. In the New World, there are several smokable plants, so smoking culture as Pan-American, from the Arctic to the tip of South America, whereas, it was literally bewildering to the Spanish when they first arrived. 

The article also rightfully pointed out that Ethiopians have always understand the potentially intoxicating if not poisonous effects of this plant, where it is of course indigenous from.  We also know this is attested in the Scriptures when they gave Jesus wine spiked with Myrrh, which was given to executed criminals to dull the pain and relax them.

very interesting thread to dig up :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline FormerReformer

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There is no need to add any psychoactive substances to an already psychoactive substance.
Well, I don't know about need and psychoactive substances, but I know there can be reasons for mixing two together- such as the different altered states that combinations can produce.  If "regular" incense produces one effect, and the addition of cannabis produces a different effect, and if God were indeed after a certain effect in order to communicate more clearly that could only be brought about through the combination, then 420 conspiracy theorists might not be far off. Far out, perhaps, but not far off  :laugh:

That said, there's a certain burden of proof that I feel our 420 conspiracy theorists need to fulfill- namely that God needs psychoactive substances to communicate with us effectively. Until such proof is met, they are as far off base as the electrical engineers I know who believe that the Ark of the Covenant was basically a "receiver" for God's transmissions.
"Funny," said Lancelot, "how the people who can't pray say that prayers are not answered, however much the people who can pray say they are."  TH White

Oh, no: I've succumbed to Hyperdoxy!