Excerpted from Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana—Medical, Recreational and Scientific.

A grapevine and a cannabis plant are depicted side-by-side on a bas-relief from a ruined Roman temple at Baalbek in Lebanon’s fertile Bekaa Valley. One of the world’s sweet spots for growing cannabis, this region is also known for its fine wines. It is a place where wine and hashish mix geographically as well as culturally.

Poets and thinkers in the Muslim world have long debated the virtues and pitfalls of alcohol and marijuana. An epic poem written by Muhammad Ebn Soleiman Foruli, a sixteenth-century Turkish poet from Baghdad, portrays a dialectical battle between wine and hashish. The two inebriants engage in an allegorical fencing match as the poet describes the euphoric properties of both substances and their consequences, a subject much discussed among Muslim scholars. Foruli viewed wine as the drink of the rich, “while hashish,” he said, “is a friend of the poor, the Dervishes and the men of knowledge.”

One of the outstanding features of hashish was its inexpensiveness, which made the resinous herb accessible to nearly anyone desirous of the joy and repose that it may confer. Large numbers of Muslims used cannabis because, unlike alcohol, it was not expressly forbidden under Koranic law. Islam is the only major religion that banned booze, while cannabis remained a subject of theological dispute among Muslim intellectuals…

Want to learn more about Alcohol and the Endocannabinoid System as well as other wonderful articles related to CBD, psychedelics, and science? Find the rest of these wonderful facts and more in the full article at Project CBD! We hope to see you there, learning more about the wonderful world of CBD and how to can help our lives!


Originally published by Project CBD at “Alcohol & The Endocannabinoid System“. Reprinted with permission.


Martin Lee

co-founder and director of Project CBD and the author of several books, including Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana–Medical, Recreational and Scientific, which received the American Botanical Council’s James A. Duke Award for Excellence in Botanical Literature. Named by High Times as one of the 100 most influential people in cannabis, he is the 2016 winner of the Emerald Cup’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Lee is also co-founder of the media watch group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) and the author of Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD–The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond.

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