The History of Cannabis Traditions During the Holidays [Both Old and New!]

The holidays, in the aftermath of a global pandemic, have changed many traditions about the year's end including a heightened desire to feel connected to one another. The discomforts of not being able to celebrate with family as often, and share experiences and ugly sweaters with friends may have altered how we celebrate but have only heightened our holiday gift-giving traditions which now include an exciting catalog of cannabis-inspired holiday gift ideas.


Giving gifts is a way to express gratitude and appreciation for those we love, and the look on someone’s face when you give them something that reflects your connection makes you feel as warm and fuzzy as a Christmas sweater. For the religious, exchanging presents is an opportunity to strengthen their faith and bond with the community. For the family, exchanging gifts is an opportunity to shut off from daily life and create more lasting memories.

Whether your loved one already likes cannabis flowers or they want to try CBD for the first time, cannabis gifts including must-have accessories like grinders, trays, simple pipes to high-tech portable vaporizers are in demand.

As religion pertains to the history of cannabis, its roots run deep.

Evidence was established in 1936 by an etymologist named Sula Benet, from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw. Benet discovered that the word for cannabis (once originally thought to be of Scythian origin), appears to have been first noted in the Semitic languages, such as Hebrew.

In traditional Hebrew, Cannabis is known as kaneh or kannabus.

  • The root kan in this construction means “reed” or “hemp”,
  • While bosm means “aromatic”.

Benet demonstrated that the ancient word for cannabis is Kaneh-Bosm and that it is mentioned 5 times in the Old Testament! It is said to be a ‘fragrant kane’ designated as kaneh-bosm. As well, it was written as part of the holy anointing oil – as evident from Exodus 30:22 -33 when prophet-shaman Moses goes to speak to the Lord he goes into an enclosure called ‘the tent of the meeting’ where he covers himself in (hemp) oil and places some of it in the incense altar- he then burns it and speaks to the Lord through a pillar of smoke over the incense altar.

A Gift From the Old Testament:

High Dining Founder, Barbie Sommars and Mary Jane University co-Founder Frances Schauwecker explain on GBL TV's Maria's Kitchen, how far back cannabis dates and why historically many believe when the God's spoke, there was smoke.

Then God Said, I Give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit in it.
Genesis 1:29-30

What about other traditional holiday stories, such as that of St. Nick?

The whole story of ‘Santa Claus’, that Old English take on the Old Dutch tradition of ‘SinterKlaas’, then morphed into American literature with jolly ‘St. Nick’, dates back to the 1100s. The only connection with cannabis here is that the story of Sinterklaas has its roots in the Netherlands, the country that has welcomed legal recreational and decriminalized use of marijuana since 1976.

I suppose there are coffee shops that sell some pretty indulgent holiday edibles that could make Sinterklaas/Santa Claus and St. Nick even jollier characters than the folklore imagined! I’ll take it!

Gift giving over the holidays has become even more personalized than ever before, and cannabis-related gifts (in some states, marijuana itself) are a unique and unforgettable choice.

Dating back to 1876, the Sultan of Turkey gave the United States marijuana as a gift! Since its documented inception in 2727, cannabis has experienced a tumultuous journey of highs and lows, showcasing a pattern where the timeless becomes contemporary. There’s no more fitting way to reconnect with our historical roots and lift our holiday spirits than by commemorating its enduring presence and embracing the exchange of cannabis-inspired gifts.

Looking to start a new holiday tradition? You'll love our Cannabis Yule Log! Streaming Christmas Day through New Year's Day.

If the weather outside is frightening and you're looking for something delightful tune into our streaming CannaYule Log! The idea of a burning cannabis themed yule log started with Green Bee Life founder, Maria Calabrese who was inspired by her love of the holidays and her home's idyllic fireplace setting that has appeared on the Hallmark Channel.

Tune into the Canna Yule Log.

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About the Author

Maria Calabrese

Maria thrives off giving a voice to the cannabis industry’s most innovative brands and community while helping them get the exposure they deserve to unleash the full potential of cannabis as a wellness solution.

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