Marijuana and Possession

Traditional Medicine and Possession

First of all, I want to say that this article is not about the legalities of having marijuana in your possession. It’s about marijuana and demonic possession.

Secondly, what I’m going to talk about here goes way beyond the scope of what I would normally observe, treat or talk about in everyday clinical practice. Still, I’m going to address this issue for two main reasons:

1) So many people ask me about it in person, during interviews and via the internet, and

2) My training in traditional medicines, medical anthropology and shamanism allows me to speak on this subject with some intelligence and I hope with valuable insight.

Marijuana is Just a Part of the Picture

So here’s my opinion on marijuana and demonic possession:

I don’t believe that marijuana is directly responsible for satanic possession or possessions by devils or demons of any kind.

However, It has been my experience that marijuana can be an indirect catalyst for such occurrences to happen, at least from an indigenous point of view.

A Variety of Models

Is there another way to explain these cases that fits more within our own modern worldview? There are several, but the most plausible from our way of thinking is that a possessing entity is actually a person’s own cycle of addiction and compulsion. At this level, possession can be explained away using standard addiction models and their physiological mechanisms.

Another very plausible model for possession in the case of marijuana is neurological. This relates to cannabis’ ability to induce schizoid brainwave patterns in those who use it. This understanding has been more than validated since Ujike’s original research in Japan by numerous studies and has been the subject of great interest and debate in neurological and psychological academics for a number of years. For example:

Here’s a review of evidence on whether cannabis can cause psychotic or affective symptoms that persist beyond transient intoxication.

A very important collection of opinions regarding whether marijuana use causes lasting schizophrenia, psychosis, or other mental disorders.

More on the relationship between psychosis and cannabis.

Cannabis Use Precedes the Onset of Psychotic Symptoms in Young People.

Or does it?

Read here how psychotic illness begins at a younger age in those who use cannabis, how daily cannabis use in youth can hasten the onset of psychosis

And yet teenage use of marijuana is on the rise year by year, and their perception of its danger is decreasing year by year.

And its use is higher in young adults than formerly reported.

These changes happen in the brain via the COMT gene’s relationship with dopamine.

There are additional genetic factors linking the NRG1 gene with susceptibility to both schizophrenia and cannabis addiction.

The AKT1 gene is also implicated in this process...

Learn how marijuana-related psychosis has its own set of qualities.

However, the natural CBD’s in heirloom marijuana strains appear to antagonize the psychotic effects of THC . It’s an irony that the great majority of the efforts of small-scale cannabis hybridization have been to maximize THC and weed out CBDs...

There have even been trials using cannabidiol (CBD) as a successful anti-psychotic agent...

Marijuana may affect individuals at high risk for psychosis differently than other marijuana users, by briefly inducing psychotic-like experiences and impairing their cognition...

CBD may block THC-related side-effects

The Possession Model Has Certain Advantages

I want to be clear that there needs to be a great deal of pre-qualification in the assessment of these cases. What I’m talking about occurs rarely relative to the norm. Yet when the case is a good fit, viewing the situation as a possession holds some distinct and substantial advantages over current medical and psychological models.

In my view, the possession model has four key features that really should not be ignored:

1) Indigenous wisdom and keen observation have noted with great consistency over time that these influencing forces often present as an entire gestalt of behaviors, and frequently demonstrate complete and distinct personalities and motivations that are seemingly all their own. These personalities inevitably embody aspects of character that are quite different than that of the host, and can be readily identified across multiple hosts.

2) The possession model has the ability to register and detect cause including the moment that addictive tendencies begin and why they occur. By isolating cause, it also identifies addictive trigger patterns in very clear ways that empower the individual to move completely beyond addictive behaviors.

3) The possession model recognizes distinct levels of progression of the invading entity into the personality of the person possessed and utilizes very specific methods to address each level of penetration. The precision of these treatment modalities can be extremely effective, and results are often permanent.

4) The indigenous view frequently assumes a complete or substantial innocence on the part of the person possessed. The possessing entity therefore embodies the totality of the person’s addiction. When this entity is removed, which can be accomplished through a variety of means, often highly technical, the issues that the entity created for the person can completely vanish at one fell swoop.

This assumption of innocence is a wonderful starting point for a psychological system, mostly because this is what you wind up with at the end of the healing process. Compare this orientation with modern psychological and addiction models, which frequently enslave the addicted person to a permanent identification with addiction and a dreary lifetime of process related to this identity.

These four features are what distinguish the possession model as a gift in my view, rather than a primitive anachronism that should be left behind in the annals of pre-medicine.

Acupuncture and Herbal Treatment

For extensive details on how to balance and optimize the effects of cannabis using Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Marijuana Shamanism Index


More Resources

People genetically predisposed to schizophrenia were at disproportionately higher risk for psychotic experiences if they also had a history of cannabis use...

Does marijuana music lead to marijuana use?

For extensive details on how to balance and optimize the effects of cannabis using Traditional Chinese Medicine, please refer to

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine