Organic hemp oil in body product

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BritishBahai
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Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby BritishBahai » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:54 pm

Hi everyone

It's been ages since I've started a thread on here. I hope you're all well :winkgrin:

I was wondering about something. It's on the subject of marijuana/etc, and the Kitab Aqdas makes its stance pretty clear.

(I apologise in advance for having to post this quote because it's kinda long, and I'm aware that it will therefore make my post a little long. Even though I personally-- and I'm sure many other people, aswell--- have probably memorised this quote, I still thought I'd post it anyway so everyone knows the passage I'm referring to.)

Don't worry about reading all of it, as I'm only referring to a couple of parts:
(In The Kitab-i-Aqdas, on page 238, Baha'u'llah has) wrote:170. the use of opium ... any substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor # 155

This prohibition of the use of opium is reiterated by Bahá'u'lláh in the final paragraph of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. In this connection, Shoghi Effendi stated that one of the requirements for "a chaste and holy life" is "total abstinence ... from opium, and from similar habit-forming drugs". Heroin, hashish and other derivatives of cannabis such as marijuana, as well as hallucinogenic agents such as LSD, peyote and similar substances, are regarded as falling under
this prohibition.

'Abdu'l-Bahá has written:

As to opium, it is foul and accursed. God protect us from the punishment He inflicteth on the user. According to the explicit Text of the Most Holy Book, it is forbidden, and its use is utterly condemned. Reason showeth that smoking opium is a kind of insanity, and experience attesteth that the user is
completely cut off from the human kingdom. May God protect all against the perpetration of an act so hideous as this, an act which layeth in ruins the very foundation of what it is to be human, and which causeth the user to be dispossessed for ever and ever. For opium fasteneth on the soul so that the user's conscience dieth, his mind is blotted away, his perceptions are eroded. It turneth the living into the dead. It quencheth the natural heat. No greater harm can be conceived than that which opium inflicteth. Fortunate are they who never even speak the name of it; then think how wretched is the user.  239 

O ye lovers of God! In this, the cycle of Almighty God, violence and force, constraint and oppression, are one and all condemned. It is, however, mandatory that the use of opium be prevented by any means whatsoever, that perchance the human race may be delivered from this most powerful of plagues. And otherwise, woe and misery to whoso falleth short of his duty to his Lord.

In one of His Tablets 'Abdu'l-Bahá has stated concerning opium: "the user, the buyer and the seller are all deprived of the bounty and grace of God".

In yet another Tablet, 'Abdu'l-Bahá has written:

Regarding hashish you have pointed out that some Persians have become habituated to its use. Gracious God! This is the worst of all intoxicants, and its prohibition is explicitly revealed. Its use causeth the disintegration of thought and the complete torpor of the soul. How could anyone seek the fruit of the infernal tree, and by partaking of it, be led to exemplify the qualities of a monster? How could one use this forbidden drug, and thus deprive himself of the blessings of the All-Merciful? Alcohol consumeth the mind and causeth man to commit acts of absurdity, but this opium, this foul fruit of the infernal tree, and this wicked hashish extinguish the mind, freeze the spirit, petrify the soul, waste the body and leave man frustrated and lost.

It should be noted that the above prohibition against taking certain classes of drugs does not forbid their use when prescribed by qualified physicians as part of a medical treatment.

To cut the long story short, this evening I came back from a mini shopping spree. I've bought a big bottle of Dr Bronner's pure castille soap. I've noticed that "Organic Hemp Oil" is listed in the ingredients list :ugh: *Sigh*
I've Googled "Hemp" (I knew it was somehow related to cannabis, but I wasn't sure of the specifics). Apparently, "Hemp" is supposed to be the stalk of the cannabis plant but it's classified as a "non-drug" http://www.hemp.com/what-is-hemp/

Now you may be wondering why I'm worried. This is the reason: anything you put onto your skin is absorbed into your body, and eventually gets into your bloodstream. Just to clarify, I'm not worried about getting "high" after using a bottle of liquid soap, because that will not be the case. My concern is that the Aqdas clearly states that: "Heroin, hashish and other derivatives of cannabis such as marijuana, as well as hallucinogenic agents such as LSD, peyote and similar substances, are regarded as falling under this prohibition." (Same quote as above). Hemp is a derivative of cannabis, from what I've gathered, so it's clear enough that it also "[falls] under this prohibition."

I just wanted to re-emphasise that the Hemp Oil in this product is "certified organic" (i.e., as pure as it can get). So by using it, aren't I "partaking" of cannabis (because I'm going to wash my skin with it, and it will be absorbed into my bloodstream)?

On the one hand, I'm thinking to myself "relax!" but I cannot ignore my gut reaction which is saying that I should not use this particular product. I'm still wondering whether I should use it or not.

Purity of motive is an important thing here, being a Bahai. When the Aqdas says "total abstinence" from XYZ, then there are no "If"s or "But"s -- it's final, and there's no grey-area. So even if I were to come across a showergel containing certified organic oils of opium or peyote (class A[?] drugs), I should still have the same reaction. When the Aqdas clearly instructs us to have "total abstinence" then they are referring to all forms of it -- be it the actual drug itself, its fumes, or its oil.

Even if you don't have any quotes to post, I would still like to read what your personal thoughts are on this. Say whatever you want to and don't feel the need to be diplomatic. I'm just curious as to what other people would do in my situation. Thank you :computer:
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

brettz9
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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby brettz9 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:32 am

BritishBahai wrote:When the Aqdas says "total abstinence" from XYZ, then there are no "If"s or "But"s -- it's final, and there's no grey-area... When the Aqdas clearly instructs us to have "total abstinence" then they are referring to all forms of it -- be it the actual drug itself, its fumes, or its oil.


While the purity of motive is indeed important, as is the need for fidelity ("As Bahá'u'lláh says we should take the outward significance and super-impose upon it the inner."), I think that we have other important writings telling us:

One might liken Bahá'u'lláh's teachings to a sphere; there are points poles apart, and in between the thoughts and doctrines that unite them.

(From a letter dated 5 July 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, at http://bahai-library.com/compilations/d ... g.html#148 )


"We must never take one sentence in the Teachings and isolate it from the rest"

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 457)


"It is heartening to note that the friends are approaching the study of the messages of the Universal House of Justice related to the Plan with such diligence. The level of discussion generated as they strive to put into practice the guidance received, and to learn from experience, is impressive. We cannot help noticing, however, that achievements tend to be more enduring in those regions where the friends strive to understand the totality of the vision conveyed in the messages, while difficulties often arise when phrases and sentences are taken out of context and viewed as isolated fragments. The institutions and agencies of the Faith should help the believers to analyse but not reduce, to ponder meaning but not dwell on words, to identify distinct areas of action but not compartmentalize. We realize that this is no small task. Society speaks more and more in slogans. We hope that the habits the friends are forming in study circles to work with full and complex thoughts and to achieve understanding will be extended to various spheres of activity."

"Closely related to the habit of reducing an entire theme into one or two appealing phrases is the tendency to perceive dichotomies, where, in fact, there are none. It is essential that ideas forming part of a cohesive whole not be held in opposition to one another. In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi warned: “We must take the teachings as a great, balanced whole, not seek out and oppose to each other two strong statements that have different meanings; somewhere in between, there are links uniting the two.” How encouraged we have been to note that many of the misunderstandings of the past have fallen away as appreciation for the provisions of the Plan has grown. Expansion and consolidation, individual action and collective campaigns, refinement of the inner character and consecration to selfless service—the harmonious relationship between these facets of Bahá’í life is now readily acknowledged. It brings us equal pleasure to know that the friends are on their guard, lest new false dichotomies be allowed to pervade their thinking. They are well aware that the diverse elements of a programme of growth are complementary. The tendency to see activities, and the agencies that support them, in competition with one another, a tendency so common in society at large, is being avoided by the community."

(Ridvan 2011, from http://messagesbahaiworldcentre.blogspo ... se-of.html )


"Another point remains, and it is this: that in case of contagious diseases, such as the plague and cholera, whether cremation of bodies with lime or other chemicals is allowable or not? In such cases, hygiene and preservation is necessarily more important; for according to the clear Divine texts, medical commands are lawful, and 'necessities make forbidden things lawful' is one of the certain rules."

(Provisional translation on Burying of the Dead, at http://bahai-library.com/provisionals/burying.html )


Of course the last one is about medical exceptions, but it is another case of not taking a statement out of context (and for those interested in the topic, here's another quote which nuances it a a little forbidding experiments with them, while still allowing it "when prescribed for medical treatment"):

Bahá'ís should not use hallucinogenic agents, including LSD, peyote and similar substances, except when prescribed for medical treatment. Neither should they become involved in experiments with such substances.
(From a letter dated 11 January 1967 written by the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, at http://bahai-library.com/compilation_ch ... ly_life#29 )


(And even in the case of experiments, I'd doubt that would prevent participating in clinical trial experiments, just as the Guardian indicated that in times of war we can still participate in activities including such as "ambulance work" since "It is immaterial whether such activities would still expose them to dangers, either at home or in the front, since their desire is not to protect their lives, but to desist from any acts of wilful murder.")

Perhaps more significant than all of these is this quotation:

"In creation there is no evil; all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.

" it is evident that in creation and nature evil does not exist at all; but when the natural qualities of man are used in an unlawful way, they are blameworthy."

(Some Answered Questions, p. 215)


To me the above suggests that unless explicitly prohibited, such products are nor forbidden unless used for ill.

There are also similar quotations on alcohol:

"It is so unambiguously forbidden in the Tablets of Baha'u'llah that there is no excuse for them even touching it in the form of a toast, or in a burning plum pudding; in fact, in any way."

(3 March 1957 to an individual believer)


...yet certainly that does not prohibit use of products created with ethanol.

And finally, there is this precious quotation:

"He uses the method of exaggerated emphasis in order to drive home His thought that we know the sun indirectly thru the Manifestations of God."

(20 February 1950, cited at http://bahai-library.com/bsr/bsr02/21_f ... tation.htm )


Of course, the Universal House of Justice is the final arbiter on such matters.

Best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby brettz9 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:45 am

That all being said, of course there are certain cultural associations with certain products which should probably be avoided. I don't think wearing marijuana leafs to glorify the plant which was created for good by God is exactly a wise decision. But using a plant for harmless purposes seems just fine to me.

BruceDLimber
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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby BruceDLimber » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:57 am

The portion of the plant used for this is clearly non-psychoactive; otherwise it would fall under the ordinary restrictions. So no problem.

(Remember hemp is used, for example, to make rope, too.)

Bruce

Jonah
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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby Jonah » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:15 am

| Remember hemp is used, for example, to make rope, too

And cars! http://www.gizmag.com/kestrel-ev-made-from-hemp/16166 . In all seriousness, hemp/cannabis has been shown by more than one study to be the single most diverse-usage plant known, followed by soy and I guess corn. That is, there are more practical uses for hemp fiber and oil and other extracts from this plant than from any other plant.

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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby onepence » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:23 am

BruceDLimber wrote:The portion of the plant used for this is cleary non-psychoactive; otherwise it would fall under the ordinary restrictions. So no problem.

(Remember hemp is used, for example, to make rope, too.)

Bruce


I will second that ... :-)

Fadl
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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby Fadl » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:31 pm

The primary prohibition against hemp would be when it is an intoxicant. If it is not an intoxicant, and not harmful or habit forming, it seems the injuction of the Aqdas doesn't apply to it. There are other considerations, however. For example, as Brett pointed out, wearing it as an ornament is inadvisable, and would go against the injuction of the Aqdas about our manner of dress, and not being "play things of the ignorant" and keeping in "refinement" and other similar injunctions found in the Aqdas. In my opinion, if this product has this ingredient, yet the bottle doesn't have a big hemp leaf or market itself in some way that would make you seem like the kind of person who engages in or promotes marijauna use, I don't think anything in the Aqdas suggests you can't use it. The last consideration, and this is more from a view point of consumer actionism, is this: Does the inclusion of this hemp oil in the product contribute in a small way to the larger problem of hemp abuse by contributing to overall demand and adding financial support to a market that is damaging in other arenas? That's something I don't have the answer for. I can tell you that if I believed it did, I would not use the product for that reason only.
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

brettz9
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Re: Organic hemp oil in body product

Postby brettz9 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:33 pm

Fadl wrote:Does the inclusion of this hemp oil in the product contribute in a small way to the larger problem of hemp abuse by contributing to overall demand and adding financial support to a market that is damaging in other arenas? That's something I don't have the answer for. I can tell you that if I believed it did, I would not use the product for that reason only.


Hi Fadl,

One passage I think is interesting here in such connections:

"From study of the beloved Guardian's letters it is apparent that what he wanted the friends to avoid is 'specifically aggressive or directly military' activities. As regards indirect activities it would be extremely difficult in modern society for anyone to disassociate himself from activities which, in the long run and by devolution, are inimical to the human race."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, November 29, 1967, no. 1356, emphasis added)


Obviously Baha'is ought to be concerned about the repercussions of our consumer choices, but I think it's interesting nevertheless, that the passage offers some assurances that some problems run too deep for individuals to be able to disentangle them in a simple way.

Were there a purely scientific examination of the consequences, as you suggest, the answer might not be clear-cut, and even might be the opposite of what some may expect. For example, if indigent farmers of hemp, poppies, coca, etc. could find a lucrative market (or a market at all) for legitimate uses of their products, they might not be as tempted to support more nefarious uses for their products, could band together in support of monitoring of their industry, etc. Swords into plough-shares.... As the Baha'i Writings indicate, the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty is a critical one to bringing peace, and not every assistance for this problem will be about forced redistribution of wealth (e.g., the strictly voluntary Huququ'llah is I think what 'Abdu'l-Baha may be referencing on p. 277 of Some Answered Questions given the subsequent mention there of the benefit of voluntary contributions), however necessary some forced redistribution will need to be in the future (incidentally I've wondered about whether this passage in The Tablet of the World were referring to Huququ'llah, Zakat, Baha'i Fund (special or otherwise), or something else: " the following...constitute the fundamental principles for the administration of the affairs of men...Fourth: Everyone, whether man or woman, should hand over to a trusted person a portion of what he or she earneth through trade, agriculture or other occupation, for the training and education of children, to be spent for this purpose with the knowledge of the Trustees of the House of Justice.").

BritishBahai
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Thanks for the quick replies, everyone :)

Postby BritishBahai » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:42 pm

A big thank you to everyone for their replies -- I've learnt a lot from your different perspectives and quotes.

I wanted to mention that one of the selling points of this particular product is the fact that it contains hemp oil (which we all know by now!). Apparently, hemp oil is good for your skin as it's rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Even though hemp is classified as "non-psychoactive" (which BruceDLimber rightly pointed out), the fact that it still contains 0.3% of THC (which is the same psychoactive chemical in marijuana) is what is putting me off. I know that 0.3% is next-to-nothing, but I have decided that on this occasion, I'm more comfortable giving the item back and getting a refund. There are other alternative products I can use in the shower...

I know I sound picky :wink: I guess my attitude towards this subject is such because I am very health oriented and since November 2010 have been using alternative products which have a low hazard rating, ranging from toothpaste to shampoo. For those of you who are interested, this site is good.

Thanks again for all the replies :thumbs: :megagrin:
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

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Re: Thanks for the quick replies, everyone :)

Postby Fadl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:48 am

BritishBahai wrote:A big thank you to everyone for their replies -- I've learnt a lot from your different perspectives and quotes.

I wanted to mention that one of the selling points of this particular product is the fact that it contains hemp oil (which we all know by now!). Apparently, hemp oil is good for your skin as it's rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Even though hemp is classified as "non-psychoactive" (which BruceDLimber rightly pointed out), the fact that it still contains 0.3% of THC (which is the same psychoactive chemical in marijuana) is what is putting me off. I know that 0.3% is next-to-nothing, but I have decided that on this occasion, I'm more comfortable giving the item back and getting a refund. There are other alternative products I can use in the shower...

I know I sound picky :wink: I guess my attitude towards this subject is such because I am very health oriented and since November 2010 have been using alternative products which have a low hazard rating, ranging from toothpaste to shampoo. For those of you who are interested, this site is good.

Thanks again for all the replies :thumbs: :megagrin:


I think you made a good decision, and thanks for bringing it as a topic!
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah


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