We Are All Part of the Tree of Life

Make no mistake, I am a lover of trees, a lover of all things in the natural world; but, trees, with their multiple uses and features, are my favorite. Thus, when I was watching an episode of Psychedelica (found on the Gaia Network, which you can stream on Prime for a fee; find out more here) and discovered that some theorized the cannabis plant is the Tree of Life, it caught my attention.

The specific episode guide (Season 2, Episode 6) states: "Cannabis may be the fabled tree of life mentioned in nearly every spiritual tradition on Earth. Archeological finds prove that this is one of the oldest cultivated crops because of its myriad of uses ranging from expansion of consciousness to construction materials."

Tree of Life

What is The Tree of Life? It is a popular, sacred, and universal symbol that dates back to ancient times and is found in many religious and spiritual communities. Interestingly, this symbol does not belong to any one culture or religion, but has been used all over the world for centuries. Art and symbols showcasing the Tree of Life have been found in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Iran, Ancient Mesopotamia and Urartu, Scandinavia, and many more places. This mystical tree connects the physical and spiritual worlds.

Surrounding the concept of the Tree of Life is the idea that there is a strong desire by many to reconnect to the nature of divinity and attain eternal life by consuming the life-giving fruit of the Tree, or embodying the symbolic qualities of the Tree itself.

For Christians and Jews, the Tree of Life is mentioned in Genesis 3, existing in the Garden of Eden, along with the Tree of Knowledge. After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge and were about to be banished from the Garden of Eden... Genesis 3:22: And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

The Tree of Life also is mentioned in Buddhism (believed to be the Tree of Enlightenment) and Islam (known as the Tree of Immortality in the Quran).

For the non-religious, the Tree of Life symbolizes our connection with nature (and attempt to reconnect with nature) -- and with each other. It's a reminder that we are never alone -- and always connected to nature and the universe. Furthermore, the roots of the Tree of Life grow deeply and spread into the Earth and its branches reach up into the sky, accepting energy from the sun and moon.


Cannabis is a Master Plant -- make no mistake about it -- one of several plants with especially strong curative and spiritual powers that help energize the body and uplift the mind. (Other Master Plants include Ayahuasca, Chacruna, Mapacho, Peyote, San Pedro, and Toe.) Cannabis is finally being rediscovered as this amazing plant with so many benefits and applications -- from healing to rope and textile to food. Cannabis is indigenous to and originated in Asia.

In his book, Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years, Dr. Ernest L. Abel (1980) theorizes that cannabis was among one of the first widely cultivated in the world -- and is more than 12,000 years old. He states: "Of all the plants men have ever grown, none has been praised and denounced as often as marihuana (Cannabis sativa). Throughout the ages, marihuana has been extolled as one of man's greatest benefactors -- and cursed as one of his greatest scourges." Furthermore, he adds: "Marihuana is a very rapidly growing plant, attaining a usual height of three to twenty feet at maturity."

There's no question that societies and cultures have been using the various properties of cannabis for thousands of years, but does it make the plant THE tree of life? Who knows, but the speculation is interesting -- and especially now that we are learning more and more about the medicinal value of cannabis for a wide range of ailments, including chronic pain and inflammation, anxiety and depression, sleep issues, addiction management, and neuroprotection.

Final Thoughts on the Tree of Life

I love the concept of the Tree of Life... that as we grow, we sink our roots deeper into the ground, we grow our branches out and our trunk taller, and we provide shade and comfort for all sorts of other plants and animals. Trees, we are discovering, are part of a community -- some less tight-knit than others (like Aspens). Perhaps we all can be a Tree of Life -- for ourselves, our families and friends, and our communities.

Whatever your spirituality or religion, I think we can get behind this wonderful symbol. Is the Tree of Life a form of cannabis? Who knows, but that's not really the point of this discussion, though it should be reiterated that cannabis seems to be one of the most versatile and useful plants on the planet.

Tree of Life Helpful Articles

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.