And You Thought It Was the Broomstick?

Image of witches concocting flying ointment before the sabbat (Hans Baldung Grien, 1514) from PotShot

Some sources suggest that cannabis, along with a slew of other psychotropic plants, contributed to the folk legend about flying witches, from which the Halloween image of witches on broomstick stems. The following is a recipe for an ointment that these researchers say may have been applied intravaginally- with, yes, a broomstick- during witches' sabbaths:

Traditional English Flying Ointment

3 grams annamthol
30 grams betel
50 grams extract of opium
15 grams of cinquefoil
15 grams henbane
15 grams belladonna
15 grams hemlock
5 grams cantharidin
250 grams Cannabis Indica

Blend with oil of your choice or butter.

Cantharidin, by the way, is Spanish Fly, not at all out of place at these notoriously orgiastic affairs. If not actual flying, this formula might well have produced a rather erotic brand of astral traveling.

pp. 95, The Great Book of Hemp: the complete guide to the environmental, commercial, and medicinal uses of the world's most extraordinary plant by Rowan Robinson (1996).

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