Cannabis is found all over the country.
Most cannabis based products are illegal. One isn’t.
Bhang = A paste made by pounding the buds and the leaves of the female cannabis plant. This forms the base of the famous drink “Thandai” which is drunk extensively on the Hindu festival of Holi. This paste is then mixed with ghee,milk,sugar and spices. This flavoured paste is then used in various special occasion treats such as laddoos (sweetened spherical Indian sweet)
Bhang is available openly in all Indian cities at special government approved shops.
India is liberal.
We’re cool with bhang. Here is my favourite, over-expressive Bollywood (Mumbai’s film industry) Holi song. It reflects India’s ability to uphold tradition. It also shows you Bollywood’s interpretation of the after-effects of drinking thandai.
(English subtitles available under settings)
Bhang is also available openly in another form. Ironically, people take this as an antioxidant. Its called “bhang ki goli” or “bhola”. This is, basically bhang rubbed with other Ayurvedic ingredients to form a little ball, then wrapped in pink plastic wrappers and sold openly and cheaply in paan shops as Bhola candy. However, consuming this is looked down upon in some parts of society.
Bhang is 100% safe and ideally, should be taken lightly. However, as an ingredient, it really has just one purpose. A bhang candy, apart from the cannabis, has a lot of churan. Churan, is one of the best antioxidants around. The candy also has hints of amla, another Indian ingredient used in Ayurveda. I think it tastes a lot like chyawanprash.
Cultural significance of Bhang
Ayurveda is the science of preparing medicines using ingredients found in nature. It is deeply connected to the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas. These ingredients have not changed for thousands of years. According to Ayurveda, consuming bhang induces sleep and is also used to curb anxiety.
Bhang is associated with Lord Shiva, a part of the Hindu holy trinity of Gods.
Indian traditions are evergreen. Holi and bhang go together just like turkey on Thanksgiving.
India’s attitude towards Bhang is confusing, however. It shows that there is harmony when it comes to Tradition and being liberal. This also shows that we Indians love raising hell during Holi!
Thandai: (Also legal)
Wholesome smoothie with mild cannabis effects
What you need:
- Yogurt (hung preferred)
- Milk as per quantity
- Sugar or honey or both
- Cashew/peeled almonds, raisins, green cardamom seeds.
- To add even more texture, you may add fruits or muesli.
- Bhang (optional), with caution
- To add colour, you may use rose syrup or saffron
Blitz and serve chilled.
Adjust sweetness and desired consistency
To tackle side effects, Drink lots of water and/or green tea.