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It’s no secret that the cannabis plant has had impacts on communities for centuries. But, some people may not realize just how far back the utilization of weed has gone — until they hear about Bhang. 

As one of the oldest cannabis products in history, the Bhang drink is something that every canna-connoisseur (or even just a 420-fan) should know about.

That’s why, today, we’re taking a closer look into Bhang and the long history of drinkable weed in ancient civilizations. But, first, what is Bhang? Let’s find out. 

What is Bhang?

Bhang is a traditional Indian beverage that’s most famously associated with Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

However, it is also consumed during other festivities and at times for medicinal purposes. 

This particular herbal drink has a long history in Indian culture and Ayurvedic medicine.

The main ingredient in this green drink is, you guessed it, hemp leaves!

These hemp leaves are carefully steeped and pressed and then added to a milk-based beverage

Since cannabinoids are fat-soluble, the compounds work well to break down within the contents of the milk. 

From there, a variety of herbs and spices are used to add flavor to the Bhang drink.

Common spices are cardamom, clove, and black pepper; you can even use sugar or honey for a sweeter option. 

All these ingredients are ground and mixed to create a somewhat thick green drink to sip on. Yum!

The Long History of the Bhang Drink

While drinkable cannabis may seem like a somewhat modern invention, Bhang has actually been around for centuries.

In fact, it’s one of the oldest recordings of cannabis consumption. 

Scientists have concluded that Bhang can be traced back about 3,000 years ago, finding evidence of the drink back in the Vedic period.

The Atharvaveda, one of the four sacred texts of Hinduism written around 2000 to 1400 BCE, mentions cannabis as one of the five sacred plants. 

In these texts, Bhang is often associated with the Hindu god Shiva, who is said to have discovered the transcendent properties of the cannabis plant.

The Bhang drink continued to be enjoyed throughout India for numerous reasons well into the 19th century.

It was at this point that, under British Colonial rule, laws surrounding Bhang in India were scrutinized, and it became more difficult for people to consume it regularly. 

Still, the drink persisted in various parts of India due to its cultural significance. 

Bhang drink

Can You Find Bhang Today?

While cannabis is currently illegal in India today, laws are pretty lax when it comes to Bhang. You will still see people making and enjoying this hemp-derived drink during celebrations — like Holi.

Some government-authorized shops in India also sell Bhang, so you can keep an eye out if you’re ever out shopping. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to find yourself in India to get a hold of Bhang drinks these days.

As the cannabis industry has expanded — and history has become more accessible — the community has adopted these ancient practices, bringing them more mainstream. (Of course, the ethics of this can be up for discussion.) 

The Indian drink itself is not commonly found in dispensaries, no.

But, cannabis-infused drinks have become more popular than ever, and you can find various beverages filled with your favorite cannabinoids.

You just may have to get your MMJ card to enjoy them!

How to Make Bhang (At Home!)

If Holi is coming up and you want to celebrate your Indian heritage, or if you’d just like to appreciate a drink from this culture, you can definitely make your own Bhang at home if you have the ingredients. 

Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Cannabis leaves and buds (quantity depends on personal preference/tolerance)
  • Milk (about 2 cups)
  • Water
  • Spices (cardamom, fennel seeds, pepper, ginger, etc.)
  • Sweetener (sugar or honey)
  • Almonds and other nuts (optional, for garnish)
  • Grinder (or mortar and pestle)
  • Strainer
  • Bowl
  • Pan

Here’s how to make Bhang right in the comfort of your home: 

  1. Clean the Cannabis: Rinse the cannabis leaves and buds with water to clean them.
  2. Boil the Plant: Boil the cannabis in water for about 10 minutes. This helps in decarboxylation (activating THC) and softens the leaves.
  3. Grind the Cannabis: Drain the water and grind the cannabis into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. You can add a little bit of water or milk to ease grinding.
  4. Prepare the Spice Mix: Separately, grind your chosen spices into a fine powder.
  5. Mix Cannabis with Spices and Milk: Combine the cannabis paste, ground spices, and milk. Continue to grind or blend to get a smooth mixture.
  6. Sweeten the Mixture: Add your preferred sweetener (sugar or honey) to the mixture and stir well.
  7. Strain: Use a strainer to filter out the solid particles from the mixture, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.
  8. Serve: Serve the Bhang chilled. You can garnish it with crushed almonds or other nuts.

Trying Cannabis History With Elevate Holistics

With how much we’re still learning about the cannabis plant, it’s hard to believe that products like Bhang have been around for so long — but we’re so happy that they are!

If you’re interested in trying high-quality cannabis-infused drinks — or making your own Bhang at home — the best first step to take is getting your MMJ card

Having an MMJ card grants you access to the best cannabis products at the lowest possible prices.

And, having legal protection is always a plus. 

Make the best Bhang for your Holi celebrations today and get your MMJ card online below.

Weed is better -- and cheaper -- with an MMJ card.

Save money and get priority service when you get your medical marijuana card online today.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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