Bhang. An explosion. A loud noise. A sudden burst of action. It is a familiar word though the spelling may be unfamiliar. The little h hidden in this word stands for a multitude of things: healing, happy, hypnotic, hellish, and, especially the last, high. High doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling, but it is a good place to start.
So, What is Bhang?
It originates from Varanasi or Banaras, places of Shiva worship. First used in 1000 BC, this ancient drink was used as an anti-stressing agent. It is a sacred drink of the Gods, which Shiva apparently discovered, and is used to aid meditation. This traditional drink contains sugar, spices, milk or ghee, and a whole lot of cannabis. It is said to produce a medicinal, tranquil feeling that elevates spirit and mind on the one who consumes it and I definitely agree. During my Bhang experience, I felt it had a different effect than most edibles. My body felt more uplifted than the usual couch mode, and my mind was a little more dazed and slightly more curious.
Where Can You Find It?
Bhang is the official Northern Indian Holi festival drink. And there is nothing like it. As far as I know, you cannot get this drink anywhere but India. So, I made it at home and provided my rendition of the recipe here on LIWTS.
You can find out more about the origins and history of Bhang on the official Holi festival website. They also provide two recipes of which I tried myself and then altered. Let’s just say, I had way too much and I only sipped on my creations. So I must heed warning before giving you my recipes: be cautious!
Bhang! What’s the Recipe?
The original recipe is with milk, but I can’t tolerate dairy so I made it with ghee (I could have also used coconut milk because of the fat content. I wouldn’t advise using soy or almond). The original ghee recipe is made with vodka, and I was unsure about this so I made two batches, one with and one without. I thought the one with vodka tasted much better though the alcohol burned off so there was no vodka taste. I also noticed that the one made with vodka combined the ghee and the cold coconut milk much better than the one without.
I think the hype around the drink is justified. There is something about the ingredients that feels magical more than medicinal. I like the use of the leaves for this recipe and would like to try the recipe without the bud and only the leaves. I am also excited to try this recipe without decarboxylation of the cannabis which would elevate the THCA content. I think that would really enhance the healthy mind, body and spirit elements… but more of an update on that in the future.
Annie’s Bhang Ingredients
- 6g cannabis leaves (fresh) and bud (heavier on the bud for more psychoactive properties)
- ¼ cup (28g) ghee (you can make your own ghee easily with grass-fed butter)
- 4 oz (118g) vodka
- ½ cup – 3 cups coconut milk (I used a half cup and it was too potent for me!)
- Spices: Garam Masala, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg (use to your taste preference, I used a couple pinches of masala and cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg)
- 1 tsp of raw honey
- Slivered almonds
How To Make Bhang:
- Melt the ghee or butter.
- Add the cannabis leaves and bud and let cook for thirty minutes on low.
- Add the vodka. Be careful of your hands as you add it because the pan will steam and splash its contents.
- Then set aside to cool before adding the coconut milk.
- Add your spices, honey and almonds and enjoy!
I recommend experimenting at first with only a few sips. See how it affects you before chugging the whole thing.