The God of gods, Shiva, loves Bhang, the cannabis Indian drink. Can it get any cooler than this? There’s a God who indulges in the intoxication of the globally loved herb, cannabis, and his divine tales come from thousands of thousands of years BC.
So what exactly is Bhang and what is the story behind its seraphic consumption among Indians without any legal shackles? Let’s explore!
Bhang and Its Cool History
Bhang is basically a cannabis-infused drink, yes, just like we have CBD infused drinks and other CBD products. However, the only difference is that Indians use actual flowers of cannabis to make Bhang and there’s no regulation involved in its consumption, especially at religious places and festivals such as Holi and Mahashivratri.
Yes, anybody and everybody can gulp a glass of Bhang on these days and more interestingly, there’s no such thing as the legal limit of 2 Mg or 5 Mg, people are free to drink as much Bhang as their capacity lets them. In fact, it is legally sold by the Government on these pious days.
As far as the spiritual tales go, Bhang’s existence in the world shaped by a cosmic event in the Indian mythology. The two worlds, the gods, and the demons were fighting for attaining Amrit, the Elixir of immortality, by churning the cosmic ocean.
This entire churning was supposed to go through different levels and something presented itself on each level which was to be acknowledged. On one such level, poison churned out of the ocean and this cosmic event came to a halt and wouldn’t move forward until someone drank that poison.
That’s where the God of Destruction, Shiva stepped in and decided to drink the poison himself. When he was drinking that poison, his wife put her hand on the throat not letting the poison enter his system which made Shiva’s throat blue. This event also gave Shiva the name ‘Neelkanth’ (Blue Neck).
Shiva’s lady, Parvati, couldn’t watch Shiva’s suffering and churned some Bhang to relieve him from pain. This is one of the many tales where Bhang, the cannabis drink is mentioned in the Hindu mythology.
One of the versions even says that when finally the Amrit was found after the cosmic churning of the ocean, wherever the drops of this elixir fell, a cannabis plant grew.
The churning of the ocean, poison, elixir of immortality, and cannabis, quite cool right?
The Most Relatable Myth
Amongst the many stories that revolve around the spiritual stand of cannabis in India, this is by far the most relatable derivative. Shiva, also known as the God of Death, embraced everything that was rejected by the civilized society.
He preferred to live in crematorium which is often considered a place of taboo and it has an air of fear and rejection in it. Shiva preferred Dhatura (Devil’s Snare) as an offering from his devotees over the beautiful garlands.
He constantly reminded people that death is a reality, destruction is inevitable, and that there’s always dark where there’s light. The norms that the society has built are fickle as these aspects are a reality too and the man can’t ignore it. Cannabis, the rejected plant, is therefore, Shiva’s favorite. He also smoked marijuana which the Indians call Chillum.
The Indians consider Bhang and Chillum as the source of spiritual awakening and all the hardcore devotees of Shiva practice weed smoking.
However, what most people misinterpret is that Shiva was a highly awakened persona. He didn’t get affected by the high that cannabis brought, just the calm. He was not affected by the bitterness or by sweetness, not by wealth or poverty, not by beauty or by ugliness. He was detached from these humane things and all that mattered was the existence.
And to celebrate Shiva’s existence, people all over India drink Bhang on two occasions, Mahashivratri (The Great Night of Shiva), and Holi, the festival of colors. So Bhang is more of a spiritual and celebratory drink in India! But it doesn’t remain that. In the Vedic scriptures of India, there are several mentions of cannabis for medicinal purposes such as pain, nausea, stomach issues, etc.
The Making of Bhang- It’s Easier Than You Think
Making Bhang is as easy as it can be! Here is everything you need to have to make Bhang!
- Strainer Or Muslin Cloth
- 4 cups of warm milk
- 28g Cannabis Buds
- 2 Cups Water
- ¼ Cup Ginger
- ⅛ tsp Cinnamon and Cardamom
- ½ Cup Honey
- ¼ Cup Chopped Almonds
Shall we start?
Step 1: Okay, fill the pot with water and place it on the stove to boil. Put the cannabis buds in the water and place the pot aside. Remember, you don’t have to boil the buds, just let them rest in the hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: After around 10 minutes, strain the cannabis buds using a strainer or a muslin cloth. But don’t let the water go down the drain. Collect the water in another container and set it aside.
Step 3: Take the cannabis buds in the mortar and add two tsp warm milk in it… Use the pestle to squash the buds.
Step 4: Continue adding buds and two tsp of warm milk until all buds are done and you have added half a cup milk. Pestle it nicely until it becomes a nice paste.
Step 5: Use a muslin cloth this time to strain the weed-infused milk. Set the milk aside.
Step 6: Now, add almonds, ginger, and warm milk in the mortar and pestle it. Once it takes the form of a paste, squeeze it and rest the extracts aside.
Step 7: It’s time to mix it all up. Take the weed-infused milk, almond and ginger paste, warm water which we set aside in the first step, cardamom and cinnamon powder, and add all to the remaining milk.
Step 8: Sweeten the Bhang using either honey or sugar. Freeze it if you will and enjoy the delectable Bhang.
If you are a resident of one of the progressive state and are tired of the non-cannabis CBD gummies and CBD oil, try this recipe to make things interesting! You can also give it a non-cannabis twist by using hemp stalks and seeds.