3 min

What Is Bhang And How Do You Make It?

3 min
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Have you heard of bhang before? Many people haven't, but it's one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis in India, and it dates back to ancient times.

What is Bhang? Where it Comes From and How to Make it!

Bhang, ganja, and hash are often used interchangeably, but they shouldn't be because they are not even close to the same thing. Ganja is the Sanskrit name for the smokable flowers on the cannabis plant. Hash is a concentrated, resinous substance composed of the compressed trichomes (kief) from cannabis. Bhang is a brewed beverage that uses cannabis as the main ingredient.

It utilises crushed cannabis leaves, flowers, and sometimes stems, mixed with milk and different spices such as ginger and fennel. This creamy, flavorful beverage originated in India, and it's very popular at Hindu festivals like Holi, Janmashtami, and Maha Shivaratri.


Bhang Indian Culture

Bhang is by far one of the oldest cannabis traditions in the world that is still just as popular today as it used to be. Its use dates back to around 2,000 BC and has become a fundamental part of Indian culture.

Bhang is often used during large Hindu festivals, but in many parts of rural India, it's still used to treat fever, dysentery, sunstroke, digestion issues, malaria, and even speech impediments. Ancient warriors would drink bhang to calm their nerves before battle and newlyweds would use it to increase libido for their wedding night.

Cannabis has always been an integral part of the Indian way of life. By the time the British arrived in colonial India, cannabis use was completely mainstream. So much so, that they authorised a study entitled the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report of 1894, which studied the social effects of using cannabis for long periods of time.

The report concluded that cannabis use was completely safe and there were no legitimate reasons to prohibit it. The report actually stated that "to forbid or even seriously to restrict the use of so gracious a herb as cannabis would cause widespread suffering and annoyance.” Oh, how the times have changed.


Skin disorders Bhang

Regardless of how it's consumed, the benefits of using cannabis are limitless, and Bhang is no exception. Bhang is used as a traditional remedy in adults, children, infants, and people with compromised immune systems. Just like cannabis that's smoked, bhang may help digestion related issues and improve appetite.

Bhang is also anecdotally used as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety remedy because of its ability to alleviate stress. It also thought to provide fast-acting pain relief, and it's often prescribed by doctors in India.

Another interesting use for bhang appears to help skin disorders, particularly sunburns and eczema. Similar to aloe vera, bhang instantly cools and soothes the skin when applied topically. So as you can see, it is pretty versatile!


You will need:

  • 500ml water 
  • 700ml warm milk 
  • 120ml honey or sugar 
  • Max. 15g of fresh cannabis leaves & flowers
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel 
  • ½ teaspoon ground anise 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater 
  • Whatever you wish to use as a garnish (edible flowers, mint stems, almonds flakes or crushed pistachios for example)

Follow these steps

Boil Water, remove from heat and add the plant matter. Wait for seven minutes for the "tea" to steep.

Using a muslin cloth, strain cannabis leaves and flowers from water. Squeeze until all the liquid has been pressed from the plants. Set the "tea" to the side for now.

Transfer the plant matter from the muslin cloth to a mortar and pestle with 10ml of warm milk. Slowly grind this together, then squeeze the flowers to infuse the milk. Repeat this process until you have used about 120ml of milk. Set the milk with the plant extract to the side.

Put your garnishes into your mortar and pestle, along a splash warm milk. Grind into a fine paste. Collect the Remove any fibres or chunks from the paste.

Now it's time for the assembly! Combine "tea" water, milk extract, and paste together, then add garam masala, ginger, fennel, anise, cardamom, and rosewater. Add honey (or sugar if you refer) and the remaining warm milk.

Blend well and serve nice and cool. Enjoy your Bhang!


If you want to try a different type of Bhang, you can perform small adjustments to above recipe for a different flavor. Check out the examples below.

Bhang Lassi - Add ½ teaspoon of grenadine, 15ml of yoghurt, and 15ml of coconut milk.

Thandai - Grind up almonds, cashews, melon seeds, dates, and black peppercorn in the mortar and pestle until it's a thick paste. Add warm milk and premade bhang mixture to the paste and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Serve chilled.

When drinking bhang, keep in mind that it's not like simply hitting a bowl or smoking a joint. It's an edible substance that could have you high for hours. The high might also feel different and possibly more intense compared to smoking cannabis. It's best to sit on the side of caution and not to overdo it the first time, despite how fabulous it tastes.



Written by: Alex
With years of both writing and cannabis industry experience, combining the two and writing about all the latest weed developments was the only thing that made sense. Alexandra is a Southern California native, currently fighting for cannabis in the American Midwest.

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