Bhang

April 2, 2017

Bhang is a traditional Indian cannabis infused beverage. Primarily associated with the worship of Lord Shiva, Bhang is now widely used and known as the official drink of Holi festivals and celebrations.

Lord Shiva is believed to have used bhang to focus inward and harness divine powers.  Bhang is legally sold in India to celebrants by government sanctioned shops and street stands during festival season.

The consumption of cannabis has been practiced in India for thousands of years.  The ancient Atharvaveda, thought to have been compiled between 1400 – 2000 B.C., describes cannabis as one of the five most sacred plants on Earth.  These writings refer to cannabis a source of happiness, a joy-giver, and a liberator.

Bhang is traditionally made by grinding boiled cannabis leaves and flowers with milk or yogurt using a mortar and pestle. The resulting cannabis infused milk is then mixed with water, spices and a sweetener.

Many of the recipes I found called for mixing the water used to boil the cannabis with the infused milk. I elected not to do that for my recipe because boiling cannabis is a great way to “wash” your leaves and flowers. This process can rinse off some lingering pesticides or other contaminates. Think about washing produce you get from the farmers market.  Boiling also draws out some of the plant’s chlorophyll and other flavors that you wouldn’t necessarily want in your food.

Additionally, THC is hyrdophobic. This means that THC does not bond with water molecules, it bonds with fats. In other words, when you boil your cannabis in water, you aren’t loosing much psychoactive THC potency.  For my recipe, I used whole milk, but you could also use any other milk or milk substitute that is high in fats such as cashew milk, or almond milk!

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Bhang

Course: Drinks
Prep Time: 45 minutes

Bhang is a traditional Indian cannabis infused beverage. Primarily associated with the worship of Lord Shiva, Bhang is now widely used and known as the official drink of Holi festivals and celebrations.

Ingredients

  • Water
  • 1/2 oz “trim” cannabis leaves and flowers
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • 1/2 tsp ground anise
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • cinnamon sticks, star anise, edible flowers optional garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Remove the water from the heat and stir in cannabis leaves and flowers. Steep for 7-10 minutes.
  2. While the cannabis is steeping, begin to warm the milk over low heat. Do not allow the milk to boil.
  3. Using a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth, thoroughly drain the cannabis leaves and flowers, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
  4. Combine the cannabis leaves and flowers and 1/4 cup of warm milk in a mortar. Grind the cannabis leaves and flowers together with the milk by working the pestle in a circular motion.
  5. Once the mixture is well combined, strain the milk and cannabis through a cheese cloth. Return the cannabis to the mortar, add repeat this process working 1/4 cup of milk at a time.
  6. Combine the cannabis infused milk, spices, and honey into a small saucepan. Over very low heat stir the mixture until the honey is melted.
  7. Allow the mixture to cool. Garnish and serve.

Recipe Notes

This cannabis infused drink is very potent! Start with a very small serving! If you only have access to cannabis flowers (and not trim) then reduce the amount of cannabis to 1/4 ounce or 1/8 ounce depending on strength preferences.

Check out  this article on dose and potency for some information on estimating the potential potency of your edibles!

I made this recipe using a mortar and pestle to grind the cannabis leaves together. However if you don not have access to a mortar and pestle, you could simply simmer the cannabis in the milk for about 30 minutes.

 

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