Bhang Lassi or Thandai – The Indian Way of Consuming Cannabis
What is Bhang?
Although the term “Bhang” has been used synonymously with marijuana, Bhang is in fact an Indian preparation made out of raw marijuana leaves and flowers. Traditionally, bhang is consumed for its intoxicating effects and relevance in Hindu religious rituals.
Why is it consumed in India?
For thousands of years, the consumption of marijuana has been regarded as a part of one’s devotion to Lord Shiva. Bhang. The Atharva Veda, one of the Hindu religion’s sacred texts, advises that cannabis is a sacred plant that helps relieve stress, and anxiety. Bhang is often used in meditation, to elevate oneself to a transcendental state. During the festival of Holi, it is the norm to drink bhang thandai and everyone partakes in the celebrations.
How is it made?
The cannabis buds and leaves are ground into a paste and mixed with ghee, milk and spices. This paste is known as bhang, and it can then be consumed in a variety of ways.
Bhang Golis are hard, sweetened balls made out the same mixture which is chewed on. A single goli is enough to achieve a long, intense weed trip.
Bhang Thandai is a refreshing milk-based drink infused with bhang. The strength of the bhang can be varied depending on the amount of bhang added to the thandai. Usually, the concoction is very strong. It is advisable to make sure that you request the appropriate amount of bhang for a decent trip.
Where can I have it and how to be safe?
Around the festival time of Maha Shivaratri and Holi, Bhang is openly available at government regulated shops, as well as smaller shops, in India. Be safe, and ask a local to guide you around your purchases.
Rooftop cafés in Pushkar, speciality stores in Jaisalmer, and “Paan shops” on the street are some places where bhang can be bought. As long as the shop is government authorised, consumption of bhang is technically legal in India. Although the police usually turn a blind eye to the consumption of bhang, it is best to avoid it in public.
The best time to enjoy bhang is in the spring months of February and March when Holi and other festivals are celebrated. Additionally, bhang is also consumed during other seasonal festivals across the Himalayas and various other parts of India.
A boutique travel agent NOMADAY TRAVEL can help map the dates and provide details regarding such funny and unique festivals.
TRAVEL SAFE AND ENJOY LOCAL TRADITIONS! 🙂