Bhang Female hemp, or marijuana, is an edible mixture made from plant buds, leaves, and flowers.
In India, it has been added to food and drink for thousands of years and is a feature of Hindu religious practices, rituals and festivals – including the popular spring festival of Holi.
Bhang also plays a role in Ayurvedic medicine and is promoted as a remedy for various diseases including nausea, vomiting and physical pain.
This article reviews Bhang, including its potential benefits and safety.
What is Bhang and how is it made?
Bhang is a mixture made by drying, grinding and soaking the buds and leaves of the Bhang sativa plant into a paste that is added to food and drinks.
Bhang have been consumed in India for centuries. Although Bhang is considered illegal in most parts of the country, the sale and consumption of Bhang can be tolerated.
This may be especially true in religious cities, where Bhang-rich food and drinks can be purchased from both street vendors and government-approved shops.
However, the Indian National Policy on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances only allows the addition of leaves and not other parts of the Bhang plant.
A common method of consuming Bhang is yogurt and whey – the solid and liquid portions of milk that separate when the milk freezes – is called Bhang lassi.
Another popular option is the Bhang pill, a drink that contains freshly ground Bhang mixed with water.
Bhang can also be mixed with sugar and ghee – a clarified butter commonly used in India – and used to make sweets.
How does Bhang work?
Bhang is known for its psychoactive effects, or its ability to affect the way your brain and nervous system works.
Cannabinoids – the main active chemical compound in the Bhang sativa plant – are behind these effects. Bhang contain many different types of cannabinoids, but the two best researches are
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The main psychosomatic compound in Bhang, which is responsible for the “high” people experience after consuming Bhang-containing foods and beverages.
- Cannabidiol (CBD). A non-psychoactive cannabinoid is believed to be the main compound behind the health benefits associated with Bhang.
Both CBD and THC have a molecular structure that is similar to the compounds your body produces naturally – known as endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids bind to your body’s cannabinoid receptors and are involved in activities such as learning, memory, decision making, immunity, and motor function.
Because of their similarity in structure, THC and CBD can also bind to your body’s cannabinoid receptors – the way your brain relays messages between its cells.
Smoking or evaporating the dried parts of the Bhang plant causes the level of cannabinoids in the blood to peak within 15–30 minutes.
Conversely, cannabinoids consumed as part of a meal or drink are released into the bloodstream very slowly – about 2-3 hours later
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Helps prevent nausea and vomiting
Bhang can help reduce nausea and vomiting.
THC – one of the main cannabinoids found in Bhang – has been approved for the treatment of nausea in parts of the United States
By far, most research has been done on its anti-nausea and anti-vomiting effects in people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
In a review of 23 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) – the gold standard in research – people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer were given either Bhang-based products, traditional anti-nausea medications, or a placebo.
People who were given Bhang-containing products were three times less likely to experience nausea and vomiting than those given a placebo. What’s more, these products appear to be effective as traditional anti-nausea medication.
Similarly, other reviews have found strong evidence that cannabinoids – the main active compound in Bhang – are effective in reducing nausea and vomiting, especially in adults undergoing chemotherapy.
Nevertheless, evidence links heavy chronic use of cannabinoids to abdominal pain, chronic nausea, and heavy vomiting in some people. It is particularly frequent in middle-aged men and is not easily treated by traditional anti-nausea medicines.
May ease pain
Pain reduction is one of the most common medicinal uses for Bhang products such as Bhang.
Several studies support its effectiveness.
For example, a recent review of 28 RCTs reported that cannabinoids were effective in treating chronic pain and nervous system pain.
Another review of 18 RCTs found that cannabinoids may be particularly effective in reducing chronic pain due to fibromyalgia and rheumatism.
Additionally, a study conducted on 618 people with chronic pain showed that 45% reported an improvement in pain among those using medically prescribed cannabinoids.
May reduce muscle spasms and seizures
Bhang can also help reduce muscle spasms and seizures.
For example, evidence suggests that Bhang products may reduce muscle spasms in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a medical condition that commonly affects the brain and spinal cord, often causing muscle spasms. .
Two reviews report that cannabinoids – the main active chemical compound in Bhang – were more effective than a placebo in reducing muscle spasms in people with MS.
Bhang such as Bhang can also be effective in reducing seizures, especially in those who are not responsible for other treatments.
A recent review of four RCTs found that CBD-containing products may help reduce drug resistance (Caesar) in children with epilepsy (a seizure disorder).
In another review, 9 mg of CBD (20 mg per kg) of body weight per day was 1.7 times more effective than placebo in reducing the number of seizures in people with epilepsy.
Nevertheless, more studies are needed to confirm these effects.
Other potential benefits
Bhang may also give some additional benefits. Best research includes:
May provide some protection from cancer. Test-tube and animal studies suggest that cannabinoids may destroy or limit the proliferation of some cancer cells
Sleep may improve. Bhang can reduce sleep disturbances caused by sleep apnea, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia
May reduce inflammation. Test-tube and animal studies indicate that compounds in Bhang may reduce inflammation in many diseases
Can increase appetite. Increased appetite is one of the most common side effects of Bhangs. This can benefit those trying to gain weight or maintain it – but it can be considered a disadvantage to others.
Bhang is sometimes promoted as a remedy for a number of health conditions including anxiety, depression, traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), torate syndrome, dementia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Parkinson’s, and schizophrenia.
However, sufficient scientific evidence does not exist to support these benefits, and more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be drawn
Although it may provide some benefits, Bhang also has some health risks.
It is mostly known to cause a feeling of euphoria, but Bhang can also cause nervousness, fear, or depression in some people.
In addition, due to its psychoactive effects, it may reduce short-term memory, coordination, and judgment, as well as promote paranoia or psychosis when consumed in high doses.
Children and adolescents should avoid Bhang and other Bhang products – unless prescribed as a medical treatment.
Heavy or long-term use of Bhang – especially when consumed at a young age – can alter brain development, increase school dropout rates, and reduce life satisfaction.
Bhang products may also increase the risk of some of your disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia – especially in those at risk of developing these conditions.
In addition, consuming it during pregnancy or during lactation may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and poor brain development in the infant. Therefore, experts strongly discourage use during these periods
Finally, the consumption of Bhang in the form of food or drink slows its absorption, which can make it difficult to assess and adjust your intake. This can increase your risk of taking too much – leading to irregular heartbeat, very low blood pressure, and confusion.
Bhang, hemp, a paste made from the buds and leaves of the hemp plant, is usually added to food and drink.
Like other Bhang products, it can provide benefits such as protection from pain, muscle cramps, seizures, nausea, and vomiting.
Nevertheless, its use also carries a risk. Bhang should be avoided for people with certain health problems or during weak life stages during childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and nursing.
What’s more, the legal status of Bhang and plant products varies between states and countries. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws applicable in your area before trying Bhang or other Bhang products.