Bhang is a delicious combination produced from the various parts of a female cannabis plant such as the buds, flowers or leaves. It has been used extensively in Indian foods and beverages for hundreds of years and is a part of Hindu religious activities, ceremonies, and celebrations, notably the renowned Holi cultural festival.
Many know Bhang as the cold accompaniment in a ‘Thandai’ which is had by many during Holi. It is known to create a euphoric effect as a result and people are largely divided on their opinions of it. But despite these opinions, could Bhang be healthy for you?
In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, bhang is advocated as a treatment for a variety of illnesses, including sickness, puking, and physical stress.
The possible advantages and risks of bhang will be discussed in this article.
The Process of Making Bhang
In order to use Bhang efficiently, it has to first be churned into a paste that can be used for various applications. This is generally done by churning the seeds and soaking them into a paste. Despite the fact that Cannabis is illegal almost entirely throughout the country, the use of Bhang is still common on various occasions such as Holi.
Many religious institutions employ the use of Bhang infused drinks for a variety of occasions. In fact, such Bhang products can easily be found at stall vendors and government-approved shops.
Bhang is also available in India in the form of a small round ball referred to as a ‘goli’. This small rolled up ball is added to water to be consumed. Alternatively, it can also be added to sugar and ghee to make sweets out of this euphoric delicacy.
How Does Bhang Take Effect?
Bhang is renowned for its psycho-euphoric properties, or its capacity to alter the functioning of the mind and nervous network. Such changes are caused by cannabinoids, which are the major active ingredient component in the Cannabis sativa plant.
CBD and THC have a chemical structure that is comparable to endocannabinoids, which are naturally produced by your body. Endocannabinoids connect to receptor sites and attach themselves to your system and have a role in the learning process, remembering, judgement, resistance, and motor functions.
THC and CBD are two main components in cannabis that can attach to your body’s endocannabinoid system, affecting the way that your mind transmits signals among its cells, as a result of their structural similarity.
Is Bhang Medically Relevant?
So far, we know of the major effects that Bhang causes in people and how it is used for its psychoactive effects. Most commonly, it is consumed to relax and enjoy during festive activities but could Bhang also be medically good for you?
Role in Nausea and Vomiting
THC is one of the primary components that are in Bhang. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The primary psychoactive component in hemp, that results in the euphoric “high” individuals get after ingesting bhang-containing foods and drinks.
This component has been extensively studied by many American research teams to understand the role that it may play in the lowering of nausea and vomiting in individuals. This has particularly been observed in people who are undergoing cancer treatment. Since chemotherapy and active high-end medication keeps these people sick a lot, Bhang is a candidate that can potentially help them with the aftermath of their treatment.
People receiving cancer treatment were administered either CBD products, traditional anti-nausea medicines, or a fake in a study of 23 randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
When contrasted to individuals who received a placebo, those who were administered cannabis-containing medicines were nearly 3 times substantially less likely to develop puking and vomiting. Furthermore, these items looked to be just as effective as traditional anti-nausea drugs.
It has also been observed that usage of Bhang has considerable reduced nausea and sickness in patients currently undergoing chemotherapy.
While there has been a lot of research suggesting the role of Bhang in reducing nausea and vomiting, overusing it has had its own set of harmful effects. In certain patients, strong chronic cannabis usage has also been linked to stomach discomfort, persistent discomfort, and excessive puking. This is more common in middle-aged males and is difficult to treat with traditional anti-nausea medicines.
Role in Reducing Pain
Many types of research have pointed towards Bhang reducing pain and there have been several reported cases of people feeling better. One of the most common medical uses of Bhang is the role that it plays in reducing pain, especially chronic pain.
Chronic pain and nervous system pain relief is very common a treatment and has been observed in 28 RCTs wherein the use of cannabinoids resulted in relief from severe pain in many patients. In another similar study involving 18 RCTs, severe pain that was caused due to fibromyalgia and arthritis was seen to get better with the use of these cannabinoids.
Reducing Muscle Spasms
Multiple Sclerosis is a condition in which the brain and the spinal cord are affected and severe muscular spasms are caused in the patient. In particular cases of this condition, the use of cannabinoids has been seen as extremely beneficial in these cases where muscle spasms have greatly reduced.
Cannabinoids, the primary active organic components in bhang, showed to be more efficient than a placebo in decreasing muscular spasms in patients with MS in 2 experiments. Cannabis-based medicines, such as bhang, may also help to reduce seizures, particularly in those who haven’t responded to previous therapies.
In another study, 9 mg of CBD per pound (20 mg per kg) of body mass each day decreases the amount of seizures in patients with epilepsy by 50% when compared to a dummy.
It has been seen that the use of Bhang has been linked to many medical benefits over many case studies and research projects. Despite the side effects in place, there is a good argument for these studies to be published and for Bhang to gain widespread medical approval in the near future.