Imagine waking up in pain every morning but with the help of Cannabis, that pain could be reduced. How does it feel? Definitely, your love for mother nature will increase. Bhang has grown naturally wild in India for centuries. In some regions in India, the plant is seen more like a pesky weed that occasionally springs up in the garden, but the bhang plant (cannabis) has long been ingrained in Hindu culture. To some, it is revered as the nectar of life, brought to humankind by the Hindu God Lord Shiva, one of the powerful gods of the Hindu trinity. In addition, according to the Vedas, the cannabis plant was considered as one of the many sacred plants.
Spiritual men and women in India will connect with Lord Shiva by smoking the bhang plant using a chillum. However, the real elevated experience can be achieved by consuming the sacred plant as an extracted bhang drink during the Holi Festival. It’s usually consumed as milk or yogurt based beverage, famously known as “Bhang ki Thandai” or “Bhang Lassi”. It is the most popular intoxicant in India especially at times of festivity such as Holi and Shivaratri festivals. It’s also used as an ingredient in bhajis, biscuits and several other Indian drinks and dishes.
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Ganja in India is actually illegal, but the government has had a tough time criminalizing it and persecuting people for its use. Even during its Colonial Period, the British deemed the use of Cannabis too widespread to manage and condemn. As mentioned above, Cannabis has been used a spiritual practice in Indian culture for centuries, and not just for its medicinal properties.
In the Northern city of Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, bhang treats and bhang lassi can be found quite easily in government authorized bhang shops. Varanasi is a city with over 2,000 temples.
It draws many Hindus making a pilgrimage to bathe in the River Ganges, perform burial rites, and connect with Lord Shiva at the Golden Temple. What better way to communicate with a higher being than with a Cannabis Laced Milkshake? Apart from Varanasi, cities like Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Mathura, Noida and Hampi are some places where you can find Govt authorised bhang shops.
Bhang plant has relation with ancient time rituals, cultivated as a source of fibres, food and medicine. The drug has been explained from vedic times, so famous with the name of Vijaya in medicinal field. In the texts of Artharvaveda, it is denoted as a beneficial herb which controls anxiety.
In Ayurveda, bhang is used to treat high blood pressure (this therapy is usually of limited duration, until high blood pressure is corrected with other ayurvedic measures), the juice is used for lowering intraocular pressure (glaucoma), and for short-term stimulation of the nervous system.
Does that mean everyone participating in the bhang revelry on Holi is breaking the law? A close look at India's federal drug law reveals the huge loopholes that will allow millions to get high on bhang.
India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act from 1985 clearly lists cannabis as a narcotic drug. It, however, only prohibits the consumption of certain parts and preparations from the cannabis plant, namely hashish resin created from the plant or its buds. The law allows for the consumption of the leaves of the plant, the exact element used in bhang.
The right to celebrate with bhang has been repeatedly tested in Indian courts. In 2004, for instance, a local court in the northern state of Haryana, ruled that “bhang does not fall under the definition of cannabis” in the law. “Thus, its possession does not constitute an offense punishable under the law.”
But the cultivation of cannabis is still illegal. So where is all the bhang coming from? The answer is the second legal loophole. Growing marijuana is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but harvesting the leaves that grow by themselves in the wild is allowed.
Globally, these bans have been rescinded as nations have realised two things:
First, bans didn’t work over a period of many decades. Since cannabis is easy to grow and process, bans only led to the creation of a large criminal industry that smuggled and distributed the drug, with police forces, customs services, etc. being corrupted into the bargain and large numbers of people being thrown into jail for personal use. Second, cannabis has enormous medical value. It is used to alleviate nausea and pain in cancer victims and amputees, for instance. It is also among the least harmful of recreational drugs.
The benefits of Bhang are many. It is known to have nerve stimulant property, so it helps to give relief in nerve exhaustion, periodical headaches, migraine, nervous vomiting, delirium, neuralgia, and convulsions. It’s a sleep aid, appetite enhancer, anxiety and pain reliever. It has brought immense relief to the terminally ill. It’s also a muscle relaxant, aiding and speeding recovery from body breaking fevers like chikungunya. It is very useful in cases of diarrhea, plies, and dysentery and also used in the case of inflammations and hemorrhoids. It is also used as a remedy for malaria and blood poisoning.
The true scope of hemp remains to be fully explored despite extensive ongoing research to fully understand its uses. In brief, Cannabis considered a harmful drug for decades is now reclaiming some of its lost glory and is even shining brightly in the eyes of many as it did in centuries past. A few states in India have government licensed bhang shops. Out here, one can apply for a collector license to harvest naturally growing crops which can then be sold only at these government regulated shops. A research license, however, can be applied for and acquired anywhere in the country.
While the world, from Coca-Cola to Corona, appropriates our tropical plant, we have no political, moral and judicial stand on it. Why can’t govt legalized hemp dispensaries in India just like bhang shops and can sell to the public. Let Indians from every corner know about this miracle plant and can get health benefits from it.
The first hemp dispensary is open in Tennessee, and people are flocking to the Murfreesboro store to see if the cannabis plant can really help with their pain. Customers who ventured into Tennessee Hemp Supply said they found relief for their pain.
The store sells hemp from Tennessee farms, and the hemp contains less than .3 percent of THC. If you smoke, ingest, or use CBD products derived from hemp, there are no psychoactive effects.
Check the video to know more about the first Hemp dispensary.
In certain territories in the United States and Canada, dispensaries distribute cannabis to the general public or in some cases only to approved patients. In Uruguay cannabis dispensaries are built by the government and can sell to the public.
So many medical benefits yet no legal Hemp dispensary store to get cure from them. Isn’t this unfair? Just like the US, Canada, and many other countries our government should also open Hemp dispensaries and let Indians get benefit from them. Hemp dispensary store will become a family-friendly space for all things hemp. It will help Indians to navigate CBD products to find the best fit for them.
Hopefully in the near future, medical science continues to prove its benefits in more fields, and make this plant a famous cure for all major kinds of ailments.
You can participate in our efforts to bring Hemp into the Indian mainstream by joining our Himalayan Hemp community. Help us restore Hemp’s reputation.
The content above is intended for informational purposes only, and is not meant to propagate the use of any illegal substance.