Bhang, Marijuana has been used in Ayurveda and in some Indian festival drinks (Holi) since many centuries. In Ayurveda, it is used in treating low digestion strength, IBS, insomnia and muscle pains. But it is grouped under Upavisha – sub- toxic herbs. Hence, purification is required before its very-careful and limited dose and time usage.
Botanical Name- Cannabis sativa Linn.
Family name- CANNABACEAE
Names in different languages:
Arabic : Hinab, Kanab, Kinnab, Naba tulqunenals
Assami : Dai ma
Bengal : Bhang, Ganja, Sidhi
Burma : Ben, Bin, Sechaub, Sejarbim
Canarese/ Kannada : Bhangi, Bhangigida, Bhangisoppu
Canton : Fu ma
Catalan : Canam, Canem
Celtic : Kanas
Centra provinees : Ganja
Clinese : Fuma, ma , Tama, Tang ma
Cutch : Ganja
Deccan : Ganja, Sidhi
Dutch : Hennip, Indische hennepkrid , Kennip
English : Indian Hemp
French : Cannibis, Canaban, Candi, Caneba, Cannab, Chambric, Chamust,
Hindi Name- Charas, Bhang
English Name- Indian Hemp, Marijuana
Kannada Name – Bhangi Soppu
Telugu – Gunjai
Tamil Name- Bangii
Bengali Name- Ganja, Bhang, Siddi
Gujarati Name – Bhag
Farsi name – Kinnab
Spanish : Bhangane de la India, Cannamo, Canamo Indiana
Tamil Bhangi, Ganjam , Kalpam, Korkkamuchi
Telugu : Bhagiaku, Ganjachettu, kalpa mechettu
Turkish: Hint heneviri
The variation in cannabis is considerably following mainly two patterns on the basis of which two wide spread types are dissemble. These has been raised the rank of sub-species
- Cannabis sativa
- Cannabis indica
Cannabis sativa, is grown for fibre and oil.
- Cannabis spontanea
- Cannabis gigantea
- Cannabis kafiristanica
These have a considerable potential for the production of intoxicant material.
Marijuana – medicinal Properties:
Rasa (taste)- Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (qualities) – laghu (light), Teekshna (strong), Vyavayi – spreads to all parts of the body swiftly.
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha: Balances Vata and Kapha Dosha.
Part used, dosage
Part Used: Leaves
Bhanga leaf Powder: 125- 250- mg- ; ganja 60- 125 mg; Charas 30 mg, in divided doses per day.
Hashish/Charas is – leaves and/or top part of the cannabis flower is chewed or smoked. The term Charas is used to indicate exudate found on leaves and branches
Ganja/Marijuana is mostly dried leaves used to smoke or even ingested directly. The term Ganja is also used to indicate female plant containing inflorescence containing a type of liquid.
Bhang is when cannabis leaves are ground up and mixed and brewed with milk. Bhang term is also used to indicate leaf and branches having flowers and fruits.
Bhang in Nighantu
- Bhavaprakasha also mention the therapeutic effect of the drug in Atisaradhikara
- Raja nighantu give the effects and therapeutic use of Bhanga, also in Madanapala Nighantu
- In the shodala nighantu also there is reference of Bhanga
- In Nasadhikara, Bhavaprakasha mention the therapeutic use of Bhanga
- Chakradatha mentions in the kushta chikitsa it is having the property of removing the external germs.
- In modern texts of medicinal plants there is a wide explanation of drug (cannabis sativa) for its narcotic utilities.
Pittala – Increases Pitta Dosha
Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhoea, IBS
Karshani – causes weight loss, useful in obesity
Vahni Vardhini , Deepana – improves digestion strength
Ruchya – improves taste, relieves anorexia.
Madakrut – causes intoxication
Pachani – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha
Nidrakara – induces sleep
Ushna – increases body temperature
Kamada – increases libido
Vak Vardhini – increases urge to speak
In low doses, it is used in treating Glaucoma, convulsions, epilepsy, schizophrenia.
Bhang is very useful in relieving pain. There are many medicines like Sativex® mouth spray, used for treating chronic pains in Canada and a few European countries.
Marijuana is potentially useful in treating multiple sclerosis, to relieve pain, spasms and inflammation.
External application of Bhang :
Marijuana leaves paste is applied externally to relieve pain and to increase warmth. It is also useful in worm infested wounds and in atopic dermatitis.
It is applied over pile mass to shrink it and to relieve itching and pain.
Purification process: Bhanga Shodhana –
Before its usage, it is subjected to a purification procedure.
Its leaves are tied in a cloth and boiled in milk for three hours. After that, it is taken out, dried and fried in ghee. Only after this, Cannabis sativa is used for medicinal purposes.
Distribution of Bhang: Found in sub- Himalayan tracts, grows in waste places Also cultivated for narcotic use.
It is found in Iraq and Iran as well.
It is unsafe during pregnancy, lactation and in children.
It should not be used in people with high blood pressure and who are susceptible for heart attack.
Long term use of high doses Marijuana may cause:
Decreased respiratory immunity
Anxiety and depression
Lowered testosterone level, sperm quality and count
The side effects are more seen in persons with low BP, liver disorders or diabetes.
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurvedic medicines containing Cannabis sativa as ingredient:
Pushpadhanwa Ras – used in the Ayurvedic treatment of sexual disorders such as low stamina, premature ejaculation.
Jatiphaladi Churna – used in treatment of digestive and respiratory conditions.
Nidroday Ras – used in treatment of sleeplessness, nocturnal emission.
Bahumutrantak Ras – Used in treating frequent urination.
Maha Jwarankush Ras – used in treating fever, chronic fever, intermittent fever etc.
Substitute for opioid painkillers
For people with chronic pain, a study was conducted on 1100 people in Vancouver, who were relying on opioids, daily use of cannabis helped them to substitute illicit opioids (research)
Marijuana, Ayurveda and spirituality:
The purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain health of healthy and to treat the diseased. To achieve these purposes, especially the latter one, Ayurveda does not shy to use any and all means. Hence there is a statement in Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 1st chapter –
Marijuana – chemical constituents:
Cannabinol, Tetrahydro- cannabiol, Cannabidiol, Cannabichromene, I- dehydro- tetrahydrocannabinol, eugenol, sequiterpenenes, cannabinodis etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Cannabinoids, resinous exudates , cannabidiol , cannabinol, cannatrichomere , cannabicitran, canbicyclol Cannabispiran, iso cannabrispiran, dehydro cannabispiran
Also, Cannabinol , tetrahydrocannabinol, 1-dehydro cannabidiol and other phinolic compounds , along with eugenol , guacol , amino acids c-glycosy – favamaids.
There is no substance in the universe that cannot be used as medicine. Any substance can be used as medicine if the doctor uses yukti. Yukti – how to make a planned combination of the medicine and Artha – what actually is the purpose of the substance.
For this reason only, we see lot of non veg substances, narcotic and poisonous substances used in Ayurveda as medicine.
Hence, from a strict medical point of view, Ayurveda recommends using Marijuana in specific doses to treat specific conditions, for specific amounts of time periods.
From a spiritual point of view, Spirituality is inward journey. For which, I guess we should not depend on external stimuli in the form of Marijuana, LSD etc.
Use in multiple sclerosis
There are some minor evidence that Marijuana is useful in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Its extract – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol – is available as a oral spray medicine called . This is used in treating spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. This medicine is available in 15 countries.
Ethical concerns related to Bhang usage:
Marijuana is used in some Indian festivals, but it is illegal here in India, to use, possess or sell it. Many people get caught doing these things every day.
It is being legalized in many states in USA.
Medically, Marijuana is being proved to be very useful in the treatments of multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s diseases etc.
In Ayurveda also, there are many medicines with it, as ingredient, like Madanakameshwari lehya, used as aphrodisiac, Sarpagandha vati, used for treating insomnia etc.
It is very true that medical use of Marijuana is very beneficial. But just because Marijuana is being made legal, it should not be understood that everyone can use it without any side effects. Alcohol and smoking are also legal. But they have repercussions on our health.
When it comes to ethical reasoning, it is best to ask ourselves –
Will we give Marijuana to our children?
No, if they want to use it for recreational purposes,
Yes, for a short period of time, if they have disease in which Marijuana can be very useful to treat better than any other medicine.
In some parts of India, spiritual masters take Marijuana to feel high and feel happy.
It is still unethical to do it. Spiritual bliss should come from within and not from an external source.
Anyone can smoke it and feel high but that temporary happiness and elation is coming from an external source, not from the inner source of eternal energy, what we call as God.
Kingdom – Plantae
Sub kingdom – Phenerogamae
Division – Angiospermae
Class – Dicotyledon
Subclass – Monochlamydeae
Series – Unisexuales
Order – urticales
Family – Cannabinaceae
Genus – Cannabis
Species – Sativa
Ganja, Ganjayika, Jaya, Vijaya,
Seeds, hemp seed, hulled
Taste – mildly sweet
Properties – unctuous (contains around 30% fats), heavy (high calorific value)
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing (reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause)
Pitta nourishing (aids digestion)
Kapha balancing (due to hot potency)