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 (Bhanga kula)
Table of Contents
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.
Increases Pitta Dosha and increases Agni (Digestion strength)
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.
1. 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.
2. Leaves are washed in water and used directly.
Distribution of Bhang: Found in sub- Himalayan tracts, grows in waste places Also cultivated for narcotic use.
It is found in Iraq and Iran, Middle Asia as well.
Anti bacterial activity
Analgesic and anti inflammatory activity
Microscopical and chemical study
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.
Benefits as per Rasa Tarangini
Kshut deepani – improves digestion strength
Dhvajabhanga hara – useful in erectile dysfunction
Svapnameha – nocturnal emission
Shukrastambhana kari – useful in premature ejaculation
Nidra pradayini – promotes sleep
Kama uddeepana karini – improves libido
Pralapa nashika – useful to reduce excess talk (schizophrenia symptom)
Dhanustambhahara – relieves stiffness of the back, kyphosis, scoliosis
Antrashoolahara – intestinal colic pain
Vrukkashoolahara – kidney related pains
Pitta Shoolaghni – colic pain due to Pitta
Amashaya balaprada – strengthens stomach
Ajeerna – indigestion
Atisara – diarrhea
Unmada – schizophrenia
Mutrala – diuretic
Rakta samyukta mutrasrava – hematurea
Arsha – hemorrhoids
Jwara – fever
Vrana meha – syphilis, genital injuries, wounds, ulcers
Nadi daurbalya – nerve weakness
Timira – eye disorders, vision issues
Raja shola – dysmenorrhea
Raktapradara – menorrhagia
Kasa – cough
Ardhavabhedaka – migraine
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,
Matulani, Madani, Kinnab
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)
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
Bengali Name- Ganja, Bhang, Siddi
Gujarati Name – Bhag
Farsi name – Kinnab
Spanish : Bhangane de la India, Cannamo, Canamo Indiana
Tamil Bhangi, Ganjam , Kalpam, Korkkamuchi, Ganja, Ganjaa, Gorakkar Mooligai.
Telugu : Bhagiaku, Ganjachettu, kalpa mechettu
Turkish: Hint heneviri
Sthanika Karma (Systamic Action)
External application- External application and fumigation with this herb can be given in case of Hemorrhoids to relieve pain.
Nervous System – It cause intoxication. Induce sleep, reduce pain and seizures. In lower dose to act as mind calming but in higher dose cause delirious speech. Indicated in Headache, migraine, disturbed sleep, Epilepsy, Tremor, etc.
Digestive system – Being hot it act as carminative, digestive, improve taste, cause constipation. Indicated in abdominal cramp, diarrhoea, and in mal absorption syndrome.
Respiratory System – Increases the respiratory rate in primary stage Indicated in breathing difficulty and cough .
Excretory system – Increase urine production, Indicated in pain related to urinary sytem.
Circulatory System – At primary stage it stimulate heart, later it slowdown the action.. Indicated in bleeding disorders.
Reproductive System – Act as shukra sthambaka, indicated in premature ejaculation. increase uterine contraction. Indicated in Amenorrhea and delayed labour.
Reduce body strength.
89 thoughts on “Bhang – Marijuana Benefits, Dose, Research, Side Effects”
I have heard that Ganja is illegal in India and many other nations? How does that influence ayurvedic drugs?
Schedule E of Drugs and cosmetics rules, 1945, enlists ingredients, which when used in Ayurvedic medicines, require – a cautionary statement – that, to be consumed under strict medical supervision. This list includes many herbs including Cannabis sativa. So, I guess, its use for Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing is legal, provided, the manufacturing facility has license etc. (It is just my opinion. It is not a legal statement.)
Thanks a lot! I have heard that there are many campaigns to make Cannabis legal in many nations.
Please consult Dr Suneet Arora – [email protected]
Hi…is Dr. Suneet’s email still the same?
Great work. When in the current generation people value society set rules more than if a topic is right or wrong, sir you do a good job to actually write an article talking about godness of bhang. Kudos.
Thank you for this article. I have come across many articles and videos claiming that Marijuana can be used to cure cancer. Does Ayurveda provide any information on usage of Marijuana in Cancer treatment? Can you please throw some light on this?
Hi, so far I have not come across a direct Ayurvedic reference claiming cure of cancer with the use of Marijuana. However, that does not question Marijuana’s ability in treating cancer.
Thanks a lot for your response, Dr. Hebbar.
can you clarify about hemp? is it of the same family and please let us know the uses of its oil (Hemp oil
Hi, hemp is same as Marijuana – Cannabis sativa
No sir hemp and marijuana are different. Hemp seeds are used as protein source specially by veterinarians. See this link http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/hemp-is-the-new-health-food-on-the-block/
You can even search on youtube will find so many videos of It. Please If you have any information about hemp seeds and where I can buy It. I found himalayan but wanna see If there is in Maharashtra.
Nice job done keep it up
Are there any side effects of bhang if used for prolong period of time?
Dr. Hebbbar: I have a question about bhang’s side effects. You stated above that “decreased respiratory immunity” can result from long term bhang use. Is this not true only for those who smoke bhang? Does this side effect happen also to those who prepare bhang as an Ayurvedic drink with milk, spices, etc?
Hi, it is true for those who smoke bhang regularly, and not for oral consumption.
Hi, Any medicine in excess is not good for health, including Bhang. Please consult a de-addiction center.
I have uses Charas, Bhang a long years still then. but Now want to leave it Charas, Bhang . please tell are me any medicine or solution .
Consult a psychaitrist / de-addiction center at the earliest.
Sir it is the most important knowledge to use of cannabis and its merits and limitations so thanku so much.
we take some ganja why we should get kick of that
the effect of marijuana is not finished after taking it five days ago what to do please give some solution
Hello doctor, Does Bilwadi churna contains Bhang?
Hello sir, Hope you are under supervision while you are taking sleeping pills. Would advise you to not take Bhang too.
Would smoking Ganja once in three months be harmful for the body?
Sorry to disturb you. Would once a month be okay?
Hi, I am not a big fan of using herbs for recreational purposes. Hence, I do not recommend it.
Would using cannabis once per week cause toxicity and/or health problems for an otherwise healthy individual? Namaste.
Depends on dosage.
For e.g., one would take a small to medium pinch of ground cannabis, place it in a vaporizer, and then take one to three puffs. A thin to medium amount of vapor would be visible upon exhaling. Generally, the potency of cannabis is 10% to 20% (THC).
There are views on both sides – positive and negative. Generally speaking, if it is done once a week, there “should not be” any problem.
Would you please provide step by step instructions to purify cannabis so as to reduce its negative side effects [of heating, drying and penetrating]? Since so many are using cannabis these days with waves of legalization around the world, some clearly written steps for various preparations [for the general public] might be helpful. Two forms of instructions might be particularly helpful: 1) for those who vaporize 2) and for those who would like to learn how to ingest cannabis as food, as bhang and other edible forms. It is said that eating is healthier for body/mind when prepared carefully, according to Indian Ayurvedic Tradition. You have offered some general instructions above in stating frying leaves and flowers in ghee, but also recommend soaking in water, boiling in milk, etc. Still, many of us do not know exactly what to do, step by step, in an easy to understand program. So many use cannabis these days, so perhaps this would help many use it more intelligently and carefully. Thank you for your consideration. Namaste.
Its leaves are tied in 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. This is the only way that I know.
The reason I asked for step by step preparation instructions for bhang is that, for e.g., I do not understand how milk can be boiled for three hours without evaporating completely. Also, I do not use recreationally, only under medical supervision and for medicinal purposes. Thank you for being so kind to help bring clarification and guidance to this subject of cannabis ingestion and thank you for not approving recreational use.
My mom has autoimmune myositis..she was adviced to take steroids but she is having lots of side effects..nw my mom has started wit ayurvedic medicine..does bhang cures autoimmune myositis?
N wat dose to be taken?
It is still under research for myositis and the benefits are not established yet. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
a friend of mine name nilutpol had marijuana everyday so what will happen to him i mean any effects
Respected sir, my query is whether the green leaves are to be used or dried one, and for external application can we use paste of green leaves of bhang directly without purification or there is someother method of application .
Hi, Fresh and dried leaves both are used. For external application, green leaves are used.
I am having bhola munnakka every weekend. And only 3/4 of the goli. Is that harmful for body.
I would not recommend it on a regular basis.
Hello sir my mother’s body got stiffed more or less symptoms like arthritic fibromyalgia can medical marijuana be given can result we get
Is Marijuana in Lakshmi Vilas Nadiya ? What does Nadiya mean ?
How much canabis or ganga the bhang tablets contain? Is the export in other countries illegal? Or taking them back home (abroad) from India?
Export is illegal, as per my knowledge Carrying abroad can be dangerous.
I have a bhang goli but it smells bad.should I consume it?
How long does the effect of minar churan (bhang goli) last? I had taken 1 and a half goli and it has been 2 days.
I still feel numbness in my body.
I’m really worried please reply.
You should be fine by 2 – 3 days time.
Is there permanent cure for ulcerative colitis in Ayurveda? please suggest medicines…
Dr J V Hebbar ji,
In America and some other countries hemp oil and hulled hemp seeds are promoted as health food, good source of protein, dha, Omega 3 and gla. Does ayurveda recommend hemp seeds and oil as well? I have tried them and there is no psychedelic effect, though not sure about benefits of it.
I did not find any direct reference for hemp seeds.
Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3)and is told as highly rich in nutrition.
Regarding bhang shodhan,leaves are mentioned. What about bhang beej…,….do beej also need to be boiled in milk? Thanks.
Bhang seeds are also boiled in milk for purification.
Plz reply is it proven results of bhang/ vijaya in lung cancer ??
Dr, I want to consult you for something personal. Is there an email id I can write to you on?
Good morning sir , I take bhola munakka half goli in a full day to help me cope up with depression. Is it safe to use regularly a half goli of bhang
Hi, bhola munakka is fine to continue for 2 months time. Avoid bhang.
Dear Dr. Hebbar, you answer with the exactitude of a lawyer!
I need to be careful not to misguide people 🙂
i am using munka . did it show in any test . which test u prefer to check … can without doctor i can check direct from lab
after consuming 4 munakka daily how much time it takes get rid out of body
About 12 hours.
Do you sell the correct form of calamus to use for vaporizing (with cannabis)? If you do not have this product, can you kindly suggest one on the Internet? I believe there are several varieties of calamus to choose from and one is most ideal. I use cannabis medically. Thank you.
May I ask what the effect of the calamus powder is when used with cannabis? Thank you.
Calamus is used as a brain tonic.
Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂
In a very small quantity, once or twice a week should be fine.
I had bhaang from govt approved shop with milk (2goliyan). After consumption, after 1.5 hrs had extreme palpitations, dry mouth, felt like I was going to die. Felt feverish and everything was very slow. Symptoms subsided after 3-4 hours.
After that was fine for 3 days after which I had golgappas from outside and at night chest pain and palpitations and pain in left arm and neck.
I also had sore throat and lot of gas formation and diarrhea and pain in stomach.
I was unable to sleep at night for next 5 days.
Symptoms got better for 4-5 days, post which I was worried about something and the same symptoms came up again.
I have fever, excessive thirst, sore throat, palpitation, chest pain etc
What is happening to.me? Is this because of cannabis? How do I treat this? Is it long term?
How much bhang can be used to relieve rheumatoid arthritis pain ?
Can you please help me out, My mom has undergone bypass surgery in 2005..From that day till today [ 13 yrs ] she is not active at all and she feels major heaviness in her head and body which is disrupting her daily activities …She is not getting proper sleep till date…We been to psychiatrist and neurologist..but they give some antidepressants and sleep medicines but still no recovery…I dont know what to do ?
Could you please advice if inhaling smoke of dried bhang leaves will cure her to some extent OR is there any other alternative other than bhang leaves which will cure her
I am hoping to get a valuable suggestions…Please advice
Does Bhang help diabetics in any way?
Rs 2 munakka goli is harmful in daily basis, is there any side effect or not
is it safe to consume hemp seeds ( 1 teaspoon) soaked overnight with other nuts and seeds?
Needs direct advice from a doctor.
TOtal subject is not based on clinical facts.In this modern scientific age one should not blindly follow Aurveda.How milk will be dried after boiling three hours.Extraction process is completely different and it seems the total article lacks scientific data
I have a question around using cannabis after purification. You mentioned that cannabis was used only after it was purified with milk and fried in ghee. I notice that Nidroday Ras formula contains juice of cannabis. Is this raw cannabis they used before purification or after purification? Can you explain more on this process of preparing juice after cannabis is purified?
Cannabis juice is prepared out of raw cannabis itself, without purification.
For someone who smokes a small amount once a day, 2-3 times a week what can be done to counter the dryness and other effects. They have already started to take a little brahmi gritha every morning
Brahmi ghrita is a good supplement for such a person.
Is bhang leaves effective in treating high blood sugar or will cause side effect
Side effects overweigh the benefits. Avoid.
Dear Dr. thanks for this great article. Tamil names are still more : Ganja, Ganjaa, Gorakkar Mooligai. Kindly incorporate into this page. Thanks
Thank you. Inserted into the article.