Bhang vs. Ganja: Differences, Effects, and Health Impacts

Bhang vs. Ganja: Differences, Effects, and Health Impacts

Bhang and Ganja are two popular intoxicants in the Indian subcontinent. First things first both are obtained from the same source the plant Cannabis. The difference lies in their consumption and preparation.

Both are popular among Indians. However, Bhang is mainly used as an ingredient to make an intoxicant drink during the Holi festival. Rural parts of the nation largely consume bhang on a regular note. However, the youth in the cities find themselves addicted to Ganja consumption. 

This blog discusses the differences between these two popular intoxicants and how regular consumption affects the minds and bodies of individuals.

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What is Bhang?

Bhang is a mixture of dried, ground, and soaked buds & leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is added to food and drinks during festivals and also for regular consumption across various parts of the Indian nation. 

As per research by Statista, bhang is consumed by at least 2% of the total Indian population which is a large number as India is amongst the countries with the largest global population.

Although Cannabis is illegal in most parts of the Indian nation, the sale and consumption of Cannabis in the form of bhang is largely tolerated.

In various cities nationwide, Bhang-based food and drinks are available in private and government-based shops. It must be noted that legally people can only dried leaves for making food and drinks infused with bhang. As per the Indian National Policy on Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, the use of leaves of the cannabis plant is acceptable.

Bhang is largely consumed with lassi, another popular drink of the Indian subcontinent. Lassi is made by blending curd or yogurt with water or milk, salt or sugar, and a few spices or herbs. The drink is infused with the leaves of the cannabis plant to make intoxicating bhang lassi.

People also consume bhang goli, a drink made by mixing water with freshly ground leaves of the cannabis plant.

What is Ganja?

Ganja is a highly potent form of the cannabis plant prepared for smoking. The ganja preparation  is popularly called marijuana in the West Indies. Other common names of the ganja are weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, and many other slangs are used to refer to ganja. Ganja is made with the dried leaves and flowers/resin of the hemp plant.

Major Differences Between Bhang & Ganja

From the point of preparation, bhang mainly consists of the leaves of the hemp plant, while ganja preparation involves flowers or resin along with the leaves. This makes ganja more addictive with a significantly higher intoxication level.

Also, ganja produces high within 30 minutes, while bhang can take up to 3 hours for peak-level effects. As both are popular options for cannabis consumption in India, the Narcotics laws take several twists and turns in barring their use.

First of all, bhang consumption is nowhere illegal in India, so people caught with higher quantities of bhang do not face criminal charges. In contrast, any person caught with ganja, with the quantity meeting or crossing the commercial consumption level set by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act will face several consequences.

How do Bhang and Ganja produce High?

Both Bhang and Ganja produce huge psychoactive effects and affect the ability of the brain and the nervous system of the body. Both are produced from the Cannabis Sativa plant which releases CBD and THC in the human body. 

How CBD and THC Affect the Nervous System?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol while THC is Tetrahydrocannabinol. Both of them have a molecular structure similar to natural compounds of the body, called endocannabinoids.

The endocannabinoid compounds found in the human body work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors and play specific functions in several activities like learning, decision-making, motor functions involving body movements, and more.  

As THC and CBD share similar structures to the natural endocannabinoid compounds, they easily bind to these receptors and affect bodily motor and decision-making functions.

The Medical Benefits of Cannabis

Controlled consumption of cannabis in the form of bhang or ganja has significant health benefits as per various studies. We have shortlisted them for you -

  • Cannabis provides potent application in treatment of the chronic pain, as per a review from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
  • Another medical application of the cannabis plant is its use in the treatment of mental issues like depression, social anxiety, and others.
  • Oral consumption of cannabis helps alleviate the issues of nausea and vomiting under chemotherapy, a medical treatment procedure for cancer patients.
  • Cannabis is used in the treatment of epilepsy.

The Health Risks of Cannabis

Cannabis leads to different health devastating effects among different individuals. The common ones include the following:

  • People with bipolar disorder suffer from exaggeration of their mental illness with cannabis consumption. 
  • Regular cannabis users suffer from suicidal thoughts and depression, as per research.
  • As per the National Academies of Sciences, cannabis consumption enhances the slow-growing seminoma subtype of testicular cancer.
  • Smoking cannabis affects the health of the lungs and regular users suffer form various potent risk of respiratory diseases.

Wrapping Up

Undoubtedly cannabis consumption in the form of bhang and ganja have both positive and negative impacts on the human body. A major issue with cannabis is people suffering from addiction. If you are facing ganja addiction, you can use medical cannabis cigarettes to help you ditch the habit. These cigarettes are medically approved and licensed from the Ministry of Ayush, India.

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