In the spring here in California the orange trees burst into blossoms that are so rich in fragrance you can smell them everywhere. Yes, even in the drought the trees gave us blossoms and fruit this year. The blossoms are a fine beauty and culinary ingredient, fresh or dried. When they are fresh they make a sublime ingredient for spa waters and when they are dried and kept in a tightly closed jar that retains their rich fragrance, they can be used for hot beverages like teas and bhangs.
In case you did not know, bhang is a the name for the traditional milky, warm cannabis beverage that originates from India and is still legal and sold there today in shops called “bhang shops.” Bhang is sacred to the Hindu deity Shiva and is frequently used on his holidays and celebrations. Cannabis also has a long tradition of being a medicinal herb in Ayurveda internally as well as in topical applications. Bhang is typically made with cow’s milk, almonds and a few spices along with cannabis and is served warm, but typically not as hot as a cup of coffee.
You can make a bhang beverage many different ways! I’m very fond of making bhangs with hemp seed milk, although this is not traditional in India. Hemp seed milk can be made fresh, has none of the tree nut allergens and is vegan. It’s a great option that everyone will like!
Today’s recipe uses fresh sliced ginger and dried orange blossoms to create and strong tea that is the base of the flavor for this bhang. There’s also a secret ingredient for making this one of the best bhangs ever: cocoa butter. Instead of ghee or coconut oil to extract the cannabinoids from the ground cannabis flowers, I used cocoa butter which gave the rich and sweet flavor of “white chocolate” to the bhang.
Ok let’s Bhang!
This will make about 4 servings. Adjust the cannabis to your liking, but I typically use 1/2 gram or 1 joint worth of ground cannabis flowers to make 4 servings of bhang. In my experience, this seems to be just about the perfect amount for a moderately frequent consumer of cannabis.
1 thumb of ginger, sliced
1/4 cup or 5 grams of dried orange blossoms
1/2 gram of ground cannabis flowers
1 gram of liquid sunflower lecithin
1 tbsp or 5 grams of raw, cold-pressed cocoa butter
1/2 cup or 60 grams of raw shelled hemp seed
2 tsp or 3 grams of jaggery sugar or other sweetener to taste (stevia or monk fruit is ok to substitute)
3 cups or 3/4 liter of water
!. Prepare the hemp seed milk by using 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of shelled hemp seed. Blend until milky in the blender and set aside.
2. Warm the ground cannabis flower, lecithin, and cocoa butter in a pan for about 15 minutes. Don’t let this “fry” but keep the oil and cannabis very hot. Similar to the way you would make cannabutter. Set aside.
3. Prepare the ginger and orange blossom tea by boiling in 1 cup of water until it is very strong.
4. After you complete the first 3 steps, put everything into one pan and warm to about 140 F or 60 C for 5 minutes. DO NOT overheat. Add the sweetener and stir until fully dissolved. Strain the bhang through a strainer and serve in 4 cups.