How to deal with a bhang hangover this Holi

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind if you are having bhang this Holi.

Myupchar March 10, 2020 14:00:31 IST
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How to deal with a bhang hangover this Holi

It is hard to imagine Holi without bhang. From savoury pakoras to sweets, lassi and thandai - you could find almost every food laced with this edible preparation of cannabis on Holi. 

While it may sound like a lot of fun, if you have ever had bhang you would know it can make you completely zone out and also have some nasty side-effects. But if you have never tried it before and are thinking of doing it this year, then you should absolutely know what to expect and exactly how to deal with the hangover.

How to deal with a bhang hangover this Holi

Representational image. Reuters

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind if you are having bhang this Holi.

The many effects of bhang 

Bhang is prepared from the leaves of the Cannabis plant. It has all the same effects as marijuana ranging from intoxication, euphoria, drowsiness, short term memory loss and inability to focus. You could also have an altered sense of time, hallucinations, delusions and difficulty processing information and performing basic tasks. Be ready to eat or sleep a lot since bhang may cause food cravings and anxiety. Bhang increases the heart rate a bit so those with heart diseases are usually cautioned against it. Also, pregnant women should not have bhang since it can affect the baby.

All of these effects are from the major compound present in the cannabis plant - THC. Since cannabis is usually smoked, the effect may not appear as quickly if you ingest it. THC travels faster to your bloodstream through the lungs compared to when you eat or drink it. Depending on the dose, it takes anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes to show its effects. THC’s effects peak after 2-3 hours of ingestion and they last for about 4 to 12 hours depending on how much bhang you have had.

Ways to deal with a bhang hangover

No matter how many times you've had it before, bhang hangover can have some pretty intense effects. For starters, you may have broken pieces of memory (since bhang causes temporary amnesia). And depending on the dose, you may still wake up feeling tired or hungry as hell. While you can’t completely avoid a hangover, here are some ways to manage and deal with bhang hangover:

Drink a lot of water: Water is a natural detoxifier. It helps flush out all the toxins from your body. Lemon water is also said to be good for a bhang hangover.

Avoid caffeine: While there isn’t much research on the interaction between caffeine and cannabis, it is believed that these two compounds should not be taken together. This is because caffeine is a stimulant and cannabis depresses the nervous system. Now it may seem like the two may cancel each other out but there is no proof on what would happen. However, evidence from the lab studies shows that it may not be a good idea to mix the two unless you want to worsen the symptoms.

Consume high fibre foods: Fibers are complex carbs that are known to promote the natural detoxification functions of the body. So, binge on fruits and greens. Eating anyway helps reduce the symptoms of a hangover. And while you are at it, avoid consuming bhang on an empty stomach.

Take a hot water bath: Research suggests that a hot water bath helps reduce the side effects of cannabinoids (chemicals present in bhang), especially if you have excessive vomiting after taking cannabis.

Do not have alcohol or tobacco with bhang: According to the Centers for Disease Control, USA, both alcohol and tobacco can increase the effects of cannabis. So, it’s better that you avoid taking them at the same time.

On a side note, bhang may also interact with certain prescription medicines. If you are taking any medicines, talk to your doctor before trying bhang. There is also no check on the quality or sale of bhang in India, so there are high chances of adulterated versions being sold in the market. Take all precautions possible. 

For more tips, read our article on Bhang (Hemp): Benefits and Side-Effects.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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