Smoking Hash & Weed in India – It’s Common!

**Please don’t ask me where to get hash or weed in India, because I have no idea.  This blog post is just about my experiences as I was backpacking around India in 2015.”  

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I was shocked to see how many people love to get high in India!

I saw both locals and travelers smoking hash and marijuana pretty much everywhere that I went in the county during my 7 week backpacking trip. I originally thought that all of the drugs would be in India’s party capital of Goa, but I was proven wrong!

A little research taught me that smoking hash (called charas) in India has been enjoyed by Indians for centuries.  It has been used bound by faith, and it has helped many people attain happiness.

So, it’s not like there is some sort of revolution happening in India.  But learning about it may just open your eyes to the “real India,” because nobody talks about this kind of stuff behind the scenes.

I think that getting high in India is becoming more and more popular with time, especially as the open-minded, liberal views of the younger generation is rapidly spreading around the world.

One of the reasons that I suspect people frequently getting high in India is because drinking booze isn’t common. It’s hard to find a beer unless you’re at a bar/club. Perhaps, this is due to their culture, religion, or personal preference (or a combination of the three).

But that’s doesn’t mean that Indians don’t know how to party! The night life that I experienced around India was very fun- especially in the big cities like Mumbai, Goa and Delhi.  However, most bars/clubs shut their doors around 1AM (with the exception of Goa)….

So how else to people in India enjoy themselves when the bars close early?

Yep, you guessed it. They get high.

Nearly everywhere I went around India, I smelled weed or hash: on trains, in streets, parks, guesthouse lobbies, etc.   THC was in the air, and it’s very affordable to purchase and enjoy.

The most common way to smoke weed/hash amongst Indians is by a chillum. A chillum is a straight pipe with an end-to-end channel, which was originally invented in India by Hindu monks in the 18th Century. Many shops around the cities sell chillums for a very cheap price ($1-3 USD).  The way to smoke it is by cupping your hands and puffing like you see in the photo below (Image by “Ashish” on Flickr)


The following are the 3 most common substances that people getting high off in India. I did indulge in a bit myself.

Hash – Hash is the most common way that people get high in India. The word for hash in Hindi is called charas, and almost everyone refers to it as this name. Most of the hash is grown in the Himalaya mountain ranges in Northern India, and then transported around the country.

In fact, some of the best hash in the world comes from Malana, Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas. I bet you never knew that!

Weed – In India, weed is grown everywhere, because India is the perfect tropical climate to grow it. I was surprised to see so much weed being grown openly that most of it isn’t even maintained. Seriously!

It’s common for marijuana fields to be growing out freely in the wild – as opposed to the rest of the world where weed is usually grown in specific regions provided by the government.

I first noticed the wild marijuana plants growing in fields when I was sitting next to a hippie in the back of a rickshaw. He pointed them out to me and said that anyone can just go and grab some from the plants. The marijuana fields went on forever – there must have been hundreds of thousands of plants! I also noticed freely growing cannabis plants in the countryside when I was on the train. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Even when I went to the Wagah border of India and Pakistan, there were thousands of marijuana plants growing in the fields. Growing in the middle of heavily armed S.W.A.T. teams and government officials. I walked up and picked a perfect leaf and it was ironic and surreal to be doing this in the middle of a highly enforced war zone.

If you want to buy any weed, then it’s dirt cheap.  Like $5 for a big bag that will take you weeks to finish. But you can’t guarantee that the quality will be good, that’s why I recommend Hash.

BHANGAhhh, save the best for last!

Bhang is very unique to the Indian subcontinent and it has been consumed for centuries.

Basically, bhang is a preparation from the leaves and flower buds of cannabis plants, and consumed as a beverage around India. The effect is similar to eating an edible cookie or brownie that is cooked with THC- a body high that lasts for up to 6 hours.

During the crazy annual festival called Holi, thousands if not millions of people drink Bhang and splash each other in neon paint. It’s so much fun!

Moreover, in some states of India, the government allows the legal action of Bhang shops! Of course, there are also many restaurants that serve bhang under the table, but you have to ask. It is usually called “special lassi.” (Lassi is a popular yogurt based drink in India).

When I was in a city called Jaisalmer in the Rajasthan state, I went to a famous bhang shop and enjoyed a mango lassi with bhang for just $2. This bhang shop was also made famous by Anthony Bourdain, who tried it on his famous TV show “No Reservations.”

Oh yeah, and the bhang was delicious and has me feeling gooood for hours:

So what do you say? Are you getting excited for your upcoming Indian trip? Enjoy!

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