When you think of places where you can find marijuana-based products, India is probably not the first country that comes to your mind. But when I was camping in a mountainous region in Kashmir, our host had brought some joints with him, which we shared among ourselves. Unfortunately, because I never learned to smoke it properly no matter how many times I tried, it was wasted on me.
So, our mountain guide, Riyaz went to gather some weed from around our campsite. We were going to make marijuana tea, or as they called it, “mountain tea”, or “green medicine”.
What is It?
Marijuana tea (also known as cannabis tea, weed tea, pot tea, ganja tea, or cannabis decoction) is a cannabis-infused drink prepared by steeping parts of the cannabis plant in hot or cold water.
The plant has long been recognized as an herbal medicine employed by health professionals around the world to ease symptoms of some diseases. It is also used recreationally as a psychoactive drug and in spiritual traditions.
Although less common than other popular methods of marijuana consumption such as smoking or consuming edibles, drinking marijuana tea can produce comparable physical and mental therapeutic effects. The potency of the drink depends on individual preparation techniques, including the volume of cannabis used, and the boiling time.
Is Marijuana Legal in India?
No, drugs (including marijuana) are not legal anywhere in India. But then again, India can be a very confusing country. For example, in Jaisalmer, there is a “government-authorized” shop selling cannabis smoothie. The government seems to turn a blind eye to marijuana consumption in the country, but do it at your own risk.
Where to Find It
You can’t find ready-to-drink marijuana tea or tea bags in India. But in some parts of the country, you can find the plants growing in abundance on the roadsides.
I found them in Naranag, a mountainous region in Kashmir. They were everywhere! We could even smell them from our car as we drove past. And I’m pretty sure you can find them in other parts of Kashmir as well. Now you know why the region is often dubbed ‘the paradise on Earth’.
However, do exercise caution when picking the leaves. They could be someone’s property. If you’re with a guide, let him advise you where it’s okay or not okay to pick them.
How to Prepare Marijuana Tea
1. First, we separated the leaves from the stems and put them in a pot.
2. Then, we added water and boiled the leaves in it for around 5 – 10 minutes (I think). It felt a lot longer though, so I’m not very sure — time gets distorted when you’re in the mountains. But the tea should look dark yellow when it’s done.
3. Add sugar if you like…and cheers!
What I didn’t know then was that you’re supposed to add butter to the tea, because the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, i.e. the good stuff responsible for making you high) is fat-soluble, not water-soluble. That means, simply steeping the leaves in boiling water is not going to give you much effect because the THC stays in the leaves.
Butter helps release the THC into the water. If you don’t like the taste of butter in your tea, you can use milk instead — but it has to be milk with a high fat content. Marijuana tea is supposed to be quite potent when brewed correctly.
Oh well. I guess the mountain people weren’t so knowledgeable about herbs after all.
Tips for Taking Marijuana Tea in Kashmir
- Put butter in it!
- Keep in mind that individual results may vary. Although I personally didn’t feel anything with the tea, I would still suggest taking it easy, especially if it’s your first time trying edible cannabis.
- It is best to have a friend with you (who stays sober!) or someone you can trust to take care of you and your stuff, in case you get a bad reaction to the tea.
- The usual rule applies: if someone else prepares a drink for you, make sure you know what goes inside that drink. Do not leave your drink unattended.
- Do not take marijuana tea (or marijuana anything) before doing any activity that requires concentration.
- Do not take on an empty stomach.
- Remember that drugs, including marijuana/cannabis/weed/pot, are illegal in India. This article is by no means trying to encourage the consumption of drugs. Please refer to the disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
I drank two cups. Based on my experience with space brownies, it would take approximately 30 – 40 minutes after ingestion for the marijuana to take effect on me.
So, I waited the whole day. But there was nothing. I only felt like I neeeded to pee — which is not a fun feeling when you’re in the wild with no toilet or tap water.
Have you tried marijuana tea before? What was your experience like? Comment below.