The stoner’s guide to weed in India

Bhang, weed, cannabis, marijuana, pot, buds, grass. Whatever you call it, don’t miss this guide to weed in India, with everything you need to know about buying and smoking weed in India. Because, you know, someone had to.

 

Disclaimer: Lost With Purpose does not condone dangerous drug use, nor breaking local laws. We do, however, find cannabis to be a marvelous plant.

 

Weed is everywhere in India… if you know where to look.

Whether it’s babas puffing chillums on the roadside, smoky Shiva temples hidden away from the main drag, pungent wild cannabis growing in the mountains, or bhang lassis (legally) sold from grungy holes in the walls, weed is an integral part of India, try as the government does to deny it. It’s no coincidence that the Hindu Kush mountains inspired the name of the popular strain!

Unfortunately, weed is also illegal in India, so there’s not much open discussion about it. A lack of information leads to misunderstanding, bad deals, and occasionally danger when drugs are involved. Let’s clear things up, shall we?

Below is a guide to weed in India, based on the experiences of… a friend.

 

India is a haven for smokers and 420-friendly travelers... if you know where to go. But, of course, plenty of questions arise: Is it legal to smoke marijuana in India? How much does weed cost in India? Where are good places to smoke in India? Click through for a guide with everything you need to know about smoking weed in India.

 

Stoner’s guide to weed in India

 

Guide to smoking weed in India - A Shiva statue in Diu, India - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Lord Shiva

Weed terminology in India

First off: if we’re going to talk weed, you need to know your slang!

  • Baba: Slang for weed.
  • Bhang: The cannabis plant. Also the edible form of cannabis, usually made from Indica strains. Think bhang lassi.
  • Charras: Hashish, usually hand-rubbed in India.
  • Chillum: Conical, pipe-like device used for smoking. Preparing a chillum is quite the process!
  • Desi joint: Joint/spliff made using the body of a pre-rolled cigarette.
  • Shiva: One of the major Hindu gods, often associated with cannabis. Followers of Shiva can imbibe cannabis legally, as it’s considered a way of worshiping the god.
  • Stuff: Slang for weed.
  • Tola: 10 grams.

 

Guide to smoking weed in India - Smoking a joint in Himachal Pradesh - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Seems it’s 4:20 in Himachal Pradesh…

Weed in India FAQ

Officially, no. All narcotics in India are illegal.

However, followers of the Hindu god Shiva believe smoking marijuana is a way of worshipping the god. In dear old Hindustan, that’s pretty much all you need to justify smoking weed.

How’s the weed in India?

If weed is what you’re after… don’t get too excited. Marijuana in India is generally of poor quality, especially when compared to weed in Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands.

However, hash is ubiquitous in India, and can be quite potent. Forget weed for a bit (and forgive me for using weed as a blanket term), and prepare to switch to hash!

Where is the best place to go if I want to smoke weed in India?

Generally speaking, Himachal Pradesh is the place to be if you’re looking to lose yourself in a cloud of smoke.

Where to smoke weed in India - Map of India with Himachal Pradesh highlighted - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state in northern India. Towering Himalayan mountains blanketed in green reach toward the sky, and snowy peaks are often visible, even in summer.

Guide to smoking weed in India - Views of a valley in Himachal Pradesh - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Epic views of Himachal Pradesh as we hitchhiked from Leh to Manali in summer

It’s a dreamy state to be sure, but many tourists visit Himachal for another reason: the mountains of Himachal, specifically the Parvati Valley, produce the best charras in all of India. As a result, tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh can feel a lot like Goa… but in the mountains.

Guide to weed in India - Tacky pants on sale at souvenir stalls in Old Manali, the backpacker area - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Manali overflows with shops peddling smoking paraphernalia and hippie clothes, and its streets buzz with smokers—primarily Israelis bursting out the gates post-military service—on a quest to enjoy the higher side of India.

Guide to weed in India - Hebrew and Israelis in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Sign in Hebrew next to a painting of Shiva. Welcome to Manali!

If Himachal sounds like a plan, head to Manali or the village of Kasol (dubbed “Little Israel”) to start. There are a plethora of small villages you can trek to in the area, most of which produce hash and are happy to sell the fruits of their labor to tourists.

Malana, source of the infamous Malana cream hash, is the most famous of the villages. However, the people of Malana recently “decided” to ban tourists from the village. Though it’s a shame for those wanting to visit, I think it’s understandable that the tiny village no longer wants hordes of blazed tourists roaming through its ways and influencing the younger generations.

Alternatively, if Himachal sounds a bit excessive, our friend found offbeat Manipur in Northeast India to have the best weed—yes, weed, not hash. We’ve also heard that Kerala has the best weed in India—dubbed “Kerala gold”—but our friend couldn’t find any while roaming through Kerala. Keralans, feel free to chime in here!

How can I find weed in India?

Depends on where you are! Smokeables run rampant in some areas, while in others, you’ll need a connection.

In very touristic places, if you’re an obvious white foreign guy, the chance someone will offer you weed within a few minutes of walking around is pretty high. (Double that if you have dreads.) Women will be propositioned less—same goes for couples—but so long as you’re obviously foreign, you’re sure to have someone muttering about weed in your ear eventually.

Guide to weed in India - Dreads for sale in Arambol beach, Goa - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Don’t worry if you don’t have dreads—you can always buy some in Goa! (No, I jest. Please don’t do that to yourself.)

Otherwise, you can ask people in hospitality—bar owners, waiters, hostel workers, etc.—where to score some weed. Police often check up on these establishments, so be subtle and tactful, but if you ask around nicely enough, they’ll point you in the right direction.

If you’re traveling off the beaten track in India, you’ll have to make friends in high (pun) places. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with people puffing away when you see them, and feel free to ask hinting questions about smoking if talking to younger people.

Asking around at small to mid-sized Shiva temples is another good starting point. Look for temples with men hanging around in the afternoons and evenings. There’s usually someone lurking nearby who sells little packets of smokeables to Shiva “devotees”.

If you’re really struggling, taxi and rickshaw drivers can also be seen smoking from time to time. Find the right guy, and he’ll likely be deeply amused by your request, and help you on your merry way.

Weirdly enough, Quora is also very useful for figuring out where smokers and dealers congregate. “Where to score weed in [city name]” is a very popular query. Wonder why?

Can women smoke weed in India?

Sure. Smoking, like virtually everything else in India, is predominantly a male pastime, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find 420-friendly women in India.

In the major metropolitan areas where equality is finding its footing, you’ll find plenty of young ladies happy to toke in the right settings. Same goes for the beaches of Goa and Karnataka, where women both foreign and domestic congregate to relax a little.

Guide to smoking weed in India - Women walking on Kudle beach in Gokarna, Karnataka - Lost With Purpose travel blog

You’ll see plenty of female tourists lighting up on the beaches of Gokarna in Karnataka, too.

However, when traveling in more remote areas, smoking anything as a woman will get you some stares. Never fear—stares should not be a deterrent—and many guys will be delighted to see that women smoke, too. Just be prepared to hang out with only men during your group seshes.

What is the punishment for smoking weed in India?

As a foreigner, you should be more worried about having to pay a hefty baksheesh to a police officer than actually going to jail. In general, most police encounters involving weed end in fines, not jail time.

Officially, however, the maximum punishment is six months of imprisonment and/or a 10,000 Rs fine for those caught with up to one kilo of weed/hash.

What should I do if someone catches me smoking weed in India?

Share?

Just kidding. Sort of.

If someone serious, such as a police officer, catches you smoking weed in India, do your best to defuse the situation on the spot. Be very, very polite, and mix in a little bit of ignorance. You’re a dumb foreigner—you didn’t know it wasn’t allowed, and you’ll never do it again!

Guide to smoking weed in India - Police on the streets of Kolkata - Lost With Purpose travel blog

It wasn’t me, Mr. Policeman, I swear!

Ultimately, you’re likely going to have to pay. The best way to figure out how much the officer wants is to ask “what is the fine?” This way, you aren’t explicitly offering a bribe, but you can cut to the chase gracefully. Foreigners have reported being asked to pay anywhere from a few hundred rupees to bribes in the thousands.

Whatever you do, avoid going to any kind of police station. Impress upon the officer that it’s much easier to settle things on the spot. No police officer wants to do paperwork, but, fortunately or unfortunately, many police officers enjoy receiving bribes. Encouraging corruption is never a good thing, but it beats ending up in Indian jail.

Guide to smoking weed in India - Hash and rolling materials in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Gotta come prepared!

Stoner packing list

If you’ve yet to jet off to India—or even pack your bags—there are some things you should toss in before you go if you’re a picky smoker.

  • Rolling papers. They’re hard to find outside of backpacker areas.
  • Filter tips. Same applies!
  • Glass pipe. If you prefer to smoke out of a small pipe on the road, bring your own. The quality of pipes on sale is limited at best.
  • Rolling tobacco. Cigarettes are more common, so if you prefer to have a stash of rolling tobacco, BYOT.
  • Tobacco alternatives. Given how common hash is, if you don’t like rolling joints with tobacco, you’ll want to bring along a little salad for mixing.
  • Grinder. The weedy is seedy, and picking the seeds out can be a right pain.

Common scams and hazards

India has a reputation for messing with foreign tourists, and that doesn’t stop when it comes to weed. Here are some things you should be wary of when seeking out cannabis in India:

  • Police accosting you after you make a purchase. Sometimes, dealers are in cahoots with the police, and the police will wait until you’ve bought something before coming to catch you.
  • Dealers offering you the shittiest quality first. Dealers usually have several varieties of weed or hash, and they’ll offer you the lowest quality first, insisting it’s the best. Be firm, and ask for something better a couple of times.
  • Police officers going after foreign dealers. They’re easier—and more profitable—to hassle than local dealers. Be cautious when buying anything from foreigners.
  • Dealers not selling real weed. If they’re being shifty and trying to rush you into buying something without getting a good look at it, don’t indulge them. Walk away, or insist on getting a better look.
  • Dealers lying about weight. A universal issue! Unless you bring a scale with you, you’ll just have to learn to eyeball weights.

 

Guide to weed in India - Wild marijuana growing in Majuli, Assam - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Wild marijuana growing on Majuli island in Assam

How much weed costs in India

Now for the important question: how much does weed cost in India?

With a country as big as India, it’s hard to make any generalizations! But, of course, we know you’re probably wondering about it, and there’s no harm in asking.

For science, our friend tracked how much weed costs throughout India. Following are their findings.

Note: At the time of writing, USD$1 = 68 Rs.

How much weed costs in Arunachal Pradesh

  • Daporijo: 100 Rs for a little packet of weed, good for 3-4 joints.

Note: Weed is very much frowned upon in Arunachal Pradesh, and you should be careful about smoking it in certain areas. Drinking, on the other hand, is tax free in Arunachal 😉

How much weed costs in Assam

  • Guwahati: 100 Rs for 10 grams of decent, golden Bhutanese weed.
  • Majuli: 20 Rs for a massive bundle of weak wild weed.
Where to buy weed in India - Golden Bhutanese weed in Assam - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Golden Bhutanese weed from Guwahati

Guide to smoking weed in India - Piles of wild weed in Majuli island, Assam - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Piles of wild weed in Majuli. The locals burn it as mosquito repellent!

How much weed costs in Bihar

  • Munger: 20 Rs for a small packet of passable weed without many seeds.
Where to buy weed in India - Small packet of cannabis in Bihar - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Not much to look at, but at least it’s sans seeds.

How much weed costs in Goa

  • Baga: 2100 Rs for a tola (10 grams) of very unpleasant and chemical hash. *Note that this was during the high Christmas season in Goa.
  • Arambol: 3000 Rs for a tola of good Manali hash.

How much weed costs in Himachal Pradesh

  • Manali: 1500 for a tola of homemade hash, 3000 Rs for a tola of ice or Manali Cream.

Guide to smoking weed in India - Tola of Hash in Himachal Pradesh - Lost With Purpose travel blog

How much weed costs in Karnataka

  • Hampi: 800 Rs for 10 grams of really unfortunate weed filled with seeds.
  • Gokarna: 800 Rs for 7-8 grams of even more unfortunate and brown weed.
Guide to smoking weed in India - Bag of bad weed in Gokarna, Karnataka - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Sadness in a bag from a beach in Gokarna

How much weed costs in Manipur

  • Imphal: 50 Rs for an eighth of passable weed (perhaps 10 joints’ worth?), 200 Rs for 10 grams of delightfully good weed.
Guide to smoking weed in India - Passable weed in Imphal, Manipur - Lost With Purpose travel blog

The passable stuff. Looks nasty, hard to roll, but relatively decent in the end.

Guide to smoking weed in India - Good weed in Imphal, Manipur - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Mmm, yes. Finally, real weed! (Though they could still learn a thing or two about curing…)

How much weed costs in Meghalaya

  • Shillong: 100 – 150 Rs for a massive bunch of weak wild weed.
Guide to smoking weed in India - Bundle of weed in Shillong, Meghalaya - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Talk about a handful!

How much weed costs in Uttar Pradesh

  • Varanasi: 2500 Rs for a tola of decent hash, and 50 Rs for a medium strength bhang lassi.
Guide to weed in India - Bhang lassi/thandai in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Looks weird, tastes great. Don’t miss our guide to drinking bhang lassi in Varanasi!

How much weed costs in West Bengal

  • Kolkata: 500 Rs for 25 grams of golden Bhutanese weed.

 

A final note

So ends our guide to the greener side of India. Whatever you choose to do while traveling India, remember to watch out for yourself and others, and stay safe. Use your common sense, don’t overdo it, and don’t tempt fate by smoking in obvious places. Indian jail does not make for a good travel story.

Most importantly, don’t forget that you’re traveling to India to see the country and its people, not smoke weed in a hostel all day with other backpackers. Smoking is all well and grand, so long as you get out and see the world every once in a while. (Protip: smoking and wandering is a great pastime.)

Lecture over! Take care, stay out of trouble, and stay chill 😉

 

Want to know if it's safe to smoke weed in India? If women can smoke weed in India? Where to go to smoke weed in India? Read on for a guide with everything you need to know about cannabis in India!

 

Want more smoky stories from on the road? How about that time we rolled with the stoners in Hunza, Pakistan?

 

Yay transparency! There are affiliate links in this post. If you buy something using our links, we’ll make a bit of change at no extra cost to you. It’s how we cover the costs of running the blog! (And pay for our our friend’s rolling papers.)

Alex

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

More about Alex

10 thoughts on “The stoner’s guide to weed in India

    Elsa says:

    Omg i love your page!!

    Alex says:

    Haha, I’m glad you found this useful 😉

    Kingstan M says:

    So no possibility in Pune or Mumbai or Chennai?

    Alex says:

    I assure you, there’s weed everywhere you go in India 😉 Many young men have at least tried weed once in their life. My… friend doesn’t have any experience with finding weed in the areas you mentioned, that’s all.

    Everblazin420 says:

    In Mumbai it’s hard but possible to get good weed. Otherwise you can always find a little better quality than the “sadness in a bag” pic. At around 150 Rs. For an e8th. You have to have contacts in order to score good weed which is mostly home grown (privately) for about 1000 Rs. For 10 gms or weed that is smuggled from Assam or Kerala at 500 Rs. For 10 gms.

    Hash on the other hand is easily available in the Colaba area but be careful as these guys rip you off on quality or sell you bullshit that’s looks and smells a bit like hash. Good manali hash costs around 3000 for a tola and Bombay black at 1000-1500.

    Everblazin420 says:

    Pretty cool and helpful article!

    Alex says:

    Glad you found it useful, thanks for contributing your knowledge!

    Sree says:

    Traveling to Diu… Any contact of a weed supplier thier
    TIA

    Benja says:

    Thank you providing such detailed info. Now doubt will prove useful… Arriving in Kolkata soon. Would rather avoid Sudder Street. Any suggestions of where to find medium/good quality but not excessively priced nordle will be gratefully received.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lost With Purpose

Send this to a friend