15 Tips for Drinking Bhang Lassi in India

Before I tell you my tips on how to drink bhang lassi, I want to paint a little picture of Rajasthan… but since there ARE photos in this post (lol) feel free to skip ahead, I suppose. Rajasthan is a very unique state in India. In the desert, with buildings that blend in with the sand, you’ll see painted elephants in the streets and ATM’s that are constantly out of money (this happens more often than you’d think!).  You feel like you’re in a movie. Like you’re really far out there and no one can find you. But, they can find you. It’s quite touristy, but as I’ve said before, Who Cares!?

bhang lassi, tips for bhang lassi, travel, india, backpacking, special lassi

bhang lassi, tips for bhang lassi, travel, india, backpacking, special lassi

Mostly vegetarian, the food is superb and the shopping is even better (including great deals on hand-beaded wall hangings).While touring through the majestic town of Jaisalmer, looking at the men with bright turbans smoking charas in a chillum (like the guy below) or drinking opium tea along side the road, I came across a “Government Approved” Bhang Lassi shop.

On menus across Rajasthan, Bhang Lassi is referred to as “special lassi”.

how to do bhang lassi in indiaTom Maisey govt. bhang shop

Keep in mind most towns in Rajasthan, like Pushkar, are very holy. You can’t have items like eggs, and you definitely can’t have beer. So what is bhang? It’s a form of cannabis put in a fruity yoghurt drink.

bhang lassi, tips for bhang lassi, travel, india, backpacking, special lassiSadhus, who openly partake in smoking hash. It is not taboo here.

Cannabis is part of the culture in India, partially thanks to the powerful god, Shiva, who loved his cannabis plant along with his pet cow. It is confusing what is OK and what’s not in India, especially rules on how females can dress, considering one can get hash in a restaurant but girls can’t show their thighs.

Like many articles, I must make a disclaimer: Don’t do drugs! Even Bhang Lassi! Now in the off chance that you choose to ignore me and partake in the delicious dangerous drinking of special lassi…

Here are my 15 tips for bhang lassi in India

1. If you don’t like yoghurt, ask for a special Coca-Cola or Fanta.

2. While you’re there, grab some green cookies. They aren’t suspicious at all. Just kidding. They are very suspicious, so just in case eat them discreetly. It’s a tricky law where you can’t buy and sell, but officials seem to be looking the other way. Best to not take your chances showing the whole world your cookies.

how to do bhang lassi in indiaReuben Strayer bhang

3. On your first try, even if you think you compare to Bob Marley in tolerance, get a “light” lassi. They make them very strong. It is not the same as smoking and bhang side effects can be stronger.

4. Do NOT take this alone. I have heard from travelers that they drank one, fell asleep, and woke up without a purse.

5. You are asking these vendors to put a drug in your drink. You are at their mercy, and you are taking a risk that they could add anything else they want; you don’t know their bhang recipe and what else they might add. As another option, you can try to make your own lassi at home or partake on Holi with locals you trust.

6. Buy from government approved shops, not street vendors.

7. Do NOT by any means drink bhang lassi before your camel safari. This is just a no-brainer… right? Possible complications due to bhang effects include: almost slipping off your camel, wobbling for an hour, thinking it’s hotter than it is, feeling like you’ve been on your camel for days, and worse thinking that you are in danger in Pakistan: Pakistani Paranoia, I’m going to go ahead and coin that phrase now.

bhang lassi, tips for bhang lassi, travel, india, backpacking, special lassi

8.You, as a foreigner, should not partake in smoking/drinking on the streets like the sadhus (holy men) do. They are worshiping and/or helping free their people from sin (I’ve been told mixed reports) and you clearly are not.

bhang lassi, tips for bhang lassi, travel, india, backpacking, special lassi

9. Do NOT think this is the same as smoking a joint. It isn’t. You may be loopy for hours.

10. Do NOT think that because you ate a brownie once, you are the master of all drugs edible. Do not underestimate the powerfulness of bhang drinks.

11. Don’t drink lassi on an empty stomach, and try to stay outside.

12.  I don’t even know why I’m typing this… but don’t give a sip to a child or animal. I don’t know why this would EVER happen, but for some reason I feel obligated to type it.

13. If you have forgotten a few cookies and taken them on a bus/train/somewhere that you get searched, first of all you’re a silly person. Second of all, remember that this is India and ask “How much is the fine?” The best way to nonchalantly offer a bribe. Does this make you ethically innocent? Nope, but it can easily keep you out of trouble.

14. If you are in India during Holi, there is a huge increase in Bhang intake, and everyone and their father are on it. Although I’m not advising you do drugs… Holi is a fine time to give it a whirl.

15. If you see cannabis growing on the side of a street, don’t steal it. It could just be a nuisance in someone’s garden OR, in somewhere like Malana, you could get in a lot of trouble from locals (so I hear).

16. Get travel insurance! If you’re reading this considering taking bhang while here, then you are a bit of a risk-taker. Risk takers especially should have insurance. Health care in India is expensive, and a broken wrist for instance at the hospital could be 1,000 USD or I’ve heard of a bladder infection being 2,000 USD for two days on IV drips. Get a quote and see if you can afford it.. and if you can’t, maybe put off your trip until you can. It’s pretty cheap.

Ok, that’s enough tips on bhang lassi. So here’s just a little summary in case you weren’t paying attention.

Keep in mind this is a mind-altering drug. Use common sense. If you are nervous about taking it then DON’T. I don’t suggest this to anyone who has never smoked anything other than a cigarette. Acutally, I’m not suggesting it at all. I’m just giving tips in case you decide to drink it. “Cause I’m a cool mom.” Remember that weed is accepted in India because of religious beliefs. Do not be so carefree about other drugs. Be safe and be smart! 



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49 responses to “15 Tips for Drinking Bhang Lassi in India”

  1. Shalu Sharma says:

    Great tips, agree with all of them. Also it might be a good idea to stay with the government approved shops like you say. But street vendors are everywhere. Usually if there are lots of people in a shop, it means that it must be a popular place.

  2. Taylor says:

    Very interesting… never heard of this before but seems like something fun to do if you use common sense and you’re safe while doing it!

  3. Catherine says:

    Had never even heard of Bhang Lassi before, certainly intrigued now! Some good tips here though.

  4. Hahaha. You are a cool mom.
    Emily from Let’s Roam Wild recently posted…Travelers at Home: Lesley Triplett

  5. Lucy says:

    I am not going to incriminate myself but I was in Delhi for Holi in 2013 and it was awesome. Another tip for those who do not know, it can also have opium in it which is especially popular at farmhouse parties/ private parties. I chose not to partake in that batch. Your comment about giving it to children is humorous to me as, from my experience, everyone drinks it on Holi- people of all ages from the 75 year old to the 5 year old. Obviously this can not be good for the young brain and seeing little kids all messed up on it was an interesting sight. I would suggest it on Holi for sure as long as you are with friends in a fun, safe atmosphere. Another great post! You make my travel fever even worse with every word and tip you write and I love it!
    Lucy recently posted…OWB: The Epitome of Paradise

    • Rachel Jones says:

      You’re right about the kids on Holi. I think some of the village kids here in Goa even had some. It’s a little strange to get used to! I’ve heard of people being tricked into drinking ones with opium, so it’s good to be very careful! Thanks for your comment :)

  6. Obviously in the supermarkets in the UK you can just by a Lassi, my favourite is the mango. Super creamy. Maybe next time I go to Ind¡a I´ll ask them to put a bit of “Bhang” in mine…haa.

    My mates just got back from a massive South East Asia backpacking trip and they had a similar thing in Thailand, the only differnece is that they didn´t know what was in it. I think an “Awkard evening” hashtag is applicable here.
    Thumbs up on the post!
    Anna (invisible Images) recently posted…Best Thrift Shops in San Sebastian

    • Rachel Jones says:

      Not knowing what’s in it is scary business! Especially in SE Asia. Bhang is something worth trying while in India though. I personally don’t like lassi so much and had mine in a milkshake :)

  7. Never even knew this existed. Useful to know….;)
    Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted…The Chain Of Introductions

  8. Ha! Great tips – especially the one about not consuming one of these before a camel safari. Having done a camel safari in Rajasthan, I totally agree!
    Samuel Jeffery recently posted…VIDEO: 48 hours in Singapore

    • Rachel Jones says:

      haha yeah, it made it an interesting experience- plus I had no idea my bum was hurting so bad because of the bhang! The next day, I was like wtf did that camel ride do to me!?

  9. Mark says:

    I was curious by the title of this post when I checked out your home page. It gave me a chuckle when I read this. You are right about using common sense. Simply put, it is the difference between jail and freedom.

    Does Indian yoghurt taste different than American yoghurt?
    Mark recently posted…The answer is “Yes, you can get a GREAT logo for FIVE BUCKS too!!!”

  10. Ha, this was a great read!
    Colleen Brynn recently posted…Introduction To Goa

  11. […] you walk down the street you’ll see sadhus, kids doing traditional dances, and painted elephants swinging their […]

  12. […] Jodhpur is most known in the food-mosphere for delicious treats; make sure to snack on them while shopping. You can buy them safely from street vendors. You should try a lassi here as well, but make sure it isn’t “special” aka filled up with drugs. […]

  13. Franca says:

    I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Bhang Lassi before, it’s true that we never finish to learn. Thanks :)
    Franca recently posted…With Earphones In – Metá Metá (Brazil)

  14. […] before the entrance of the Fort. Prices are insanely cheap. You can get cookies as well. I have a list of tips, but please do be safe because they make these very strong, sometimes so they can take advantage of […]

  15. […] would be a great place to celebrate Holi with a bhang lassi. It’s already so colorful, I think it would be such a fun place to […]

  16. Zeke says:

    Amazing photos, I can’t wait to go to India in September. Really useful tips aswell

  17. […] to the local’s religion. I’ve explained how some drugs are okay in their culture, like bhang lassi & general smoking of hash, but there’s a fine line of what’s okay and what’s […]

  18. […] Sadhus (holy men) hanging out  […]

  19. […] bank on that and you could end up in prison. Like any country, they are illegal. I did write about bhang lassi in Jaisalmer, as it’s a culturally accepted drug, but that’s all I have to say on the […]

  20. jen says:

    I will be in Mysore during Holi, I just realized, and thank you for the tips regarding this. I have severe milk allergy here in the states, and although I am interested to see if I have a severe allergic reaction to dairy in India – I also do not want to find out – so it is particularly useful to know I can get special Coca-Cola or Fanta there instead of special lassi.

  21. Paul says:

    I can confirm what you say here Rachel, having tried one or *cough* 2 when I visited years ago.
    I was on some roof top with a Canadian pal trying to play chess one gorgeous evening when we both began to feel the effects of a particularly strong lassi we’d each tried.
    Couldn’t play chess because we couldn’t focus on the board squares, and couldn’t leave the building because the stairs appeared non-negotiable!
    Lots of girly giggling though.

    Paul x

  22. Alec says:

    Great tips, thank you! I’m thinking of going to India this Holi so appreciate the advice :)

  23. Wesley says:

    Love your advice and have just added Bhang Lassi to my bucket list.

    Thanx for all the great stories

  24. […] Bhang is still widely used today and while visiting India you are able to enjoy bhang in many different styles. Among these styles are green cookies, but the most commonly ingested is called “Bhang Lassi” in India which roughly translates to “special lassi.”  This is made in the form of drink that can be flavored like a chai latte or as a smoothie.  There are many different risks involved if you choose to try one of these treats while traveling to India.  I have taken the liberty of attaching another excellent blog that addresses the benefits as well as the risks involved.  To continue your interest in the uses of bhang in India, please view the following blog: http://hippie-inheels.com/bhang-lassi-in-india/ […]

  25. Abhilash says:

    “Keep in mind this is a mind-altering drug”
    — it is NOT a Drug. It is made from natural plants.

    • Rachel Jones says:

      some could also argue heroin comes from something natural. to each their own… but whether it’s labeled drug or not, it is mind-altering.

      • Pranav says:

        Well in that case most of the drugs come from natural things. Just like how cocaine comes from cocoa leaf. But that does not make it natural. Because they are ‘produced’ and not used in their natural means. What makes it artificial is – The peeps figure out the chemical components and chemical structures and they create the same with artificial substances. The same reason why it’s so risky. Now they are ‘drugs’. Although cannabis is classified as a drug, it just is not.

  26. Siddhartha says:

    I am from India..I just had my bhaang lassi today..feeling awesome

  27. Pranav says:

    Haha. Very nice article. Have you tried any of the other sweets made with a bhang base? But if you want the best of bhang, I’d suggest you try the ones out in Punjab. I’ve heard that that’s the shiz. Cannabis is more of an emotion in India which explains why no matter what the government does or tries to imply it can never take cannabis out of reach from the people(considering it was legal till about 60 years ago). Although i don’t stand by using it for religious purposes , I do stand for using it for spiritual purposes or even recreational purposes. Have you tried Khasa khasa payasam( a sweet porridge like substance made with opium seeds)? It’s pretty famous here in the south.
    Have a nice day :)

  28. helen says:

    can you buy bhang in any city of India? Can you buy just herb itself or it always will be in food? I am intersted because of medical properties of cannabis: it treats cancer, diabites, it restores DNA, and list is going on and on. Check out video on youtube “Rick Simpson – Run from the cure”

  29. nikhil seth says:

    Hahahahaha!! LOVED the article… Informative and hilarious!.. I happened to be in jaisalmer when i read it..and the next thing i did when i headed out was go to the bhang shop… Have a mild lassi and then get some of the cookies packed too :D
    Great article rachel.. :)
    nikhil seth recently posted…This is India! 45

  30. Lawson says:

    Great article! I’m planning a gap-year trip to India next year solo, so I’m trying to find out as much as I can before I leave! I have a question – I’m quite interested in trying bhaang, but I’m below the legal drinking age (I’m 18) in basically all states except Goa. Do you know if there are age restrictions when buying bhaang from government stores/elsewhere, like there are with regards to alcohol? And is this prudently enforced in India? I understand that young children even consume bhaang openly around Holi, but it could also be possible that buying laws are different to laws governing the actual consumption. Thanks! :)

  31. Fabrizio Mazzoldi says:

    My God…I Read it toi late…I thought I was dead. ..
    I ha a bhang lassi at Blu Lassi in Varanasi…fuck…10 hours ko…no more…expecially if everybody of the group drink it…fuck…

  32. Gypsy says:

    I smoke a little pot every night to sleep and recreationally. I have had one REALLY bad experience with edibles. I’ll bein Jaipur for Holi. How much bhaang should I drink for a milder experience? First timer!

  33. James says:


    Stumbled onto your lively site. would you be interested in doing a pilot for cable international distribution? I develop concepts for the american and international markets. do you have any videos online?

    look forward to hearing from you.


  34. SK says:

    You are so right about getting the light. I am from California so naturally I asked the shopkeeper in Varanasi to make it strong.

    It knocked me in and out of consciousness.

  35. Xto says:

    Hi, I have been a keen bhang taker for many years and love the fact that you don’t have smoke to enter this new state of mind. I take it for its health benefits of course!

  36. bob says:

    Made a similar mistake in Amsterdam after leaving a Brewery at 10:am pissed. Got hungry – bought hot chips with mayo and a small bag of dried shrooms. Got on a bus that did not stop for 3 hours fully tripping. Sure they pushed me up front near the door to get booted.

  37. Arin says:

    Hi Rachel, nice post here.
    One more thing I’d like to add here, and this is specially for people who are used to smoking weed, but have never had bhaang. Bhang takes time to show its effects. Whereas you can get high immediately after smoking a joint, bhang may take say an hour before you start to feel different. People often think that the amount they’ve had is ineffective, and consume more and more, and when they realize their mistake, they’re tripping balls. My advice is take a small amount, wait for an hour or two, and then decide if you want more. Also, I hear pickle (‘aachar’ in Hindi) is a good antidote if you’ve had too much.

  38. larissa says:

    These are awesome tips! I am always trying to prepare myself for whatever situation I might put myself and I think reading this has definitely given me a more aware view on the ways that Bhang can be taken, as well as the cookies. Thanks for sharing!

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