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Personal Experience: Special Lassi in India

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Arriving in India was one of the biggest culture shocks of my young life. Aged 18 and having just completed my first year at university I really didn’t know what to expect from a country famous for its chaotic streets as well as its beauty. I wasn’t disappointed. Almost immediately after stepping out of Delhi airport I was greeted by a symphony of horns and shouts mixing with a thousand alien smells.

I was about to embark on one of the craziest few weeks of my life. Who would have known that one of the most special moments on this adventure would involve Cannabis and the famous ‘special Lassi’. In this reflection of a personal experience i had with my friend Tom in the ancient town of Khajuraho I’ll take you with me on one of the most memorable Cannabis experiences I’ve had in my entire life.

Cannabis is not just present in western countries, it has a presence all over the world. It’s so interesting to learn how this incredible plant is used in different places around the world. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter for deals on legal cannabis products, as well as all the latest news and industry stories. Also save big on Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!


The Special Lassi

Cannabis and India have been long associated with each other. Making its way into the sub-continent between 2000 and 1000 BC, Cannabis is intertwined with Indian history. Unlike other historic cultures, populations in India used Cannabis for its psychoactive effects as well as for the structural properties of Hemp. Cannabis and its effects were even written about in sacred texts, such as the Atharva Veda, which also alludes to the god Shiva being a fan. In India, Cannabis can be mashed up and used as a substance called Bhang, a milky substance made up of the leaves, buds and stems of Cannabis plants.

This Bhang substance can be added to milk and et voila, you have a bhang lassi, or special lassi for tourists. These drinks are often unregulated in their strengths and it is not uncommon for unsuspecting tourists to go from 0-60, especially if they ambitiously ask for an extra strong one. It was drinking Bhang lassis that myself and one of my best friends Tom had a truly unforgettable experience on a trip to India a few years ago. An experience that started my love affair with Cannabis.

The Indian Trip: Cannabis in India

Tom was on his gap year and I had just finished my first year of university. I had promised him at some point that if he decided to go to India, I would pop out (ah student loan money) and visit him for a few weeks. I met him in Delhi and we toured around the so-called golden triangle in Rajasthan. If you’ve never been to India and have the chance to go… go. I have never been to a country so beautifully steeped in history, culture and kindness and of course the food. Cannabis is illegal in India, but seemingly omnipresent.

At every city we went to, someone offered us bhang or ganja. In many places we were stung by bad Cannabis. One gram we bought I’m sure was just tea leaves, but we smoked it in Tom’s Elephant pipe that he’d picked up at an airport. Nothing happened. At one point a taxi driver sold us some weed and joined us to smoke it, eventually forgetting that he had the rest in his taxi. We hadn’t had the best luck, that is until the last week of our trip.

Khajuraho 

After two weeks of driving around some of the most beautiful cities we could find on the map, we were stuck with how to spend the last few days of our trip. A French traveller that we’d met in Ranthambore had suggested a little town called Khajuraho. Khajuraho is most famous for a group of Hindu and Jainist temples that have intricate sculptures of people in various sex positions.

There are many theories as to what these temples were for, one being that the sexual images are on the outside, meaning people had to leave behind their desires before entering the temples, but they have now become a tourist hotspot. Tom and I cycled around a few of the biggest temples, taking pictures, but we were mostly concerned with the storm cloud that had been shuffling in over the city all afternoon. We cycled back towards the high street, dropped off our bikes and looked for somewhere to take shelter as the heavens began to open.

One More Please

Storms in India take on gigantic proportions, making the drizzle of England seem pathetic: Like comparing being soaked by an inconsiderate driver passing by a puddle to a full blown precipitation tsunami. The only shelter we could find was a little bar on one of the high streets that had a large tarpaulin smoking area full of fellow tourists huddled in and waiting for the storm to pass. A waiter came over and gave us a menu, handily plastered with stock photos of cocktails we couldn’t really afford. “If you like, we do special Lassis?” The waiter said to us, with a knowing grin. At this point in our trip, we hadn’t actually come across a bar that actively promoted special Lassis, and we still weren’t one hundred percent on what constituted “special”. “It’ll make the rain pass quicker,” was all the waiter said, so we ordered one to share. 

It went down easy. Too easy. The thick milky texture and the all too familiar taste of Cannabis oil blended perfectly together. After finishing the first in 6 shared sips, we ordered two more. One each. Not completely sure of what they would do to us. After being stung by the fake Cannabis earlier we were certain that they were going to be very weak. 20 minutes later though, as the rain grew stronger and played out it’s ever more percussive sounds on the tarpaulin we were both quite certainly stoned. We chatted for a while about all of the usual travel chat: people back home, girlfriends, university hopes etcetera, etcetera.

We were both having a great time, laughing and relishing this moment. Tom and I had been very close at school and it was great to feel like we were building back up that special bond. The waiter came back over with two more special Lassis, still beaming. He placed them down then beckoned us towards the entrance to the bar. “Come outside, you have to see this.” Tom and I looked at each other and stood up in unison. Whatever it was that was going on outside, we would follow this waiter. To us he’d gifted us the best drink of the holiday, so out we went into the storm.

The Storm and the Parrots 

Now, I’m not too sure exactly how high we both were at this moment in time, but something genuinely quite magical happened. Above our heads the storm was in full swing, great forks of lightning seemed to split the sky in half. Illuminating the grey, monolithic clouds which were now no longer ominous, but beautiful plooms of whirling mist. What seemed like hundreds of parakeets, spooked by the lightning, or just having a ball, were all leaving their nests in the trees on the side of the road. Little green dots, floating, swinging and darting about above our heads, lit up by the flash-bulb bursts of lightning, giving their wings a neon buzz. Their calls and chatters underscored by the great rumbling of the thunder storm. I looked over at Tom and he was staring with his jaw dropped all the way down to the floor. 

“Is this genuinely happening, or are we tripping balls?” I asked, half joking, but half worried that we were in some shared hysteria. The scores of townspeople around us stunned in silence at the scene above seemed to answer my question. It was truly magical. I’ve seen some incredible things before. I’d seen plenty on this holiday alone, but this blew them all out of the water. The parakeets were flying in formations, like Swifts do back in England. Synchronised patterns underneath the bright lightning sky. We stood there for about twenty minutes, not caring that we were drenched by the rain, but in awe of nature’s humongous flex above us. After a while, the storm began to die down and the parakeets became a little quieter too, as if they knew their show was drawing to a close. We both made our way back under the canvas and didn’t speak for another ten minutes, stunned by what we’d just seen. “Let’s head back to the hotel,” were the only words I could muster. Tom nodded and we went outside to grab a Tuk-Tuk.

The tuk-tuk home was almost as magical as the sights we’d just seen. We were both now quite high and the wind and rain brushing our faces as the tuk tuk shot through the narrow streets back towards our hotel was an experience. Slowly coming down, we both reflected on what had been an absolutely incredible end to our Indian experience. 

Reflections 

Cannabis has always been key to some of the best experiences of my life, getting high with friends, watching a show, but this was by far the most beautiful experience I’ve had on the drug. In fact it may even be one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Of course, the only issue is whenever I tell people about it, it just sounds like I was incredibly high and hallucinated a thunder storm in a city of sex temples, surrounded by hundreds of parakeets. Tom knows it happened for real though… and now you do too.

Hello and welcome… Thanks for joining us at CBDtesters.co, your #1 web source for the most intriguing and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news of today. Stop by daily to get your fix in this constantly-changing universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you’re never late on getting a story.





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DIY Cannabis Tea: It’ll Sooth What Ails You

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Everyone wants their weed these days, with all different ways to consume the plant. Some want to smoke it, some want to eat it in edibles, some only want to vape it, some take their bong hits, some rub it on their skin, some put oil under their tongue, and some swallow down tinctures or pills. And if we really want to get down to it, some use suppositories, or nasal sprays, or skin patches as well. At one time in life, things were simpler. And one of the most basic uses of cannabis, was as a tea. Today, you can still enjoy cannabis as a nice hot cup of tea, by brewing it yourself at home.

A good old-fashioned weed tea is one of the best ways to enjoy cannabis, whether for medical or recreational purposes. Read on for a great general recipe on how to make it. We’re all about everything that goes on in the cannabis industry, and you can keep on top of the news by subscribing to the THC Weekly Newsletter. Once signed up, you’ll get first access to offers on cannabis products like vapes, edibles, and lots of other paraphernalia! We also provide deals on cannabinoid compounds like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC, which are in our “Best-of” lists. Please keep in mind… *If you do not feel comfortable with these products, we don’t advise you use them, and instead advise that you only purchase and use products that you feel comfortable with.


The history of cannabis tea

Cannabis has shown up in different time periods, often used in similar ways for treating different things. There are records going back as far as 2737 B.C. in China, when Emperor Shen Neng prescribed the tea to treat gout, rheumatism, malaria, and for poor memory.Around that time, use of cannabis as a medicine spread throughout Asia and the Mid East, into Africa, and India as well. Back then, cannabis could be used for tons of purposes, like during childbirth, ear infections, pain relief and for stress.

There are references in in ancient Tai religious texts suggesting that if cannabis is steeped and consumed it can lead to spiritual enlightenment, which speaks to both use with psychological issues, as well as recreational use. Another interesting story to come out of that general region, is of Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo, who gained recognition well beyond China, and who was the first (as far as we know) medical doctor to combine cannabis tea with other things like sedatives or alcohol, for the purpose of surgery, from around 208 AD.

In Ancient Greece, both cannabis tea and paste were used to treat animals and people. For example, rags were soaked in cannabis tea and then wrapped around open wounds on legs of horses, marking one of the earliest uses of cannabis as a veterinary medicine.

weed tea recipe

India also has a tradition with cannabis tea, though its version is a little milkier, and called bhang. Bhang was used for religious and medical purposes, seen as a treatment for headaches, insomnia, sunstroke, lack of appetite, gastro disorders, and pain, including for childbirth. The spiced, milky cannabis drink is not only still drank today, but was the basis for the wording in the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs from 1961, which keeps the drink in a legal loophole status.

In Ancient Egypt, an ancient text called the Ebers Papyrus from 1550 BC describes a prepertation in which cannabis is made into a tea that’s used for medical purposes. There even seemed to be some kind of understanding of a conversion that had to happen from THCA to THC in order for different benefits to be gained. And this without having any understnidng of how cannabinoids work. In Egypt, cannabis tea was even used in suppositories for the treatment of severe pain and inflammation from hemorrhoids.

When Columbus landed in South America in 1492, he brought with him hemp rope, which introduced it to the natives at the time. It became so important in America, that by 1619, the Jamestown Virginia colony had enacted a grow law to ensure that all farmers produced hemp. It was adopted directly into Western medicine in the late 1930’s by William O’Shaughnessy, who incorporated what he learned from being a part of the British East India Company, into his medical practice, even releasing the publication Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia in 1842.

Benefits of cannabis tea

One of the main benefits of cannabis tea, is that as an edible, it goes through the digestive tract rather than being absorbed into the lungs, and this means the converting of THC to 11-hydroxy-THC which lasts significantly longer (4-6+ hours) than standard smoking (1-2 hours). It’s also thought that the water solubility of 11-hydroxy-THC allows it to pass through the blood brain barrier more easily. Plus, as a tea, it can be slowly ingested to get dosing correct, or as a way to microdose over time.

As an edible in general, it comes with the benefit of not being smoked, and not coming with all the issues that smoking comes with. Though this can be horribly misunderstood, it’s not about smoking tobacco which causes the smoking-related health problems, it’s the lighting something on fire and breathing it in. We know this as smoke inhalation, and it gets tied to smoking cigarettes so frequently, as smoking cigarettes is essentially forcing a body to go through constant smoke inhalation. Drinking a tea bypasses this danger entirely.

One detraction, is that, much like other edibles, cannabis tea can take time to set in, since it must make it through the digestive tract. However, as a liquid, it can sometimes start a bit sooner, with some saying as quick as 30 minutes after ingestion. This would make it one of the faster working edibles.

diy cannabis tea

Brew your own cannabis tea

We know a few things about cannabis. We know its fat soluble and not water soluble which is important to know when making a cannabis tea, as simply boiling the cannabis in water won’t give the cannabinoids anything to attach to, making it difficult to make a good tea. Even simply boiling it will not be enough to decarboxylate the plant if that’s the desire (though it doesn’t have to be).

The decarboxylation process converts THCA to THC, which allows for more psychoactive effects. But THCA also has plenty of health value, so whether the cannabis is decarbed or not, is your personal preference. Tea can be made by simply boiling the cannabis, by boiling the cannabis with an oil, or to make an infused tea with already made cannabis oil or tincture.

General recipe – This recipe is basic and calls for the following. It can easily be modified based on what the user is specifically going for. For example, cannabis can be decarbed first, or not. An infused oil can be added, or not. And additional ingredients like honey and lemon can vary, as well as whether those products – like honey – are also infused.

  • 1 gram – ground cannabis
  • 1 tablespoon – unsalted butter or coconut oil (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 teabag (any kind)
  • 4 cups of water
  • Any ingredients desired for flavor – honey, milk, sugar, cinnamon, etc.
  • Cheesecloth or a fine strainer 

And the steps for use are the following:

1 – Take four cups of water and boil, and once boiling, add tablespoon of butter or coconut oil and let it melt completely, this will allow the cannabinoids to bind to something in the liquid.

2 – Once dissolved, add in ground cannabis into the boiling liquid, and then lower the temperature to a simmer.

3 – Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. This time period can be lengthened at lower simmering temperatures, in order to preserve more compounds of the plant which can be hurt by high heat.

strain tea

4 – When simmering is done, strain out the cannabis matter. You can use cheesecloth, by securing it around the top of the bowl being used with a rubber-band or string. Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth so the weed matter stays on the cloth and the liquid ends up in the bowl/jar/teapot. A metal strainer can be used, but use one with fine straining, as bigger holes will let more particles through.

5 – Add in your teabag for flavor, and any other extra ingredients like mint, lemon, or honey. Not everyone will love the taste of cannabis tea straight, so adding in flavoring might be a good idea for a more enjoyable experience. Steep for a few minutes. This method involves a minor decarb in letting the cannabis simmer with the oil for a period of time, but not at the higher temperatures an oven would use. Conversely, decarbing the cannabis first would create a stronger THC tea, rather than a THCA tea. Or, to use a butter or oil already infused with decarbed cannabis.

Conclusion

There are plenty of great products to be bought in life, but sometimes if you really want something done to your own specifications, it means doing it yourself. Cannabis tea is easy enough to make, and can be made by anyone looking to get just medical properties, or for a drink to make them feel really good. The best part of DIY processes? You control the outcome. Enjoy!

Welcome to the publication! You’ve arrived at CBDtesters.co, your #1 internet platform for the best all-around independent news coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics industries. Join us frequently to stay informed on the quickly-changing landscape of cannabis and psychedelics, and sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you always know what’s going on.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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Pepsi Joins Weed Game with Infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks

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You know things have really gone mainstream when major corporations start getting in on something. And such is the case with Pepsi and the growing cannabis industry.  What did the company do? It just announced the release of its new Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks.

Pepsi is jumping in the weed game with its new infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks which contain a nice dose of hemp seed oil. Will this start a race between large drink manufacturers to get more cannabis products out? Stay tuned to life to find out. We’re all about covering this emerging field, and work hard to get you the best news possible. To keep up, sign up for The THC Weekly Newsletter for all the best news items as they happen, as well as access to premium deals on products like flowers, vapes, edibles, and more! We also offer great deals on cannabinoid compounds like HHC-O, Delta 8Delta 9 THCDelta-10 THCTHCOTHCVTHCP HHC . Head over to our “Best-of” lists to find them!

A little on Pepsi

Originally founded in 1902, PepsiCo is a multinational corporation based out of America that manufactures and sells food and beverage products. The current version of PepsiCo came into existence in 1965, when its previous entity of Pepsi-Cola merged with Frito-Lay to form PepsiCo. How big is PepsiCo? As of the beginning of 2021, the corporation had 23 brands, which each bring in over $1 billion in sales yearly, and has products sold in over 200 countries. In 2020 alone, PepsiCo’s net revenue topped $70 billion.

While we are familiar with all of PepsiCo’s varied brands, the most well-known is the company’s namesake, Pepsi-Cola, or just Pepsi. First developed in 1893, and introduced as Brad’s Drink (as it was first developed by a guy named Caleb Bradham), it received it’s new – and ongoing – name of Pepsi-Cola in 1898, which became simply Pepsi in 1961.

Pepsi’s main rival has always been Coca-Cola, which debuted slightly earlier in 1886. Coca-Cola employed the actual use of cocaine in its drinks, hence the name of the beverage that still remains today. In contrast, Pepsi never had any narcotic substance in any of its beverages. These days Coke relies on its addictive sugary sweetness, much like Pepsi, with both sodas being two of the most popular beverages in the world today.

Pepsi

Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks

The cannabis industry has really taken off in the last several years, with legalizations in many states spurring on the growth of the industry. Tons of new products come out every day, including cannabis-infused foods and beverages, like energy drinks. Though the majority of these products are being put out by smaller companies, the popularity of cannabis-infused products has certainly reached a fever pitch, and we know this because Pepsi just launched its first cannabis infused product in the form of an energy drink.

On Tuesday February 8th, the company unveiled its line of hemp seed oil infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks. The drinks contain other natural extracts besides hemp seed oil, and are also infused with spearmint and lemon balm. Each can contains 80mg of caffeine.

Says PepsiCo’s general manager and chief marketing officer for its energy line, Fabiola Torres, “It’s a combination of herbals that can help us to relax, but not to sleep.” These Rockstar drinks have less caffeine than other Rockstar offerings which contain as much as 160mg to 300mg of caffeine. Said Torres in an interview with the New York Post, this product came around because about 91% of Pepsi drinkers have indicated that they “wanted a beverage that lifts their mood.”

These Rockstar drinks, dubbed Rockstar Unplugged, are now available in 12oz cans, and come in the following flavors: blueberry, passion fruit, and raspberry cucumber. Prices are $1.99+ a can nationwide. This is not the first appearance of infused energy drinks by Pepsi though. In April of last year, Pepsi released its infused Rockstar Energy + Hemp drink in Germany, which was similar, except for containing double the caffeine of the US product.

To be clear on the product being put out, the Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink is not a CBD-infused drink, but only uses hemp oil. This is at least party because its illegal to market CBD in food products since its an active ingredient in an FDA-approved medication. Hemp seed oil is not, and is simply the oil taken out of hemp seeds.

Why the new Pepsi infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink is a big deal

If everything about the PepsiCo company stated above seems like unnecessary background information, the reason for it, is to simply show the scale that PepsiCo (and the Coca-Cola company) operates on in the world. There are tons of smaller companies out there as well, of course, but they are often under the general radar because of size, and are often not known about widely. When companies like PepsiCo or Coca-Cola start doing something, it’s certainly noticeable.

cannabis infused drinks

PepsiCo and Coca-Cola don’t have the option of being like smaller companies that can put out products like CBD-infused beverages, because they’re too big to get away with it. This explains the use of hemp seed oil, and no other part of the plant. What they can do, is what is being done now, capitalize on a new trend in the best way possible by legal means.

Though smaller companies can put out products that aren’t completely legal (or that are), without getting a lot of press, it’s a big deal when these big corporations pick up on a trend. This is because it shows there’s a mass appeal, and big corporations sure hate missing out on revenue for something that the masses will buy. So it says quite a bit about the climate of an industry when they do.

For example, when diet drinks came out, it was these companies responding to consumer desires to lose weight, or to simply not gain more from the beverage they’re drinking. And the fact that such products became so widespread, is because weight loss represents such a widespread idea among the masses. If it had only applied to a small percentage of the population, diet drinks probably never would’ve become a thing, but because it’s such a ubiquitous issue, its reflected by all the diet options these companies put out.

This seems to be the same concept with this new entrance into the weed industry that Pepsi is making by releasing its infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks. Enough consumers have been jumping on the cannabis bandwagon of late, that this new desire of consumers is now being reflected by large corporations incorporating cannabis into their products.

What to expect in the future

The first thing to expect is that since Pepsi just released a cannabis product via its infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy drinks, that Coca-Cola is sure to put out its own offering soon. In fact, back in 2018 Coca-Cola was in talks with Aurora Cannabis to form a partnership, which never transpired. In 2019, Coca-Cola’s Monster Beverages paired with Corona company Constellation Brands. While there was initial consideration for a CBD drink, because of the legalities, this proposed too many problems.

However, especially if sales are good for Pepsi’s new product, its nearly a sure thing that Coke will have its own version soon enough. And that’s just what works for current cannabis legislation in the States now. As regulations change federally, it can be fully expected that both of these corporate giants will be using whatever parts of the cannabis plant are deemed legal, to try to keep their cannabis-preferring drinking populations, from straying to other brands.

Pepsi infused rockstar

What I also personally wonder about, is why neither of these corporations have created products that can be sold specifically in legalized locations. Perhaps regulation currently prevents this, but other smaller companies do legally produce infused beverages with both THC and CBD, and are authorized, sometimes in more than one state. While I admit that I haven’t dug into why this is the case, I do find it interesting that neither of these corporations exist in that capacity at the moment. Assuming they legally can, I expect this to happen in the future soon too.

I also expect, quite sadly, that an industry built right now on mom-and-pop enterprises, will likely head more in a corporate direction with the entrance of large corporations into the mix. And products that are now often being produced with natural ingredients, and without as many harsh chemicals, will be replaced by the McDonaldized, low-quality versions that corporations like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are known for.

Conclusion

I’m actually surprised it took this long for a major corporation like PepsiCo to make a move like this. Especially considering the products are infused with hemp seed oil only, which isn’t as controversial as CBD and THC. Kind of seems like the second these trends started blowing up, that these corporations would be taking advantage. Even so, slow-with-the-pick-up or not, this signals the beginning of a corporate weed industry, and in my opinion, a horrible direction to go in. But that’s just me, you are welcome to form your own opinion.

Hello readers! Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your favorite one-stop-shop, bringing you everything going on in cannabis and psychedelics-related news the world over. Join us whenever possible to stay on-top of the exciting universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and head over to The THC Weekly Newsletter, to catch every story as it happen.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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