National Geographic Gets High AF on Himalayan Weed

Perfect conditions for cannabis growth couldn't care less that it's illegal in India.

Cannabis isn't only fueling a newly and somewhat legit market in major U.S. economies. It also sustains life at higher elevations. According to National Geographic, "In the Himalayas of India, small villages thrive by growing cannabis."

The exploration magazine published a look into one of the mountain villages where the local population cultivates high-grade indica strains, and then—using a natural extraction process of rubbing resin from the flower buds of the plant—creates a style of hashish known as charas. Charas reportedly sells for as much as $20-per-gram in the West, with "50 buds" yielding 10 grams of the hash.

From National Geographic

"The village, perched on a mountain at 9,000 feet (2,700 meters), is only reachable on foot. The hike takes three hours. Villagers say it’s been a good season so far—police have only shown up to cut plants twice. But those plants are a drop in the ocean. Ganja grows wild in the Indian Himalayas, and it’s nearly impossible to curb its illegal cultivation. 
"Sadhus—Hindu holy men who went to the Himalayas in meditation—were among the first to make charas."

Photograph by Andrea de Franciscis for National Geographic. 

Photograph by Andrea de Franciscis for National Geographic. See the full gallery and read more here.

The Sadhus aren't the only ones getting closer to nature in one of the world's most stunning regions. 

The 2013 documentary Hallucinogen Honey Hunters documents the "Gurung honey hunters" of Central Nepal.

Filmmaker Raphael Treza follows the tribe as they harvest the honey of the Himalayan bee. This honey, according to the film, contains "medicinal, aphrodisiac, and hallucinogenic properties." 

Best. Sweet spot. Ever.