Stoned History | Buddha & Bhang

Recipe for Coconut Chai Bhang Included

We shouldn’t be surprised that the journal Vegetation History & Archaeobotany recently published a study revealing cannabis was first used on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. It should also come as no surprise that the guy who made it so popular was named Bud.

Bud went by many names; Gautama, Shakyamuni, Siddhartha, and Buddha. But to his friends, he was known as Bud. Like many young people of the area in that time, Bud spent every waking moment seeking enlightenment as spiritual awakening was the highest order.

One of the first paths to enlightenment Bud chose was Jainism, the Indian religion whose teachings told him to become an ascetic. Bud‘s friend and mentor, Alara Kalama, who introduced him to the lifestyle. The philosophy was to abandon all sensual pleasures and lead a life of abstinence in the pursuit of redemption and salvation. This was an era where the holiness of a person was determined by how little they connected with themselves and everything around them. Bud loved meditating and found some great concepts in the Jainism teachings and ascetic life, but he was a reformist and decided to redesign and repurpose the philosophy into his own. The repurposing was thanks to cannabis.

Bud loved cannabis; this can be seen in his teachings, his smiling eyes and his well-fed belly. Bud loved him some cannabis! But being a deep meditator and requested lecturer, he preferred not to smoke his sacrament, but instead, drink it. He found no need to mess with his vocal cords and pranayama. Whether it goat or yak milk, Bud always had a small cup of it next to him, and eventually got his old friend and mentor to indulge. In his older age, Alara Kalama would soften his fundamentalist views and this was said to be because his spiritual buddy, the Buddha, had introduced him to this cannabis drink later known as bhang. Bhang, a simple pleasure that no earthling should deny themselves of … a milky gateway to Nirvana.

Coconut Chai Bhang

Servings: 2


  • 3-6 grams decarboxylated cannabis
  • 1 can light coconut milk (13.5 fluid ounces)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 tablespoon of black, green or yerba mate tea
  • 1/4 cup of honey


Mix all ingredients in a pot. Simmer on low to medium heat for 20 minutes, continuing to stir throughout. Do not let your bhang boil. Let cool, strain and then sip your way to Nirvana.

Shwa Laytart

A California native, Joshua "Shwa" Laytart has been working in the Natural Products Industry for almost twenty years and a cannabis grower and indulger for almost thirty. He was the first employee at Guayaki tea company and then went on to work for 12 years at INDIGENOUS, an organic and fair trade fashion designer. Shwa has also worked as a landscaper, manicurist, masseur, candy maker, chef and ran with the circus. He is currently the Co-Founder and President of the cannabis company, Giggle Therapeutics, alongside his Co-Founder and CEO wife Sugar, who is a DOPE photographer, as well. His love for activism, art, altered states, comedy, cannabis and cuisine can be found threaded throughout his writings. He considers himself more of a storyteller, than a writer and can spin a tale for hours with the right combination of substances.

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