Thieves in France, dubbed locally ‘The Hortensia Gang‘ have been stealing hydrangeas, and smoking their flowers as a cheap alternative to cannabis.
Residents of one small village in the Pas-de-Calais area of France were upset to find that their beautiful hydrangeas had had all their flower heads removed. Local police were not that interested until lots more theft reports started coming in from neighbouring villages. The problem is also widespread in Bavaria in Germany, where hydrangea flowers are routinely stolen from public parks and gardens.
Flower heads are dried and then mixed with tobacco and smoked as, allegedly, the effect can be similar to the THC found in cannabis, although it’s suspected this is more an urban legend than reality. It seems very hard times indeed have fallen on both Europe’s cannabis users – and its hydrangea growers.