Green’s Dictionary of Slang

catnip n.

[the US name for UK catmint; gullible buyers might well be sold bags of catnip (Nepeta cataria) or 50% catnip and 50% marijuana; Burroughs, The Naked Lunch (1959): ‘Catnip smells like marijuana when it burns. Frequently passed on the incautious or uninstructed’]

(drugs) inferior or fake marijuana.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 59: catnip The strong-smelling herb, Nepeta cataria, sometimes sold as marijuana to an unsuspecting buyer and sometimes actually smoked for alleged hallucinogenic effects.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 170: This cat come to me, gonna sell me some catnip – it smell like weed, it look like weed, but it ain’t weed.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 5: Catnip — Marijuana cigarette.