What is Charas Cannabis Concentrate and how it is made
Cannabis, also known as ganja, grows wild throughout Northern India, with particular prevalence along the foothills of the Himalayas.
The cannabis acquired to create charas is usually sourced from Northern Pakistan and Kashmir regions, where ganja plants grow wild in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.
From the Northern Valleies, a local hashish known as Malana Cream is known for its high THC content and requires at least twice as much time to create the same amount. Malana Cream commands a high price in Pakistan, not only for its potency, but also due to the inaccessibility of Malana cannabis.
The main difference difference between hashish and charas is that the latter is made from live cannabis cuttings, whereas as the former is made using dead, dried plant material. Charas is also most commonly made using a hand-rolling method (which we explore in more detail below), whereas hash can be made in a variety of ways, mainly using dry sifting, bubble bags, and more.
Charas is usually sold in balls or sticks and is traditionally smoked using a chillum, a special kind of pipe traditionally used by Hindu monks (or sadhus). Across the Indian sub-continent and many other parts of the world, cannabis has played a significant role in spiritual and religious practices. Charas, in particular, plays a central role in many Hindu rituals and practices.
How to Make Your Own Charas
To make your own charas, the process is quite simple, albeit a bit messy:
- From a cannabis plant that is 2-3 weeks from full maturity, pick a handful of cannabis flowers
- Trim the excess leaves from the cannabis buds, but leave a portion of the stem
- Slowly begin to rub the buds between your palms.
- As the flower releases oils and THC, gradually increase your hand motions
- Use your thumb to press the oils against your palm
- The plant material will secrete a black, tar-like substance
- Continue rolling the charas ball until it stops secreting oils
The highest quality charas requires much patient and slow, careful hand movements. The faster you rub the charas between your hands, the more resin will be lost in the process. During hand-harvesting, one might easily make 8-9 grams of charas in a day, but if you want the highest quality charas, it’s necessary to go much slower.
The process is sticky and resinous, and your hands will likely become blackened with resin. If you’re hoping to avoid sticky hands, you might consider wearing latex gloves, or you can easily clean the mess off your hands with heavy-duty dish soap.
Once you have formed a ball of charas concentrate, it can be either placed in a pipe or chillum to be smoked, or it can be mixed with tobacco and rolled into a spliff, another popular form of cannabis consumption in Middle East.