Cannabis connoisseurs compare it with a fusion that resembles a creamy sundae with a twist of sparkling champagne. Some say it resembles the effect of sipping a glass of light red wine while enjoying the sunset on a lazy afternoon somewhere in the picturesque fields of Italy. No matter what you choose to compare it with, charas cannabis concentrate is unparalleled in the world of cannabis derivatives.
With a taste that tingles the palate while inviting all of your senses to celebrate the beauty of life, what you need to know about charas concentrate cannot be possibly put into words. Instead, it is best to be experienced with each and every cell of your entire being.
But when it comes to all the intriguing facts, including the origin, ways of extraction (oh yes, you can also learn how to make charas!), as well as what to expect upon consumption, we are delighted to invite you on a journey to discovering the secrets of the one of a kind charas cannabis concentrate. No need to fasten your seat belts, bud buddies – we are about to spread our wings and fly high.
What is Charas and How does it Differ from Hashish?
Charas extract is pretty similar to hashish – both in appearance, as well as due to the fact that hashish and charas are handmade.
However, for the production of hashish, it is mostly dried marijuana flowers that are involved in the extraction process. Traditionally sieved through a screen by hand, the fine, trichomes-rich powder (known as kief dust or dry sift) is then compressed into hashish with the application of heat.
With charas cannabis concentrate, it is fresh cannabis flowers that are required. What’s more, the fresh marijuana flowers used for the production of charas must have not reached maturity. The best charas is made out of cannabis plants that are approximately 2 – 3 weeks away from being fully mature and ready to harvest.
While both hashish and charas concentrates are believed to have originated in North India, the first written evidence of the term “hashish” is related to a pamphlet that was published in Cairo in 1123 CE.
In the pamphlet, Nizari Muslim was accused of being “hashish-eaters” (we envy you, Nizari Muslim, lol).
While there is no evidence of the ancient Middle East’s familiarity with hashish use prior to the 9th century, once Arab scholars successfully translated the Greek texts of Dioscorides and Galen, the medicinal properties of cannabis became widely known, as highlighted in the study by M.D. Gabriel G. Nahas from the Columbia University College of Surgeons and Physicians.
Even up-to-date, finest grade hashish is often associated with Morocco.
The effects of charas and hashish do differ, too.
While the THC content in highest-quality hashish can reach up to 65% (but does typically evolve around 40% or in the case of poor-quality hash – 0%), the THC content in charas cannabis concentrate is approximately 7% – 10%.
Therefore, the mind-bending effects of hashish tend to learn more on the psychedelic side. Hashish after-consumption experiences are often accompanied by envisions, as well as enhanced perceptions of sounds and an overall visual depth of the surrounding images.
The effects of charas consumption combine a sublime feeling of overall relaxation with a state of inner peace where the mind remains rather tranquil, illuminated and embraced into a state of calm awareness.
These effects seem almost paradoxical but it is in this paradox where the true magic of charas cannabis concentrate resides, feeling relaxed yet active.
Especially as we keep in mind the growing international trends of producing stronger and stronger cannabis concentrates that can reach mind-blowing potency, consuming charas concentrate in is not about getting stoned to the bones.
Rather than this, it is about experiencing a calming feeling that resembles spiritual awakening – where your mind roams happily and freely as your body gently floats without leaving you non-capable (or simply reluctant) of moving a finger.
It is good to keep in mind, though, that the type of marijuana strain used for the production of charas concentrate does play a role in the effects that follow up after consumption. If a heavy, pure Indica strain is used, the charas extract would lead to a much more relaxing state of body-and-mind while a pure Sativa will result in a more pronounced uplift in the energy and spirit.
Exploring the Origin of Charas Concentrate: Where does Charas Come from?
India, Nepal, and Pakistan are the homelands of charas cannabis concentrate.
Amazingly, charas is one of the earliest forms of cannabis concentrates. That’s one more reason why charas differs so much from the booming modern-day cannabis concentrates available for sale in legal states.
Charas is the traditional form of concentrated cannabis that was widely used and keeps being widely used by Indian sadhus (and, of course, not only).
The very word “sadhu” (also spelled “saddhu”) refers to religious ascetics and/or any holy person who is a part of Jainism or Hinduism, and who has intentionally renounced from the worldly life in order to achieve liberation (“moksa”) by following the path of spiritual discipline.
In fact, “sadhu” literally means “someone who practices sadhana,” or spiritual exercises. It’s not uncommon for sadhus to be alternatively referred to as jogior vairagi.
Interestingly, there are approximately 4 to 5 million sadhus who live in India, renouncing from work, sex, material possessions and family for the sake of dedicating their lives to the path of spirituality. And indeed, sadhus are celebrated as the holiest beings in the country of India.
Charas is smoked in traditional pipes known as chillums that are made out of clay. Before smoking out of the chillum, sadhus chant the names of Shiva.
According to Hindu religion, god Shiva shares a love for cannabis. That’s one of the reasons why cannabis is so widely used as an integral part of the notorious Hindu festival of Holi. If you roam the local streets mesmerized by the uniquely colorful Holi festival, inhaling the tasty smoke of charas will likely fit the big picture more than beautifully.
Along the stretching foothills of the Himalayas, finest grade marijuana plants grow freely in the wild, untouched and unspoiled by the hands of humans. No fertilizers, no light schedules; it is solely the fertile soil, the rays of the sun and the kisses of the windy breeze that gently nurture the local cannabis plants.
For thousands of years, the regions of Parvati Valley, Kashmir, and Malana, have been involved in the production of charas.
Even though charas cannabis concentrate originates from Northern India, it is also well-known and handmade throughout Jamaica, where plantations of marijuana plants extending for miles seem to have no end.
As a matter of fact, the cannabis culture of Jamaica and India have another thing in common. Both of the countries are favorite destinations for strain hunters and breeders looking towards exploring and cultivating landrace cannabis strains.
The Different Types of Charas
Deemed as a gateway drug for decades and ranked right next to toxic, dangerous, highly addictive substances like heroin, the making process of the different types of charas can easily change anyone’s perspective on whether or not marijuana deserves to be treated like a lethal weapon.
Cannabis extraction is a centuries-old tradition in the valleys of the Himalayas. The local Indian villages in the hearts of the mountains are a tiny piece of heaven on earth, one of those rare places where the technique of hand-rubbing continues to be celebrated up to the present day.
The celebrations of charas making involve whole families, including everyone from young kids to grandmothers, mommies, and cousins. Both men and women sit together in the fields, singing and producing the finest black charas. Not merely a beloved family and national celebration but also a source of income for the locals, charas making is an art form that is full of spirit!
Unfortunately, the ancient art of hand-making one of the most famous types of charas – the Malana cream, is nowadays faced with oblivion. The growing demand for charas, as well as the growing pressure for capitalization on both the domestic, as well as the international charas market, have posed serious threats to the local traditions of manufacturing.
Indeed, even though a fairly simple process that requires only marijuana plants (and a pair of hands!), charas making is also a laborious and time-consuming practice. A single charas concentrate maker who follows the ancient traditions of production of the incredible cannabis extract can make only up to 8 – 9 grams ( 0.30 ounce) of charas a day. It takes time and patience because the faster the work, the lower quality charas will be produced.
One of the reasons why the time- and efforts-consuming Malana Cream has become so popular and so high in demand is that it boasts of THC content that usually exceeds the 7% – 10% ratio typical for most types of charas.
Moreover, it is in the Himachal Pradesh region where Malana is located. Apart from the fact that cannabis grows in abundance in the region, access to roads is lacking. The locals need to transport freshly harvested cannabis either by hand or by mule.
Another legendary charas, the Kerala Gold, is also faced with oblivion. Locally known as Neelachadayan, Kerala Gold charas earned tremendous popularity soon after the Indian movie “Iddaku Gold” hit the global scenes. In fact, the Kerala Gold charas became famous as Iddaku Gold.
Once naturally growing in abundance in the Kerala region, Iddaku Gold crops of the one-of-a-kind landrace strain that lead to the production of finest, highly potent Iddaku Gold or Kerala Gold charas, were lost when burned by the police surprise attacks.
In an attempt to revive the charas glory of the Kerala region, the locals crossbred a new strain referred to as Sheelavathi. Even though Sheelavathiis well-suited to the local climate, it gives birth to inferior quality cannabis that contains only about 8% THC on an average.
On another note, the Ropa district in Nepal used to be a blooming charas production center up until the 1970s. It was in the 1970s when Nepal’s government lost the battle marked by international pressure on cutting the production and sale of charas in the once government monopoly stores in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Both Nepal and India are intricately related to the global history of cannabis blemished by the international drug system.
How to Make Charas Tutorial (Yes, DIY Charas is Simple, Fun & Easy!)
As briefly mentioned above, making charas cannabis concentrate is a fairly simple process that is as much fun as it is rewarding. Plus, it is beginner-friendly.
But talking about the rewards, one of the biggest downsides to making your own charas is that you will need to “sacrifice” an entire (or better yet, even more) marijuana plants.
Doing so will drastically decrease the yields you can get if you wait for several more weeks to harvest, and subsequently, to dry and cure the cannabis flowers.
But is making your very own charas cannabis concentrate worth it? Oh, YES, you can be it is worth it, worth so much that you can’t simply get enough.
The smoothness, as well as the subtle, palatable nuances in terms of both smell and flavor of charas, are simply unparalleled.
Charas can be easily added to just about any ordinary joint or blunt you roll, although it’s imperative to mix it up with some tobacco. Or else, it won’t burn well, and may even fail to burn at all. A pipe similar to the traditional clay-made chillum makes one of the best ways to enjoy your charas experience.
Step by step tutorial on how to make charas.
For a start, do make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. But do not start the process of charas making with wet hands. Also, avoid using a heavily scented soap or this can affect the natural aroma/taste of your charas.
–Your hands are bound to get blackened with resin. It is the sticky resin on your palms that you will collect and turn into a compact ball of charas. If getting your hands black is an issue, though, you can opt for using latex gloves.
However, do mind that latex gloves make the process of gathering the resin a bit more complicated. Also, the subtle smell and flavors of your charas might be negatively affected by getting in prolonged contact with latex. Simply washing your hands with heavy-duty dish soap once the resin is collected and turned into a compact ball of charas works perfectly fine to get rid of any sticky remnants.
- Step 1:Pick a cannabis plant that is about 2 -3 weeks away from maturity.Using scissors, cut several cannabis flowers while leaving at least 1/3 of the stem intact.
- Step 2: Using scissors, remove up to 2/3 of the excess leaves focusing on the biggest fan leaves. In the absence of scissors, and/or if you want to follow the traditional way of charas making, you can also trim the excess leaves by hand.
- Step 3: Start rubbing the cannabis flowers between your palms. Do not rush it. Remember, charas making is about fun and patience. Let yourself become one with the flowers. Feel their aroma. Free your mind.
- Step 4: At some point, you will notice that the cannabis flower begins to release its oils along with the active cannabinoids. Now, you want to increase the motions from slow to moderately fast as to extract more.
- Step 5:Stop for several seconds. Using your thumb, press the cannabis flower oilsright against your palm to help them stick better and to assist the process of gathering more resin. Next, get back to rubbing.
- Step 6: You will notice a tar-like, black substance between your palms. That’s your charas! Don’t stop rubbing, though. Keep up the great work.
- Step 7: The cannabis flower will inevitably stop releasing oils – don’t worry, that’s inevitable to spot and feel. Now, all that’s left to do is to gather the sticky, tar-like resin and roll it into a ball of charas. You can rub your palms and collect the resin onto a clean sheet of paper before rolling it into a charas ball or you can use a dull knife to carefully scrap the resin off your palms
Then again, remember that the secret of highest-quality charas is hidden in your slow motions. The more you rush it, the more resin will get lost in the process. When taking things slowly, you will allow for the trichomes to stick well to the resin on your palms. Interestingly, if hand harvesting a lot of cannabis, you can easily make a few grams of charasper day without any intentional rubbing or whatsoever.
What you Need to Know about Charas Cannabis Concentrate: Final Thoughts
Close your eyes and take a trip to the picturesque lands of India. Somewhere in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, green fields of wild cannabis plants reveal in front of your astonished eyes. You join a local Indian family, laughing, singing and celebrating the art of making charas just to end up the day with hands pitch black from the succulent resin.
You don’t have to travel to India to find out what you need to know about charas cannabis concentrate (even though, if you do have the chance to do so, don’t hesitate to pack your bags asap, you lucky bud buddy). Making your own charas is a beautiful process anyone can enjoy. But most importantly, it is consuming the charas when you can remind yourself of the immortal wisdom of Adi Shankaracharya – “Knowledge of the Self is the one direct means for liberation.”