So on the previous chapter of this series, I've started to talk about Charas, what it is, and why it is special compared to "regular hash".
For those of you that missed the first part you are welcome to give it a read here:
A short visit to Parvati valley ☀️🌳 - the land of freedom, mountains and the holy Charas ⚫️⚫️⚫️ Part 1
The uniqueness of this substance is that it usually made from living plants.
They can be recently cut down or still planted in soil (the version I like more)...and it takes the whole day to collect about 10 grams of this quality smoke.
It is similar to more commonly known hash, in the sense that they both made from cannabis resin mixed together into solid, dark matter.
The resin are actually the "trichomes" of the plant - a little bubbles of awesomeness that contains most of the active components, the cannabinoids, led by the psychoactive cannabinoid THC.
So as i already mentioned, instead of collecting the trichomes by sifting, shaking, pressing, using dry ice, or butane or any other method used for hash extraction, when preparing Charas, the trichomes are collected manually - directly from the flower, while its still on the plant.
The resin is collected by rubbing the plant between the two hands, the resin then sticks to the palm of the hands.
As a result of such a collection method the final product is much softer then most of the hashes and usually considered more potent and pure.
Since the preparation of Charas requires quite a bit of live cannabis plants, it's considered more valuable and therefore more expensive.
Now there are various kinds and qualities of Charas, and the main classification are its Origin (usually within Parvati Valley) and its "Cream rating".
It's important to mention, that a good chunk of all the Charas in india originates from Parvati Valley, for sure the highest quality ones do.
So the aforementioned "Origin" on the charas is basically the name of the little town, within Parvati Valley that produced that specific one.
So Charas made in Tosh (a small town in Parvati Valley) will be called "Tosh cream", and Charas made in Rasol will be called "Rasol Cream".
** Image Credit: Mywanderlust
The second definition is its "Cream grade" - from my understanding talking with the locals, the options are : "First cream", "Second cream" and just "Cream".
The first cream being the highest quality, meaning that each plant was only 'rubbed' once, avoiding any leaf matter thats starts to come off together with the trichomes with each subsequent rubbing.
This cream is of exceptionally high quality and potency, and a proficient Charas maker can only collect about 2-3 grams per day.
The second cream being the resin that collected after several subsequent strokes...and the "Cream" means basically all the rest, that can vary in range quite a bit.
Most of the Charas originating in Parvati Valley is of high quality, but the one that is renowned the most is "First Cream Melana", that originates from a small interesting village in the north of the valley called, yes you guessed it right...Melana
It is a very isolated village at an altitude of 2,720 meters above sea level and it can only be reached by foot, on a curved and mountainous route of about 18 kilometres.
There are about 600 people living in this extremely closed community and its members marry among themselves.
I can write a whole post about the “untouchables” of Melana, as they are very interesting community (tribe?), but for our purpose lets say that they are arguably the best authentic Charas producers on earth.
And their First Cream Charas can reach quite hefty prices.
The Charas produced in each one of those town is slightly different in color, texture, aromas and of course the High.
Just like any other kind of Hash, you can smoke Charas in a joint or a bong, but the most traditional form of smoking Charas is with a Pipe called “Chillum”.
Chilom is an Indian clay pipe composed of two parts - a long, hollow pipe and a long "stone" that sits inside.
To help filter and cool the smoke, a small piece of wet cloth is usually wrapped around the mouth of the chilum, while the Charas mix is loaded in the space between the pipe and the stone.
The principle in Chillum is to light a lot of material at once, so that all the oils in the Charas will light up and create thick, extra-dense smoke.
In order to prepare the “load” for the Chillum, it is customary to make small balls of Charas with the fingers , and not to heat it.
My last visit there was a bit strange and to be honest perhaps a little uncalled for, as i just had a multiple fracture surgery on my leg, and going right after being released from the hospital straight to the mountains of Himalayas is not as great of an idea ;)
But as its gets very late, and tomorrow is a whole new crazy day, full of stuff to do...i will leave it for the next chapter of this series about Parvati Valley, where i will share what happened there, that 1 year later gave me my Medical Weed License.
So stay tuned ;))
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