Wednesday, April 14, 2010

09. A note on weed

Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India

Cannabis grows wild almost everywhere in the north of India. Here’s some plants that just happened to be roadside.
Manali - 19 - Wild weed
Unfortunately for the would-be smoker, there’s so much of it around that the plants are quickly fertilised so not very potent.

The preferred manner of ingesting cannabis is in the form of charas. Charas is made by workers who rub the cannabis plants and then scrape the buildup of resin off the palms of their hands.

Charas has been smoked for thousands of years in India but it was made illegal in the 1980s. It’s still smoked in public though, but only on the low-key. A common local method for public smoking is to remove the tobacco from a cigarette and repack it laced with charas. If you see a group of young guys sitting around, one of them will likely be doing the telltale mixing motions in the palm of his hand. More traditional methods include smoking from a clay chillum pipe.

As for the effects, well it is effective, but it’s not as strong as plain old marijuana back home. And I assume it feels stronger here than it did at sea level, since we're now at altitude. Apparently the best charas comes from around here, Himachal Pradesh.

1 comment:

Slag said...

Man, all this stuff you're writing is fascinating, keep it up please!

I'd never even heard of charas before.