What is Charas and How to Make Charas

What is Charas?

Charas is one of the oldest forms of cannabis concentrate. It resembles hashish (like hash temple balls made famous by Frenchy Cannoli) and the process to make it is similar as well. Charas comes from regions in Asia (Pakistan, India, Nepal) like Kashmir and the Parvati Valley where cannabis plants grow freely in the wild at the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains.

It has been used across India and the surrounding area for thousands of years and was even sold legally for a long period of time until it was made illegal in the 80’s after pressure from the United States. People would smoke charas as part of their Shaivite religious traditions. The many names of the god Shiva would be chanted before smoking. Nowadays, despite it being illegal, you can still find charas in certain regions of India.

Like other forms of cannabis concentrate, charas is made from the resin of the plant. The resin contains all the valuable cannabinoids and trichomes which make up a quality concentrate. Charas even has its own standard measurement called tola. This comes from ancient times and roughly equates to 11.5 grams. 

how to make charas hash
How to Make Charas Hash by Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co.

Difference Between Charas and Hashish

There is one major difference between charas and hashish and that is the starting plant material. Charas is made with the live cannabis plant before curing and drying. To be specific, it is actually made with plants that are not fully mature (about 2-3 weeks prior to full maturity). Hashish is made with dried cannabis plants that have reached full maturity. Another difference is that there are several tried and true methods to make hash including hand rolling (temple balls), dry sifting, and washing bubble hash. Charas is made one way and one way only – with your hands. 

Types of Charas Based on Region

The most well known charas variety comes from the Parvati Valley in India and is called Manala Cream. There are a few types of Manala Cream that come from different villages in the Parvati Valley region. Rasol Cream has a reddish color and comes from the small village Rasol. You may agree that it smells like mangos. Grahan Cream has a more black/green color and comes from Grahan.

Tosh Ball comes from Kasol and has a brown/green inside with a black outside. It has an almost spicy flavor. Nagaru Cream has a more yellow/green look and is known to cause a good case of the munchies. It comes from the village of Nargaru. Waichin Cream has a more green color and tastes like mint. 

Kerala Gold, otherwise known as Idukki Gold, comes from the Idukki district and it is unique because it consists of strains both native to the region and foreign due to migration in the 80s.

Now let’s get into how to make charas hash!

How to Make Charas

Learning how to make charas is not all that complicated, but it is surely time consuming. You may only yield around 7 grams after a full day’s work. The work itself is a bit laborious as well. To make your very own charas, all you need is some premature flower (about 2-3 weeks before full maturity) and your hands. The flower should be trimmed of excess leaves but you can leave the smaller stems.

The first step in learning how to make charas is to clean those dirty paws. Dirty hands means dirty charas. It is best practice to avoid scented soap as the scents may transfer into your charas. Place some buds between your hands and begin rubbing them back and forth. It is important to find the middle ground of too hard and too soft a touch. Rubbing too hard can cause you to lose valuable trichomes. Rubbing too softly will not extract the resin you are going for. You can also try using your thumb to press the buds into your palm to squeeze out the resin.

As you progress, you will notice the resin begin to stick to your hands. It is a sticky, thick, dark-colored substance. When your buds have been rubbed until there is no more resin to extract, you can throw away those buds.

Now, keep rubbing your hands together to form the resin into a ball or stick (your choice). Once you have your ball or stick, it is best to store the Charas in an airtight container. You may find the need to scrape the resin from your hands before forming it into a ball or stick. 

Remember, patience is the name of the game. Going slow and being diligent will result in higher quality Charas. This practice has been around for thousands of years so do not get discouraged if it does not turn out how you imagined on the first time through. 

How to Smoke Charas

Charas is most commonly smoked in a pipe. More specifically, in a chillum. This is how people of old times would smoke it during religious ceremonies. This practice is still alive and well to this day. Other than the traditional chillum, charas can be smoked in a joint, a regular bowl or pipe, or even dabbed if you are fine with an overly dirty banger afterwards. We suggest sticking with the chillum for all your charas smoking needs.

Hope you enjoyed our guide on how to make charas! Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for other great guides!

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