Drugs on the Road

Charas in the Himalayas

Charas grows in the Himalayas and the best crop is known to come from the Parvati valley. In the autumn the breeze carries the scent of marijuana through the villages and it’s an important cash crop for the local Indians.

It’s made by rubbing the buds of the marijuana plants between your hands and then scraping off the resin at the end of the day. It is, however, incredibly tedious work although some stoners claim it’s their favourite meditation.

The thing is, the faster you rub the worse the quality is as bits of leaf get mixed up with the THC crystals. If you work fast you can make about ten grams of average charas in a day. If you go slowly though you may only end up with 2-3 grams on your hands but this will be the best quality known as cream.

Cultivation and rubbing of charas is an ancient art that would perhaps have been lost as the locals tried to cash in quick on the stoned backpacker boom; fortunately, though, there were enough Italians living high up in the Parvati valley to lend their usual sense of excellence to charas production.

The police keep threatening to call a halt to the business and occasionally burn the odd marijuana field. The local chiefs are always paid off by the charas mafia though and business goes on as usual.

The Himalayas are a favourite place for the average India freak to buy half a kilo of charas to swallow and take back to Europe to fund further travels. But why risk going to Tihar prison?

More on charas at wikipedia.