- Early autumn marks the beginning of the harvest season. Many months of growing have already passed, and the penetrating smell which your plants emanate is probably making you eager to savour the fruits of your labour. Due to the drying, there's still a while until you can do that, but there is a shortcut: prepare your own Charas, a fresh, high-quality hashish that will give you a glimpse of your crops, and a well-deserved reward for all your efforts.
This centuries-old technique, pioneered by the peoples of the Hindustan region, is based on extracting the hashish from the plants using one's hands a few days prior to the harvest. It may seems like a very rudimentary process, but there's a good reason behind it: upon extracting the trichomes from the plants while they are still standing, one obtains a resin with a high level of THC and an unusually low percentage of other cannabinoids, such as CBD, which increases with the buds' oxidation during the drying process. The result is a psychoactive and tremendously cerebral hash whose mind-altering properties have led it to be used for centuries in religious rituals in towns all across the Himalayas.
The traditional method consists of delicately rubbing all the branches and buds.
As we only have access to smaller crops, we will have to make some modifications to this ancestral method of hashish extraction, so as to not squeeze the buds too much. Otherwise we will lose a large part of our crop's potential. With this aim we will also use the manicuring phase to obtain resin, departing a little bit from the classic style in the pursuit of a viable balance.
You will need to begin the extraction when the plant is still standing. With your hands nice and clean, lightly press the buds just hard enough so that their amber resin begins to adhere to the palms of your hands, but gentle enough to keep from squashing them.
Repeat this operation with great patience and finesse, on all the parts of your plant containing that amber molasses: the resin. Then rub your hands together to obtain some strands of hashish resembling Play-Doh. When you begin to join them they will gradually form a roll. When in search of resin you have to pay special attention to the lower parts of the plant, where you will find buds that have not matured or developed fully. These will be especially valuable as raw material for our rolls of Charas, to be smoked as they are.
The resin features a greenish colour during the first phases of this manual extraction technique. (photo).
Once you have finished this process, cut the plants and begin with the manicuring, from which you should be able to scratch a bit of resin, yielding some 10 or 20 grams of Charas that you can obtain if you do it right. After you have cut the plants and begin to remove their leaves, grasp the buds firmly, but delicately, with a view to concentrating a good amount of the plant's resin between your hands.
Once it has begun to dry and compact it will begin to take on its characteristic black colour. (Photo).
Continue to rub your hands together to produce more "strands" of Charas, and turn to your pruning shears to clean them of resin and gradually form a larger and larger roll. If you follow this method at the end of the day your hands will be black from the compacted resin, the buds will not have significantly suffered, and you will have several good-sized rolls of this cannabis delicacy. A good trick to improve their quality is to add a few microns of plant matter from the plant so that they acquire a more distinct aroma and a richer flavour.
The ultimate quality and amount will depend on your patience and care. It is important to dry them a bit
As those balls that we have been compacting begin to dry they will take on a dark brown or blacker colour, a clear sign that we have performed our task well and there is not much plant matter in our homemade Charas. For this it is best to place the rolls in the same wooden box you use to cure your grass, and let them dry for at least a week. In this way they will be cured, smoothly and slowly, enhancing their flavour and density, while at the same time they absorb the scent of the receptacle's marijuana scent. Imagine the aroma your hash will give off after being shut up with a bunch of Kush-N-Cheese, or being locked up with some monstrous Moby Dick buds. It will be during this period that the external layer of the rolls hardens and their interior acquires the consistency and structure necessary so that, once smoked, they emit a powerful and penetrating aroma of hashish, not marijuana.
Some drying is essential to furnish our homemade Charas with character and density.(Photo).
There is a wide range of effects and flavours
Charas are traditionally extracted from Sativas growing on the lush north side of the Himalayas. However, you can use this elaboration process on any strain. In addition to the classic distinction between between Indicas and Sativas there is the flavour or effect of the genetics in question in each case. The more Sativa, the closer you will be to a full-fledged psychedelic trip. If you extract it from an Original Amnesia, get ready to fly off your sofa; a psychedelic trip that perhaps can only be compared to the high from Charas extracted from a good Strawberry Amnesia, or the out-of-body experience from some good fresh Critical+ 2.0 hashish.
You can create as many types of Charas as there are strains of marijuana. (Photo).