WHAT IS CHARAS AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Charas is a type of cannabis extract very similar to hashish. It is handmade, and is thought to originate from regions of Asia, in particular India, and Nepal. Like most cannabis extracts, it is made by separating the trichomes from cannabis plant matter to produce a highly-concentrated extract. These trichomes are usually found to form a frosty, sticky layer on cannabis flowers and, to a lesser extent, stems and leaves.
The main difference between hashish and charas is that the latter is made from live cannabis cuttings, whereas the former is made using dead, dried plant material. Charas is also most commonly made using a hand-rolling method, whereas hash can be made in a variety of ways, mainly using dry sifting, bubble bags, and more.
Charas is commonly sold in balls or sticks and is traditionally smoked using a chillum, a special kind of pipe traditionally used by Hindu monks and Sadhus. All over the Indian sub-continent and many other parts of the world, cannabis has played a significant role in spiritual and religious practices. Charas, in particular, plays a central role in many Hindu rituals and practices.
The Shaivs for example often depict their Lord smoking a chillum and incorporate the practice of smoking charas into their rituals. They usually stuff it into a chillum and, prior to smoking, chant the many names of Shiva.