Alrededor del mundo

Girls Seeds around the World by Sagitana: INDIA

Hello! I’m Larissa, a cannabis user and nomad backpacker for few years now. 
I visited some of the countries where the plant was legalized or decriminalized (such as Uruguay and Malta),  others where it remains illegal but it’s part of the local culture and economy (such as Morocco and India)  and I worked on several cannabis farms for 1 year in California. 
I have learned a lot about the cannabis market and culture around the world and I decided to share some of  my discoveries by combining my 3 biggest passions: writing, smoking and traveling.

INDIA 

CANNABIS AND HINDUISM 

Cannabis in India has been used since 2000 BC, but currently all forms of cannabis are  illegal, with some subsidies for some traditional preparations or clothing manufacture.  

It is an ancient plant and has been used for thousands of years by tribes of different  religions, including Hinduism, the largest religion in India and also one of the most ancient  religions in the world. According to the Vedas, sacred Hindu texts, cannabis is one of the 5  sacred plants and one of the sources of happiness. It is proven that you must send the  cannon by company to the human race to obtain prayer and that Shiva used the Charas in  his meditations on the mountain.  

Besides that, it has also been used in healthcare by thousands of years and specially in  the Ayurvedic medicine, the most traditional in Índia, where more than 250 formulations  are based on the plant.  

Although it is illegal, the consumption and cultivation of the plant in India is socially  accepted, something similar to Morocco. In any case, it is not recommended to carry or  consume in public when there is a possibility of police presence, since the police in India  can be very corrupt.  

Each state in Índia have different regulations regarding the matter. The state of  Uttarakhand was the first in the country to legalize hemp cultivation, in 2016. As long as  the levels of the THC is low, it is allowed. It is mainly used for the production of fiber, seeds  (identified as a food source) and hempcrete (canham concrete).  

The village of Malana, known worldwide for the Malana Cream, a type of charas that has  won 2 Cannabis Cups, suffers with the prohibitions, once the cultivation and production of  hash is the main source of income in the region. This is due to the adverse conditions such  as the harsh climate, making cannabis one of the only plants that yield color. In this way,  the local police are tolerant of plant-related practices, but people are still threatened with  criminalization, since legalization has not been adopted.  All types of family relationship are a big thing in India, as well as higher education. As a  result, some families may also be extremely against the use of cannabis, as it is a country  that has recently suffered from poverty and where the type of work you do has a great  importance, because of each cast they represent and for the comfort they can provide.  

Therefore, it is still common to see people using bhang on religious commemorative dates, as well as chillum. Because it is intrinsic to religion, cannabis has a particular place in  Indian culture, since it is believed that Shiva consecrated the plant. 

WHAT EXACTLY IS CHARAS, BHANG & CHILLUM 

The charas is a type of extraction and it was the first to have been produced in the world.  The technique for it’s production was developed in India, where it’s consumption is  common and has a very interesting history due to legends that became sacred to some  cultures.  

The production of the charas is 100% artisanal and your hand is everything you will need  to make it. Differently from other types of hash, it is produced with a living plant which will  definitely potentiates the levels of THC. The flowers are harvested before full maturation  and, traditionally, they are made with local plants adapted to the climate of the region  (northern India).  

It is usually dark brown on the outside and brown or dark green on the inside. The most  famous one is the already mentioned Malana Cream, the best on the region of the Indian  Himalayas.  

Commonly, in the traditional way, it is smoked in a chillum – a type of hookah often used by  sadhus. It’s a cone usually made of ceramic, which must be smoked in a vertical position  and raised to the head in the form of a treat to god Shiva. This form of consumption of  charas is considered a ritual and is frequently shared by a group. According to Hindu  mythology, charas represents the mind, chillum the body of Shiva, one of the main Hindu  gods, and the smoke, represents the sacred influence of the gods.  

There have been ancient rumors that Shiva himself consumed cannabis through bhang, a  drink made out of a plant paste pressed with a specific type of stone. Many use it as a way  to approach the divine, mainly on big celebrations such as the Maha Shivaratri and the  Holi Festival. It is usually mixed with water or lassi, a type of yogurt-like drink very common  in India. As all edibles, specially the non properly dosed ones, it can be pretty strong and  not always the best experience if you’re not used to it.  

Traveling in India has held amazing learnings but to realize how sacred the cannabis is, for  sure was one of the best ones. It’s amazing to know how intrinsic it is both in the culture  and in the religion. But the best part, for sure, was smoking a chillum with the babas  (meaning “dad”, they’re basically wise man or gurus) and hearing all these hindu stories  about the gods.