What is Charas and How To Make It at Home?

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Added 24 September 2022

The cannabis culture is not the same everywhere. Netherland has an open culture whereas the Jamaican cannabis culture is more spiritually inclined. 

And the Indian cannabis culture is a mix of festivities, religious importance, and ancient medicine. One gift from India to the cannabis community is a concentrate, unlike any other, called charas. 

Charas is a concentrate produced from fresh cannabis flowers, particularly their resin, and it offers a unique dreamlike, spacey high. 

Of course, it is terrific to experience, but you can get the same experience without booking a vacation to India. Just make charas at home. 

But if you have never experienced charas or want to make charas at home, we have got your back. Read on to know everything about this form of cannabis, including its history, recipe, and a lot more.

What is Charas?


Charas is a popular form of cannabis in the Himalayan stretch of India and Nepal (and even Jamaica). It’s a concentrate handmade from a live cannabis plant’s resin. Since it is a concentrate, it is a lot more potent than regular cannabis buds, but it is known for a unique high that is distinct even from other cannabis concentrates.

This is because charas is made through a crude process and not cured the same way as other cannabis products. Therefore, it retains different cannabinoid and terpene profiles. The result is a near psychedelic high, often described as spacey and dream-like.

Charas is also unique for its strong aroma, which contains top notes of earth and musk with undernotes of ash and fire. While the aroma is not too different from some other cannabis concentrates, the smell can still be off-putting for some people. But it will grow on you.

Difference Between Charas, Hashish, and Bhang

Ball of fine charas

One misconception in the cannabis community is that charas and hash are the same, but that’s not the case. Both are two different byproducts of cannabis. But it’s easy to get confused between the two.

Hash and charas share more similarities than dissimilarities since both are concentrates of cannabis. However, the primary difference between the two products is how they are prepared. 

Hash is produced from dead and dry cannabis plants, meaning your regular flowers. Next, the resin is dried and pressed into small blocks. On the other hand, charas is prepared from fresh cannabis buds. The buds are rubbed vigorously, allowing the resin to collect on the hand, and it's then removed with a hot sharp object.  

Many purists may even argue that the difference also lies in where they are made, but the production difference is what matters the most. 

On the other hand, bhang is an edible drink that contains cannabis, prepared from cannabis leaves. Bhang is prepared by first soaking and grinding the cannabis plant material before it's mixed into a beverage. 

What is the History of Charas?

Block of charas

The first mention of charas in official scientific literature appears in Pharamagographia, an 1874 botanical reference book that cataloged plants used in Victorian medicine. The book dedicated an entire section to charas. 

However, old Indian scriptures, like the Vedas, which were written 3500 years ago also mention charas and its healing powers. In fact, at the time, cannabis was considered one of the five holy plants of Hinduism and loved by the devotees as a liberator and a source of joy. 

Cannabis originally grew at the foot of the Indian Himalayas and one of the most common forms of consumption back then was charas. And this method quickly spread through Afghanistan, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

Charas has been a popular cannabis concentrate for thousands of years in the Indian subcontinent, where it has been used for its medicinal and religious purposes, and of course, for its unique and intense high. 

It’s no surprise because cannabis is considered a sacred plant in the region. According to some Hindu scriptures, Lord Shiva would occasionally head into the mountains to smoke charas. Lord Shiva is also often depicted in religious artworks with a chillum in hand and a cloud of smoke surrounding him.

Throughout history and even through the British occupation of India, cannabis was legal and used all across the country and Nepal. In fact, it was sold even in government shops. But due to the legal pressure from the US, cannabis consumption and sale got banned in India and Nepal.

Despite its illegality, charas still plays a crucial role in the Indian culture and the Hindu religion. The followers of Lord Shiva in particular hold charas as one of the aspects of God himself. 

Since the good ol’ days, charas has a sweet spot in the heart of many that live in the Indian subcontinent.

Today, charas is still used across the subcontinent by Hindu sadhus (monks) for religious purposes. In fact, some sects like Naga Sadhus, Tantric Bahirava, and Aghoris smoke charas freely on the streets without worrying about its legality. You can also find many sadhus smoking charas outside temples. 

Apart from religious reasons, charas is also a popular recreational substance in the subcontinent, found especially in places with a massive tourist influx. And some of it also gets exported to Europe regularly, albeit illegally. 

Today, the most popular spot for charas is Parvati Valley, located at the foot of the Himalayas in India, where you will find massive fields of cannabis growing wildly despite its illegality. The valley attracts thousands of cannabis enthusiasts each year for the special Malana Cream. 

What are Some Popular Charas Strains?

Malana cream

While charas can be made from any cannabis plant, two most popular and original strains make charas so identifiable. The two strains of charas are:

Malana Cream

Malana Cream is the OG charas, known for its high potency and THC content. This strain of cannabis originates from the Parvati Valley and has made the place the Mecca of sorts for cannabis users from all over the world. It’s so popular that the name has become synonymous with any high-quality charas anywhere in the world. 

What makes Malana Cream so exciting is its potency. It contains around 40% to 42% THC, which is a lot higher than most other cannabis variants. And with time, the strain has evolved into various distinctive flavors and strengths. 

Plus, Malana Cream grows in the valleys of the Himalayas in abundance, but it is still the most expensive concentrate in the country. This is because for a few reasons — it takes twice as long to prepare and the region lacks proper road access — the production cannot meet the demand, driving the prices up.

Idukki Gold

Also known as Kerala Gold or Neelachadayan, Idukki Gold is the next best strain of charas. Even this strain is potent (or used to be), but it grows in Southern India, and became popular after a 2013 movie of the same name. 

Originally, Idukki Gold was quite potent with over 35% THC content. However, due to the recent legal action on growers in the region, most of the plants with pure strains have been eradicated. Nowadays, Idukki Gold sold in the region is often crossbred and not as potent as it used to be. Current Idukki Gold generally contains only 8% THC, unless you find the right supplier. 

Other popular strains of charas from the Indian subcontinent include Kasol Cream, Grahan Cream, Nagaru Cream, and Tosh Ball.

How to Make Charas at Home?

How to make charas at home

So, you want to make cannabis concentrates at home? Making DIY charas is simple. While charas has a mythological status, it is quite easy to make at home, unlike most other DIY concentrates. You can make charas at home with any cannabis strain you want. 

There are a few ways to create charas. The most common and traditional way to prepare charas is to rub the buds between the hands, which makes the resin of cannabis stick to your palms. Once the palms are dark with resin, they are gently scraped and the scrapped resin is rolled into tiny balls or charas. 

In India, some growers also use a different method, which sounds almost unreal. Here, a person gets dressed in leather and walks through the cannabis farms. The leather rubs up against the buds, collecting the resin and oils. Later, the suit is scraped off to remove the oils and resin and rolled up into charas. 

But don’t worry, we are not asking you to walk into the garden with a race suit on. You can use the first method. Follow these steps to make charas at home.

Step 1. Choose the Buds

The first step is to choose the right kind of buds. Of course, they have to be potent enough, unless you are going for a milder version of charas. Also, ideally, you want to choose smaller buds that are two or three weeks from being mature and ready for harvest. Smaller buds make it easier to work with. 

Once you have selected the buds, cut them while leaving behind as many branches as possible. You can also cut off any excess leaves from the buds to keep your homemade charas clean. 

Step 2. Rub the Buds Between Your Palms

Now, clean and dry your palms thoroughly. Once your palms are dry, grab a few buds and start rolling them between your palms slowly. In some time, the buds will excrete oils, which will turn the palms of your hand dark. Do so until your palms are brown-black and coated with a thick, sticky oil extract that resembles tar.

Making charas at home requires a lot of patience, so don’t be hasty. Moving the hands too quickly or putting too much pressure on the buds may destroy some of the resin, which will result in subpar results. Follow the procedure to the very last detail and you can make around 10 grams a day!

Step 3. Scrape Your Palms Gently

The next step is to scrape the extract off your palms. The easiest way to do so is to use your thumb and gently roll it in small circles on the palm, which will start creating a small ball of resin. Once this ball is big enough, roll it between your palms and soon enough, you will have a decent-sized ball of charas. 

Making charas at home is simple, especially when compared to other cannabis concentrates. But it is a messy process. However, if you follow the right steps and take the buds at the right time, charas will leave you with a high that you have never experienced before, even if you are an experienced cannabis user.

What is the Best Strain to Make Charas at Home?

cannabis bud with trichomes

Just because the most popular strains of charas are Malana Cream and Idukki Gold does not mean you have to use the same strains. That would be rather difficult since these strains are grown illegally in the Indian subcontinent. 

But don’t worry. 

Making charas is one of the easiest ways of creating a cannabis concentrate, and what makes the process even better is that there are no hard and fast rules as to which strain or buds you need to choose.

To start with, you don’t even have to grow your own plant. All you need is the buds. And you can make charas out of any buds.

Ideally, you should choose high-potency strains for making charas for better results. And you should also choose buds that are rich in terpenes and trichomes — look for strains with high resin production. The more the buds are covered in THC-rich goo, the better and stronger your charas will be. 

Here are some of the best strains that you can use to make charas at home:

  • Super Lemon Haze
  • Gorilla Glue
  • White Widow
  • Afgooey
  • Sharksbreath
  • Royal Kush
  • Northern Light
  • Bubble Kush

And if you are short on options, don’t worry. Get any strain that you can and start making charas at home. Just remember that if the strain is not rich in resin, you have to rub more buds to create the same amount of charas that you would with other more potent strains. 

How to Use Charas?


Charas is just as easy to consume as it is to produce at home. So, here are some of the best ways of using charas.


Wait, what’s a chillum? The traditional way of smoking charas is via chillum, but it may not be for everyone. Chillum is a clay pipe, where one end holds the charas and the other end acts as the mouthpiece. 

To smoke your homemade charas with a chillum, first, pack a small ball of charas into the chillum's wider end. Then, use a chillum stone or a ball of clay wrapped in cloth as a makeshift filter. You can also use a wet cloth as a filter. 

Then, hold the chillum between your ring and pinky finger while cupping the hand, to create a small smoke chamber that will further cool down the smoke. When ready, place your mouth on the hand chamber and light charas from the top.

Remember, smoking charas through a chillum can be quite harsh due to the presence of plant material within and is not advised for new cannabis users. It can really irritate your throat. Also, try taking smaller tokes in the beginning so your throat can get accustomed to the harshness. 


If you don’t have a chillum, you can always roll it up in a joint! First, you need to break up the gooey charas into small pieces, evenly, and mix it thoroughly with cannabis buds or tobacco. Then, roll it all up in a thick joint. 

Bong or Dab Rig

If you want a similar experience to using a chillum and don’t want to mix charas with other cannabis buds or tobacco, you can use a bong or a dab rig. The steps to smoke charas in a bong are the same as smoking any other cannabis concentrate. Just beware of the harsh smoke, though. You can use warm water in the bong to smoothen the smoke.


Vaping charas is usually not recommended because charas is wet and requires high temperatures to burn properly. But if you think your vape can handle it, go for it. However, we recommend placing charas between layers of dry vegetative matter for the best results.

Can you Eat Charas?

can you eat charas

Charas may look edible, but it is not a good idea. You need to decarb charas first, to convert THCA (non-psychoactive) into THC (psychoactive), and this is a tricky process with charas because it is gooey and moist. 

And if you don't decarb it well, it will not get you high at all, making your efforts pointless. 

Plus, charas is inherently very potent, so consuming it orally can lead to an intense high, which may not be suitable for most cannabis users. 

Smoking charas is the best way to experience it — the pros of using charas, Hindu sadhus, smoke it for a reason, too!

Is Charas Safe?

Charas is a cannabis product, so as long as you make it at home or purchase it from the right seller, it is completely safe. However, you should note that it is a very potent form of cannabis, even more so than most cannabis concentrates, so you should consume it with caution. You must treat it with respect just like you would any other high-THC strain. Also, try smoking very few doses at first, and then scale it up later. 

While one cannot overdose on cannabis (or THC), consuming too much of it in a short time may lead to several side effects and bad trips. The common symptoms of a bad trip include:

  • Intense paranoia or anxiety
  • Fear 
  • Excessive sweating
  • Racing heart or altered blood pressure
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Shaking
  • Hallucinations 
  • Pale complexion, etc.

If you are a new cannabis user, consume charas with caution by starting with low doses and consuming only a little of it in the beginning. If you are okay with smoking tobacco, you can also mix charas in tobacco instead of cannabis before rolling it into a joint. Smoking charas with regular cannabis may lead to an even more intense high. 

Additionally, have a safety plan ready in case you get any side effects and try to stick to a buddy system, where you have someone around you to help you out. 

Charas is a completely safe concentrate to use but you still need to be careful with it. It brings an intense and unique high that your body may not be comfortable with.

Summary: What is Charas and How Do I Make It at Home?

Charas is also known as the black gold of the Himalayas — that’s the kind of special place it holds for many cannabis enthusiasts on the other side of the world. And the legends are true because smoking charas is an exquisite experience that every cannabis enthusiast should partake in.

Perhaps the best way of describing a charas high is like being hugged by the clouds. 

Charas has an old history, older than most other forms of cannabis, and some Hindu devotees believe that Lord Shiva also preferred charas over any other form of intoxication. But even if you look beyond its mythos, it still has a lot to offer.

If you want to experience charas without taking a flight to India just yet, you should try making it at home. It is easy. All you need to do is find the right cannabis flowers, rub them between your hands for some time, scrape off the black gooey layer from your palm, and roll it into a ball. There you have it — homemade charas!


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Interesting stuff.
Lol, I was thinking about it yesterday hahhaha But I have one question, we can make charas direct from the plant, we don't need to cut the buds, but can we use the buds to smoke as a normal process after being used for charas? Excellent article, thank you very much for it.
Sounds like a fun harvest party.