What is Malawi Cob Cannabis And Can You Make It At Home?

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Added 24 June 2023

As a cannabis connoisseur, you may already know about charas and bhang, but the Himalayas isn’t the only region that explored the various uses of cannabis and figured out unique ways of consuming it. Many other cultures worldwide have used cannabis for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes. 

One such country is Malawi, a landlocked African nation that borders Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The tribes of this country have been using cannabis for centuries and, in this process, have come up with one of the best interpretations of this magical herb: Malawi Cob. What is the Malawi Cob, how is it created, and how can you experience it? Learn all about the Malawi Cob in this article. 

What is Malawi Cob?

What is Malawi Cob?

Image Credit - Icmag

Malawi cob is an ancient method of curing cannabis that the Malawi tribe of Africa has used. But good luck finding authentic Malawi Cob today that’s prepared traditionally; due to the high demand for this unique cannabis product and the rise of Malawi Gold that promises to offer a similar high, the original Malawi Cob has fallen out of trend and become an obscure cannabis product. 

Another reason why finding Malawi Cob can be difficult is that the makers of this product no longer require the traditional method to preserve cannabis. Thanks to modern amenities and developments in strain genetics, they can grow healthy cannabis plants in large quantities almost throughout the year. 

Malawi Cob may be a challenging product to find, but if you have the right contacts, you can find authentic ones. This is because Malawi Cob is still used in many African traditional ceremonies. For example, some tribal chiefs tend to consume Malawi Cob before joining the councils; according to their beliefs, cannabis helps them stay in the right mental space for the council — can we really blame them, though?

In fact, in many villages across Africa in the past, many witch doctors would consume this cannabis before heading out to hunt witches or help supposedly possessed people in their villages. According to their belief system, witches and ghosts could not tolerate the smell of cannabis, making them easy to identify. 

What Makes Malawi Cob So Good?

What Makes Malawi Cob So Good?.

Malawi Cob is a classic example of “necessity is the mother of invention.” When people didn’t have ziplock bags or mason jars to cure and store cannabis, they had to devise other ways of doing so. Some African tribes, after a lot of trial and error, found that many natural materials around them could be used to cure and store cannabis.

In this endeavor of finding the best preservation method, the farmers realized that one such technique could even improve the product! And over the decades, this method was gradually perfected — they were quite serious about preserving cannabis for the entire year.

But that’s not what makes Malawi Cob so precious to us — it’s the experience of consuming it. One, it is a completely safe form of cannabis consumption since it does not give respiratory or coughing problems while being quite smooth and sweet to smoke. There are still the standard risks of smoking anything, though.

Additionally, Malawi Cob produces a delicious flavor thanks to its rich terpene profile, and its high is unlike any other cannabis product — it is potent. If you look at Malawi Cob through a microscope, you will notice that all the trichomes have fused together while all the other organic acids, including chlorophyll, have turned into sugars. 

On the other hand, conventional cannabis dries out too quickly, losing a lot of its aroma and potency in the process. But the Malawi Cob ferments slowly while keeping all the terpenes and trichomes intact. The result is refined cannabis that offers a full-bodied high with a rich aroma and smooth smoke. 

How is Malawi Cob Made?

How is Malawi Cob Made?

Image Credit - Alchemiaweb

Mawali Cob is a fascinating cannabis product, and how it’s made is even more fascinating. So, let’s look at how it was made using the traditional method, and we will also explore some alternative methods later. 

Traditional Malawi Cob Preparation Method

The preparation method for Malawi Cob begins with letting the cannabis plant grow until it’s fully mature. Then, the stems are cut and hung in a shed or under the sun; if they are drying under the sun, they are covered with a thin cloth during the afternoons to protect them from burning. 

The above-mentioned method was used in regions where cannabis was seasonal; in other areas where cannabis plants grew throughout the year, only the branches with mature flowers were cut, and the rest of the plant was allowed to bloom. Unfortunately, these cannabis forests no longer exist in Africa.

After a while, the buds were harvested and left out for at least two nights so they could collect dew. Then, seedless buds were picked and carefully rolled into banana leaves; they were then tied together to create a cob. 

Since the cob had to be super tight, farmers tied one end of the cob to a tree and used all the weight of their bodies and the strength of their muscles to tie the cob as tight as possible. Some farmers even used mortar to pack the buds tightly. 

Once the farmers prepared a few hundred cannabis cobs, they would place them in the sun for a couple of days so that the sheets could tighten further under the sun's heat. Later, the cobs were moved under their goat sheds, which have bamboo floors. 

Over time, the goats urinate and defecate on the bamboo floors, and their excrement fills the spaces between the cannabis cobs lying underneath the flooring. This manure creates a warm environment for the cobs to ferment. And since banana leaves are not hermetic, the moisture seeps in and helps ferment the cobs.

After at least 40 days, the cobs are removed and stored until the next harvest. Once they are fully fermented, they are ready for consumption. However, finding Malawi Cob prepared with this method today is extremely difficult. 

Alternative Method for Preparing Malawi Cob

There are still some other methods many people use to Malawi Cob. One such method is burying the cobs in the waste produced from brewing corn beer, a local drink in Malawi. Here, the cobs are supposed to ferment with the waste, giving them a unique flavor and golden color — the longer it ferments, the darker it gets. 

In this method, some farmers even cure their buds with smoke for a couple of days before fermenting them, preventing fungus and bacteria from building up within the cobs. Once the buds are cured, they are smoked once again to prevent rot and insects from the cob. 

On the other hand, in areas that do not grow banana trees, farmers cover the cobs in corn leaves, which are smaller and inferior in quality compared to banana cobs. Plus, sometimes, these cobs develop a reddish hue. Some other tribes also use other methods, such as tightly compressing hollow sections of reeds, which are then left to ferment in a warm and stable environment. 

Some tribes also use holes in the ground. In these holes, they first pour a layer of ash followed by a layer of goat excrement, a layer of cobs, goat poop, and again ash. The mound is then compacted with clay soil. A stick is injected in the center of the mound to check the temperatures; once the temperature is consistent throughout the length of the stick, the cobs are fully fermented and ready for consumption. 

All these alternative methods gave rise to various types of Malawi Cobs, and often, all cobs turned out to be super hard, delicious, smooth, and potent to smoke. Of course, some were superior to others, like the traditional banana leaf cobs and the sticky black one that was known to be quite potent. 

If you are lucky to find Malawi Cob when you visit this area, focus on the color of the cob and how it feels to smoke, and the high it produces. Typically, colors range from black to golden and red to green, and each color of cobs can be associated with a different flavor and high. 

How To Make Malawi-Cob Cannabis at Home

How To Make Malawi-Cob Cannabis at Home

Image Credit - Alchemiaweb

Okay, since this is a traditional technique not prevalent in other parts of the world, we had to search a lot for a doable technique at home. Remember, the tribes used cannabis primarily to get euphoric and also get health benefits. They were pretty happy, to say the least, and believed that uncured weed would only cause breathing and coughing issues. Well, they are bang on because uncured weed, no matter how tempted you are to try it, will be harsh and make you cough your lungs out. Plus, it doesn’t compare to smoking cured nugs at all. 

So, basically, this method ensures that the buds are fermented in their own juices and cured to offer the best smoke you’ve ever had. Perhaps a taste of this will take you to Valhalla! After hours of research, we came across a user from another site called “Tangwena” who was frustrated with the Western techniques of curing weed. He longed for the type of cannabis that would take him to another level of Nirwana. 

Suffice it to say, if you try this technique at home, do not smoke it alone. Just to be cautious. And you should definitely not try this if you’re new to cannabis. 

With the disclaimers out of the way, here’s a refined version of the original Tangwena’s Malawi-Cob Cure. 

1. Harvest and drying

After harvesting the buds, hang them and let them dry for about 3 days. Now, you’ve probably dried buds a lot of times, so you know when the buds look like they can be smoked. Yes, that’s when you stop the drying process. Check the stems and sugar leaves. 

2. Wrapping

Now, take about 1 or 2 ounces of your best buds and wrap them in husks, making them look like cobs. You can moisten the husks with some water to help with the process. If you don’t have husks, even sushi rolls will work. However, corn makes the weed taste sweeter, apparently. 

Also, don’t wrap too much bud per cob, as your DIY Malawi cob needs to be fermented properly. Tie them tightly with a hemp or wool thread. Next, place the cobs in a plastic baggie and another small bud inside so you can observe it and check for any signs of mold. Vacuum all the air from the baggie and proceed to the next step. 

3. Humidity 

As you already know, humidity plays a significant role in drying and curing cannabis. The same logic applies here. We need moist buds that will sweat and produce juice, allowing the buds to ferment. Also, you’ll notice that they change their colors a bit faster than dry buds.

Make sure the buds have more than 68% RH, so they sweat well. In fact, many users say the sweet spot is around 80%. If you don’t get this right, mold formation is possible, so this technique may take a few tries to get it right. Also, compress the buds firmly and evenly to get a decent product at the end. Many users have tried this method with paper bags, parchment paper, and even leaves. 

4. Sweating

For this, you’ll need to create an environment that encourages the buds to sweat. It’s best to make a box and place the cobs inside. Maintain steady temperatures of around 40°C or 104°F for 24-48 hours. This step is important, or the process won’t work. You can use heat mats or yogurt makers to maintain steady temperatures. 

The longer your buds sweat, the effects will be more narcotic. You can let them sweat at higher temperatures, but that means they will start cooking faster. But, just like chicken tastes better when cooked slowly at lower temps, the buds will also appreciate a slower cook time. 

After about 24-25 hours, you should see water droplets. You can dry your cob using paper towels. Let the husk dry before putting it into the bag again and vacuum the air. If you don’t see any water droplets at all, just proceed to the next step. 

5. Fermentation

Let the bag sit in a dark place for at least a week. Maintain the temperatures at around 25°C to 30°C or 77°F to 86°F for proper fermentation. You should vacuum the bag again so there’s no chance of mold. 

If you have used more than 1 ounce of weed, you can let it ferment more for another week. However, if you’re using less than an ounce, one week should be fine. 

6. Curing

Unseal the bag and see if the cob is dry. If not, let it sit and dry in a dark place for about 4-5 days. At this point, the buds will be spongy and soft if you’ve done everything right. It will feel almost like hash. 

Reseal your bags again and let them cure more. Check every week to see the progress for a month and let your nose guide you. However, they will become harder as they dry and gain the consistency of beef jerky. You will need a knife to cut out small pieces for consumption. Some users let the buds cure for at least six months before they test it out. The more the bud cures, the better the taste and smoothness. 

So, there you have it — Malawi-cob cure, guys! You can store these DIY Malawi cobs for about two years if they are vacuum-sealed. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever tried this. A smoke report would be amazing!

Summary: What is Malawi Cob Cannabis And Can You Make It At Home?

Nowadays, Malawi Cobs are hard to find, thanks to the advent of Malawi Gold and other landraces of this region. These strains produce a similar flavor and high as the cobs, but they are in no way close to the experience cobs offer. 

Malawi Cob is a unique cannabis product, and if you are a cannabis tourist or planning to visit Africa soon, you should definitely be on the lookout for Malawi Cob. Ideally, search for banana cobs, but even other types of cobs won’t disappoint you. If anything, make them at home as they are super simple. 

In the meanwhile, our hope is that the region realizes the potential of cannabis tourism and how much revenue and fame their traditional cannabis cobs can bring to the region. It will obviously benefit the region but if we are being selfish, it will bring this obscure cannabis product to the forefront. 


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This sounds similar to the process of curing cigar tobacco for Maduro cigar wrappers.
@CitySupreme, yes, same process.
@CannaScience, With tobacco it's a combination of heat and fermentation. This looks like it's the concept.
@CitySupreme, perhaps the wrapper does its magic?
I remember having some of those wrapped in banana leaf back in the 90's.
@eurorack, lol, that's both a good and bad thing, haha! Damn, I thought it would be super strong
@CannaScience, Like I can remember the 90's! I have trouble remembering last week! ha ha Though I vaguely recall it not being very strong.
@eurorack, how was it?
Reminds me of the coffee that's made out of berries/beans eaten by birds and collect in their shit. I would not use the shit of an animal that that's a carnivore or omnivore though, herbivores like horse and its shit would be good I bet. Then grow mushrooms out of it at the same time. :D
@m0use, I will pass this on :)
@CannaScience, nop. don't care too, if I smoked maybe. You should do a demo / article on SOURCE Turbo Concentrate Extractor and then send me the unit after your done reviewing it lol. GD has a budget to blow right?
@m0use, Have you tried this, though? The cob ones?