Himalayan landraces. The alpine ranges of the Western Himalaya, from Central Nepal one-thousand kilometres northwestward to Kashmir, are renowned worldwide for their hand-rubbed hashish, most famously for Malana Cream and Nepalese Temple Balls. For Cannabis, this region comprises a distinct zone, both culturally and botanically. Traditional Himalayan strains (“landraces”) are multipurpose domesticates selected for their fibre, seed, and resin. Less commonly, they’re exclusively for resin production. Typically, they’re harvested by hand-rubbing the seeded inflorescences of standing or freshly cut plants to produce charas. The crop is most closely associated with Pahari villages. Historically, Paharisthe people of the Pahar (alpine ranges) were known as the Khas. They’re believed to have once been nomads, like the Scythians, who migrated to the Himalaya from Central Asia. It’s conceivable that the ancient Khas introduced Cannabis cultivation to these mountains, where it apparently became widespread quite suddenly around 500 BCE.

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