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Explained: What is special about Mallana Cream, Himachal’s unique cannabis product?

10th December, 2020 Health

Context: The Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai Wednesday claimed to have seized the contraband ‘Malana Cream’ from a person linked to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death..

What is Malana Cream?

  • It is the charas or hash or hashish which comes from the Malana Valley in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Charas, called bhang in Himachal, is the resin obtained from a species or strain of the cannabis plant, which grows naturally in the valley and is also cultivated illegally.
  • The valley has a single village, Malana, and the hash resin produced there is generally more ‘creamy’, or clay-like, as compared to that produced in other parts of the state.

What makes it unique?

  • The cannabis plant has a number of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, among which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive constituent which produces the high sensation.
  • Strains of the plant with low levels of THC are used for industrial and non-drug purposes such as making ropes, paper, textiles etc.
  • Plants with a high level of another cannabinoid called CBD (cannabidiol) are used for medicinal purposes.
  • A high proportion of THC in the plant extract is required for recreational drug use and Malana Cream is believed to be particularly rich in THC, making it more potent.
  • Resin extracted from the plant, generally by rubbing using hands, is also concentrated further to obtain the more potent hash oil.
  • In addition, charas from Malana has a distinct set of turpenes, aromatic compounds associated with flavour and other characteristics. These characteristics are the result of unique climatic conditions of the valley.