The Afghani Strain: Profile

3 November 2021 – Posted in: Cannabis and Culture, Cannabis Buzz, Cannabis in History, Cannabis Varieties, THC, Tips for Choosing Cannabis

The Afghani strain: profile

Afghani, (aka Afghanistan or Afghan) is one of the most popular cannabis strains the world has ever seen.  Afghani is a strain of indica famous for its high THC content, sweet and earthy flavours, and for inducing a deep state of relaxation and euphoria.  It is a strain often used to treat insomnia, (as well as pain and stress).  This dank, resinous strain been described as “a good nightcap” which produces a strong body buzz.  The bud is famously pungent, with detectable orange hairs.  The short, broad leaf plant produces dense flowers which create hashish (called chars in the Pashto and Dari languages).

Afghani is named for its geographic origin – the arid, mountainous regions around Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Hindu Kush Mountains. In this region of South and Central Asia, it is believed, humans first tamed wild cannabis thousands of years ago.  It grew wild in mass groves and was handpicked for centuries by the local people.  Afghani is considered a “landrace” strain, one of the oldest strains of cannabis in existence.  It is a building block in the genetic lineage of many hybrids, for example, Northern Lights and Blueberry.

There are many historical references to Afghani cannabis.  The legendary Afghani folkloric character Baba Ku is credited with having legendarily introduced hashish to Afghanistan many centuries ago.  He was a Sufi adherent who is often depicted holding a gigantic water bong.  According to oral tradition, he and his followers consumed cannabis in prolific quantities, regarding it as a divine sacrament, as well as a medicine.

13th century scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263 – 1328) wrote that the Tartars that came with Ghenghis Khan’s armies first spread the substance among the population to render them easier to conquer.  (Hey, you can’t resist Mongol invasion while you are in a state of drowsy euphoria!)

The founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babur (1483-1530), was famous for his love of intoxicating substances.  Babur described the use of cannabis in his autobiography, Baburnama, in which he described and compared the differing pleasures of hashish, opium and alcohol.  The noted partier also described the use of cannabis edibles in the form of majoun, a mixture of honey, dates, oil, spice, and hashish.

Western visitors to Afghanistan in the 19th century also frequently wrote about the use of cannabis they encountered there. The travel writer Elphinstone wrote of the use of cannabis drinks in his Account of the Kingdom of Caubul (Kabul) in 1809, in the form of bhang – a drink concoction made of hashish.  The drink is still popular in India and Pakistan today.  The word bhang is likely derived from the word b’hanga, which is the Sanskrit word for cannabis.  The writer Masson, in Narratives from Various Journeys, (1842) described the use of cannabis by a group of Afghans to evade taxes by making the tax collector fall asleep, so they could escape.

At our TOKE Cannabis dispensaries, including Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Beamsville, Niagara Falls, Midland and Welland, we carry many cannabis products with an Afghani lineage.

In Midland, for a typical mellow Afghani indica buzz, try Afghan Kush, or Afghani Bullrider. Or try Sage & Sour, which has the Afghan strain in its lineage but is predominantly a sativa, (75% Sativa, 25% Indica) resulting in an energetic and social high.  For hash lovers try Afghan Black pressed hash, which is traditionally prepared by hand in the Afghan method. It is black on the outside and dark green or brown on the inside, and the smoke is high in THC  (42%)

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