Balochistan ‘Black Tiger’
North-West Balochistan — The golden triangle of central asian cannabis
Year of collection – 2022
Location/Site – Mastung, Balochistan
Alt. & Lat. – 5000 ft. / 29.88 N, 66.78 E
Profile – Spicy with heavy diesel/fuel smell
Type – Narrow leaf
Structure – Tall (8-9 ft.) Christmas tree structure
Flowering Term – 11-12 weeks
Typical growing season – April to November
Resin Type – Dry textured resin glands
Effects – Balanced high, felt both in the head, with muscle
Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan situated at the Southwest territories bordered by Afghanistan towards North and Northwest, Iran towards south west, Sindh in the East, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/FATA regions in the Northeast. And south is bounded by the Arabian Sea.
The climate is extremely harsh and uninhabitable in most places. Climate in the highlands is characterized by very cold winters and warm summers. Winters towards the foothills of the highlands vary from extremely cold in the northern districts close to Afghanistan and somewhat hospitable conditions can be found closer to the Makran in the coastal areas influenced by the Arabian Sea. A dam made on Dasht river supplies most of drinking water and cater to irrigation needs.
The History of human settings goes back to 7000 BC, as the present day Balochistan used to be an important port and Hub for trade and exchanges at the height of the Bronze age, known as Harappa-Mohenjo Daro civilization. A culture so advanced that men and women both worked and enjoyed an equal social status, state of the art Architecture including duplex style houses, which were built to get naturally ventilated and an underground sewage system connecting all the town in an autonomous and seamless cleaning system. As of today, Balochistan suffers from a natural water crisis, coupled with other socio-political upheavals in the region. And in the midst of all this the traditional Balochi Cannabis farmers are still able to not only grow, but also produce some of the best traditionally processed hashish around the world.
Balochistan is situated from 27° N to 29° N around places like Dasht and Mastung district which are also located at an average altitude of 5500 ft. Which still only allows for a medium-long flowering expression since the snow sets in late in December, except for mountains where it snows as early as mid November. The broad leaf/Short season varieties which can be seen growing in various farms are a by-product of imported varieties from places such as northern Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan etc. Amalgamated with traditional Balochi landrace varieties and acclimatized to Balochistan’s climate for thousands of years. Previously the Mastung region was known as the kingdom of Kalat, which was ruled by the Khan of Kalat or Khan -equalat.
The cannabis culture has been so prevalent even from the earliest times that the king used to have private farms of cannabis where some very special and sought after varieties used to grow that weren’t available to the locals at that point of time, and they could only smell the magnificent aromas oozing out of the royal gardens. These varieties today are grown by the descendants of royal families who still own hundreds of acres of land.
Balochistan acts as an ultimate proving ground for any plant variety and only the genotypes well adapted towards surviving in scarcity of water and heat could survive in these unforgiving conditions. The general flowering term is around 8-11 weeks with a mid to late October finish. Theseeds were imported and amalgamated to gradually shape into regional Heirloom with conscious selection over many generations. Balochistan unlike other central Asian hashish regions has a number of educated farmers who possess skills and knowledge beyond traditions. Some of the farmers select the seeds and keep them separately as they understand various features like red stem or pink stigma brings a certain type of qualitative effect into the final product and user experience.
There is a variety of different expressions in numerous farmed populations spread across places like Dasht and Mastung, which are situated almost at the Pak-Afghan-Iran border and is known as a hub for the Afghan Imported Hashish into Pakistan for stamping of gold and red seal, before the export to the other side of the world.
Balochistan has an absolutely unforgiving terrain and a heavy scarcity of water. Sand storms originating from Iran are a common occurrence in the north west Balochistan. The soil towards Northwest Balochistan is mainly sand with clay deposits underneath it. Most of the area in the Northwest can be considered salt-desert. The altitude ranges from 500 to 5000+ ft. The Highlands see harsh winters with snowfall, so the flowering window is around 8-11 weeks.
Farmers consider early-flowering plants inferior in quality, whereas more vigorous and late-flowering plants (10-11 weeks) are their first choice for making some of the best hashish in the world. The flavors in Balochistan populations in places like Mastung is basically a mind bending complex of sweet and acrid smells which can be based around lemon/perfume, petrol/diesel, pine, honey, earthy and tropical to highland fruits.