Ketama, the cradle of the best hash in the world
Ketama, the cradle of the best hash in the world
At the foot of the Rif Mountain Range, in Morocco, is one of the largest temples of hashish production in the world: Issaguem, better known as Ketama. A town of a little more than 1500 inhabitants, where the drumming of the sieves resounds at the hands of the Berbers, in charge of elaborating some of the best Hash in the world.
Can you imagine a land where marijuana plants grow freely over tens of kilometres without the authorities intervening? This land exists and is called Ketama, a town located in the Rif region, the town of Ketama has been producing hashish since the fifteenth century. So far there is nothing strange in all that we are telling, however, if today we want to dedicate a small space in our blog to this locality is because it produces, as the experts in the matter point out, one of the best, if not the best, hash in the world, in terms of flavor and quality.
But this is not the only peculiarity of this territory, but there is another that attracts even more attention: although the preparation and consumption of hash is punishable in Morocco, in this area of the country the authorities turn a blind eye. Why? We’re talking about all that right now… ?
If you want to know an exciting and dangerous area of the planet in equal parts, I invite you to continue reading this article and give us all the data you think are missing if you know more about the subject. You can also ask us all the questions you think are necessary to complete our article on issues we haven’t mentioned.
Are you ready to start an exciting journey through the lands of the best hash in the world?
Ketama, knows the place of origin of the best hash in the world
The Cordillera del Rif, where the town of Ketama is located, now named Issaguem by order of King Mohamed VI, was once an area dedicated to tourism and alpine skiing. However, the business of plantations and hash processing by the majority of the local population replaced the previous type of life that was carried out in the area, making this part of Morocco a place where many foreign authorities advise against going and, if in case of have to do so, ask to go on roads that are not secondary, in order to avoid problems, as reported, for example from the Spanish Government.
The Cordillera del Rif, where the town of Ketama is located
In fact, this is an area that, as the NGOs working in this area denounce, has traditionally been forgotten by the authorities, despite the efforts they have made in recent years. In these drylands, as described by all the people who pass through them, it seems that time has not passed, which also makes it a magical place.
Ketama and its surroundings are a part of Morocco where the majority of the population lives below the poverty threshold, mostly Bereber, but also Arabs and Amazigians, and where the country’s leaders are doing everything possible to stop its current fame, in order to return it into the previous essence. Hence, it is the police authorities themselves who turn a blind eye to the thousands of hectares (approximately 57,000 hectares) of marijuana crops there are around the town.
To this we must add that in 1956, as can be read in a report published by ABC newspaper, Mohamed V (the first sultan to become King after achieving independence in Morocco) issued a decree “favorable” to some peoples to which the peasants of Ketama still cling, because they claim that “neither Hasan II nor Mohamed VI have revoked it”. Thanks to this decree, in Ketama and its surroundings, it is “allowed” not only growing cannabis, something that is palpable to the naked eye because of the large area of crops that can be seen, but also to make hash. Raise your hand, the one who would also want to have something like this for Spain! I’m sure more than one does… isn’t it? ?♂️
Because, if one thing is clear according to the latest study carried out by the Spanish Drug Observatory, is that our country is one of the largest cannabis users in Europe (30% of the population between 15 and 64 years old have consummed it at least once) and that, in addition, Spain is the first border crossing point to introduce hash in Europe, despite the fact that the best consignments only reach some of the famous coffee shops in Amsterdam (of course, by another type of safer routes). Thus, 45% of seizures of this type of product in Europe have been made in Spain, according to the United Nations Drug and Crime Organization (UNODC).
This high demand for cannabis also helps neighbouring Morocco continue to grow that large amount of cannabis, in a land conducive to the growth of some of the best marijuana strains known so far. In fact, according to sources quoted in a documentary produced by Canal Sur (La Ruta del Hachís), they claim that demand is so high that, despite the large amount of cannabis grown in Morocco, it cannot be supplied to everyone, which is why marijuana is also imported from other countries (Spain included) less known for such purposes (either from countries in the east of Europe or the America, among others).
Report on the production of hashish Ketama (Rif)
In short, we can afirm that Ketama or Issaguem enjoys a privileged enclave. The town is a crossroads between some of the main cities in Morocco: it is 167 kilometres from Tetouan, 160 from Fez, 79 from Taunate, or 107 from Chauen, making its traditional Wednesday market, known as Telata Ketama, a place of great tourist attraction for lovers of cannabis and hash, as it will be only there, in addition to some of the best coffee shops in Amsterdam and a few other places on the planet, where you can taste the hash made in Ketama and that, as we have already said, many qualify it as the best hash in the world.
The hash route: from Bab Taza to Ketama
Also known as the Route of the Alhoucemas, it extends from Bab Taza, in the north of the country, to reach Ketama. It is a route that attracts mainly cannabis lovers, but also those who want to know the most rural and ancestral part of Morocco
This is a route that mainly crosses agricultural lands, little traveled by the usual tourists and with a great police presence, due, as you know, to the large areas of cannabis cultivation, especially in the area of Ketama or Issaguem. Of course, if you are looking for a variety of hotels and restaurants where you can stay or taste local cuisine, this is not your route (they are very rare), although it is worth it if you are a cannabis lover, especially if you can hear the pleasant sound of Ketama drums, which I will tell you about later.
Harvesting of cannabis, between September and October
And now that you know some things to consider before you decide to make this route, let’s focus on the main remarkable stops on it:
-Bab Taza, is one of the main entrances to the famous Talasemtane Natural Park and the first stop on the route. It is a village located on a hilltop, which can be accessed through a beautiful leafy forest. From there, different mountain routes depart, through which you can reach the villages of Khizana and Fifi.
-Khizana y Fifi, is the second stop on this ancient hash route. These are typical rural Moroccan villages where there is no shortage of cherry trees, fig trees or quince trees, ingredients that are part of the gastronomy of the area. It is also an area where you can find wild mushrooms, and in terms of infrastructure, it is worth mentioning the traditional mills.
–Another of the points that you can’t miss is Beni Darkoul, the nerve centre of the area, where there are numerous olive oil factories.
-Chefara, is the next point along this route of the hash, which highlights its former mosque. From there, the route continues through Amtrass, an ideal place for photography lovers due to the beauty of its landscape, surrounded by large stones. Undoubtedly, this is one of those places that makes Morocco unique.
-On the slopes of Mount Jebel Tisirene is the town of Bab Berret, an important local souk with a large number of vehicle workshops. Towards the south and crossing the region of Beni Zerual we find the Ouerrha Valley.
-Ketama, is the last and most interesting point of the route. A majestic, simple place where the amount of kilometers dedicated to growing marijuana is striking, giving the sensation of seeing a small leafy forest from the top of its mountains.
At the foot of the Rif Mountain Range, in Morocco, is one of the largest temples of hashish production in the world: Issaguem, better known as Ketama.
Ketama strain leafly
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- Ketama Regular Seeds – 10
Ketama originated in the north of Morrocco in the Rif mountains before being acclimatised to northern European conditions in the early 1990s. It is a pure indica strain that requires little water or nutrients to produce large buds full of sticky resin. Ketama is a land-race cannabis variety.
Ketama grows in extremely poor soil in very arid conditions in its natural habitat and it took some while before it was successfully adapted to higher latitude cultivation in different conditions. Over-feeding this plant will reduce its potency so please bear this in mind. It can be grown indoors as well as outdoors; indoors plants will flower in 50 – 55 days, outdoors in northern latitudes plants will be ready to harvest in late September. It has very good resistance to a range of pests and plant diseases and medium resistance to mould. Odour during flowering is quite strong so many growers will want to reduce this with some form of air filtering.
Indoor yields are medium at between 300 – 400 gr/m 2 with outdoor plants producing 400 – 500 gr. each. The predominant flavour of Ketama is that of noble woods. THC production is 16.2% producing an effect that is quite pleasantly narcotic. As you might expect this is an excellent strain from which to make hash or other cannabis extracts.
|Breeder/Brand||World of Seeds|
|Genetics||North Moroccan (Ketama)|
|Pack Size||10 Seeds|
|Yield||Indoors: 300 – 400 gr/m2; Outdoors: 400 – 500 gr/plant.|
|Grows||Greenhouse, Indoors, Outdoors|
|Flowering Time||50 – 55 days|
|Harvest Month||Late September|
|Taste / Flavour||Woody|
|Effect||Relaxing, Sedative, Strong|
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