Malawi Gold is the name given to cannabis originating in Malawi, a country in southeast Africa. In the chichewa language, it is locally known as chamba.[1] Chamba is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu.[2] It is internationally renowned as one of the finest sativas from Africa.[3] Malawi Gold is also known as one of the most potent psychoactive pure African sativas. The popularity of this strain has led to such a profound increase in marijuana tourism and economic profit in Malawi that Malawi Gold is listed as one of the three 'Big C's' in Malawian exports 'Chambo' (Tilapia fish), Chombe (tea) and Chamba (Malawi Gold)'.


Malawi Gold has reached notoriety as the gold standard in Marijuana. Malawi Gold is a top grade Marijuana and is setting the gold standard internationally, in quality Marijuana.[4]


  • Genetics: Malawi Gold, (landrace)
  • Variety: Pure sativa
  • Characteristics: Sweet taste


Its taste is described as sweet, with a hint of pineapple.[3] It also has a smell that is likened to fruits and strong spice.[5]

Psychoactive Properties[]

The effects of this marijuana is very psychoactive and long lasting. Although potency mainly has its roots in growing conditions such as; nutrients, care, competition for light/rootspace with other plants and post harvest techniques, the genetics play a large role in the potency that is possible. The combination of psychoactive constituents is unique within every strain of cannabis(sometimes with every different seed of the same strain), based on how inbred the genetic line is. The more inbreeding, the more stabilized a set of characteristics is, e.g., the psychoactive properties.


The United Nations Development Assistance Framework report that in the late 1990s, estimated that up to 385,000 acres in the country were devoted to the cultivation of marijuana.[6] In Malawi, the marijuana buds are cured after being tightly bound in banana or maize leaves.

International Market[]

Its quality has led it to out perform marijuana grown in other countries in terms of sales in each market it is introduced in.[4] The Majority of Malawi Gold has flooded the markets in Kenya, Tanzania, and many other locales.[4] For South Africa, it has led to an increase in marijuana tourism from holiday makers seeking Malawi gold that is being sold in its borders. Until recently, it was the most popular type of Marijuana in Holland.[6]


For many Marijuana smokers, Malawi gold has reached almost a cult status. There are websites and blogs which have been dedicated to the praise of "chamba".[6] In many cases, it has become the 'Cuban Cigar' of weed.

Marijuana Tourism[]

Malawi gains a significant amount of its tourism from the marijuana trade. Albeit illegal, the plant grows in the wild in many areas, which has made it hard to control. In the lake areas, many tourists purchase the drug and smoke it in the privacy of their hotel rooms or homes.

Medicinal Usage[]

Rastafarians in Malawi claim medicinal use of the chamba leaves. A research study entitled, "Patients' Perceptions of Chamba (marijuana) Use in Malawi" was conducted in Zomba Mental Hospital was published in the International Journal of the Addictions in 1998. It had it implications for the development of treatment and prevention programs for chamba users in Malawi.[7]

Religious Usage[]

Malawian Rastafarians have been using Marijuana as part of their spiritual awakening for years. The Rastafarians cite religious importance in the use of the plant.[4]

Recreational Use[]

Malawians have been using Chamba for recreational use for generations. The use of Chamba is particularly popular along the lake side. Many Malawians claim that Chamba helps them to relax and concentrate. Local students use Chamba to prevent pre-exam jitters. Police raids are common however recreational use of ganja remains unabated.

Legal Issues concerning usage[]

Although Malawi Gold is illegal in Malawi, it is estimated to be the largest unofficial export. The growth in sales means that there are growers cultivating the drug illegally in Malawi due to the large profits they gain from its sales.[6]

Campaign to Legalize Malawi Gold[]

Rastafarians in Malawi have gone to court to demand their right to smoke marijuana.

In 2000, the government briefly explored the possible legalization of Indian hemp, despite police warnings of potential abuse by cannabis growers.[8] This was championed in parliament by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Joe Manduwa who argued that the plant could be a valuable alternative to tobacco.[8] The idea was supported by member of parliament and medical doctor, Hetherwick Ntaba who argued that it is non-addictive.

See Also[]


  1. AFRICA | Malawi Rastas' marijuana struggle. BBC News (2000-09-11). Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  2. Marijuana Cultivation Increases in Malawi - New York Times. Nytimes.com (1998-12-17). Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Marijuana Wikipedia : Malawi Gold. Marijuanatipster.com. Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Weed Inc. Pt. 1. YouTube (2010-09-08). Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  5. Malawi Gold smoke report - Bubbleman's Hideout. Fullmeltbubble.com. Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 UDF factions 'agree'. Bnltimes.com (2011-03-02). Retrieved on 2011-04-20.
  7. [1]
  8. 8.0 8.1 AFRICA | Legal hemp for Malawi?. BBC News (2000-04-24). Retrieved on 2011-04-20.

External links[]

This page uses some content from Wikipedia. See this Wikipedia article: Malawi Gold. The list of authors there can be seen in the page history there. As with the Cannabis Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.