After India, Nepal and Pakistan, Afghanistan was next on my list, for its unique weed growing culture. In short, decades of conflict have stalled economic development and largely cut Afghanistan off from the rest of the world. Once in town, I noticed a few weed plants growing around people’s houses, probably planted for personal use. The further we drove from the centre, the more conspicuous the weed plants became among the neighbouring cotton fields – until, finally, they occupied entire plots of land. This traditional method filters the cannabis resin, making it more concentrated – a practice that likely originated somewhere between northern Iran and northern Afghanistan in the Middle Ages.