What is Hash?
Maybe you tried it once before and haven’t stopped thinking about it since, or maybe the term popped into your subconscious without you fully realizing why it’s on your mind.
You’ve heard of it, your dad has heard of it, your grandpa probably tried it on a trip in his twenties, but here I will be answering the question “what is hash?”.
In the beginning there was fire, then cannabis, then humans discovered the benefits of combining the two together. There was harmony.
Eventually, busy minds got to work on ways to create more potent cannabis products and hash (or hashish) was born.
Hash is comprised of tightly compacted cannabis resin containing potent trichome heads and ranging in color from gold to dark brown.
Hash dates back to 11th century Persia and traveled the Silk Road out of Asia to the Middle East.
The original hash was known as charas and was produced by collecting the resin gathered from rubbing growing cannabis plants together, this resulted in a more potent collection of trichomes.
I did mention this was “abridged” so skipping to the 19th century the medical benefits of hash were well known as a treatment for pain, headaches, loss of appetite, and depression.
However, by the 20th century medical use of hash lost favour due to the use of medicines specifically designed to treat these ailments (pharmaceuticals).
By the 1960s most of the hash was imported from Morocco, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Anecdotally, Moroccan hash is wonderful if ever given the opportunity.
To understand the hash extraction process, it’s important to know that much of the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes (the stuff you want) is produced and housed in tiny, delicate, crystalline structures along the surface of the buds.
The purpose of hash extraction is to break off, separate, and collect these potent trichomes from your cannabis. This means that there is no single method to producing your own hash and if you can figure out a way to concentrate the trichomes of cannabis plants into hash you can name the method after anything you want.
Traditional finger hash is created by rubbing your hands along the cannabis flowers.
As you do this the sticky trichomes will build on your hands.
You can then rub your hands together to roll and remove the sticky residue, which when balled up can be considered a type of hash.
Dry sift hash means that the hash has been separated through physical agitation - think about the kief in the bottom of your grinder.
Well dry sift hash is passed through a series of fine mesh screens that allow the trichomes to pass through without the added plant matter. Trichomes can be separated by pushing them through a screen or using a mechanical tumbler.
By the final screen you will end up with a potent mix predominately composed of cannabinoid and terpene containing trichomes which can then be compressed into bricks of hash.
The traditional forms of hash making can be time consuming and as innovators we’ve figured out methods of speeding up the process.
Trichomes become more brittle and easier to dislodge when cold.
Another alternative method of producing hash involves soaking the flower in a bucket of ice-water and passing it through a series of porous bags. By soaking the cannabis in ice-water and agitating the water the brittle trichomes fall to the bottom and collect in your final bag. The final product is your potent hash which you can then dry out and consume.
What you will need to complete this process is a large vessel filled with cold water (as cold as possible) and a series of collection bags with varying levels of filtration (filter bags from largest to smallest).
These porous hash making bags are often called bubble bags and for an example of what they look like and where to purchase them check out this site (https://www.bubblebag.com/instructions_bubblebags.html).
With great power comes great responsibility.
Loaded with knowledge about hash how will you choose to use it?
The medical, therapeutic, and recreational benefits of hash are well known, and consuming concentrates rather than smoking flower will lead to less organic plant material in your lungs (which is good).
If you choose to make hash or have experience making hash, drop your tips below.
As always, stay lifted.