Hashish, otherwise known as hash, is a marijuana concentrate made of compressed kief, which is essentially cannabis pollen. Kief is made of the dried trichomes and resin that’s the source of marijuana’s cannabinoids, or active ingredients. This means that hash is incredibly potent and has a high percentage of cannabinoids such as THC.
How Is Hash Made?
Unlike many other cannabis concentrates, making hashish doesn’t require heavy duty equipment or solvents. A basic version of hash resin is easy to make using the kief left over from grinding marijuana flower. Many people use weed grinders with three chambers and allow the kief to collect in the bottom chamber. Once a significant amount of kief has accumulated, it can be rubbed between the hands until it begins to stick together and form a ball of hashish.
Manufacturers who make hash on a large scale use a series of screens to filter kief away from the marijuana trimmings. Well-filtered dry sift kief should be yellow like pollen and free of any green plant material. After gathering a large amount of kief, it’s put into a hash press to make blocks or discs of hash.
Different Types of Hash
There are many different types of hash to be found as one travels around the globe. Hashish types differ according to how the kief is extracted, and the methods used can result in finished products that look and feel very different. Hash can range from gummy and sticky to drier and more crumbly.
Dry Ice Hash
The goal with sifting kief from cannabis plant material is to obtain the largest amount of kief possible. The dry ice extraction method maximizes kief yield through putting chunks of dry ice in a filter bag with the cannabis. This freezes the trichomes, causing them to break off more easily. The bag is shaken, allowing the kief to sift through into a collection bin below. The kief is then pressed into hash. The kief for dry ice hash will typically be more of a green color than regular dry sift, as the ice extraction method often causes plant material to break off and contaminate the product.
Ice Water Hash
Also known as “bubble hash,” ice water hash involves using ice water to filter the kief out of marijuana plant material. The process starts with “bubble bags” – bags with filter screens in the bottom of them. Manufacturers layer three to five filter screen bags inside a bucket to progressively filter the kief through smaller and smaller screens. Buds, shake, or trim are added to the bag and topped with ice and then water. The ice and cannabis are mixed to freeze and break off the trichomes before they’re allowed to settle and fall through the screens.
Once the water is squeezed out of the residue that collects on each screen, the result is various grades of bubble hash – some that are ultra-filtered and some that are lower-grade and barely-filtered.
The process for making Lebanese hash (Lebanon hashish) requires the marijuana harvest to be hung and dried before the buds are rubbed over a silk cloth to separate the kief. The kief is then stored and further aged before it’s pressed into Lebanese hash.
Turkish hash is well-known due to its extremely high quality and is typically manufactured from marijuana grown in the Anatolia region of Turkey. Although hashish is illegal in Turkey, the country is responsible for 4% of the global production of kief, and the tradition of growing marijuana and making hash have been passed down there for hundreds of years.
The traditional method for making Moroccan hashish involves covering a large bowl with a filter and putting plant material on top of it. The bowl and plant material are tightly wrapped in plastic before the material is pounded with sticks to break off the trichomes. The kief falls down through the filter to be collected in the bowl before being made into hash. The final product is also known as “Moroccan black hash” due to its dark and rich color.
How to Consume Hash
In addition to its strength, one of the reasons hash is so popular is due to its versatility. It’s easily wrapped up in parchment paper and toted around, and it can be consumed in a variety of ways.
Wrapped in a Joint
One of the most popular ways to smoke hash is to break it up and distribute bits of it throughout the flower in a joint. This makes for an incredibly potent and flavorful smoke.
Smoked in a Pipe
Another common way of smoking hashish is in a pipe. It can be added into a bowl of flower or balled up and dropped in by itself. It’s a good idea to use a fine mesh screen to keep the hash from being sucked in through the pipe.
For those who don’t want to smoke hash, it can also be vaporized. However, it’s important to use a vaporizer or vape pen that’s equipped to handle hash and other concentrates. Otherwise, the hash residue may ruin the vape.
As an alternative to hash smoking, many people also enjoy infusing it into potent marijuana edibles. This can be done by making cannabutter with hash (cooking the hash and butter together for 25 to 30 minutes to make sure it’s decarboxylated and the cannabinoids have been activated). Hash can also be decarboxylated by placing it on a baking sheet and putting it in a 250-degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 20 minutes; after this, it can be ground and mixed into savory dishes, teas, etc.
Hash vs Marijuana: Differences in Effects
Because hash is a type of marijuana concentrate, hashish effects are much stronger than those caused by consuming regular flower. This is because it’s made of the trichomes – resinous glands that contain marijuana’s cannabinoids, or active ingredients. Two of the cannabinoids found in greatest concentrations in cannabis are THC and CBD.
THC is the cannabinoid that’s responsible for marijuana’s euphoric high. In hash, THC percentages are much higher than in marijuana buds. This is why hash effects typically involve an intense high that many people describe as leaving them more clear-headed. Specific effects will depend on what strain of marijuana the kief is harvested from (with sativa strains creating more stimulating effects and kief from indica plants causing relaxation).
Another cannabinoid found in cannabis is CBD. It’s known for its relaxing and anxiety-calming effects as well as its ability to counterbalance the psychoactive effects of THC. While it’s found in marijuana strains, hemp is also an abundant source of CBD. In fact, many manufacturers sell hemp-derived CBD kief – a product that can be purchased in places where marijuana cannot.
Known as the original marijuana concentrate, hash has been around for centuries. Cannabis novices often have questions about exactly what hash is, its effects, and how it’s made. Here are some of the questions that arise most frequently.
What is hash?
Hash is a marijuana concentrate that comes pressed into blocks or balls. Pieces of hash can be broken off and smoked, or it can be decarboxylated and sprinkled into food or drinks. Hash is made from the resin of the marijuana plant and is significantly stronger than dried flower.
Is hash weed?
Technically, yes – hash is marijuana. However, hash is only made from a portion of the marijuana plant. Good hash will only include the resinous trichomes of the plant – essentially, the marijuana pollen. Hash that contains large portions of plant material is considered low in quality.
How is hash made?
Hashish is made by separating the kief from the rest of the plant and turning it into blocks or balls of hash. There are a variety of kief extraction methods (from using silk screens to sift it to using ice to freeze and break off the trichomes).
What’s the difference between hash and marijuana?
When comparing hash vs marijuana, the two major differences are the form and strength of each product. Hash is a sticky and sometimes crumbly block or ball that is extremely potent. Meanwhile, marijuana flower consists of dried herbs that are not as potent as hash when smoked or ingested orally.
How do I go about smoking hash?
Hashish can be crumbled up and sprinkled throughout a joint or on top of a bowl in a pipe or bong. It can also be smoked by itself in a bowl. People also enjoy decarboxylating (heating and activating) hash and adding it to edible food and beverages.
Hash: The Original Cannabis Concentrate
People around the world have enjoyed hashish for hundreds of years – from people smoking hand-rolled charas in India to customers perusing the selection of hash at cannabis dispensaries in Colorado. Mixed with flower, rolled up with tobacco, or dropped into a pipe and smoked by itself, a small amount of hash delivers the high of a much larger amount of marijuana bud. While extraction/manufacturing equipment and consumption methods may have changed over time, consumers still enjoy the intensity of effects offered by hash – the original cannabis concentrate.
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