Let’s kick things off with a definition of hashish, as described in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
“The concentrated resin from the flowering tops of female hemp plants (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) that is smoked, chewed, or drunk for its intoxicating effect.” – Source
In order to truly understand what hashish is, we need to acknowledge the duality it shares with the female Cannabis Sativa plant.
Let’s shed light upon the physical makings of the plant first: the rich and fibrous leafy structure which contains essential amino acids and boasts a host of benefits.
Now, let’s focus on the cannabis plant essence – also referred to as trichomes – which are directly responsible for the aromatic terpenes and cannabinoids used for medical and therapeutic purposes.
When trichomes – the cannabis plant essence – is separated from the plant material, that’s when hashish forms. This process takes place when ripe and resinous gland heads visible on top of the female cannabis plants are separated and then collected.
The above method, however, isn’t the only one in use for separating hashish from the main cannabis plant material as rapid cannabis legalisation in the west has given birth to new hash preparation methods, which are taking the legal hashish distribution market by storm.
Understanding Hashish’s Origins
Hashish is actually an Arabic word which more or less translates to “grass”. Widespread use dates back to AD 900 – however, some cannabis experts argue that methods referred to as “charas” – the personal collection of resin directly from the hands of cannabis harvesters – have existed even before the above period.
Hashish eventually found its way into the western world around the start of the 19th century, thanks largely to early European ventures and exploration into Africa. For many years, European doctors would
bring hashish home to study it, which led to the discovery of a variety of extraction methods, paving the way for refinement which inspired hashish-based medications.
As one might imagine, cannabis extractions formed a major part of western pharmacopoeia by the early 20th century – unfortunately, legal prohibition by US authorities around the same time meant that hashish was practically eradicated from the mainstream western medicine market, after which it found a home in the black market.
Are There Different Types of Hashish?
The 1960s, referred to many cannabis users as ‘the happy times’, led to the re-emergence of hashish. Morocco, Afghanistan and Nepal were among the first countries to export generous amounts of hashish to western nations, courtesy of rising interest among western tourists. At the time, the only hashish varieties that existed were the hard-pressed, brick-like types which were made from a process involving heat and pressure.
The introduction of the master sifter machine in the late 1980s saw a new method of making hashish – i.e. vibration to separate gland heads from the cannabis plant material. All the while, cannabis experts started experimenting with something called water extraction to make hashish – what we refer to as ice water extract or water hash today.
How to Make Hashish – Top 3 Ways
Described below are just some of the ways in which you can safely extract trichomes from the main cannabis plant and turn them into hashish. Follow these methods verbatim and the end result will be hashish that has physical consistency and provides for a distinct high and aroma.
This is undeniably the easiest way to make hashish and requires absolutely no equipment or materials at all. However, bear in mind that it can be a time-consuming process and will bear small yields at a time.
You’ll need to have clean hands and non-dried cannabis buds. Some cannabis users will say that it’s okay to use dried cannabis trimmings for this purpose, but that would be a mistake as it would not produce a desirable yield.
Even though it’s important to keep your hands very clean prior to the hand-rolling process, you should consider using a non-scented, non-residual soap, because we’re after organic results and don’t want any chemicals contaminating the hashish.
Placing the bud between your palms, gently roll it in a circular motion. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as this will contaminate the hashish with plant particles.
As you keep rolling, you will start to see a thick, black resin on your hands and fingers. This is more or less hashish or “charas”, as it is referred to in many South East Asian countries. Scrape the fresh hashish off your hands onto a clean surface and gently press it together until it forms a small ball or block.
This also happens to be among the easiest and most well-known ways of making hashish. Cannabis trimmings are sifted through a fine sieve to create a very potent kief – this can be later pressed into a block.
For optimal results, you should freeze the cannabis overnight in a ziplock bag, which will make it easier to separate the plant material from the trichomes. Before beginning, make sure you have a credit card, silkscreen, baking paper and cannabis trimmings.
Find a clean surface such as a kitchen top or table and place a sheet of baking paper on that surface. Make sure that sheet of paper is a bit bigger in diameter than your silkscreen. Place the silkscreen right above the baking paper.
Now, you want to place the cannabis trimmings on top of this silkscreen while making sure that any noticeably large pieces are broken into smaller ones. Using your hands, gently move around the trimmings in the silkscreen – this separates the plant material from the trichomes. Trace amounts of kief will start to form on the baking paper that’s beneath the screen.
Don’t stop moving the trimmings around until you see at least 10-20% kief beneath the sieve, in proportion to the trimmings you used. So for instance, if your trimmings amount to approximately 100g, then you should aim for 10-20g of kief.
Once you’ve completed sifting your trimmings, you need to press the collected kief. This is where the credit card comes in – form a uniform pile on the baking paper with the card and press it down into a thin hashish block.
Again, a very straightforward way of making hashish at home by simply using a few household items; you’ll need a coffee filter, a blender, cannabis trimmings, silkscreen, ice water and a fairly large glass jar.
Start by placing your trimmings in a blender full of ice and enough water to cover them completely. Blending for a minute approximately should yield a nice and thick, frothy mixture.
Drain the mixture through the silkscreen and into the large glass jar – this should be allowed to settle for at least 25-30 minutes. Now, pour about 2/3 of the blended mixture into the jar; you need to pour slowly otherwise some of the hashish at the bottom may be left behind.
Fill the jar all the way to the top with some more ice water and let the mixture settle for about 3 minutes. You need to repeat the previous two steps – pouring 2/3 of the water into the jar and adding more ice water to let the mixture settle for 3 minutes – before moving on to the final step.
However, before the final step can be executed, you must drain out all the water from the jar without losing any of that hashish. The remaining mixture can be strained using the coffee filter, after which it should be gently squeezed to remove excess water.
And now for the final step – the damp and cold mass you see after properly draining out the mixture is hashish. You’ll now need to dry it, after which it is ready for consumption.
What’s the Best Way to Consume Hashish?
This can be done in quite a few ways. Traditionally speaking, hashish has been taken orally as a solid or infused in a drink – such as the traditional Indian beverage “bhang”.
However, hashish can also be smoked in a cigarette or through a bong, either in itself or along with common cannabis flowers.
Certain varieties of hashish can melt away easily when vaporised on a hot surface – the process is referred to as dabbing. When dabbing hashish, screens need to be used, as resins sometimes leave carbon deposits behind since they may not melt properly.
A higher quality alternative is hashish oil like full-melt ice water hashish or full-melt dry sift which can actually melt completely on top of a nail, leaving no carbon deposits behind.
Since you may be just learning how to produce and consume hashish, you may want to consult a budtender in regards to the equipment that may be needed, in case you want to give something else a try other than the above 3 methods.
Closing – Hashish: The “Mainstream Cannabis”
Hashish is a widely consumed drug today, consumed both recreationally and medically. Products ranging from the traditional pressed varieties to full melt water types are available in nearly every market.
We hope this article has provided valuable insights into what hashish is and what are some of the most popular ways of making it, and consuming it.
Hashish has surely secured its place in the ever-changing cannabis industry, given the rise of the dabbing culture which has fuelled gravitation toward cannabis concentrates.