How to Make Hash: A Quick Guide
Cannabis, hashish, weed and grass have often been thought to mean the same thing. The truth is hash, in particular, is something quite different and relates to a specific part of the cannabis plant – the trichomes. If you didn’t know this, don’t worry.
A lot of people don’t.
Hashish, and its close cousin charas, was one of the first cannabis products to find it’s way into the Western psyche, mainly from Africa, at the beginning to the 19th Century. At the time and throughout the next hundred to two hundred years, hash was associated closely with mysticism and it’s still a favorite with many cannabis connoisseurs.
Today, we take a closer look at hash, what it is and, more importantly, how to make it at home.
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What is Hash?
The term trichomes comes from the Greek word for hair. Take a look at any plant flower and you’ll find tiny, almost microscopic, outgrowths. While these may be small, they’re actually pretty powerful and important. Think of the them as the mini cannabis factory – they produce a whole range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.
Cannabis trichomes aren’t just found in abundance on the flowers, you can get it from the trim leaves too. These leaves that can often appear to be redundant, but actually contain plenty of trichomes which can be harvested too and turned into hash.
Another word you will often hear for trichomes is ‘kief’ which refers to the small, bulbous crystal that forms at the end of the hair like structure. Mostly nowadays these two words are largely interchangeable.
The key for how to make hash well is in the extraction process as well as the preparation, which is carried out when the leaves have been dried and even cured. There are a number of ways that you can do this, some simple, some a little more complex.
If you fancy some hash and have a few dried buds handy, the good news is that you can have some ready in next to no time.
The Simplest Way to Make Hash
Hand rolling is the most common way to make hash quickly and effectively. You’ll find as you handle your plant, you’re going to get residue on your hand. This is mainly from the trichomes and is kind of a sticky resin. Before you go ‘yuck’, by rubbing your hands together you can bring all that resin together to make small buds of hash.
Of course, you need to collect a good deal of trichomes on your hands to make hash this way. And it can take quite a while, too. But, then again, you really shouldn’t let anything go to waste when it comes to harvesting your crop. Even a small amount of hash can give you hours of entertainment.
The other simple method is to collect the kief residue that often forms at the bottom of a grinder when you’re processing your buds. For this you’re going to need a small pollen press as well. These are pretty cheap and come in a variety of forms but are essentially designed to take that collected, slightly dusty residue and compact it into a block of hash.
All you need to do next with it is crumble a little into your next joint. Simple collect up all that residue, load it into your grinder and you’re almost ready to go.
Also known as flat screening, this is a little more complicated but easy nonetheless. You’ll need a silk screen with a very fine mesh to carry out this method of making hash. It’s a pretty efficient way of getting those finer trichomes separated from the rest of your harvest and basically involves sifting everything as finely as possible. Most people sift onto a clear surface like glass which makes it easy to see and collect the powdered residue.
This works great with trim and you’ll be surprised how much you collect with just a little bit of patience. You can, if you want to spend the extra money, nowadays get mechanical sifters that will do the job for you though that’s not much fun. It’s less mess and less time consuming, however, but you need to make sure you purchase a quality product. If you’re making a lot of hash, you may want to invest.
How to Make Hash Using a Blender
A more arduous method of making hash is to use a common or garden kitchen blender. First put all that harvested trim into the blender along with some water to cover. Next add some cubes of ice. Blend until everything is chopped fine.
Next, get a reasonably sized jar and some silkscreen. Place the silkscreen over the jar and pour your blended mix into it. You’ll find the fine trichomes and parts of trim will seep through into the jar. Leave this to settle for about 30 minutes. The hash, because it’s heavier, will settle in the bottom. Once it has, pour out about two-thirds of the liquid and then add some fresh, ice cold water. Let it settle again. Repeat.
If you do this about four or five times, you should get a high quality hash left over. All you need to do then is filter it through a coffee filter and then let the kief dry. You don’t need to heat it up or press it, the hash can be used straight away.
Using Dry Ice
This method can be a little more difficult but if you don’t mind handling dry ice it produces a pure hash that is better tasting and more powerful. You’ll need a few extras bits of equipment here. First, there’s a bubble bag which is designed to filter your hash. These are readily available online and shouldn’t cost much and are always a good investment anyway.
The key is the size of the mesh. If you want a really pure end product, then you need to go for around 73 µm. With this kind of product you should always go for quality so don’t be afraid of spending a little bit more.
You’ll also need a decent size bucket, dry ice and a pair of safety gloves. The first thing to do is to collect all your cannabis and trim, in fact everything that you want to make the hash from. Put it in your bucket with the dry ice and stir around (remembering to wear your safety gloves). Stir it and give it a shake. What this should do, in conjunction with the dry ice, is separate the resin from the plant material.
Next comes the tricky stage. Make sure you have a reasonably large, flat surface to work on. Take your bubble bag, put it over the top of the bucket and turn over, making sure you have secure hold of everything. This is going to take a bit of shaking and rocking to get all the fine, powdered hash to
come through. Use some card to pull it all together on the surface once you have finished. You may have to work for a while to get every last ounce out of the bucket but the effort is well worth it.
Once you’ve finished you can create a hash block using a pollen press.
What is Charas?
If you’re learning how to make hash, you’ve probably come across the word charas. This is a form of hash that originally comes from areas like Pakistan and India. Charas is made from live cannabis cuttings rather than dried and harvested plants and produced in balls and sticks which are then smoked in a specialist pipe called a chillum.
It’s easy to do if a little messy. You need to be quite gentle, using a rubbing and squeezing method on the buds you have collected to get the resin out. By consistently rubbing you should be able to make a ball of resin that is then ready to smoke. If you want to save it for later, you can wrap it in plastic film to make sure it stays moist.
Choosing the Right Method
While there is no right way to make hash, a lot will depend on what you want to achieve. For most people, the handroll or dry sifting method is usually the most efficient. If you want higher quality, however, the other methods outlined are going to work better.
Much will also depend on the amount of money you want to spend. A mechanical drum for sifting, for example, can set you back at least a few hundred dollars for a quality machine. The good news is that there’s a hash making method for every budget and you ca always try different ones to see what works for yu.
How to Smoke Your Hash
Finally, you can take your hash in a variety of ways. You can add it to food and drinks in the traditional way or put it with tobacco and smoke in a joint. Others use it for dabbing and it’s often used with hash oils nowadays. What you should always remember, however, is that hash is generally a lot stronger than ordinary cannabis buds so be careful how much you use at any one given time.