One of the earliest forms of cannabis concentrate which has been in use for at least 900 years, found naturally from the finest growing bud at foothills of the Himalayas Mountain. Despite the invention of new and modern cannabis concentrate like shatter, live resin etc., hash still remains one of the best and most potent of cannabis concentrate.
Where does it originate from?
The name “hash” was derived from an Arabic word, which means “grass”. Studies have shown that hash had its origin dated back to the northern Indian. A specie of cannabis (indica) was found to grow freely in this part of the world, this shows how the Indians were not so shy to incorporate hash into their religion, social and medical practices.
In the early century, the Arabians (Afghanistan being the largest producer of hash worldwide) were introduced to hash by the Indians, followed by the Europeans in the 18th century and was first mentioned scientifically by Gmelin in 1777. As luck would have its way, Europeans were quick to accept hash and a major widespread which was propelled by big notable elite of the society were seen. Presently, where we have countries and states that have legalized cannabis smoking, there is high production of hash.
What is hash?
One would wonder how a single cannabis plant has a lot of concentrates which can be gotten right from the seed, leaves, and roots. Same can also be said of the tiny resin glands called “trichomes”, found to form a sticky layer and usually to grow mostly on top of female flowers of a cannabis plant. Trichomes are found to contain higher proportion cannabinoids (20-60% THC) and terpenes. Hash like I said earlier is a type of cannabis concentrate, gotten by separation of this resin glands (trichomes) from the main plant and merge together under pressure (handmade) or using a modern technique which will be talked about during the course of this article.
Technique used in hash production
Due to its existence for over many years in different regions, it’s of no surprise how different technique has evolved over the years from the old simple method to a more sophisticated ones.
- Finger hash method
- Dry-sift hash method
- Master-sifter hash method
- Bubble hash method
Finger hash method: also called hand-rubbed hash, regarded has the oldest method known to man, still in use in some part of the world (India) till today. Starts with the rubbing of the dry buds with both hands (should be clean and dry), resulting in sticky resin all over the hands. The resin are then scrapped off, gathered and mashed into patties. Great care should be done when extracting the resin by rubbing slowly and gently to avoid plant part from getting caught between your resin (which appears as green color). Once your resin is smooth, hard, sticky and brownish- black in color shows you’ve done a good job. Mashed hash can be stored and tightly wrapped up in a plastic film to avoid drying out.
Dry-sift hash method: this method also uses hand-rubbing technique but made little bit easier and less messy due to the use of screens and collection trays. Dry buds with trichomes are rubbed across a woven screen causing falling off of trichomes into the collection trays placed at the other end of the screen. Concentrate collected into trays are known as kief( precursor to hash), kief are collected, pressed together into bricks.
Bubble hash method: imagine mesh filters are placed in a bucket filled with ice, water and your cannabis. In a way, you are trying to freeze your cannabis plants so as isolate your trichomes (ice water extract). Studies have shown, if this method was carried out in the right way, you can have as high as 60% THC present in your hash (having a light to dark brown color). All you need do is stir/mix this mixture present in your bucket until you get a thick mix. Pass your solution (mix) through 4-5 mesh screen filter to isolate resin. After isolation, you can then mash and press your isolated resin into your hash.
Master-sifter method: hash making using other methods can be a little bit messy, tedious and time wasting most times. I mean imagine how your hands would look after series of bud rubbing? Not so good yeah! Well, thanks to John Gallardi whose invention in the 1980’s called “MASTER SIFTER” machine gave the western world the resurgence needed in the production of hash. The machine works using mechanical vibrations to separate trichomes directly from the cannabis bud and processed directly into hash. Hash were proceed in a faster way and was free of impurities since plants part were removed from passing into the resin.
Several types of hash were made basically due to their mode of production, we have;
- Lebanese hash
- Bubble hash
- Royal border hash
- Charas hash
- Super Nepalese hash
- Moroccan slate hash.
Lebanese hash: cannabis plants used in production of lebanese hash were left for a longer period to dry out, resulting in a much drier buds. After which, they are rubbed gently over fabrics to remove the resin from the plants. Resin is then gathered, mashed under pressure into slabs or bricks.
Bubble hash: one of the most popular hash types, known for its bubble hash method production (ice water extract), which retains up to 60% THC in hash.
Royal border hash: commonly seen among the Afghanistan (land of hash-making varieties of cannabis), also called Afghani royal hash. Mode of preparation similar to IWE, mainly from afghan kush (a specific strain of Cannabis indica)
Charas hash: one of the purest and oldest hash type because of its peculiarity among the northern Indian. Has appearance similar to the royal border hash but its mode of preparation is through the use of finger hash method. Made from live female flowers picked 2-3 weeks before full maturity.
Super Nepalese hash: as the name implies “NEPAlese”, this hash has its origin from Nepal. Specific to a particular specie of cannabis (indica). Mode of preparation is by hand method with a sticky soft appearance.
Moroccan slate hash: popular among the people in North Africa, ketama area in morocco. Less potent with aromatic smell. Mode of preparation is by bubble hash method.
How to light up your hash
Alas! We’ve gotten to the most interesting part of this article. Let’s see how we can get all these hash into our system.
Regular joint: since we all have our taste for everything in life which varies individually, some people like to roll their hash with tobacco (tobacco joint). Also been described as the classical way to smoke hash which is seen among the Europeans. Make sure you grind your hash well before mixing with tobacco, fill your joint and pack it up to the shape of your joint, slowly walk your way down the rest of the joint, tucking and sealing it at intervals.
Vaporize: also known as vaping. Here, your hash is heated (not burnt) at a very high temperature usually around 190 degrees centigrade without the release of carbon products. The volatile oil (cannabinoid and THC) present in the hash all turns to vapor making it rather safe than burning.
Bongs and water pipes: preferred choice for smokers for over thousands of years. Often use to filter and cool smokes from hash before inhaling.
Hot knives: not common among cannabis smokers, practiced mostly in New Zealand. A low cost method of smoking and quite dangerous involving combustion of hash between two heated knives. Are now being replaced by new low cost vaporizers.
Glass method: you will need an ordinary water glass, straw, and your hash and a cigarette. The technique behind this is to capture the smoke in the water glass. Make a whole with a pin in the middle of your cigarette, cut cigarette to the shape of your glass and insert with the pin sticking up. Put your dab of hash on top and light it. Note, this method only applies to a clay-like hash.
Dabbing: for years, dabbing has been considered an outcast subculture within the world of cannabis and its concentrate. This method uses vaporizing device called rigs that look like bongs, a nail made from titanium to hold your weed instead of a bowl. Dabber heats the nail with a blowtorch and uses a metal tool to vaporize a dab of concentrate on the nail. It will immediately combust into smoke which you can cover with a carb cap and suck in the clean smoke.
Cannabinoids (THC and terpenes ) are found to be the major constituents in hash.
Traditionally hand-made hash has 20-50% THC levels and for the hash produced by bubble method, THC level can be as high as 605 upwards. Somewhat, studies have shown that hash has over 3-6 times THC seen in dried buds(10-20%).
How can I consume my hash without burning or vaporizing? Well, it’s not a news anymore that you can eat your hash directly. In fact, direct eating of your hash has been regarded as the oldest way to consume hash. You might decide to spice it up by using your hash as ingredients, make hash butters, baked and add to drinks. But care must be taken when consuming hash directly due to its long lasting effect.
This long lasting effect was traced back to the liver metabolism of delta-9 THC compound (THC form present in cannabis plant) into 11-hydroxy-THC(more potent)
Hash produced can be introduced to teas, beverages as seen among traditional indian. It was called “bhang” which has medicinal effect.
How long can you get high with hash?
Hash effect are normally felt after the second hit, more reason why it was advised to take one hit first and observe how it feels to prevent any undesirable effect. 10-30 minutes after smoking, you would expect your hash to have reach its peak in the body. Depending on the potency of your hash, duration of high usually last for about 3-4 hours.
For hash ingested edibles, it takes a little longer to start its effect, around 30-60 minutes. Having far stronger and long lasting effect (duration up to 6 hours).
A number of factors determines the exact potency of hash produced. Factors like strength and strain of cannabis plant itself, and the method of hash production all plays important role in the determination of how potent your hash is. Plant residue reduces hash potency and purity, so you don’t expect hash made by hand method to be more potent than hash made by “Master- sifter “machine due to the machine’s ability to eliminate plant residue much better. Studies have shown that” Ice Water Extraction” still remain the best possible method for kief separation because frozen trichomes separates better than when at room temperature.
Furthermore, strength of cannabis plant used in creation of your kief will also determine the potency of hash formed.
The way cannabis plant influence the potency of hash, also affect the effect of hash consumption. Generally, hash can either be gotten from some species of cannabis like Sativa, Indica, or hybrid strains.
Hash produced from indica will create more of body shock experience (couch-lock), while the ones from sativa plants will give a more energetic and euphoric effect.
After effects of smoking hash has always been known to be much lesser than smoking the regular buds. Such that hash smokers could still perform different creative activities without feeling much of the after effect weakness that comes from smoking of cannabis.
Wide recognition has been given to hash, being one of the oldest forms of cannabis concentrate which contain cannabinoids and terpenes, with many couple of low-budget ways to create your own hash (handmade method). So, next time you feel like enjoying your cannabis without inhaling burnt plant matter and receiving strong dose of cannabinoids at the same time, think of hash!