How To Make Hash?
Hash is a modern abbreviation of the word hashish. Traditionally, hashish comes from the regions of North Africa, through to Afghanistan, all the way up to the other side of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Asia, crisscrossing India, finally reaching the top of the Himalayas. That is quite the stretch!
How to make hash? First you must first understand what hash is. The main reason is that there are many different types of hash. Hash is a man-made by-product of the cannabis plant. It is the collection of massive quantities of resin glands that are pressed together really tightly, and smoked. That is it in a nutshell.
Before we start our journey, some word definitions. Resin glands have a scientific name – trichomes. In weed slang, we can abbreviate to just “triches”. The female plant does not produce pollen – this is a misconception. So pollen is never used to smoke or make hash. Only the male produces pollen it uses to fertilize the female plant to produce seed.
In India, they make charas while at the Mountain Rif of Morocco they make kief. Charas is darker than Afghani hash but produces a smoother smoke. In Nepal, you will find very potent stuff, while in Lebanon traditionally hash is quite weak. Despite their difference in color, taste, and potency, they are all essentially the same thing. Charas is made by rubbing your hands together to collect the resin and then feet to press the trichomes together – while in Morocco they use silk screens and mechanical presses.
There is no right or wrong way of how to make hash. Just different methods to achieve the same result – smokable brown/gold/dark stuff. The only wrong method is in the freak additives and fillers drug lords sometimes use with the sole intent of maximizing profits. Fortunately, nowadays, even that is starting to go away thanks to the internet. With more information available, quality product is in high demand. Nevertheless, making top quality hash at home has never been easier. You can easily find ready-made kits to buy online.
Each hash producing culture has their own time-old customs and traditions – but more importantly – they have their own endogenous cannabis strains. These are referred to as landrace cannabis strains. They are strains that are naturally adapted to those specific regions and are therefore grown year after year, for generations. The type of marijuana you use is the most important factor for great hash making. The better the strain, the better the hash. And who better to judge what the best strain is other than you?
There are two main approaches of how to make hash. One is just to produce the maximum quantity possible, the other to produce a more refined product. To make higher quality hash, a few extra steps are needed.
After you have harvested and dried your weed, you are now ready to collect the trichomes. This can be done in several ways, but the most efficient without using chemical solvents is by shaking or beating. Obviously, if you are just growing a couple of plants for yourself you may not want to destroy your top quality bud to make hash, but you can use all the leftover leaf and trim. Big grow ops will even use bud below a particular grade because it is not marketable. The weed is shaken and beaten between a silk screen and a recipient to collect the trichomes.
This is where the two main methods of how to make hash differ. For general hash making, you would use all the resin glands, as much as possible. For a more refined hash, you will use screens of different pore sizes to separate the trichomes by size – at a micron level.
You can quite easily find silk screen style fabrics from a range of 250 microns all the way down to 25 microns. A standard bubble-bag hash making kit will have 4 to 8 individual bags. The idea is to shake and beat your cannabis inside the top bag, and the trichomes will start separating by size. These screens will act as a sieve.
The general rule of thumb, the highest and lowest micron separations will be of worse quality. Somewhere in the middle between 140 and 60 micron is where the vast majority of the best hash is made from. This is, of course, highly dependent on the strain. Sativas tend to have longer and slimmer trichomes, which easily break off into smaller pieces, so you can go lower into the 40-micron range and still make top quality hashish. Indicas tend to have stalkier triches, so the best resin tends to get held up higher up in the micron range, 160 to 140.
From here on, the process is identical, whether you separate your triches or not. By now you should have a recipient (or several with different grades) full of powdery trichomes. This loose trichome collection we call kief (or keef). If you’ve made it so far, congratulations! This is now perfectly smokable but also very hard to handle. The gentlest of breezes can blow it all away, so beware. Best to compress it like the ancients taught us.
In Morocco, they just press the best kief gently and call it a day, the lower quality kief is densely compacted and traded abroad. It is the reason the best kief is golden color and block-hash is dark brown. Charas, on the other hand, is very dark. Color does not dictate quality.
To make hash, you need to compress it well, so the resin glands get molded into one piece, making it easy to manage and make joints. You can do it by hand, charas-style, and keep on pressing the trichomes together, making little balls of hash that keep growing in size. By doing it in this way, you are using your body heat and friction to heat the resin and helping it fuse together.
Alternatively, you can use a proper press, or very heavy object, or even a roller. Start by gently bundling up your hash into parchment paper (not wax paper) or similar, and start applying lots of pressure. Heat is your friend, but do not scorch! Keep adding to it, continuously turning it over and applying pressure until you are satisfied. Once you have one block that solidly holds up together, your mission is finally complete.
So there you have it. How to make hash.
There are other more modern methods out there to harness trichomes quicker and more efficiently. You can use solvents like CO2 or butane gas, dry ice, regular ice, and alcohol or isopropanol. All of these methods have pros and cons, some are very dangerous, potentially explosive, or even prohibitively expensive. Not recommended for beginners.
Practice making traditional hash to grasp the concept, how time-consuming it can be, and just how much you can make by yourself with the number of plants you grow. You will soon gain a greater appreciation for those who make traditional hash by hand by the quantity. It is a very labor-intensive ordeal.
You can buy all the hash in the world, nothing comes close to rolling a joint of your very own golden kief from your favorite strain, rather than smoking the unknown. So give it a try, hash can be very strong and get you very smashed!