The cannabis concentrate Hash first made its debut in the 9th century, and it remains popular to this day. Compared with solvent-derived concentrates, Hash is relatively simple to make and even easier to enjoy. With a cannabinoid range of 30-60%, its onset is headier than straight cannabis but manageable and smooth enough for beginners to enjoy.
Why not just buy Hash? Well, you could. But just like making cannabutter, learning to produce Hash can give you that satisfying feeling you got when you learned to make sourdough (or something) during lockdown. Like any favourite, well-worn recipe, the better you get, the more you can improve and experiment. And unlike producing concentrates, whose chemical solvents need to be safely and professionally purged in a laboratory setting, this is a recipe we will encourage you to try at home. Applying low, controlled heat, pressure, or water to cannabis biomass is a safe activity not unlike culinary cooking.
What is Hash?
Hashish or Hash is a cannabis concentrate made of the resin glands or trichomes of cannabis flowers. Simply put, the sticky part of the cannabis bud is removed using heat, cold, water, pressure, or a combination. Then, depending on the style of Hash you prefer, it is compacted into a ball, nugget, or block.
In many ways, concentrates and Hash are alike. The ultimate aim of both processes is to extract as many cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the cannabis plant. The differences become more apparent when you explore how their varieties are made and consumed.
Depending on the type of Hash, the process is straightforward. And often, there is no processing beyond the human hand or a press. For this reason, it often contains traces of plant material or biomass.
To learn more about Hash, read our article: “Hash 101: What is Hash?” (https://sacredmeds.com/hash-101-what-is-hash/)
The Benefits of Hash
As a cannabis concentrate, Hash offers familiar benefits to other cannabis concentrates. It is usually consumed by smoking it, whether by itself in a pipe or mixed with cannabis. The high is similar to the inhaled vapour or smoke of cannabis flowers, with a headier onset and more marked effects.
Hash can be used to stimulate a poor appetite, promote relaxation and sleep, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Used mindfully, Hash promotes productivity by improving focus and facilitating flow states. Homemade Hash can have anywhere between 30-60% cannabinoid content, primarily THC. The strain of cannabis flower and the method used will affect your homemade Hash’s potency.
DIY Hash: 3 Methods
The three most common ways to make Hash are bubble hash, dry sift, and hand rubbing. We’ll go from easiest to hardest, starting with Hand-rubbed Hash.
Method 1: Hand-Rubbed Hash
All you need to make Hand-Rubbed Hash is cannabis and your freshly washed hands. Traditionally used since Hash was first produced, this is one of the oldest and simplest ways to make it.
Rub the cannabis gently between your clean palms. Ensure that you’ve removed any sharp stems that might scratch you. As you begin rubbing the cannabis, you will soon notice sticky resin clinging to your skin. A dark layer of Hash will begin to form. The resin will begin accumulating so that you can roll it into a ball of ever-increasing size. Simple and satisfying, you can keep this ball in a glass jar to preserve its rich, concentrated terpene profile. This method is most often used with fresh cannabis that may still be attached to a live plant.
Method 2: Dry Sift Hash / Kief
What you’ll need:
3-5 Micron screens, ranging from about 25 to 220 microns
Cannabis flowers (https://sacredmeds.com/product-category/cannabis/flower/), shake, or trim
A baking tray or flat sanitary surface
About Micron Screens
You can purchase a set of micron screens designed specifically for making Hash. When purchasing different sizes of screens, remember that the smaller the number, the smaller the holes. 20-50 microns is very fine, whereas an upper limit would be around 75-220 microns. You can also get micron screen screens from your local art supply shop. These are typically used for screenprinting and come with handy frames that will contain the cannabis flower or shake.
Using a pair of gloves, begin rubbing the cannabis against the screen gently, breaking up buds. You can use a grinder to speed up the process, but gently pressing the cannabis will help preserve the delicate trichome formations and the terpenes and cannabinoids they hold.
If you’re using screens specifically made for hash production, each screen will capture particles that aren’t fine enough to drop to the screen below. You have the option of separating these layers or combining them once you’re finished processing the cannabis. You can either combine the different batches and press them to form a compact “puck”, or store them individually for future use. If you choose not to compact the batches into Hash, then you’ll have produced some mighty fine kief.
Method #3: Bubble Hash
Bubble Hash also goes by water hash, ice hash, and full-melt Hash. It is named for its solvent mixture, ice and water. While this method is far more involved than the hand-rub or dry-sift methods, the effort yields notable benefits. Bubble Hash tends to have a higher potency, often reaching 60% THC content, a smoother smoke, and a finer flavour.
What you’ll need:
3-4 ounces of cannabis buds / shake / or a combination
Bubble bags, 3-5 different micron sizes
15 pounds of ice
A 5-gallon bucket
Wooden spoons or dowels
Cheesecloth or any clean, dry cloth
Start layering your bucket using the bubble bags, aiming for 3-5 layers. Take time to tuck the edges neatly around the top of the bucket. Similar to working with micron sheets, the smallest or finest bubble bag goes in first (at the bottom), working up to the largest bag. Remember, the smaller the micron number, the finer the holes.
Next, add all of the cannabis to the bubble-bag-lined 5-gallon bucket. Top the cannabis with all of the ice, ensuring that it is fully covered and compacted. Then, pour the filtered water over the ice, ensuring that the cannabis below is fully submerged. Stir the mixture vigorously for about 20 minutes using a stir stick or wooden spoon. The goal is to agitate the mixture as much as possible without puncturing the bubble bag! Next, allow the stirred mixture to sit for about 30 minutes.
This process is intended to separate and freeze the trichomes so that they separate from the cannabis biomass (stems, leaves, etc). They separate into the water, filter through the bubble bags, and form a paste that is the final product, bubble hash.
After the cannabis settles, remove the first bubble bag and use the spoon to scrape off the trichome paste at the bottom. Cover a clean, flat surface with the cheesecloth or cloth. Scoop the fresh bubble hash onto the surface, gathering it together in its own mound. Repeat this process for all the bags. You will notice that the bubble hash moves from dark to light as it becomes finer. Once you have scraped out the final, finest bubble bag, gently compress the separate batches of wet bubble hash to squeeze out the extra water.
The result will be bubble hash, which you can enjoy immediately or store for later use.
Making Your Hash at Home
Crafting Hash, using any of these three methods is fun and rewarding. Unlike concentrates requiring professional chemical solvent purging, making Hash at home involves safe, culinary-like techniques. Homemade Hash, with 15-60% cannabinoid content, boasts diverse textures and can be consumed to stimulate appetite, promote relaxation, reduce pain, and more.
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