What The Hell Is Hash?

Bubble hash, ice water hash, Afghani hash, Moroccan hash . . . the names are many, but hash itself is actually quite simple.

Hash has been around since at least 900 AD, but many figure its roots go far deeper into history. Either way, “hashish” which loosely translates into “grass” in Arabic, was used medically in the United States for about 100 years before “Reefer Madness” caused it’s prohibition.

With legalization beginning to emerge, techniques for extraction of hash are seeing a technology boom, but hash in it’s simple form can be made in your house without risk of blowing up your living room.

So What The Hell Is It?

If you’ve seen a marijuana plant, you’ve seen those little hairs that are called “trichomes”. Trichomes are the part of the plant that contain the cannabinoids (the most popular of which is THC) and the terpenes which are the flavors, aromas and many of the medical benefits of cannabis.

trichomes-closeup-on-purple-budBasically, you separate the trichomes, press them, an viola! You have hash! But it’s the extraction technique that can make all the difference in world as to the potency and quality of hash.

Hash is typically considered “solventless” and has a potency of 20%-60%, but modern solvent based extraction methods are yielding 70%+ concentration and are more associated with vaping and dabbing than smoking.

Which leads us to how it’s consumed. Again, there are many forms. In the early days hash was literally just eaten or put into a tea and used for medicinal purposes. Dry sift and bubble hash are typically smoked either alone, infused in a joint with flower, or even placed in a bong or pipe. Hash oil is either vaped or placed on a hot nail and “dabbed”. Either way, be careful. Hash is potent and packs a bigger punch than plain cannabis flower.

What Are The Effects?

THC itself is actually a fairly clear headed chemical when ingested. It’s the terpenes that often give it it’s “stony” effects. So for many people the effects of hash are more clear headed, but also much more concentrated so a little “dab” will do you. My personal experience is that hash is my go-to when I want to stay functional and get inspired and not be locked into my couch with marshmallows and peanut butter.

The best way to find how it will effect you is to either put a small amount in a joint or pipe with some flower and dip your toes in the hash pool lightly. As you get more accustomed to it’s effects, you can try smoking it straight. For me the flavor and aromas are great with hash, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Try a small chunk of hash in a pipe, take a small hit (it will hit faster than you think) and let it settle for a couple of minutes. If you don’t overdo it, you will have a nice clean head high that will make mundane tasks much more enjoyable. But no ladies, don’t smoke this when you have to visit your boyfriend’s mother and listen to her talk for hours.

How Is It Made?

In order to create hash you have to separate the plant matter from the trichomes as much as possible. The purer the sift, typically the lighter the color. The sifting process yields a product known as “kief”. Kief itself can be put into joints, on top of bong loads or in your pipe and enjoyed as a potent kicker to your smoking experience.

kief-dry-sift-solventless-concentrate1The separating process is where you see a lot of the technology boom. The “OG” way is where you literally just use a screen and plant matter that has been chilled as cold as you can get it and the trichomes just fall off. This is called “dry sift”. The dry sift is then compressed into semi solid brick and sold off in pieces.

drysiftThe other popular method is called “ice water hash” or “bubble” hash in which you use cannabis placed in a bucket that contains a series of different sized filters to strain the trichomes off. Ice is added to the cannabis and then water tops it off. The mixture is stirred and then strained creating different levels of purity in each filter as you go down. Dry ice can also be used in place of ice water for a simpler extraction. But be careful not to sift too long as this will embed more of the plant matter in the hash and decrease it’s purity.


Eventually, your process will yield stuff that looks like this:


What’s The Bottom Line?

For me, the bottom line is that hash is AWESOME. In many ways I prefer it over flower. The only thing you have to beware of is that it’s potency is noticeably higher, so treat it like you would a liquor compared to beer. Dip your toes in slowly and find your footing. Also, making hash is as much an art as a process, so different processors can yield different quality of products. Not all hashes are created equal. So try a few different ones before you make your decision as to whether it will make your cannabis roster or not.

American Hash Makers

When I was in Seattle recently at the Wick & Mortar Mixer event at the top of the Columbia Tower downtown, I ran into the people from American Hash Makers and talked a little shop with them. Take a look at the video below for me. Also, don’t forget to FOLLOW and SHARE this article with your friends, my babies. Perhaps over a brick of hash? I’m just sayin’ . . .

Power To The Flower.

Scojo The Herb Advisor

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