Are you looking for a more elevated experience over traditional cannabis flower? If so, try hashish (hash), an ancient and concentrated form of cannabis that has been around for millennia and used for spiritual, religious, and alternative purposes, or just to get high.
If you want to learn more about hash, our comprehensive hash guide for beginners breaks down the origins of hash, different types of hash, and how to make and use hash at home. Ready for your crash course on all things hash? Let’s get started!
What Is Hash?
Hash is usually a dense and sticky resin made from cannabis trichomes. Trichomes are tiny hair-like structures that contain cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds are responsible for a strain’s effects, aroma, and flavour.
Kief is a collection of trichomes that can be compressed and moulded into various forms, including balls and slabs, to create hash. This cannabis concentrate comes in a wide range of colours and has a dark brown exterior.
Cannabis or hash can be further processed through extraction to create hash oil products. Hash oil is an extract that can be eaten, smoked, vaped, or applied topically to the skin. Vaporizing hash is also known as “dabbing.”
Compared to flower, hash and hash oil products have significantly higher cannabinoid levels. Hash can contain up to 50% THC, while hash oil products can reach up to 99.9% THC. Cannabis flower’s THC levels range between 1% and 30%.
History of Hash
Hash has a long history in ancient cultures, dating back thousands of years to the 12th and 13th centuries. Hash consumption began in the Middle East and Central Asia for spiritual, religious, and alternative purposes.
Charas, one of the earliest forms of hash, is produced by rubbing live cannabis buds together. Eventually, woven sieves were created for agricultural purposes and used to separate cannabis resin from the dried plant.
Hash’s popularity spread through Africa and then Europe and the United States in the 18th century. In the U.S., hashish was commonly sought for its many benefits in the 19th century until prohibition.
Today’s hash is similar to traditional hash, but its definition has expanded beyond its original roots. Modern extraction technologies are used to create hash oil products, such as shatter, wax, crumble, live resin, and rosin.
Different Types of Hash and Cannabis Concentrates
Hash usually refers to solventless resin extracts, but modern-day processing technology has created a wide range of hash oil products made using chemical solvents in lab-grade facilities. Here is a primer on the different hash types and cannabis extracts.
Kief is a collection of trichome resin glands that are separated from mature cannabis plants. Dry sifting involves a series of micron screens placed on top of each other and the use of agitation to break off and separate the trichomes from the plant material.
Dry Sift Hash
Dry sift kief can be converted into dry sift hash, one of the most popular types of hash, by compressing the kief. Dry sift kief is made by rubbing the dried cannabis against a mesh screen to separate the trichomes.
Hand-rubbed hash, commonly produced in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Afghanistan, is made by gently hand-rubbing the plant material to collect the resin. Although this is the most traditional way to make hash, it can be time-consuming and produces a cruder hash with more plant matter.
Bubble hash, also known as ice water or ice-o-lator hash, is made using ice water and a series of mesh-screen bags over a large bucket. In the bag-lined container, the cannabis is agitated, breaking off the trichomes that fall through the sieves for collection.
Live Ice Hash
Live ice hash has a similar production process as regular bubble hash but is made with freshly frozen cannabis flower instead of dried cannabis buds. “Live” extracts are known for having a better flavour and aroma than extracts made from dried plants.
Solvent-Based Cannabis Extracts
Solvent-based extracts can also be called hash oil products. Solvents used include hydrocarbons, ethanol, and supercritical carbon dioxide. Most solvent-based extractions are performed in commercial facilities featuring various safety measures and technologies to deal with flammable and explosive gasses.
Common types of solvent-based extracts include:
- Shatter – brittle, glass-like
- Crumble – crumbly, dry
- Budder – thick, buttery
- Wax – thick, sticky
- Live Resin – grainy, saucy; made from fresh-frozen cannabis
- Terp Sauce – cannabinoid diamonds and terpene liquid mixture
- Distillate – oily with a high cannabinoid level
- Isolate – diamond-like or powdery with up to 99.9% cannabinoid levels
SOLVENTLESS BASED CANNABIS EXTRACTS
Solventless concentrates are manufactured without the use of solvents as the name suggests. For those who prefer a cleaner extraction process, solventless methods are created through mechanical means (heat, pressure), without the need for chemical extraction.
Rosin is made out of cannabis, kief, or hash. A rosin press applies heat and pressure to squeeze out the resin from the cannabis plant matter.
Live rosin undergoes the same rosin process but is made from ice water hash.
How to Determine the Quality of Hash
Hash quality can be hard to gauge without buying the product first, but here are a few factors to consider.
Is your hash made from low-grade trim or shake or high-quality fresh-frozen material? Everything from strain genetics to the plant’s environmental growing conditions can affect the quality of the hash.
High-quality hash should not smell grassy or musty, which can indicate low quality and poor storage/production methods. Hash should have a pleasant and complex aroma that reflects the original strain’s smell.
Hash appearance differs based on various production factors. Hash ranges from light golden yellow to a dark brown or dark green colour. The brown exterior is caused by oxidation. Low-quality hash can be completely black or green, indicating poor storage conditions and higher concentrations of plant matter in the extract.
Hash should have a soft and crumbly texture, not be hard. Hardened hash can be due to age. High-quality hash should have a soft and sandy consistency.
How does the hash make you feel? High-quality hash delivers blissful effects that vary depending on the strain. Bad hash can taste harsh and make you feel worse than better.
Higher prices generally correlate with better quality hash, although there are exceptions. Cheap hash may be made from trim, while higher-quality hash uses top-tier buds and special extraction methods. Solvent-based hash products are usually more expensive.
The melt test refers to how the hash reacts to heat. There are different grades of hash depending on how they react to heat. If it melts with just your body heat, it is high quality. Full melt, six-star hash refers to a hash that melts without leaving behind residue.
How Do You Use Hash?
Ready to experience a potent and flavorful experience? There are many ways to enjoy hash products.
Dabbing is the most popular form of consumption. Hash is applied to a heated dab nail connected to a dab rig or electronic rig (e-rig) and inhaled through the mouthpiece when vaporized. E-nails provide you with precise temperature control.
Elevate your bowls and joints with a dash of hash mixed in with flower. If necessary, gently heat the hash to make it more pliable.
Take your hash on the go with disposable hash oil products or portable vaporizers that can handle oil extracts.
Infuse a bit of extra potency into your favourite meals or beverages by making hash-infused butter or oil to cook with. Hash may need to be decarboxylated (heated) to activate the cannabis compounds.
Hash can also be used to make a wide range of topicals, including creams, lotions, salves, and more. Mix your hash with a carrier oil (coconut, MCT, etc.) and add essential oils and other ingredients for fragrance.
How Do You Make Hash?
Making hash is easy, affordable, and fun. Methods range depending on location and desired product. Here are a few ways you can make your own hash at home and how it’s made commercially using different extraction methods.
Dry sifting uses fine mesh screens to filter the trichomes from the plant. The plant is mechanically or manually agitated to break off the trichomes, to be pressed later into hash.
Ice Water Extraction
Ice water extraction uses ice, water, buckets, and “bubble bags” to collect trichomes. Cannabis is submerged in the ice water mixture and agitated to break off the trichomes. The resin falls to the bottom of the bags and is collected when finished.
Rosin pressing uses a rosin press that presses down on plant material to squeeze out the resin. The process essentially breaks the plant cells and releases the oils. Live rosin is made from bubble hash instead of dried trim, kief, or flower.
At home, you can make rosin by wrapping cannabis flower or hash with parchment paper and pressing the buds with a hair straightener on the lowest heat.
Butane Hash Oil Extraction
Butane hash oil extraction uses hydrocarbons, including butane and propane. These solvents have relatively low boiling points, which can help preserve more terpenes and create hash oil with a better aroma and flavour.
Ethanol extraction usually uses pure grain alcohol as a safe and affordable solvent and operates in cold, warm, or room temperature environments. Ethanol extraction is a popular solvent used to create hemp-derived CBD extracts.
Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction
Supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction uses CO2 in its supercritical state, which has the properties of a gas and liquid. This method is eco-friendly and leaves behind no residual solvent. Subcritical CO2 extraction operates at lower temperatures and pressures to preserve the plant’s terpenes.
Buy Hash Products at Dank in Calgary, AB
Find your bliss with hash products from Dank in Calgary, Alberta. We carry a wide range of hash concentrates, including pressed hash and ice hash. Stop by our Parkdale, Ogden, or Dover locations to chat with our danktenders or order online for easy pick-up or delivery. We’ll hook you up.