Rumor has it, Morocco is the place to be to experience hash. Though cannabis has been illegal in the country since 1956, that hasn't stopped its citizens from being one of the world's top producers of this flower-turned-extract creation.
What is Morocco hashish? Keep reading to find out.
What is Hashish?
Also known as hash, hashish is a drug made from the cannabis plant in resin form. It contains THC and several other cannabinoids, making it mind-altering with the typical health benefits associated with weed, and illegal in many areas around the world.
So, as a type of cannabis extract, hashish is smoked in small pieces, usually with pipes, bongs, joints, vaporizers, or in an edible. When it's smoked, hashish is mixed with other herbs to help with consumption.
Morocco hashish, then, is hash that is made in Morocco.
Though the exact dates are fuzzy, cannabis has been known to exist in Morocco since somewhere between the seventh and fifteenth century, usually found in small gardens and orchards.
Starting in the sixteenth century, Moroccans began to grow their marijuana crop nationwide for localized use. Then, in the eighteenth century, Morocco quickly became an epicenter for cultivation and cannabis trade, up until the nation gained its independence in 1956. From there, a new era of prohibition began, and the growth and use of the plant were disallowed.
However, when the free-spirited 1960s and 70s came around, there was an influx of western visitors traveling along the "Hippie Trail," a worldwide trek to cannabis, opium, and hashish hot spots. They went to places like Lebanon, Afghanistan, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. This is where the cannabis boom took place; with so many visitors wanting to smoke the local ganja, the demand for weed grew. Traditionally, the locals smoked it in small amounts, usually kief. This proved to be unsustainable for larger product demand. To combat this increase, the local Moroccans started to adopt larger-scale cultivation techniques, which resulted in the hashish.
Several Morocco hashish origin stories credit the hashish to the hippie influence. The travelers, legend has it, introduced the Moroccan locals to the idea of dry sieving the cannabis plants. This technique, which produces hashish, is also contusive to large-scale production. The visitors also had plenty of insight on export (since they were well into their journey), and offered insight.
It did not take long for Morocco to recognize the demand for product, and their geographic audience. Soon, they became the first source of Morocco hashish for the European market. Since 2016, Morocco has been ranked the top supplier in the world, beating out Afghanistan for the top spot.
How It's Made
Morocco hashish is carefully made throughout the country. Cannabis stalks, grown in large fields, are cut down in fall, then placed into indoor storage for about a month. During this time, the plant is able to dry.
From there, the dried plant can be sieved over a metal basin, which catches all of the trichomes falling from the flower, potent with THC. This beating and sieving go on for several rounds; then, the product is pressed and heated, transforming into the hashish slabs.
Weed, including hashish, has been illegal in Morocco since the country gained its independence in 1956, despite the nation's lengthy history of cultivation. However, the country seems to tolerate its use, as long as it is not consumed in front of local police officers.
Otherwise, hash is very easy to get ahold of and is seen as its own category of tourism, drawing people from around the world. Many visitors go to Morocco, known in part for having a conservative culture, to get a taste of the local hash.
And, while the legalization debate continues to ensue, locals are continuing to make large amounts of product, and visitors are still accepting offers to get high. Moroccan hashish remains an international cannabis treasure.