In the cannabis world, there seem to be a ton of words thrown out in the shared lexicon. One such term is "hash," which has also been known to collide with "hashish" which can often lead to a marijuana-related rabbit hole Google search.
Confusion be gone! Learn about hash and its standing within the canna community.
What Is Hash?
Let's get right down into the nitty gritty. Hash is a drug made from the cannabis plant and it is in resin form. In addition to containing THC, it also has several other cannabinoids; because of this, it is known for giving mind-altering highs along with any other health benefits closely associated with marijuana.
Hash, and hash oil, the concentrate version of the plant matter, are a straight up concentration of cannabinoids. Because of this, the potency is much greater than everyday cannabis, and the effects are much greater than smoking weed. Depending on the extraction technique, hash oil potency can range between 40 to 80 percent.
Hash and the Cannabis Plant
As previously mentioned, hash is made directly from the cannabis plant. It can't help to dig a little deeper, so here are the specifics.
First and foremost, the female cannabis Sativa plant is comprised of fibrous leaves; these are filled with essential amino acids. The cannabis plant is also littered with trichomes. Trichomes are vital to the essence of marijuana: they produce the flavorful terpenes, as well as the cannabinoids that are known for their medicinal properties. So, in these trichomes, you've got everything from smells to highs being developed in the plant.
Hash is specifically made from the trichomes of the cannabis plant. When the resin gland heads on the surface of the plant material are separated, hash is born.
What is Hashish?
Hashish is simply another word for hash, and can be used interchangeably. There are different regions, however, where hashish exists. For example, Moroccan Hashish is simply hash made in Morocco.
The word "hashish" loosely translates to "grass" in the Arabic language. Though the timeline is a little on the fuzzy side, hash has been said to originated around 900 A.D. Some research also suggests that "charas," the collection of resin from Indian and African cannabis farmers, has existed for centuries longer than any recorded history. From there, European travelers and doctors imported hashish into the western world in the name of research and medication.
The western world got wind of hashish and translated it into pharmaceutical practice around the turn of the 20th century. It wouldn't last, however, since the prohibition against all things cannabis-related took place in the United States right after. The result was hash falling into the black market space.
The Different Kinds of Hash
The names of hashish are typically inspired by their country of origin. The most popular types of hash are from countries such as Morocco, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. They are made into bricks by using traditional methods involving heat and pressure.
In countries like Morocco, hashish was grown starting in the sixteenth century, and then became an epicenter for cultivation and marijuana trade through the 1950s, until local prohibition settled in. However, the Hippie Trail brought guests through these hash-producing countries, along with lures of marijuana and opium, with a rekindled interest.
During the 1960s, two things affected the importation of hashish into the western world: first, foreign travel became increasingly popular with United States’ youth, and they were able to experience hashish in origin countries; second, the free-love movement of the time prompted travelers to smuggle hash back into the States with them, knowing that it would be popular among drug-loving peers. Because of this, the method used transitioned to small amounts of kief to large-scale cultivation of hash, typically using dry sieving techniques.
Then, in the late eighties, John Gallardi invented a revolutionary machine that sifted the trichome glands from the cannabis plant, using vibration. Then came hash made via water extraction – the beginnings of what is now known as water hash or ice water extract (IWE)- came around the same time. Next came pollinator isolation bags, followed by the popular bubble method, all of which have been used to make different varieties of hash.
Today, while hash popularity has dwindled, especially with westernized legalization of stronger and better-cultivated cannabis, hash has remained a vital part of culture in many countries. Morocco is still considered the top supplier in the world, beating out Afghanistan for the title of number one, since 2016.
How is Hash Made?
Now that the big question – what is hash? – has been answered, we can move onto the second large inquiry. How exactly is it made?
Overseas, hash is typically made with a dry sieving technique ideal for large yields. Stalks of cannabis are grown in large fields, are cut down every fall, and then are able to dry in indoor storage for a month. Then, the cannabis is sieved over a metal basin, catching all of the falling trichomes. After the beating and sieving, the plant matter is then pressed and heated into ready-to-consume slabs.
While this method is popular in other countries, the at-home process is less involved. After all, legalization has left hashish behind in the United States, so there's no need to make mass batches.
According to Ed Rosenthal, there are four different ways to make hash at home. Shoe hashing is an easy method that involves – you guessed it – a shoe, among other small items. Smashing by hand is another accessible way to get it done, as well as with a hot water bottle. Machine pressing though, involves more of an investment. You can also make hash easily from kief.
A quick trip to a hardware store can prepare you for dry extractions, the traditional brick hash method, as well as water extractions. There are also videos all over the internet that are easy to follow, prompted by a Google search.
How Do You Consume Hash?
Hash can be consumed in several ways, true to cannabis form. The traditional method is to take it orally. This means several things- it can be eaten as a call back to the old ways, or infused into a drink, similar to a tea. The Indian drink bhang makes for a great way to drink hash while paying homage to its history.
Probably most commonly, hash can be smoked. It can be smoked by itself standing alone, or mixed with cannabis flower or tobacco as an extra splash of fun, with a pipe, joint, bong, or vaporizer. Be warned: mixing it will have an extreme potency.
For more rigorous enthusiasts, it is also possible to dab some types of hash. This typically involves using a screen and vaporizer. Hash oils are also an option, such as full melt dry sift and water hash, that do not leave any residue behind when milted onto a nail.
When it comes to smoking or consuming hash, be sure to chat with your local budtender to see if there are any products in stock to make the process easier, or if you have all the proper equipment. Essentially, this would involve items such as a dab rig, a heating mechanism, and a dab tool. Now that you know what is hash, go forth and make it on your own terms. Enjoy!
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