If you haven’t smoked it, you’ve surely heard of it. Hash in its various forms has been a staple in cannabis smoking culture for almost as long the very buds it’s made from themselves have been.
Hash originated in many different countries in both Asia and the Middle East throughout history, and until recently, most of them developed slight variations using essentially the same technique – hand rolling.
Today, with modern machines, advances in sifting technology, and new methods which use freezing, hash production has entered the 21st century and has brought with it fresh takes on an ancient classic.
Here are three ways that hash is produced in today’s open market, as well as some notable commonalities between them.
Hand Rolled Hash
Beginning with the oldest method in the world seems a good place to start. Hand rolled Hash has been produced by artisan Hash makers for thousands of years. But how does it go from bud to ball? Turns out it’s a little more complex than you’d think, and technique has evolved through the ages.
The first step is to either dry, or freeze dry fresh cannabis buds until they are at 5% moisture content or less. In the old days, and even today in certain parts of the world, artisans became so good at judging how dry cannabis buds were, as to very closely and consistently approach the 5% threshold simply by touch verification. Now that’s amazing. What follows is a dry sifting process where material is sent through various sifting grades until as much plant matter as possible has been removed. Historically, this was done completely by hand by using the palms to roll cannabis buds, allowing the sticky trichomes (what Hash is made of) to stick to the palms, while the dry plant matter gently falls away.
Once enough has been collected on the palms, an edged tool is used to scrape the hands clean of residue, which is then collected into large enough amounts to be rolled into hash balls by hand.
Machine Pressed Hash
What is likely to be of no surprise, machine pressed hash is essentially any hash brick you would find on the market. Machine pressed bricks apply the same principles in their manufacturing, with the aid of modern technology. To make Hash bricks and other pressed products, you need to get buds cold. Like, really cold. Freeze-Drying cannabis buds is a great way to extract trichomes from cannabis plants. In this process, there are 2 ways to freeze the cannabis: either a deep freeze in a sealed bag then table sifted, or by throwing dry ice into a sifting back with the buds and shaking it.
A great deal of detail oriented work goes into the finishing process of making hash bricks. For example, different trains require different sifting grades because trichome size and shape are rarely the same from strain to strain. Once all the little details have been Hashed out, and the kief has been separated, a hand or machine press is used to compress it into the ready to buy brick concentrates.
Finally we have bubble Hash. Odd name right? Well it turns out there’s a reason for that name that’s only obvious to those who make this Hash variety. To make this variety is a wildly different process than the brick or hand rolled Hash would be. Instead of first drying the cannabis, it is placed directly into sifting bags which are then filled with ice and a small amount of water. Once the ice and water are added, a Hash maker agitates the bag by vigorously mixing the contents, which slowly start to off-gas and create a soapy-like consistency – hence the term Bubble Hash.
Once the agitation is completed and the kief material has drained into a bucket in which the bag is placed, the contents of said bucket are then dumped out, spread thin, and allowed to dry. Once dry, the product can then be pressed, hand rolled, or compressed by any other means to form the desired end product.
Hashing out the last few details
When buying any of the three hashes listed above, it’s important to remember that these are highly potent concentrates, not treats. They may end up looking like chocolate in some cases but rest assured, they are not. Each type of Hash, depending on the bud from which it was produced, can have a THC content ranging from 40%-80+%, bringing it to a potency just shy of resin type extracts such as shatter.
But don’t take our word for it, stop by our shop and have a look for yourself! We stock all three varieties!
We hope you enjoyed this brief overview on Hash. Happy Hash hunting!