What Is Hashish And How Can You Make It?
Hashish is one of the most ancient ways that humans have manipulated the cannabis plant. It is a sticky product that burns like a candle with effects that last longer and come on more intense than combusting dry flowers. Hashish is comprised of the trichomes of flowers which when they build up, turn into resins. Those of us that have trimmed a large crop in our day know that hash actually builds up on our fingers and scissors. This tells to the Nepali origins of the concentrate. This type of hash was formed by rubbing the buds around between their fingers to separate the trichomes from the plant. Of course, there are more streamlined methods now, but this one is still viable for that find themselves with both time and buds lying around.
The exact texture and speed of burn of the hashish can vary from concentrate to concentrate, but most hash can be used in the same ways. It can also be placed on top of a bowl of ground up flowers or rolled up in a joint for added potency. The earliest records of hashish show that the resinous substance was actually used to make incenses that were used in spiritual work. As the human race evolved, we began using hashish in new ways. There are mentions of hashish in many ancient texts, and as such, a couple of theories as to its true origins. However none of these theories have been authenticated, leaving us to wonder exactly where it is that hashish really comes from.
Where Does Hasish Come From
Hashish was mentioned dating back to the 11th century in documentation of an argument between Muslim clerics about the use of the drug among citizens. During this time Arabs commonly blamed the Mongols and Sufis for distributing hash throughout Arabia. While this isn’t proven, it is a fact that Mongol invasions coincide with the spread of hashish use. This timeframe also coincides with the reopening of trade routes between the East and Europe. Around the same time that this saga was unfolding with the Arabs and Mongols, literature suggests that people in the Indian subcontinent began ingesting hashish in a drink called Bhang. The beverage made with hashish is still common at Hindu festivals like Diwali and Holi.
Soon after smoking tobacco became prominent in Asia and Europe hash found its way to those locations. This is probably due to the popularity of adding hashish to hand-rolled cigarettes. As such, new sieving techniques were being developed in the Middle East to meet the new demand for the product. The expansion of hashish use created a need for faster, more efficient ways to create it. New methods and innovations reached their peak in the 19th and 20th centuries, which unfortunately coincided with strict worldwide prohibition. Now, country by country the world is legalizing (or at the very least decriminalizing) cannabis use, which means innovations on this classic concentrate could continue.
Different Types of Hashish
As it became more commonly used around the Eastern continents two types of hashish became prominent: hand rubbed and sifted. Hand rubbed resin is called charas and has origins in Nepal. Charas had a prominent role in the Shaiv sect of Hinduism, who held Shiva as the supreme god. Despite this cultural relevance, India made Charas highly illegal in the 1980’s following pressure from the United States government. Fortunately, however, the concentrate has remained common among the people of India and is also handmade in Jamaica, Pakistan and Nepal.
Sifted resin, or dry sift, is a sandier hash and is possibly derived from Arabia based on Arabic texts from the 14th century. The method became widespread in the 17th century because it allowed hashishins to run much more material in far less time compared to the charas method. Making dry sift uses a combination of sieving and sifting which agitates the trichomes off and sifts them away from the plant material. In modern stoner culture sifted resin is referred to as kief, and we can actually get specific grinders that collects kief from our buds when we grind them up.
Now even more methods for creating hash have been used. Bubble hash is commonly made using water and micron bags to delicately separate the trichomes from the plant material. There are also methods that use pressure and heat to create a shatter type of concentrate referred to as ‘rosin’. This type of hashish can be dabbed which makes it super popular today. Hash has continued to evolve but the love for solventless concentrates remains, which is why all types of hashish are beloved products in medical and recreational cannabis markets.
Different Ways To Make Hashish
The different methods of making hash create unique end products that are usually differentiated by their name.
This ancient form of hashish is simple but takes a bit of time to execute. To begin making charas we simply remove the live flowers from the plant and begin rubbing them between our fingers. Moving in circular motions with the flowers between the finger pads works well. This agitation rubs off the trichomes and forms them into a sticky resin that should be scraped from our fingers. It is then made into a beverage or smoked.
The bubble hashish method uses ice and water to separate the trichomes from the plant material. Hashish can come in many colors and textures, this all depends on the start materials and the size of the micron bag we use in the process. It actually uses ice water to freeze the trichomes and wash away the plant material. Agitating the plant material helps the trichomes release. Some use their hands for the agitation while others opt for a wooden spoon. Since trichomes are more dense than water they will sink and the plant matter will float to the top. The water is then sifted and dried. Learn more about the process in this detailed post by Seshata.
Full Melt Dry Sift
Dry sift literally sifts the trichomes off of the plant matter. It is referred to as ‘Full Melt’ because when we top it on a bowl and heat is applied it melts into a liquid form. The dry sift process takes three screens, 140 microns (u), 107u and 70u. Just rub the cannabis over the screen using any rigid card to get all of the compounds through. Don’t worry about the other particulate that makes it by, that’s what the other screens are for! The process requires we start with the 140u screen and move down using the same card technique. After three sifts, the product should be ready to top any bowl or be the perfect embellishment to that fancy rollie.