Today you can enjoy any number of cannabis concentrates. Cannabis oil, shatter, crumble, batter, Butane Honey Oil, Rick Simpson Oil - there are many different variants on the same theme and you probably have your own favourite concentrate. But many will remember the days when the only choice was weed or hash. So what is hashish, how is it made, what is the potency like and how does it differ from other cannabis concentrates?
Hashish is simply the waxy product formed when the cannabis trichomes (resin glands) are concentrated and compacted into a sold block. The oldest way to make hash, and probably the original method, is simply to scrape the sticky cannabis resin from your hands when you have been handling cannabis buds. Hash can be made simply by rubbing your hands on cannabis blooms, its a bit messy, but when you scrape your hands you will have a ball of potent ‘finger-hash’. Anyone that has harvested their own cannabis plants will be familiar with the scissor-hash which builds up quickly on the scissors used to trim your plants.
Hash can also be made by the water/ice method. A bucket of iced water is stirred vigorously while cannabis is added to it. The stirring motion causes the resin glands to fall off the cannabis and into the water. The water is passed through a fine mesh filter, collecting the resin, which is then dried. Choose a THC-rich photoperiod or auto cannabis variety for best results.
Hash has been used for thousands of years, ever since the first humans noticed the curious sticky by-product from the cannabis plant. Hash can be smoked, or used in cooking/edibles and often contains around 15% THC. For some cannabis lovers the rich aromatic scent and taste makes hash a unique treat. Its easy to store, transport and enjoy. In the 1980’s hash would be exported from some of the main production areas (Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan) with a unique seal embossed on the block of hash, and it would be wrapped often in red or gold packaging prior to export. Its easy to cultivate home grown cannabis, therefore traditional hash imports have largely disappeared and been replaced by modern cannabis concentrates.
One of the disadvantages of hash is that it contains plant material, this limits the potency of the hash. And that prompted some people to look for alternative methods of creating THC-rich cannabis concentrates. Today there are lots of way to do this, and the result is that concentrates with around 50-80% THC can be routinely produced. Thats twice as potent as traditional hash. The modern ways to make cannabis concentrates usually involve grinding up the cannabis buds and washing them with a solvent to extract the cannabinoids and oils from the plant. Typical solvents include ethanol, butane, iso-propyl alcohol or super-critical carbon dioxide. Once the solvent is safely removed, the cannabis concentrate is ready to be enjoyed. Most people enjoy their cannabis concentrates in a vaporizer, but there are numerous ways to enjoy them, from eating to smoking.
Modern cannabis concentrates are proving extremely popular with both medical and recreational consumers, and a quick visit to a USA dispensary will show you that concentrates are now more popular than buds. And, perhaps sadly, finding good quality traditional hash is no longer easy. Many younger cannabis consumers view hash as a slightly old-fashioned product. But to the old-school hashish fans, there is nothing quite like it.