Hash is one of the numerous cannabis concentrates that became legal to sell and possess in Canada only a year ago. Now, hash is in dispensaries across the country, but you can also make it at home. All it takes is a few ingredients you can easily find at a hardware store.
Hash, also known as hashish, comes from the trichomes growing on the bud’s outer layer. The trichomes hold almost all of the THC found in the cannabis flower. Hash is the end-product of separating those trichomes found in the bud’s resin and pressing them together into a final product. Terpenes and cannabinoids, including THC, are in the trichomes. In essence, extracting the trichomes means pulling all the important stuff and blending it into one concentrated product.
Almost all cannabis concentrates are more potent than dry cannabis flowers. That’s because you make them by tightly packing the THC compounds together and separating everything else. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to try your hand at consuming or making concentrates of any kind.
Cannabis concentrates are growing in popularity across Canada. One reason is their new legal status in the country, but it is also because there is so much variety in this category of cannabis products.
There are two ways of making concentrates. There are solvent-based products and non-solvent products such as hash. Many people choose dry sift products such as hash or kief because they don’t require solvents to extract the plant’s trichomes.
Solvent-based concentrates get their names from their appearance. Some of the most common concentrates in this category are wax, shatter, budder, and sauce. Shatter resembles glass and does break off into pieces. Budder has a similar appearance to butter, including a yellowish tint. The solvents needed to make these concentrates are chemical-based, which is why some people steer clear of these products.
Both solvent-based and non-solvent products have high THC concentration, with some levels reaching 50% or higher. That is why many people try these products, and many people prefer them to cannabis flowers.
How to Make Hash
There are three simple methods for making your hash at home. The first two methods produce a dry hash, easily added to other cannabis in your pipes and joints. The third method is for making a hash ball, which takes quite a bit more cannabis than the first two options.
The idea for each process is the same. You are trying to separate the cannabinoids from the rest of the cannabis plant. Your goal is to get all of the cannabis compounds out of the plant so that you can press them into hash. Many people believe frozen cannabis is the best product for these first two methods.
1. The Dry Sift Method
The dry sift method is the most cost-effective way to make hash. Dry sift is also known as kief. You may recognize it if you use a grinder tool to break up your cannabis. Kief is the fine pile of dusty material that falls into the bottom of your grinder. If you scrape that out and add it to your pipe or joint, you may notice a nice little kick.
The dry sift method is similar to using a grinder, but you’ll do this all at once instead of over time. For this process, you’ll need a sifting box with screens or at least two-micron screens.
If you’re using the screens without the box, you’ll need to have a catch container. You can also let the material fall onto a clean tabletop. A wide-mouth bowl is your best option, but avoid using a large mixing bowl. Place one screen in the bottom of the bowl and the other screen on top around the rim. You’ll drag the cannabis across that top screen and let the lower screen catch any pieces that fall. The product that falls becomes your hash.
The next steps work with both the sifting box and the screens without the box. Start by taking your frozen cannabis and placing it on the screen. Break the bud into smaller pieces, and then gently spread it out, so it is even. From there, you begin running it across the screen. You can also gently shake the sifting box back and forth, letting the pieces slide across the screen. The fine particles are resin glands, and they will fall through the screen into the sift box, container, or table below. Once it falls, you will need a flat blade or credit card to scrape the fine material into a pile.
The dry sift method is about the end-product’s quality and less about how much you produce. If you plan to try this process of creating your hash, you want to use more than just one bud of cannabis flower. How much you will need depends on how much you plan to use so that the amount may be different for everyone.
2. Ice Water Hash
Ice water hash is known as ice hash and bubble hash. There are a few different methods for making this type of hash without using solvents. You will need a few more materials to make ice water hash than you do with the other methods. Get a set of bubble bags in different sizes. You will need about five bags, and you can substitute silkscreen bags if you choose. You need a bucket, your frozen flower, and something to use for stirring.
Frozen cannabis flowers work for making any type of hash, but for ice water hash, you need frozen flowers. Freezing your cannabis flowers helps the trichomes separate from the rest of the plant more efficiently.
Start by lining your bucket with your bubble bags, starting with the smallest bag first. You will layer the remaining bags on top of one another. The final bag in the stack should be the largest bubble bag or screen filter in your supplies.
Next, begin alternating layers of ice and cannabis flowers in the bucket. Start by adding ice as your first layer, then placing the cannabis on top of the ice. Switch between those two until you are out of product. Add water until the bucket is almost full, but not too full that it spills when you stir.
Grab your spoon or whatever stirring tool you have chosen and begun stirring the ice and cannabis flower together. The ice will start to melt, but you want to replace it as that happens. Try to keep equal amounts of water and ice in the bucket while stirring.
Keep your stir speed relatively slow until the ice starts to melt. You will only do this for about five minutes before it is time to strain. Pull the top bag out of the bucket and away from the other bags below and let the water and any material fall through back into the bucket. Repeat that step until you are down to the last bag. You can invert the bags once you are through and remove any remaining material from the opposite side.
The final step is drying the hash. Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter and spread the hash across the paper. Make sure the room is dry and not humid. Break it up into smaller pieces so it can dry faster. You can also press down on the product to squeeze some moisture out but do this gently.
3. Hash Balls
You may be familiar with hash balls. If you aren’t, you may have seen them in a dispensary and wondered what those shiny balls were. Hash balls are tightly compacted cannabis compounds that turn into smooth, shiny balls after rolling.
Many people believe the shinier hash balls come from higher-quality cannabis. While there is no official proof of that theory, you can test it out when making yours at home. You may not get your end-product as perfectly formed as the pros, but you may be surprised at how shiny you can make your hash ball.
If you tend to fidget, you’ll probably enjoy making hash balls. Start by taking a small amount of dry kief and roll it between both hands. Once the material starts to bind together and get sticky, you can start rolling it between your thumb and finger. It can take 30 minutes or longer to get kief to stick together and form. That’s why this is an excellent method for someone who fidgets and needs something to do with their hands.
How to Use Hash
Hash is a versatile cannabis concentrate, and there are several ways to use this product. The most efficient method is taking a small pinch of hash and adding it to a joint, pipe, or bowl. Using these methods helps you regulate how much you are using each time. That allows you to conserve more of your product and more money. For these methods, dry sift hash is the best option. You can use pieces of the hash ball, but most people prefer using a dab rig instead.
Handheld vaporizers are extremely popular across Canada since becoming legal a year ago. This type of device is a good option for using your ice water hash or bubble hash. Make sure to check the temperature gauge on your vaporizer before you commit to this method. You want your device to get hot enough to make the ice water hash bubble. That means it should reach up to 260 to 287 degrees Celsius to ensure it works properly.
If you decide to make a hash ball, you can pull pieces off it and add to your joints, pipes, or bowls. You can also use dab rigs with hash balls. This works the same way as other cannabis concentrates such as wax and budder.
Take a small piece of the hash ball and place it on the heated nail. It works just like shatter, wax, or budder, but you may notice the taste is a bit different. Some experts say a titanium nail is your best option if you plan to dab your hash ball. Dab rigs are also useful devices for using ice water hash or water hash.
The key to using any cannabis concentrates is heat, whether you use dry sift like hash or solvent-based wax. The device you use needs to reach at least 260 degrees Celsius for you to enjoy its full potential. If the nail is not hot enough, some concentrates will pool on top of the nail and turn into a sticky mess.
How to Store Hash
Your freezer is the best place to store homemade hash. Avoid using plastic food storage containers because those allow frost to seep in overtime. Find a silicone or glass storage container with an airtight seal on the lid. Wrap the hash in parchment paper and place that in the storage container. With the right storage, you can keep your hash in the freezer for up to a year.
If you only plan on storing your dry sift hash for a short time, you can use a standard mason jar or a glass storage container. You can leave it out if you choose, but some people suggest keeping it in the refrigerator, even if you run through it quickly.
Hash, or hashish, is somewhat old school, but that is also why so many people are still fans of this concentrate. Compared to other concentrates, hash is much easier to make right at home. It is also convenient to use and portion out, so you can figure out how much it takes to get that extra kick.
Another great thing about hash is the cost. Some cannabis concentrates are rather fancy, and their price tags reflect that fact. Hash is on the less-expensive end of the concentrate spectrum, so it is an excellent product for first-timers.
If this is your first time experimenting with concentrates, take it easy. Remember, these are concentrated products made with the most potent parts of the cannabis plant. With high THC concentration, it won’t take much for you to reach your desired end goal.