What is Hash?
Hash is not, as some people think, an interchangeable word that means cannabis. In actual fact, hash is a very different substance from grass, weed, marijuana or Mary Jane. It is a resinous block, often formed into bricks, balls or coins, and ranges in texture from sticky and squidgy, to brittle and flaky. Colored from black/brown, through a range of hues, all the way to a light blonde. It is quite normal to need to heat your hash, before crumbling it for consumption.
Just like weed, hash’s characteristics, flavor, and potency vary from variety to variety, region to region, and between methods of production. In general terms though, hash is stronger and has a deeper, more complex, rich, and spicy taste.
The DEA describes hash as the most potent and concentrated form of cannabis. THC levels vary between strains of marijuana, but are typically between 10-30%, whilst THC levels in hashish can range from 20-60%. When we get to the highly refined hash oils, levels can reach as high as 90%.
There are many manufacturing methods and we’ll discuss how to make hash later, but they all involve separating the resinous trichomes (Kief) from the cannabis buds and getting them to bind together. Let me give you a simple example…you’ve been rolling or preparing a bowl, and your buds have made your fingers sticky, right? You rub your fingers together, to rid yourself of the stickiness and small beads, or balls of gunk form and you can flick it off? Congratulations. That’s the easiest way to make hash!
What Exactly is Kief?
Technically, Kief is the swollen crystal formation on the end of trichomes, which are the microscopic, hair-like glands on your sticky buds. That’s where your sticky fingers come from. In fact, complete trichomes were referred to as Kief, until quite recently.
Whilst most trichomes are found on mature cannabis flowers, they can be found all over the plants’ leaves too, albeit in lower concentrations. Note: if you’re growing, save your trim!
Most of us will recognize kief as the ‘bonus’ stuff you never waste, at the bottom of your grinder. As we said above, hash is the compressed trichomes from the cannabis plant so the simple equation is Kief = Hash.
How do you Turn Kief into Hash?
We’re going to look at how to make hash, but try to keep to processes that are realistic for you to attempt at home, as a beginner. There are methods, other than the ones described below, but they involve a greater investment of time and money.
Once you’ve extracted your kief, which can be a job in itself, the simple way to form it into hash, is to press it. Sometimes the kief will be heat treated, to help the pressing and formation of a block, but that is essentially it. Take note, the greener your kief, the more plant material it contains and the harder it will be to get it to stick together and form hash.
Most 3-part weed grinders have a screen at the bottom, for collecting kief, so let’s assume that you’ve got some of the good stuff to start with.
You can now try these methods to make hash at home…
Buy yourself a pollen press, for a few dollars ($10 – $20 on Amazon). This is a relatively neat and tidy way to convert your ‘bonus’ kief, from the bottom of your grinder, into hash. The pressure created by this device, and a bit of elbow grease, will convert your kief into perfectly compressed hash. Impressive, professional-looking results, for only a few dollars.
Hot Bottle Pressing
Fill a glass bottle with hot water, not so hot as to crack it, and secure the lid. The ideal temperature is around 180F. Split a good quality oven/freezer bag along it’s seams, then turn your kief onto the bag and fold it over, sandwiching your kief between two layers. Now, use the hot, water-filled bottle to roll out and compress your kief. You may want to use oven gloves or silicon oven grips because you could be rolling for a while. Scrape up your kief, fold it, and repeat the process, until your resin block is formed. Ta-dah…hash!
Perhaps the most effortless way of pressing your kief is the shoe method? Yep, just wrap a few grams of your kief and put it under your heel, inside your shoe. Now get to work on your chores, or whatever you need to do. Bodyweight, body heat, and a little movement will do the magic for you.
There is a little technique involved, obviously. You don’t want hash stuck to your feet, socks, or shoes, so wrap up to 5 grams of kief in good cellophane; again, a piece of oven/freezer bag is ideal. Fold it over several times and tape it closed. Pierce the wrap with a pin, just to allow any air out; you don’t want it going pop. You could use parchment paper, as an alternative to cellophane.
You’ll get quicker, better results with hard-soled shoes, rather than sports shoes, but both will work.
How to Make Hash from Weed
These processes involve separating the trichomes and terpenes, or kief, from your glorious green. You can use buds, entire plants, or trim, in most cases. Again, we’re looking at the relatively easy methods, which don’t involve a great deal of expenditure on equipment.
Often regarded as nature’s way to produce hash, this is the logical progression from your sticky-fingers technique.
During harvesting, trimming, and times of handling large amounts of cannabis plants, or buds, trichomes/kief, will stick to your hands. Continuous handling will cause a noticeable layer of black, sticky resin to form. Just as before, rub your hands together and small beads will appear, these are small balls of your hash.
The more handling, the more kief will stick to your hands. The more sticky build-up of kief, the more hash you can roll and produce. Again, kief = hash.
If you have the foresight to prepare for this process, a large plastic bag to rub your hands over, or a plastic bowl or tray, will help collect the produce if it falls from your hands; skilled hand rollers can collect it in one single ball.
Also, whatever is on your skin, will end up in the hash; so, you may want to consider washing your hands first. If you do, use unscented, antibacterial soap, if you have it. If you don’t, the natural oils and any dirt from the skin is unlikely to affect the taste of your hash.
Dry Sift or Flat Screening
The name of this process is taken from the method of separating the kief/trichomes from your stash. It’s a relatively simple process but does require some equipment.
You’ll need a silkscreen mesh ($11 upwards, on Amazon), or a relatively stiff mesh of some kind; I’ve heard tales of people using plastic kitchen sieves, as a mesh. The thing to remember here is, the finer the mesh, the higher quality your hash will be. Larger holes allow more green matter to get through the mesh, into your kief, meaning the hash won’t be as pure and concentrated.
Make sure you put your weed in the freezer for at least 2-3hrs, before you start, this will encourage the trichomes to separate from the plant material.
Again, a plastic bowl or tray, placed underneath your screen, could help with the collection of your kief. Otherwise, make sure the surface below is flat, clean, and dry.
Gently rub the plant material against the screen, the trichomes will fall on the surface below and can be collected and pressed into hash. Repeat the process, until you have collected around 10% of the original weight of your stash.
I know people who will continue past the 10% point, or use utensils, or credit cards to push the buds through the mesh. Again, this approach will result in larger quantities of green matter in your hash and lower potency. Don’t forget, whatever plant you don’t push through the mesh can still be used, smoked, or cooked with, so it isn’t wasted. My thoughts are ‘keep it clean and keep out the green’.
I’ll take your flat screen method and raise you one. The blender method is still, more than achievable at home, but requires the next level of equipment…a power tool!
You’ll still need a silkscreen, as before, but this time you place your trim or, buds into a blender and add just enough water to cover the plant material. Add a generous amount of ice and blend for a minute, or so.
Now use your silkscreen to strain the liquid into a clean glass jar. Take a seat and let the liquid settle for about 30 minutes; the trichomes will settle to the bottom. If you can still see them suspended in the water, give it a little longer to settle, you’re aiming for as many as possible to settle at the bottom.
Now, like decanting a fine wine, carefully pour off around 2/3rds of the water, without disturbing and losing the kief at the bottom. Fill the jar again, with iced water, and repeat the process. It shouldn’t take much more than 5 minutes for everything to settle, this time.
Again, drain 2/3rds and refill, repeating the process another 5 times. The more you do this, the higher the purity and quality of your hash.
Carefully decant, for the last time, draining as much water as you can, without losing your valuable kief, and strain the remainder through a coffee filter. Squeeze excess water from the filter and set aside, somewhere warm, to air-dry the contents.
You now have a highly refined product that is ready to use, without going to the trouble of forming it into hash. Feel free, if you’d like to.
What is the Best Weed for Producing Hash?
As the process of making hash involves getting kief to stick together, the best marijuana to produce hash from is a sticky, resinous strain, with a high amount of trichomes.
Here are a few of our very best strains for the job. Starting with a CBD forward variety, through a more balanced strain, to a THC King Kong!
If in need of a daytime bud that will skyrocket your productivity, look no further than CBD Harlequin Feminized. Its uplifting effect spreads a good vibe and shuts off worrying thoughts without any mind-altering effects. Besides leaving a negativity-free mood, it boosts focus, so feel free to enjoy the flower even when working around a busy work schedule.
When the medicinal efficacy of CBD started receiving attention, Harlequin was one of the first high-CBD strains that rose to popularity. The bud is most known for its reliable painkilling and anti-anxiety effects. It also promotes a holistic calm that comes with a subtle cerebral buzz.
NYC Diesel Feminized
NYC Diesel Feminized can awaken even the most tired soul. Its strong mental stimulation will keep you on the go, while its relaxing body effect prevents you from going into overdrive.
This weed is the perfect partner for cannabis enthusiasts who need an energy boost that’s sprinkled with euphoric dust and flakes of creativity.
With just the tiniest toke, you can expect a heightened sense of happiness that’ll have you swimming in a sea of euphoria and basking in positive emotions for hours. It’s a friendly, chatty, sociable high and is the go-to ganja of party-goers and wallflowers who want to shine.
Gorilla Glue #4 Feminized
Gorilla Glue #4 Feminized is a beastly strain that has a profoundly positive impact on both mind and body. When consumed in moderation, it provides a dose of cerebral freedom that can help clear stress and tension, while at the same time sending a pleasurable wave of stimulation from head to toe. It’s said to be great for combatting the likes of migraines, arthritis and fatigue.
A single hit of Gorilla Glue #4 delivers a euphoric cerebral blow that’s strong enough to shut off negative thoughts and other external stressors. Almost instantly, feelings of doom and gloom are replaced with intense happiness, allowing the mind to soar into the stratosphere. A calming physical high ensues immediately afterward. It causes the body to feel soft yet heavy at the same time, laziness is obligatory. Be sure to check out all our hash seeds. Check back for our second installment of how to make hash at home, which will feature some more advanced methods, together with information on the best ways to store your hash.