ˈhash | Noun
A cannabis concentrate made by pressing or rubbing together the plant’s collected resin glands (kief) into brick, slab, or rolled chunks. Hashish or hash can have chocolate brown, sandy brown, or greenish khaki color.
“Hashish is the world’s oldest and most potent cannabis concentrate typically consumed through inhalation and smoking.”
“Did you know that hashish is made from heated and pressurized kief?”
What is Hashish/Hash?
Hashish or hash is a cannabis concentrate typically consumed through inhalation and smoking. Manufacturers prepare this concentrate using a few different methods. In essence, the preparation includes removing the trichomes from the cannabis plant and using pressure and heat to turn them into solid pieces.
Written texts from the 12th and 13th century mention this concentrate, which is why it’s considered one of the oldest cannabis extracts. Its look and feel are closely tied to history and the method used to make it. Sieved hash that originates in the Middle East and Central Asia is produced from the powder collected from harvested and cured cannabis. Modern manufacturers physically sift and separate the trichomes from the plant material using mesh or silk fabric. These tools have varying pore sizes to help refine and purify the trichomes. The end product, the powder or kief, is then pressed into hashish bars, bricks, or slabs. They can have a hard, flat, or chalky appearance.
Difference between hash and weed
Weed and hash are two different products made from the cannabis plant — weed is the dried flower, and hash is a concentrate derived from the resin.
Difference between hash and other concentrates
Hash is the world’s oldest concentrate, considered an original one in the cannabis world. It’s made of trichome glands that house the plant’s most beneficial components — cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Research shows that, aside from their own therapeutic abilities, terpenes also elevate the effects of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology revealed the connection between the compounds in the cannabis plant, also known as the entourage effect. The entourage effect theory implies that all of these components work synergistically to produce positive medicinal results. Terpenes have the power to boost and amplify the cannabis experience, while flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Unlike other concentrates that require expensive equipment for production, this one doesn’t require the use of solvents or lab-grade equipment. It also has a long shelf life. If stored properly, the dry resin (kief) collected and used to make this concentrate can last for years. Pressing the kief into a slab or bar increases the rate of degradation of this product. That’s because the structure of the trichomes acts as a natural barrier to oxygen, moisture, and other factors that affect potency and flavor.
Difference between bubble hash and hash
Both types of cannabis concentrates are made from the plant’s resin glands. The differences between them connect to the way they are made and their final texture and consistency. People make hashish by pressing the resin glands into a slab or brick. On the other hand, manufacturing bubble hash includes the use of ice water. They separate the resin glands using ice water and sieve them through fine mesh screens.
Difference between hashish and kief
There is a lot of confusion between this extract and kief. That’s likely because these two concentrates come from the same part of the cannabis plant. But, they are two different cannabis extracts that are incredibly potent and psychoactive.
The main difference between kief and hashish is that hash is simply kief that’s been heated and pressurized into slabs and bricks. In some cases, it can be extracted into a liquid form. This concentrate is easier to consume than kief, and because it’s more concentrated, it also has a higher THC content.
Is hashish legal?
Federally, no. Hash, with the exception of hemp-derived hash, remains federally illegal. But, it is available in states that legalized recreational cannabis. It’s important to check the cannabis laws and regulations in your state to see if this concentrate is a legal form of cannabis allowed there.
How to use it?
The most common way to use this concentrate is to smoke it by itself or combine it with flower. Some people enjoy eating it, but putting it into edibles is a much tastier option. Edibles are also much easier to dose than eating this concentrate by itself. When smoked, it produces a thicker smoke than cannabis flower alone. It also makes you cough more if produced from fresh resin. That’s because when made from aged resin, it holds fewer terpenes and moisture content as they evaporate from the trichomes over time.
How to smoke it?
Add it to a bowl of flower using a bong, bubbler, or pipe. Smoking as a method of consumption boosts its potency and effectiveness.
You can also add it to your joint and smoke it. If you are rolling it into a joint, avoid using a rolling machine. First, lay out your rolling paper. Then add a layer of ground flower and sprinkle the concentrate in it before it’s rolled. If you are working with drier, chalkier hash, crush it or cut it for better distribution. Top-quality concentrate with sticky consistency softens and is malleable when heated. You can warm it up in your hands by rolling it gently and forming it into a thin serpentine shape. Like that, rolled and warmed nicely, place it on top of the flower. Then roll your joint and secure the edges, so the concentrate comes in the center of the joint — surrounded by a layer of flower.
You can also smoke it on its own. A method known as “hot knifing” or taking “knife hits” refers to smoking this concentrate using two metal knives, usually butter knives. The knives are heated on a hot surface like the coils of an electric range until they are very hot or glowing reddish.
Place a piece of this concentrate on the heated part of the flat knife blade. Place the second knife over the concentrate. This helps steady the hash and increase burn rate, yielding more smoke. When it starts to smoke, take a funnel-shaped instrument like a 2-liter soda bottle cut in half, place the wide end over the knives and the narrow end to the mouth. Capture as much smoke as you can while inhaling.
Another method of smoking it is by using pipes. When smoking this concentrate in a pipe, use a screen to prevent the smoldering piece of concentrate from entering the pipe and being inhaled accidentally. You can use a mesh style screen of stainless steel or titanium, or flower- or star-shaped glass style screen. Place the screen in the opening of the pipe’s bowl. Put a piece of this concentrate on top. Then hit it with a lighter or another source of heat until a steady wisp of smoke emerges. Remove the heat and inhale.
Last but not least, dab it. You are most likely familiar with dabbing, one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis concentrates and extracts. It uses a dab rig that’s basically a water pipe, and a flat-bottomed bowl called a “nail.” Heat the nail with a torch to about 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 176.66 to 204.44 degrees Celsius. Use a dab tool to drop a piece of the concentrate onto the hot nail. As steady wisps of smoke start to emerge, place a covering on the nail (“carb cap”) to help capture the vapors. Inhale immediately for full effect.
Can you eat it?
You can, but it’s not recommended. Most people who have eaten it experience an intense, psychotropic high that lasts for hours. If you are after a less intense, more manageable high, smoking it is better than ingesting it raw.
The History of Hashish
The use of cannabis for anesthetizing purposes can be traced back to the Neolithic period, or 4000 BC. This concentrate originates in Persia (Iran) and Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan).
It was allegedly mentioned in the historical legends of the Nizari Ismailis, or the Order of Assassins, or the Hashish Assassins. They were a religious sect formed in the late 11th century, around 1090 AD. According to the legends, the leader of the group, Hassan-i Sabbah, consumed this concentrate and provided its group with it to instill loyalty. Scholars debate the validity of these tales, as it is believed that the group was incorrectly referred to as users of hashish.
In the book “Hashish!” by Robert Connell Clarke, written in 1998, the author talks about the story of Sheik Haidar, a 13th-century Persian monk who practiced Islamic mysticism. Sheik Haidar founded a convent near Neyshabur (a city in today’s Iran) and spent over a decade in isolation and silence. He came across a patch of cannabis plants during one of his walks, and he became curious about it. He gathered the leaves of the plant and ate them. By the time he got into the convent from the walk, he had started having a cheerful, easy disposition. Sheik Haidar then shared his findings with other holy men and allegedly consumed the plant daily.
According to author Michael Aldrich, the effects that Sheik Haidar felt align more with consuming the resin of the cannabis plant rather than the leaves. That’s because fresh cannabis material contains more raw cannabinoids (THCA) than active cannabinoids (THC), necessary to yield an intoxicating high.
Many leaders imposed prohibitive policies and harsh punishment on people using this concentrate but to no avail. Its consumption continued to expand throughout the years as demand increased.
For example, in 1798 — during the French occupation of Egypt — Napoleon Bonaparte mandated that cannabis and hash consumption be outlawed. He reasoned that its use resulted in mental disturbance, overindulgent behavior, as well as interference with rational thought. That attempt failed because his own French troops and a group of scientists, engineers, and artists took the concentrate back to France after their service in Egypt.
Then, the Club of Hashish Eaters (Le Club des Hashischins) formed in Paris in 1843. The Club was an elite group of intellectuals, including famed writers (Victor Hugo and Honore de Balzac), painters, and others. These folks held monthly meetings to experiment with and explore the effects of this concentrate and the possibility that it could elevate their artistry and ingenuity.
One of the group’s notable members, Dr. Jaques-Joseph Moreau, a psychiatric physician, wrote the first publication by a medical doctor on the effects of a drug on the human nervous system. He gained a lot of knowledge about the concentrate from self-experimentation. His book “Hashish and Mental Illness—Psychological Studies” received honors from the French Academy of Sciences in 1946. The recognition for his work helped the scientific community explore the possibilities of this concentrate as a medical treatment for mental health conditions.