What is Hash and How to Consume it
Hash, also popularly known as ‘hashish,’ has been consumed by humans for thousands of years and is one of many types of cannabis extracts available in Canada today.
As with all cannabis extracts, the goal of hash is to isolate cannabinoids and terpenes found within the cannabis plant to produce a concentrated extract that can be easily consumed.
Here’s our guide on what hash is, how it’s made today, some tips on how to consume it, and the benefits and negatives of choosing hash to help guide your purchasing decisions.
What is Hash?
Hash, also known as hashish, is a potent cannabis extract. It generally comes formed into a pliable brick or ball. You can find it ranging from yellow to bright green in colour. You may also hear it called ‘dry sift,’ named after the method used to create it.
Hashish is made by removing all the unwanted plant material (leaves and stems) and focusing on the “kief” that’s packed with cannabinoids and terpenes. Hash is simply cannabis plant kief that has been heated and compressed.
Kief is the fine, crystalline powder that covers the surface of dried cannabis flower. It also accumulates in your grinder after grinding cannabis.
If your grinder has three or four chambers, the kief will settle and collect at the bottom as you grind your cannabis flower.
To be more specific, kief is the collection of trichomes that have separated from cannabis plant flowers and leaves.
Trichomes are resin glands, which store and release a sticky mixture of cannabinoids (THC and CBD) and terpenes. This resin is collected by physically breaking open trichome glands.
These mushroom-shaped trichomes emerge from the surface of cannabis plants. By far, the highest concentration of these resin glands is on the surface of cannabis flower.
As we just learned, the heads contain a sac filled with resin, consisting of terpenes and cannabinoids. The trichome gland heads are vulnerable to physical agitation which makes collecting them quite easy.
How is Hash Made?
Production methods used to make hashish has been around for centuries, with modern-day improvements only enhancing the process. Historically, it was made by collecting and compressing the resin that accumulated on the surface of hands when handling cannabis flower.
Over time, a significant amount of resin would stick to the hands as cannabis plants are interacted with. This resin is scraped off and then pressed into bricks or pucks of hash.
Today, hash is made through a technologically involved process that uses pressure and heat to rupture the cannabis plant’s resin glands and separating the kief. Once it’s separated, it can be either compressed into a ball or brick or sold in loose powdered form.
Health Canada categorizes the concentrate as a physically concentrated extract made by pressing resin from the cannabis plant. This mechanical process does not require the use of any solvents and produces a cannabis concentrate that can reach up to 60% potency.
Modern Bubble Hash
Bubble hash is a modern version that uses a rather simple addition, ice water.
The process is otherwise identical, but the drums are filled with dry ice and water.
In this situation, the ice water is considered to be the solvent. This process retains more of the cannabis plants’ terpenes, compounds that are responsible for the plant’s aroma and flavour.
Bubble hash also retains fewer chlorophyll and lipids from the plant, producing a hash that is lighter in colour.
How to Consume Hash
The oldest and most common way of consuming hash involves burning it. Keep in mind that hashish tends to burn quite slowly. For this reason, consumers often combine hash with dried flower.
You can pack a mixture of hashish and bud into your smoking apparatus of choice, or use it to roll joints.
Furthermore, hash can be consumed without the need for combustion. You can dab or vape it in the same way you do with other cannabis concentrates.
Hashish is a potent concentrate, with a potency of up to 60% THC with minimal plant material.
Just like with any cannabis concentrate, high-quality products are made using quality marijuana. The better the starting material, the better the product. Hash can often be found at a variety of prices depending on the product quality.
Another benefit of hash is how many ways it can be consumed. It is incredibly easy to increase the potency of your session by adding some hash to the mix.
Since more terpenes are preserved, the flavour is also rich and highly enjoyable. Moreover, it’s easy to store for long periods and takes up very little space. You can get hash and store it for long periods of time until needed.
Hashish has high levels of potency, which means that consumers and patients need to exercise caution.
Start low and go slow with your consumption levels of hashish and other concentrates.
Newer or first-time consumers of cannabis should pay close attention to the effects, especially adverse effects, of consuming hash. Consider using less hash and letting more time pass between sessions to avoid over-consumption.
A Flavourful and Potent Concentrate
The intense flavour of dry sift is not for everyone, but it does make a great addition to dried flower.
Some people love it, while others do not. This is one of the main downsides of hash, although new products have been vastly improved. The menu of hash products has expanded dramatically, making it hard to find the best choice for you.
With the menu of hash products continuously expanding, consumers should take their time to make the right purchase.
Whatever your objective or intent, knowledge of the cannabis plant and its many concentrated derivatives can open up new avenues for consumption that may be beneficial or better suited for you.