Concentrated Cannabis: 4 Ways to Make Hash at Home
Why make hash?
Making hash is a wonderful method of preserving resin long after cannabis has been harvested. Whether in the kitchen or in the lab, hash making is a process that is available to everyone. Using old school methods or new school techniques, the process is relatively straightforward — agitate to remove trichomes, collect the resin, sort the resin by size, dry the resin, smoke and enjoy!
What are the ways you can make hash?
Water and ice
Water and ice can be used to mechanically separate trichomes from the plant, and filters can concentrate the glands into unpressed or “loose” hash.
Side note You might also be interested in watching: WATER HASH 101: Plus 6 methods for DIY Water Hash
Further refinement using machinery and tighter control of temperature and humidity will yield the strongest nonsolvent concentrates.
Pressing unrefined hash into balls, cakes, or slabs creates hashish; all steps of the process are consumable, but making hashish is a two-step process: First, the glands are collected; second, the collected material is compressed into bricks or balls.
Pressing hash involves a combination of force and mild heat to condense the glands into a solid mass. The shape and size of hash varies depending on the pressing method. When hand pressed, hash is often ball-shaped. Flat-pressed hash may look like thin shale rock, with hardened shelf-like layers that chip along the creases. Mechanically pressed hash is usually a neat cake, like a bar of soap.
What does hash look like and what is the high experienced?
Hashish ranges in color and pliability. The variety of marijuana used, manufacturing method, temperature, and the purity of the kief influence its color, which ranges from light yellow-tan to charcoal black, and its texture, which ranges from pliable taffy to hard and brittle.
Hashish oxidizes and darkens from exposure to light, oxygen, and heat. Regardless of its texture, high-quality hash should soften with the simple warmth of your hands.
Aficionados often describe the high that hash produces as more complex than that of kief. In the region of traditional hash making kief is typically aged, sometimes for a year or more, before it’s pressed. Most modern hash makers do not wait that long.
How to press kief or water hash
Before attempting to compress kief or water hash the material must be completely dry. To ensure that all moisture has been eliminated before pressing, dry the material one last time. Place the kief or water hash in a food dehydrator set on the lowest setting, or a horticultural heat mat (preset at 74˚F [23˚C]), microwave the material on low, or place it in an open dish in a frost-free freezer. The vacuum conditions promote water evaporation, preventing mold from infecting and spoiling the hash. However, when the drying temperature is above 75˚F (24˚C), some of the terpenes will evaporate, diminishing the kief’s unique odors and their effects.
Side note: You might also be interested in making dry ice kief. Here are 8 simple steps to making Dry Ice Kief
Pressing transforms the material both chemically and physically; the glands are warmed and most break, releasing the sticky oils that contain the psychoactive cannabinoids, as well as the terpenes—the source of cannabis’s smell, taste, and suite of effects.
Terpenes lend fragrance to the hash. Smells and flavors characteristic to hashish range from spicy or peppery to floral. Many terpenes are volatile at room temperature. When in-haled, they contribute to the lung expansiveness (cough factor), as well as the taste. Aged kief is both milder in smell and flavor, and less cough inducing, because some of the terpenes (but not the THC) have dissipated.
Releasing and warming cannabinoids exposes them to air. This has the beneficial effect of potentiating the THC through decarboxylation. Continued exposure to light, air, heat, and moisture leads to THC deterioration.
You can press hash manually or mechanically. Manual methods work well for smaller amounts. Mechanical methods use a press, which is fast, convenient, and efficient.
Pressing hash involves a combination of force and mild heat to condense the glands into a solid mass.