Simplicity, Competition, Passion: The Art of Hashmaking

Hash is patient, hash is kind.
hash
Courtesy: Cold Craft Hash Co.

The word hash or “hashish” is a bit arbitrary like most cannabis terminology but it generally refers to ice water hash or “bubble” hash and hash rosin. It’s a concentrated form of cannabis made without the use of chemical solvents like butane and in its highest quality form it can be dabbed or vaporized for, in my opinion, the best possible experience the cannabis plant has to offer.

I’ve been smoking hash for several years and I actually don’t smoke flower much at all anymore. I’m a recovering benzodiazepine/opiate/anything else available addict and dabbing hash rosin is the only medicine I have tried which quells my anxiety without making it worse the next day. It has given me back a quality of life I thought I had lost forever, one that flower simply cannot produce for me. Maybe I’ve been smoking for too long, maybe it’s my biochemistry or maybe I’m just a basket case but whatever the case, when I smoke hash, I don’t want to use. When I smoke hash, I don’t have panic attacks. When I smoke hash, I feel more capable of being the person I believe I’m supposed to be.

In the process of learning about hash and learning how to make it so I could produce my own medicine without going bankrupt (cheap hash ain’t good, and good hash ain’t cheap) I have crossed paths with many hashmakers, though none moreso than my good buddy Cold Craft Hash Co. who taught me the vast majority of what I know about the modern art of hashmaking. To continue explaining this shit without crediting him would be sinful. For this article I also talked to Todd, owner of Resin Ranch Extraction and Bryan who processes rosin for Heritage Hash Co. Resin Ranch is a legacy brand that comes highly recommended by almost every hashmaker I know and Heritage Hash Co. just took home the gold for their Riddlez rosin at last year’s Ego Clash.

Hash does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant or rude. 

Courtesy: Cold Craft Hash Co.

The Wash

The process of hash-washing varies from person to person and country to country, but in general, it involves mixing ice water with cannabis and agitating the mixture, typically with a paddle, to separate the trichome heads from the plant matter. Trichome heads are microscopic resin glands found all over the cannabis flower which contain THC, cannabinoids, and probably a whole bunch of other yummy shit we have yet to identify.

Once the trichome heads have been separated from the plant matter into the ice water, the water is drained through several different size filters to collect different sizes of microscopic material. The larger micron sizes collect the plant matter and gunk you don’t want, the mid-range size filters tend to catch the higher grade hash that can be dabbed on a quartz nail and the material found in the smallest size filter bag is usually what is used to make edibles and such because it’s a lot of broken, chipped or smaller trichome heads which tend not to dab as well (though this is not a universal rule). In general, fresh and high-quality cannabis material that is processed properly will create workable amounts of high-quality hash. 

“One thing I always say about water hash is I can teach a monkey to make water hash, I can’t teach a monkey how to grow it. The hard work is done in the grow. The water hash, we’re just following steps A, B and C to give you a representation of what the farmer actually did,” Todd of Resin Ranch said.

There are other ways of processing hash including dry sift, which uses magnetism to separate impurities from dried material on screens, but in general, the easiest and most widely used method is to use ice water as described. The hash is then dried using either a freeze drier or traditional air drying techniques (which I have been sworn to absolute secrecy on under threat of castration and humiliation). Once dry, the hash can be consumed as is or pressed into hash rosin using basic heat and pressure either with fancy rosin plates or something as simple as a hair straightener. 

“Hash has been around for thousands of years. Water hash, the late 80’s, early 90’s. It’s really a simple process,” Todd of Resin Ranch said. “My motto is usually KISS: keep it simple stupid. Don’t overthink things. Obviously, machines are great for scaling up, but this is a process that you can pull off with no expensive equipment. The bags are probably going to be the most expensive thing that you have to invest in is a good set of bags, but you don’t necessarily need a cold room like everybody says. You can wash in the winter, cured material you can even do in the summer.”

Hash does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

The Hashmaking Community

I wanted to write this piece because hash culture has taken off in a very prolific way and it seemed important to acknowledge that somehow. More and more people are making great hash, more and more people are smoking great hash, and hash is inspiring more and more art than ever before. From the unbelievable innovations Puffco has been making with their Proxy device and all the super heady glass attachments available for it, to the art of Lot Comedy, to the “I guess everyone makes hash now” hats by All My Hats Are Dead, hash culture has taken much of California and a lot of other legal states by storm. It is extremely important to me as a smoker and as a journalist to keep my finger on the pulse of that storm. 

“When you see the community that’s built around these jars of hash, it’s a pretty special thing,” Todd of Resin Ranch said. “You’re starting to see again, when you go to these events you feel that vibe, that hash community and everybody’s good, everybody’s nice to each other. You kind of just build a whole community.”

Part of what makes the community so tight-knit, at least in my opinion that nobody asked for, is that hash has healed or mended something in all or most who choose to regularly engage with it. For me personally, it was drug addiction which Todd also attested as something he struggled with many years ago as well. For Bryan of Heritage Hash, it was for chronic pain.

“My sophomore year I got ran over by a Jeep and cracked my head open and almost died and had a plate and pins in my head,” Bryan said. “It really helped with a lot of the headaches and the physical side of it. And personally, I deal with anxiety and stuff like that as well just as a person. Nobody’s perfect, we’re all living our lives and just living day to day but cannabis really kind of just, I wake up and feel like me when I’m on cannabis.”

Past that you have competitions like Ego Clash which just scream hash culture from the rooftops as loud as they can. Ego Clash is a death gauntlet style dab competition hosted by Brandon of 3rd Gen Family Farms in which the participants judge each other’s work, one after another to the tune of like 40 dabs in a row. It is not for the faint at heart and the bragging rights from a 1st place win take you further in the hash community than potentially any other niche on Earth because as a people, hashmakers tend to be extremely competitive.

“Ten people got booted from the table before it even started,” Bryan of Heritage said. “Once we made it through that, I knew we weren’t gonna get disqualified and then I was like, alright, let it ride.”

Courtesy: Cold Craft Hash Co.

Boy’s Club No More

I had to include a tribute to the lady hashmakers of the world because due to scheduling issues not to mention everyone and their mother going to Spannabis last month, I did not get to interview any women for this article but they have been making a splash in the hash community lately. From Alice of Wook Sauce Winery taking home an Ego Clash win in Spain to Frosty Nug Lady putting some of the best hashmakers in the world to shame with her batches to Cherry Blossom Belle, who apprenticed under the legendary Frenchy Cannoli and now makes hash for Heritage. Women have been absolutely killing the hash game.

“She is savage, like she really puts her heart and soul into this. You can tell Frenchy’s spirit is totally with her. It’s amazing,” Bryan of Heritage said.

It’s also worth noting that Cold Craft is extremely selective with whose work he speaks praise to in the hash community and he had nothing but good things to say about Cherry Blossom Belle so in general, it wouldn’t be right to have this article go up without acknowledging the work women have put in to not only be an integral part of the hash community but also dominate it. 

Hash bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Hash never ends.

I could go on for another thousand words about the different consistencies, curing methods and tricks of the hash trade but before I give my editors a word-count-induced embolism, to anyone thinking of getting into hash-washing or even just smoking more quality hash, I would suggest you just take Todd’s advice which was as follows: 

“I think what I would like to say about the whole process is just do with love and intention and everything else will work out,” Todd said. “There’s plenty of times that we will just not put a product out because it’s not good enough or we will fuck up and I don’t try to do anything shady to try and sell that product. It’s just nice to go out with the proper intention for me.”

That’s all. I love hash and hash loves you so go out there and make some or smoke more of it and remember: YOU CAN’T SMOKE HASH ALL DAY IF YOU DON’T START IN THE MORNING.

Good hash I’ve smoked recently that you should try if you can:

  • Z Cubed – Cold Craft Hash Co. and Trinity Healing Crops
  • Cranberry Zkittlez – Globert’s Trichome Collection
  • Z Head – Swollen Heads Hash Co.
  • Grape Gas – Masterball Melts
  • Superboof – Trichome Tortoise
  • Starburst 36 #40 – 710 Labs
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  1. To the author…. I use Bubble bags myself.

    I recently picked up a metal paint mixer/planter drill attachment, I used to sit there for hours with a large wooden spoon I hand carved from apple wood, mixing the ice and trim/bud etc etc etc….
    Once I got the paint mixer…… I get most of my hash mixing done in an hour(depending on amount I am making).
    I’ll end up with about 2 ounces of hash per operation. Give or take the amount of material I have….. obviously.
    The mixer is very gentle on the bags and does not harm them at all(at least mine doesn’t) and I ended up with pure nearly white/very light tan, hash.

    I did buy one of those little Rosinator jobbies, I either don’t have it figure out or it doesn’t work…… I don’t even mess with it anymore.

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