This article is sponsored by Seed Supreme.
There will always be those purists for whom hash represents nothing more than a second rate alternative to quality cannabis bud. But what you can say about such people is one of two things: they’ve either never tried seriously awesome resin or they’ve been put off by a shitty batch. There is of course a third group, populated by those who really don’t know what the hell they are talking about.
The thing about hash is that it can be as epic or awful as you want it to be. Or should that be, as the person making it wanted it to be. Those hairy little trichomes that make cannabis plants look so pretty are also the most potent part of the entire plant. Packed with a massive dose of THC, hash is supposed to be about harvesting these gorgeous little goodies, compressing them into a different form and enjoying the hell out of them. All good, so why does hash get such a bad name in so many places?
The answer—there’s nothing but pure garbage available. Dark, rock-hard lumps of God knows what that you know are full of filler and taste like dung. Smoke some of this, and you’ll no doubt put off hash for life, but the truth of the matter is that this really isn’t hash… it’s “soap-bar.”
By contrast, make your own hash, and you—and you alone—get to decide what does and doesn’t make it into to mix. And if you’re lucky enough to live where you can grow your own legally with the best hydroponics systems… well, let’s just say you’re pretty much golden!
Why Make DIY Hash?
So to address the obvious elephant in the room—why bother? You’ve picked up Seed Supreme’s best wares, you’ve invested your heart and soul into growing killer bud, and you’re proud as hell with what you’ve achieved. So why on Earth would you want to then process it into hash?
Well, everyone has their own personal reasons for making hash, but the way we see it, the most obvious are as follows:
- It’s Discreet – If you’re looking for a way of stashing your stash in a space-saving and discreet manner, hash takes up a hell of a lot less space and doesn’t smell nearly as strong.
- It Lasts For Ages – While good cannabis doesn’t have the longest shelf life no matter how you store it, properly stored hash will last for ages.
- It’s Purer – Or at least, it is if you make it yourself. As you’re focusing on the trichomes and cutting out the rest, you end up smoking more of the stuff that gets you high and less of everything else.
- It’s Economical – When making hash, you can extract the trichomes from the male plants and parts of the cannabis plants you might usually throw out.
- It’s Cool – Really, how many other people do you know right now who make the kind of hash that’s the stuff of legends?
- It’s Easy – Last but not least, it’s so much easier to make hash than you might think, and you don’t need acres of marijuana plants to get the job done.
Three Steps to Hash Heaven
Technically speaking, there are only three steps you need to worry about in the process. Well, four if you count setting up a Hydrosys hydroponics system and spending months cultivating the bud of your dreams. But the other three are collecting the trichomes, pressing the trichomes together and enjoying your final product. That’s it—no chemistry degree needed, believe it or not.
Step 1 – Collection
There are a few different ways of gathering up those trichomes—make your choice in accordance with time available, how lazy you’re feeling and so on. You can always have a crack at the method of rubbing your hands all over your plants ‘til they accumulate the stuff you need. But to be perfectly frank, this archaic approach really is as dead as the dodo. Instead, we recommend going for one of the following:
The Pollen Catcher Technique
If you have all the time in the world and the idea of being supremely lazy appeals to you, this could be the way to go. It’s basically a case of keeping your cannabis in some kind of container with a screen of mesh toward the bottom. As you go about your usual smoking habits, plenty of trichomes will fall from the bud naturally and slip through the screen at the bottom. You pull out the bud, put some back, shake the container and so on —all of which helps the process over time. The mesh will allow the trichomes to fall through, but no other bits and pieces from the plant. Admittedly, it will usually take several months before you see any real results, but sooner or later (most probably later), you will begin to see a building up of kief in the bottom—i.e. un-pressed trichomes. And just for the record, if you grind your buds slightly before placing them in the container, more trichomes will be released and collected.
The Sieve Technique
While this is something of a more labour intensive approach, it will also yield results much quicker. Make sure you have on hand approximately 200 g of stems and leaves etc., or about two ounces of good quality bud. What you are basically looking to do is take the technique mentioned above and turbocharge it. The sieve you use needs to have holes between 65 and 125 microns in size—no bigger or smaller. Framed screens get the job done great and can be purchased or made at home for next to nothing. Make sure your bud is well-ground and place it on the screen, positioned above a mirror or sheet of glass.
It’s then a case of simply tilting it one way then the other, causing the bud to tumble about and send those trichomes through the sieve. When the cascade onto the glass slows, give it a good jiggle around for long enough to get as many of the stubborn trichomes through as possible. It’s the same approach with unwanted plant matter too, only in this instance, you’ll need to actually push the material around manually. In both cases, the bits you’re left with on top of the screen won’t be useful for much, other than perhaps a batch of cannabis butter.
The Drum Technique
This method takes the sieve method and soups it up with a little electricity. Or in other words, it’s exactly the same principle aside from the fact that the cylinder is electrically powered and does the hard work on your behalf. It’s not a big machine and will barely use more power than an electric toothbrush. But while it’s a way faster and easier approach to getting the job done, you won’t get nearly as much precise control over quality. As such, it’s a good idea to set the machine going for a short amount of time, checking what’s coming out and stopping before the low-end stuff starts passing through.
The Blender Technique
Using about the same amount of bud or plant material as the sieve technique, this method brings all the joys of science into the equation. Along with being heavier than water, trichomes snap off more readily when they’re cold. Along with a blender, you’ll need water, ice, paper coffee filters, a metal coffee filter and two glass jars. Throw the weed you’ve decided to use into the blender, filling it half way. Cover it with cold water, toss in some ice and blitz it for about 30-40 seconds. It looks horrific, but it’s all good… so don’t panic. After this, take the slushie you’ve made and pour it through the metal coffee filter into a glass jar, in order to get rid of most of the plant material. Stick the green liquid in the jar in the fridge and leave long enough for the trichomes to fall to the bottom—40 minutes should do it. Next, very carefully take the jar and remove about 70 percent of the liquid, being sure not to disturb the bottom layer. After this, place the jar in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool a little deeper. Take it out, pour the contents through the paper filter into another glass jar and watch all those gorgeous goodies collect on the paper. Let the filter dry for at least 24 – 48 hours and harvest the goodness.
The Hash Bag Technique
Using hash bags sort of combines the best of both the sieve and blender methods, though it is slightly labour-intensive and demands a fair few accessories. You’ll need to buy a set of hash bags, two spotless buckets, massive amounts of ice and a hand blender… unless you’re already stocked up.
Place an unholy amount of ice in one of the buckets, add your weed and tip up with water. Use the hand blender with a whisk to get busy whisking it all up for up to 45 minutes. Some also swear by using an sonic toothbrush with a spoon attached, but it’s really your call. It’s then a case of pouring the liquid through the hash bag with the biggest holes (the work bag) into the second bucket. Squeeze it to remove plenty of the water, then get to work arranging the rest of the bags in bucket number one. The bag with the smallest holes goes in first, gradually working up to the bag with the largest holes. The idea being that as you pour the liquid through, it ensures the best stuff gets preserved for the bottom bag and the larger bits of cannabis plant matter get pulled out at the top.
Once poured, take out all the bags at the same time, put them to one side and once again pour the contents of the bucket through the work bag over the empty bucket. Squeeze it, place it aside, then repeat the multi-bag bucket-pour process once again. After this, it’s simply a case of separating the bags, getting as much of the good stuff off the screens as possible and placing it somewhere to dry for a couple of days at least. It’s a bit of a process, but the results should speak for themselves.
The debate as to whether anything else should be added to the hash you cook up at home is pretty heated to say the least. Some say there’s nothing wrong with throwing a little funk into the mix—others say anything other than pure kief is nothing short of heresy. So it’s really up to you, but if you don’t want to lay waste to your hard work, don’t go throwing in anything stupid. Just because it can and will burn doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to add it. You’d be surprised what two-bit dealers chuck in just to make it go further—everything from paper to plastic to pure chemicals.
Step 2 — Trichome Pressing
So now that you have got yourself an impressive stockpile of kief, what exactly do you do with it? Well, there are basically two options to choose from when it comes to putting your final hash product together, which are as follows:
The Brute Force Technique
Assuming you aren’t intending on making hash on some kind of industrial scale, it’s probably advisable to pick up a cheap hash press. The simplest way of putting resin together, all you have to do is place the kief in the press, add the screw attachment and tighten it as tight as you possibly can. It’s then just a case of leaving it for a few days, during which time it’s a good idea to continue attempting to tighten it as much as possible every day. For making small amounts of hash on a regular basis, it’s a fool-proof technique.
The Heat Technique
If on the other hand you are looking to press a much larger quantity of the stuff, the answer lies in heat. An interesting technique to say the least, but nonetheless one that can be surprisingly effective. First of all, take some cardboard and fashion out the shape and size of the hash bar you intend to make in full 3D. After this, wrap plenty of cling film around it to make a bag of the same size as your hash bar, before removing the cardboard. Fill the cling film with your kief and make sure it’s sealed VERY tightly. Take a bunch of old sheets of newspaper, soak them under the tap and wrap them around the kief-filled bag. Place the soggy mess on a frying pan on a low heat, turning every two minutes and ensuring that it is never allowed to dry. After long enough, the stick mess inside will melt together. Take it out of the pan, place it on a surface still in the packaging and give it a good 30 minutes of attention with a rolling pin. Place the whole flat parcel (wrapping included) in the fridge for a while to solidify and unwrap.
Step 3 – Enjoy!
Yes… and feel free to exert as much smugness as you like for coming up with something so damn good.
Just for the record, if you plan on growing your own cannabis with hash-production in mind, be sure to choose a quality hash strain that’s built for the job.