Why do we have hashish?
Making hashish is a wonderful way to conserve production long after harvest. Whether in the kitchen or in the lab, making hash is a process accessible to everyone. Using old school methods or new market techniques, the process is relatively simple: stir, sift, remove trichomes, collect resin, sort resin by size, dry the resin, smoke it and enjoy! Ed Rosenthal aka the Guru of Ganja gives us his secrets.
What are the ways to make Hash?
- WATER AND ICE
Water and ice can be used to mechanically separate the trichomes from the plant, and the sieves can concentrate the trichome glands into uncompressed or "free" hashish.
Read also: MANUFACTURE OF HASCHICH WITHOUT SOLVENTS
Further machine refinement and tighter temperature and humidity control will result in the strongest solvent-free concentrates.
Squeezing unrefined hashish into balls, cakes or plates is a two-step process: First, the trichome glands are collected; then the collected material is compressed into bricks or balls.
Pressing hash involves a combination of force and gentle heat to condense the glands into a solid mass. The shape and size of the hash vary depending on the pressing method. When squeezed by hand, hash is often ball-shaped. Flat-pressed hash can resemble thin shale rock, with hardened, shelf-like layers flaking off along the folds. Mechanically pressed mince is usually a clean cake, like bar soap.
What good hashish looks like
Hashish comes in color and flexibility. The variety used, the method of manufacture, the temperature and the purity of the kief influence its color. Its hue ranges from pale yellow to charcoal black and its texture ranges from soft to hard and brittle.
Hashish oxidizes and darkens under the influence of light, oxygen and heat. Whatever its texture, high-quality hash should soften with the simple warmth of your hands.
How to squeeze Kief or Water Hash?
Before attempting to compress the kief or hash made with water, the material must be completely dry. To make sure that all moisture has been removed before pressing, dry it one last time: here are different drying methods.
- Place the kief or water hash in a food dehydrator set to the lowest
- In a horticultural heating mat preset to 23˚C
- In the microwave at very low temperature
- In an open dish in a freezer protected from frost
Vacuum conditions promote the evaporation of water, preventing mold from infecting and spoiling the hashish. However, when the drying temperature is above 24˚C, some terpenes evaporate, diminishing the unique odors of the kief and their effects.
Pressing transforms matter both chemically and physically; the trichome glands are warmed up and most of them shatter, releasing the sticky oils that contain the psychoactive cannabinoids, as well as the terpenes that are the source of the smell, taste and subsequent effects of cannabis.
Terpenes perfume hashish. The characteristic smells and flavors of hashish range from pungent or peppery to floral. Many terpenes are volatile at room temperature. When inhaled, they contribute to lung expansion (cough factor), as well as taste. Aged kief is both smoother and smoother, and less irritating to coughs, as some terpenes (but not THC) have worn off.
The release and warming of cannabinoids exposes them to the air. This has the beneficial effect of potentiating THC by decarboxylation. Continued exposure to light, air, heat and humidity results in deterioration of THC.
You can press the hash manually or mechanically. Manual methods work well for small quantities. Mechanical methods use a press, which is fast, convenient and efficient.
Here are 4 ways to make hashish at home
Method of manufacturing hashish with (clean) shoes
This pressing method allows you to perform multiple tasks at once. While you're busy doing other things, the hash is squeezed discreetly into your shoe!
Shoe-squeezing hash is an easy way to squeeze a small amount of kief or hash into water. A few grams, usually 5 grams or less, are bagged in cellophane or parchment paper wrapped around the material several times. A piece of duct tape prevents it from unfolding. Punch a pinhole in the package to allow trapped air to escape. Do not use a plastic bag because the hashish sticks to it in a messy way. It is important that the material is securely sealed before it enters your shoe.
Place the package inside the heel of your shoe. Shoes with hard soles or boots are better for pressing than shoes with soft soles, like athletic shoes, which take longer to process the kief.
The weight and pressure of the heel inside the shoe, aided by body heat, compress the hashish into a slab. This pressing lasts from 15 minutes to an hour of activity.
Kief pressing or compression in the hand
Hand pressing is a method of turning kief into hash that is a few grams at a time. Hand pressing is convenient as it does not require additional equipment but requires considerable energy and results are best with practiced technique. Those who are not used to pressing by hand may have difficulty bonding materials together. The considerable work it takes to squeeze the hashish well can easily result in sore hands.
This method works best when using freshly sifted medium to premium quality kief. If the kief contains a significant amount of plant material, it is more difficult to mold it and it may not stick properly. To squeeze by hand, make a small, cool pile that will fit comfortably in the hand, usually a few grams at most. Work it with one hand against the other until it begins to form a solid piece. Then rub it between the palms of the hands or between the palm and thumb. After 10 minutes or more it will start to change density. Dry, aged kief does not have some of its original tack and may take longer to stick together but if stored correctly it should cooperate, although it may require more kneading. When a piece of hash has not been pressed properly, it crumbles easily at room temperature.
If the kief is particularly stubborn and does not want to stick together to form a lump, heat it slightly. Wrap it in food grade cellophane, making sure it is completely sealed and all air is expelled. Wrap this wrapper in several layers of wet newspaper, fabric or paper towels. Turn frequently, reheat in a frying pan over low heat. It does not need to be heated as long as other methods because the only point of heating is to make the material stick together so that it can be kneaded into a solid part.
Another method is to wrap it in the same way and press it for a few seconds on each side with an iron on very low heat.
Hot water bottle manufacturing method
The concept of using the hot water bottle method is similar to pressing by hand. However, more heat is applied to completely melt the waxy cuticle of each trichome head. This method works with a medium to high quality resin that is bone dry.
Place a bunch of resin on the surface of organic cellophane or parchment paper. Fold the paper in half. Bring the water to a boil. Fill a wine bottle with hot water. Let the bottle cool for 5 minutes. Place the bottle of mulled wine on the paper-covered resin and let it sit for 30 seconds.
Look through the bottle to the dark spot of the heating resin. If the color changes quickly, you have a sign that the resin will press very quickly. If the resin barely begins to change after 30 seconds, you will need to work the resin a lot more. Carrying out a series of passes, roll the wine bottle over the resin, exerting minimal pressure. Allow the heat to melt the material gently, using the pressure of your hand. Turn the paper over and do the same on the other side.
The resin should no longer be a mound, but rather a flat pancake and not a pancake: if not quite so. With a flick of the wrist, open the paper. The resin should be tacky and have a nice shine. Fold the resin in half, then fold over and start pressing again. Repeat this process one more time before taking the hot resin in the palm of your hand.
To create a modern "temple ball," roll the ball like a mass of clay. Roll it up with firm pressure; compress the resin together and blow off excess air. Resin that has bumps, wrinkles and fine lines needs to be worked more deeply. Keep rolling the resin until you are satisfied with the mass in your hand.
With a resin of very high quality, the result will be a mass of resin completely melted and brilliant, ready to be stored.
Mechanical press manufacturing process
Making hash is a snap with a power press. Binding presses can also be used. Plans are available on the web for building a press using a hydraulic cylinder.
Hand pump hydraulic presses are a less expensive way to get a tight press. Another cost effective method uses a vise grip, although it does require some adaptation.
For small quantities, a pollen press can be used with a handheld pollen collector mill, the kief is added to this small metal tube. The tightening pin is fitted and the pollen press is screwed on. The next day the kief was pressed into a clean hash block. Many companies now have similar presses, including one made of stainless steel with a low torque T-handle.
How to store hashish
Once the hash is pressed, it can be stored for months or even years with little deterioration in potency and flavor, with proper storage. A frost-free freezer is the best place to store hashish.
Metal, glass or silicone containers are best for storage. Plastics and rubber are not recommended because the terpenes responsible for the flavor and aroma of hashish are somewhat volatile compounds that chemically interact with the plastic or rubber, degrading both the hash and the container. However, this happens slowly under freezing conditions.
Over time, the outer layer of hashish oxidizes and loses potency. The interior, not exposed to light and oxygen, remains powerful. Remember that soft light, heat, humidity, and oxygen oxidize the exterior of hash, destroying its potency.
Special thanks Ed rosenthal for his work and his explanations. Edward “Ed” Rosenthal is a California cannabis horticulturist, author, publisher and producer known for his advocacy for the legalization of marijuana use. He was a columnist for High Times magazine in the 1980s and 1990s.