Lovely green buds may be in for some fierce popularity contest according to recent reports. In spite of the fact that hashish aka hash has been around for quite some time (along with its infamous reputation), it is only now that the US market seems to be welcoming it with arms wide open. 

What is hashish and why do we “need” it so much all of a sudden? Just like any other industry, the cannabis business is introducing alternative ways of consuming marijuana in order to gain higher revenues. With the latest trends in cannabis concentrates, hashish fits perfectly.

Since it’s going to be present on the shelves of our favorite dispensaries, even more, the time is right to learn something more about hash. You should always be aware of what you’re taking into your body—and mind, in this case—right? How to make hash on your own is also a skill you could master to be confident about its ingredients since there’s a lot of low-quality hash out there.

With that in mind, here’s a closer look at these cannabis “brownies.”

What Is Hash and What Does It Look Like?

Hash’s name comes from the Arabic word hashīsh which means “dried herb.” Also known as hasheesh, bhong, ganja, or by its Hindi hharas, hashish originates from India and Nepal.

It is a concentrated substance made from the marijuana resin which can come from different species of cannabis (Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, or Ruderalis). Hashish contains a staggering amount of THC—marijuana tends to have 10 to 20% while THC levels in hashish can range from 20 to all the way up to 60%.

Hashish can take different forms depending on the production method. Its color varies from dark green or yellow to reddish-brown to almost black. Also, with regard to how it is obtained, the looks are different, too. Some are dark and shiny, while other hash drug pieces are matte and resemble a piece of soap. Their textures can vary too—some are hard and dry so they crumble when you break it, while others are more flexible and moist, like clay.

If all other attempts to identify it fail, there’s always the pungent, distinctive smell of smoking resin to count on. Bear in mind it should always have a strong, earthy or spicy smell. If it doesn’t, then it most probably isn’t hash at all. The many forms that hashish can take are also a huge problem, as it is hard to discern between the original and the (dangerous) fake.

What Is Kief and How to Use It

What Is Hashish - Kief

If you wish to make hashish completely on your own, then you first have to make yourself some kief, keef, or keif, as it is commonly misspelled. This is the initial step in making hashish since it is by pressing kief that hashish is obtained.

Kief is a pollen-like substance located in the trichomes (hairs) of the plant. Most of them are located in the flowers, though they can be present in the other parts as well, but in lesser concentrations. When you take a nug, look at the sticky crystals covering it—that’s your kief right there, filled with cannabinoids and terpenes.

What to do with kief if you don’t feel like making hash? After using one of the extraction methods (which we’ll explain later in the part about making hashish), you should get a fine, brownish powder that you can use in a number of ways.

First, you must be aware of its potency. Technically, kief is present in every nug you’re buying, but it is mixed with a variety of other substances, so its effect is weakened. On the other hand, pure kief is almost like pure THC and it can give you a mind-blowing high.

With that in mind, you can use it according to your preference:

  • Sprinkle some kief onto your joint and it will boost its impact. It also works for blunts and Thai sticks.
  • Use it to make edibles – due to its potency, you’ll need less of it than oil when making your favorite dish.
  • Make moonrocks – this is a special type of weed bud dipped into kief.
  • Add it to your bong to improve low-quality weed.
  • Finally, you can press it, heat it, and make hashish.

And here is just how to do it.

How to Make Hash

What Is Hashish - How to Make

There are several ways how the weed resin content can be extracted from trichomes and concentrated, and corresponding to this, several types of hashish. Before hashish ends up in the form of a “cake,” this is what it takes:

Bubble Hash 

Every respectable American cannabis user has heard of it. After all, it is only the most common hash in the country. For making bubble hash, you’ll need a bucket of ice freezing water. Soak your marijuana and stir to separate the trichome glands from the plant. The mixture should then be filtered through three or five mesh screens. Once you dry it, you’ll have yourself some 70–80% of THC in a light or dark brown color.

Royal Afghani/Royal Border Hash 

You may know how to make bubble hash, but this one would require more skill. 

Firstly, you’ll need a hash press, also known as a kief press, and some Cannabis Indica. Then, start pressing the flowers by adding a bit of water or tea until you feel the mass has become flexible and started to smell strong. This is a sure sign you can mold the material into small balls, and later into bars. This hashish is black on the outside (unless it oxidizes into gray), but brown or dark green on the inside.

Lebanese Hash

For Lebanese hashish, the hash plant shouldn’t be completely dry before it’s collected from the field and hung to dry in a barn (pretty much like tobacco). The dried buds are then rubbed with a silk material and the powder is put in plastic bags to “age” until wintertime. After that, it can be pressed into yellow or reddish-brown slabs.

Blender Hash

This one is very easy and practical. Take the trimmings prepared for making hashish and put them in a blender with some ice and water. Mix everything, and when you turn off the blender, the trichomes will sink to the bottom of it.

Pour the mixture through a screen so water and trichomes can go through it. Allow the solution to rest for thirty minutes so you can see the trichomes at the bottom of a jar. Leave one-third of the water in, and put it in the fridge for ten minutes before pouring it through a coffee filter. Finally, the coffee filter will have your precious resin-rich trichomes, and you can have kief to mold.

Finger Hash

The simplest method is similar to dry ice hash aka bubble hashish, but this one really includes ice in the production. Having completed the weed harvest, your fingers will be sticky with all the trichomes from dealing with the crops. If you had gloves on, you can put them in the freezer and later easily remove the resin content off them. However, such hash is low quality until you purify it. This method is the oldest one in the books, too, as harvest workers would simply rub their fingers until they made a small ball of hash.

Once you master the process of making hashish, you could also learn how to make hash oil. Roughly speaking, this is how the process goes: You would need to buy some strong alcohol (vodka, or brand of nearly-pure ethanol like Everclear) and then add some ground marijuana to it and let sit for 24h before you filter it out with a coffee filter. Then, you leave the mixture in an open jar for an additional 24–48h and you’ll finally have your share of hash oil.

How to Smoke Hash

What Is Hashish - Smoking

When talking about kief, we have already mentioned a few ways to use the THC-rich substance, but let’s also discuss them from the hash point of view. Here are all the ways you can smoke your hard-earned hashish:

  • Joint or cigarette. Just crush a block and add it when you’re preparing a joint. It can be added to both tobacco or weed. 
  • Pipe or a bong. This is not as powerful when we talk about the potency of the “high,” but it is much more friendly for your lungs.
  • Hookah. A Middle Eastern way of smoking which allows for more than one person to relish the hashish effect.
  • Vaping. A very convenient way to consume hashish oil nowadays. They work for other concentrates, too.
  • Dabbing. What is hashish without dabbing? Similarly to other cannabis concentrates (wax, shatter), it is very easy to dab.
  • Hash globe/bottle. These are similar in a way that in both cases you should insert a piece of hashish, or cannabis with kief, light it and inhale the smoke.
  • The knife method. Take two knives and heat them on the stove, or use a lighter until they are extremely hot. Remove it from the heat, put a little hash on one, and put the other on it. For better inhalation, use a straw to take in the smoke.

There are plenty of creative ways, but don’t forget this will take you much higher than a regular joint. The experience is not for the faint-hearted, nor beginners, and even experienced smokers have to be mindful of the dosage.

What Is Hashish Good (and Bad) For

While the internet is overflowing with articles on how to make hashish, how to recognize fake hashish, and what the best way to consume it is, little is said about its effects apart from the fact that its high THC content makes you feel “stoned” beyond your wildest expectations. However, we are going to dig a bit deeper.

Positive Hashish Effects

Basically, discussing hash medical benefits comes down to the studies about the effect of THC on our health. Here is what THC can be good for:

  • Fighting insomnia
  • Pain relief
  • Reducing nausea
  • Battling Alzheimer’s
  • Stopping the progress of cancer cells
  • Appetite booster
  • Helps with PTSD
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Preventing seizures

Moreover, hashish is also filled with other cannabinoids and terpenes, which act together with THC in what is known as the entourage effect

Negative Hashish Effects

On the other hand, the concentration of THC may be too much to handle for CBD in hashish (CBD offsets some of the negative impacts of THC). Hence, this is what you may expect if you choose to go on a hash trip:

  • Nausea
  • Altered perception of time and space
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleepiness
  • Weight gain (increased appetite)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Apathy
  • Moodiness
  • Respiratory issues (due to hashish smoke)

So, what would the final verdict be? Is hashish good or bad for us? That would be almost the same as if you were to ask if marijuana has any health benefits. Hashish can help us in more than one way for sure. Just like marijuana nugs, pills, creams, or drinks, it can be recommended by a physician and you can buy it with your medical card if needs be. 

Nevertheless, if we are to feel its advantages, we should do so with great caution. Remember, the dosage is key. As much as hashish bars and THC give immense pleasure, this can also lead to a kind of psychological addiction and even overdosing.

Buying or Making Hash: Which Is Better?

What Is Hashish - Buy or Make

Since hashish is not available at every single dispensary, or it gets sold out fairly quickly, it is only too easy to succumb and accept the kind offer from your best friend, or a friend of a friend, selling or giving you their own homemade hash. However, what you may be buying is just another “soap bar,” or contaminated hashish, which can be extremely dangerous.

Experienced hashish smokers know better than to experiment with suspicious bars. At the very least, it may contain some bee wax, spices, or ground coffee, but the other extreme could have you smoking fecal matter, pesticides and rat poisons, mold, glue, henna, or shoe polish.

One of the easiest ways to detect fake hash is to look at its edges. Soap bar mixture is usually sealed into plastic bags to form the bar shape, so you should avoid smoking hash whose edges are perfectly shiny and slightly curved. When you burn it, the fake hash will have a really unpleasant smell and it will turn gritty instead of looking malleable or sticky.

Admittedly, there are some ways to purify contaminated hash, but ask yourself if it is really worth the effort when it’s extremely hard to get rid of all the harmful ingredients (and you don’t know which ones they are in the first place).

Hashish price is high compared to regular weed, but you mustn’t put a price tag on your health. If buying hashish from a regular, reputable dispensary is too pricey for you at the moment, then make your own, or just give up on it. Not a fun thing to do, but certainly the safest. Or would you rather be smoking some poop?

Conclusion

What is hashish in today’s world? It’s still one of the quickest ways to get stoned, but also a kind of medicine prescribed in cases when one would benefit from an extremely high content of THC. If you feel like it, you can make your own version and be sure what exactly goes into your psychoactive “play dough.” A variety of ways it can be consumed is also appealing, with smoking or vaping being the most popular ones. Just remember the hashish effect is extremely strong, and experimenting with poor quality hash is simply not worth the trouble.