Hash is a potent cannabis extract that’s been used for centuries throughout Asia, the Arab world, and India. It was introduced to the West in the 19th century when a literary giants like Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Charles Baudelaire consumed hashish in Parisian nightclubs.
Hashish is made by separating the resinous trichomes, which contains marijuana’s active ingredients, from the plant material. There are a variety of ways to do this, from dry sifting kief (see above) to the use of liquid solvents.
In fact, if you can make kief then you’re only one-step away from making a simple form of hash, which can be no as easy as pressing high-quality kief into a block or ball using a pollen press or even your fingers.
Lightly heating the kief while applying pressure is just a slightly more involved process, making for a hash product with a better shelf life. Other methods include using solvents like ice water, butane, or ethanol, which strip further levels of plant material.
However, techniques using flammable solvents can expose hash makers to risks such as fires or explosions. When solvents are used to make hash, then great care needs to be taken during the drying phase so that no mold or bacteria contaminates the hash concentrate.
Ice Water Hash
Making hash using the ice-water solvent method is relatively straightforward, safe, and effective. Basically, the goal is to separate the trichomes from the stalks, buds, and leaves. This is accomplished by adding kief or plant material to ice water, which is then agitated, so that the trichomes sink to the bottom while the plant material floats to the top. Various screens and filtration bags are used and the entire process typically takes several days, including drying.
Making ice-water hash is doable, but requires a fair amount of mixing, filtering, and complicated freezing techniques. It’s not beyond the casual user, but many may question whether it’s worth all the effort. In most cases, ordinary users will probably want to avoid hash making methods that utilize flammable solvents as they can pose significant risks.