What is Hashish/Hash?
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Hashish, also referred to simply as hash, is a cannabis concentrate that’s typically inhaled or smoked. Hashish can be made using a few different methods, but the essential steps are removing the trichome glands from a cannabis plant and repeatedly compressing them to form a hardened, solid piece. It’s arguably one of the oldest types of cannabis concentrates, with written texts referring to hashish dating as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries. The varying look and feel of hashish is closely tied to its history and the method used to make it.
Sieved hashish, originating in the Middle East and Central Asia, is made from resin powder that’s been collected from harvested and cured cannabis. Modern methods use fine mesh or silk fabrics to physically sift and separate the trichomes from the plant material. The mesh or fabrics used for sifting have varying pore sizes to help refine and purify the trichomes. The resulting powder, or kief, is then pressed and prepared as hashish bars, slabs, or bricks, which can have a flat, hard, or sometimes chalky appearance.
Hash vs. Weed: What’s the Difference?
Both hash and weed come from the cannabis plant. Weed typically refers to the dried flowers of the plant, while hashish is a concentrate derived from the resin.
What makes Hashish Different From Other Cannabis Concentrates?
Hashish is the original concentrate.
Aside from being the world’s oldest cannabis concentrate, hashish is made of trichome glands, which house many of the beneficial compounds available in the cannabis plant. These active molecules — the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of cannabis — work synergistically and are shown to have positive medical effects. Terpenes have also been shown to heighten the effects of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. In a 2011 study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, Dr. Ethan B. Russo wrote about the entourage effect of cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes can boost and amplify the cannabis experience, and lab studies have shown that flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Another standout quality of hashish is that it’s a low-tech concentrate: its production doesn’t require lab-grade equipment or solvents.
Hashish can have a long shelf life. If stored properly, the dry resin powder that’s collected and used to make sieved hashish can last for years. The rate of degradation increases once the kief has been pressed into a slab or bar. The structure of the trichome gland acts as a natural barrier to oxygen, moisture, and other factors that can degrade potency and flavor.
How Do You Use Hashish?
The most common way to use hashish is to smoke it, either by itself or combined with flower. You may find references to eating it, but edibles provide much tastier options and are easier to dose than eating hashish by itself. Hashish produces a thicker smoke than flower alone. Additionally, hashish made with fresher resins makes you cough more than hash made with aged resins. Older resins have had more time to dry, allowing for moisture content and terpenes to evaporate from the trichome glands.
How To Smoke Hash
One of the simplest ways of using hashish is to add it to a bowl of flower in a bong, bubbler, or pipe, boosting the potency and effects.
Hashish can be also be incorporated into a joint and smoked. (If you’re attempting this for the first time, it may be easier- if you avoid using a rolling machine.) Before adding any hashish, first lay out your rolling paper and then add a layer of ground flower. Drier, chalkier hashish can be crushed or cut up, and then sprinkled in the flower before it’s rolled.
Stickier, higher quality hashish softens and is malleable when warmed. You can warm it up by rolling it gently in the palms of your hands. Form it into a thin serpentine shape, then place it on top of the flower. Slowly roll the joint and secure the edges. The rolled hashish should now be secured in the center of your joint and surrounded by a layer of flower.
Hashish can also be smoked on its own.
“Hot knifing,” taking “knife hits” or “knife tokes” refers to a method for smoking hash where two metal knives, usually butter knives, are heated on a hot surface, like the coils of an electric range. The knives are placed on the hot surface until they are very hot or glowing a reddish color. A piece of hashish is placed on the heated part of the flat knife blade. The second knife is placed over the hashish, which helps steady the hashish and increase the burn rate, yielding more smoke. When the hashish starts to smoke, the smoker holds the small end of a funnel-shaped instrument (such as a 2-liter soda bottle cut in half) to their mouth and places the wide end over the knives to capture as much smoke as possible while inhaling.
Pipes are also a convenient way to smoke hash. When smoking hashish by itself in a pipe, use a screen to prevent the smoldering piece of hashish from entering the pipe and accidentally being inhaled. Screens can be a mesh style of either stainless steel or titanium, or a glass style that’s shaped like a flower or star. Place the screen in the opening of the pipe’s bowl and put a piece of hashish on top. Heat the hashish with a lighter or hemp wick until you see a steady wisp of smoke emerge. Remove the heat and inhale from the mouthpiece.