Hash does not grow on trees. It must be prepared from the cannabis plant. No one knows when the first cave person got the idea to process cannabis into Hash bricks, but they started using Hash in medical, social, and religious circles.
Preparing Hash presents some risks and challenges, but tens of thousands make their Hash around the world. Hopefully, this complete guide to making Hash at home will help you build a stash.
There is a freshness factor to homemade Hash. It does have a shelf-life during which it loses moisture. Manufactured and retailed Hash stretches out its life cycle, so even the best Hash available in dispensaries is midway through its potential. You will have some hits and misses preparing your Hash, but the trial and error will make it easier in time.
You will also have some out-of-pocket costs at the start. However, you will become more efficient in the process, and the resulting product will undercut the price of retail Hash online or in stores.
Finally, as the chef, you can control the purity and dosing of your Hash. Of course, the best dispensaries carry third-party tested Hash packaged and clearly labeled. But running your own kitchen assures you the quality you want.
What's the plan?
It would help if you started with a plan. You do not just throw everything into one pot and expect it to turn out well. It would be best if you decided how much product you want to prepare and plan the potency. While you might add some cannabis debris you have laying around, you should decide on the quantity and quality you expect.
You need a plan to organize a budget for supplies, tools, and cannabis resources. The strain matters, and if you intend to blend strains, you must know everything you can research about those strains.
Any sensible plan should aim to produce a modest amount of Hash, an amount you expect to use over the next month, for example. While Hash remains fresh longer than dry flower, it does not pay to prepare too much for your use.
Research what you are doing. You do not jump into this without some forethought. You must understand the chemistry of your chosen strains and the biochemistry of preparation — for example, heat and cold change the fundamental makeup of ingredients.
Secure the necessary supplies. Depending on your plan, you must have grinders, screens, buckets, ice, water, solvents, and more. You want to optimize the trichomes, so you should opt for Dried Buds. These break down into "dust" that is pressed easily through screens.
You can harvest the male cannabis plants that are usually trashed. Their trichomes lack the potency of female plants, but you can make good use of them. Then, there are the fan leaves and sugar leaves. Just about every part of cannabis is useful.
Start easy. Using a dry method is a good start. However, while you can begin with bits and pieces of cannabis debris that you have lying around, you would get more quality out of strains with which you are familiar.
Try it dry. The dry method separates the trichomes from the plant material by moving the cannabis trimmings around on a silkscreen. As you move the product around with a credit or business card, the finer elements will fall through the screen to a larger sheet of parchment paper below.
Then, you repeat the process with the kief that has formed on the parchment. You want to sift the trim until you have >20% of the weight at the start. You shape that by-product into small thin blocks by pressing the kief between sheets of paper and cutting it with the credit card. You will repeat this pressing and cutting until you have a solid brownie.
Try the rub. If you want speed and convenience, you wash the hands clean and free of toxins, additives, and odors. You then remove the stems and leaves from a bud of your favorite strain, and placing the bud between your hands, you roll it around gently.
The process will leave a black resin on the palms and fingers of both hands. You scrape the resin onto clean parchment paper with a straight edge to shape the extract as before.
Try the blender. You cover your strain's trimmings with water and fill the blender with ice. After blending the contents for one minute, you should have a cannabis smoothie. The mixture's sediment will settle to the bottom in 30 to 45 minutes.
Pouring carefully and slowly, remove 2/3 of the water. Adding more ice and water, you repeat the process once or twice to eliminate as must plant matter as possible. Then pour the contents through a coffee filter to find the Hash waiting to dry and press into segments for later use.
Try bagging it. You can find products and devices to help you. There are Ice-o-Lator Bags, for instance. These are mesh bags available with different gauge screens. First, you cover your cannabis with water and ice in one bucket, stirring it for <15 minutes to break off the trichomes.
Next, you set up four cannabis mesh bags in order with the finest mesh first. With the bag's lip secured around a second bucket's rim, you pour the first bucket's contents through the mesh.
You repeat the process with each of the Ice-o-Lator bags from the finest to coarsest. Set aside the last bag to let the contents dry before you press and cut into segments.
Try automating it. You might invest in a mechanical drum to make your Hash. It does everything you can do manually, but it does the work while you walk away. You place your strain trimmings on the drum's screen, and it spins and shakes to separate the trichomes. The process is repeated with several bags and different mesh settings until the result is ready to dry, press, and shape. However, these machines are not cheap.
Is it worth it?
Yes. If you use cannabis regularly for medical or recreational purposes, you understand the cost of the habit. You do not want to waste what you can save. Preparing Hash will reduce that waster. Moreover, it will produce a product with a meaningful quality and potency.