What is Hash? (Hashish)
Hash (drug), or Hashish, is a "soft drug" made from the resin of the cannabis plant (marijuana).
Hash vs. Weed - what's the difference?
Hash and weed are very closely related, but they are not the same substance. As stated above, hash is made from the resin of the cannabis plant. The resin, or "trichomes", contain a lot of cannabinoïds (such as THC, CBD, CBN, CBG and many more) that cause the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Therefore, pure hash is often very strong compared to the weed of which it is made.
However, not all hash that is sold on the streets or even by legal cannabis retailers is pure. It often contains other substances to increase the weight, and in some cases it actually contains little to no actual hashish! Good and bad hash are a little harder to identify than just normal cannabis buds, so keep on reading if you want to know our tips on identifying good hash (and bad hash).
How is hash made?
There are many ways to make hash in 2020, but below we are going to briefly describe the two most common ways of making hashish.
Making hash the classic way
Traditional hash comes mostly from Morocco, Afghanistan, Lebanon and a few other countries where there are huge fields with thousands (or even millions) of low-grade marijuana plants, full of seeds, both male and female. This means that smoking those plants would not get you very high, and the growers would not be able to sell the weed for a good price. That is why the farmers make it into a better product: hash. How do they do this? Actually, it's quite simple. The hash farmer has a lot of dry plants, and a big screen / sieve. The dry plants are rubbed onto the screen, making the trichomes (the "THC crystals") seperate from the plant. The trichomes fall through the sieve, but the other plant material stays on top, thus filtering out the trichomes. The trichomes remain below the screen as a fine powder, which is then collected and pressed together using a hash press. The pressure (and often heat) turns the powder into a nice block of hash, ready for transport.
Making hash by rubbing: "charras"
Another well-known and widespread method of making hashish is by rubbing the live plant between your hands, and then scraping off the resin that sticks to your hands. This is called Charas or Charras, and the quality is often very good compared to other sorts of hash. It is not the same as "normal" hash, because it contains more oils and fluids from the live plant, whereas most hash is made from dried, dead plants. This influences the taste and texture, and often makes charas more sticky and softer than other hash. It often comes as a ball, because it it rolled into this shape manually, instead of a brick. Charas often contains less impurities because it is not made in the sand and it takes longer to make. One charas farmer often makes no more than 10 to 20 grams of hash in one day, so it is more expensive than "commercial" hashish.
Making Hash Oil / Cannabis Extracts / "Dabs"
What is hash oil? Hash oil, cannabis concentrates or dabs are some of the purest forms of hash you can make. Even with very few low-cost tools, people can make their own dabs. Perhaps they are not as pure as some of the extracts you can buy in dispensaries, but then again, you don't need thousands of dollars of equipment to make dabs, so who cares?
What is hash oil made of? Hash oil, wax or concentrates are an extract of the cannabis plant, containing almost pure cannabinoids (such as THC). There are various ways of making hash oil: it can be made with or without solvents (such as butane), with or without a vacuum oven (to purify the extract), and with or without heat, to name a few factors that influence the exact end product.
How to smoke hash
Whether you want to smoke hash in a bong, in a joint, using a vaporizer or consume it as an edible, the first thing that you need to do is to break the hash into smaller pieces. You can do this with your hands or nails, or using a knife. Many people heat up their hash to make it softer and easier to break up into smaller pieces. This often results in dirty nails and sticky fingers. Have you ever asked yourself: "Can I put hash in a grinder?". Well, you can, but often the hash will clog your grinder and make it nearly impossible to use. But in the Netherlands, a solution has been found for this issue: the ZenPen Hash Grinder.
Smoking hash in a joint
Smoking hash in a joint is probably the most popular way to use hash. And for good reason: it is a slow-burning ritual, you can share it with your friends, and you don't need anything special to roll a hash joint: just some hash, weed or tobacco (to mix the hash with), a rolling paper and a filter tip. You can use the ZenPen Hash Grinder (available at Bongify) to make a "worm" or string of hash, or use it to scrape small pieces off your block. Then you just roll a joint like you normally would, only this time with hash inside! Just be sure that you spread the hash properly, because if everything is on one side of the joint, it will not burn properly.
Smoking hash in a bong
Smoking hash in a bong is possible, but you need to take a few things into account to get a nice, succesful hit. The most important thing when smoking hash in a bong is to make sure that the hash is crumbled into very very small pieces. If you throw big chunks of hash in your bowl, they will burn for much too long. Unless you want to keep smoking from the same bowl for several minutes, you should avoid big crumbs. To make it burn properly, we recommend mixing very fine pieces of hash with a little bit of weed or tobacco to get a proper hash bong hit. Another good idea is to use a jet lighter / gas torch to light the hash to get it to burn properly.
Smoking hash in a vaporizer
Is it possible to smoke hash in a vaporizer? Definitely. But be aware: not all vaporizers can be used with hash, and
Vape Wool is the key to smoking hash in a vaporizer, or "vaping hash". These degummed hemp fibers protect your vaporizer from hash dripping into the internal channels, because the fibers absorb the hash while allowing it to vaporize.
There are also some vaporizers designed specifically for use with hash oil, or "dabs". For example the popular Dab Straw Vaporizer.
Eating hash (hash edibles)
Eating hash is one of the easiest and tastiest ways of consuming hashish, and there are various ways to do it. You can make hash brownies, hash cake or "spacecake", hash cookies, hash chocolate milk, and many other things. The cool thing about making food with hash (in comparison with weed) is that you don't need to "extract" the THC or cannabinoids by making cannabis butter. With hash, you can simply add some very small pieces to your dish or meal and that's it! Just be aware that cannabis needs to be mixed with fats to be absorbed by your body, so using a little extra butter just to be sure is often a good idea when making hash edibles.
Hash vs. Hash Oil
Hash has been around for thousands of years in many different cultures, but hash oil has become incredibly popular over the last few years. Alhough hash oil and cannabis extracts have been around for a few decades, the techniques of making good concentrates (hash oil) have hugely improved. About ten or fifteen years ago, most stoners had never heard of "dabbing", but today it is a well-known and super popular way of consuming cannabis. In case you don't know: "dabbing" is how you consume cannabis concentrates or "dabs" using a bong or a specially designed "dab rig". If you want to see all of our dab rigs, click here.
Hash oil is also known as wax, and can be consumed in a "hash oil pen".
How To Identify Good Hash vs. Bad Hash
Although not many people are aware of this, a lot of hash for sale is not pure. It often contains different substances to increase the weight or volume, and sometimes bad hash is made softer with products like animal fat to make it softer. Especially on the street in tourist areas, there are many scammers trying to sell fake hash. So how do you identify good hash? Read all about this below.
Identifying good hash is not very easy, but with the following steps you can be a little more sure of having the "real deal":
- Smell the hash: does it really smell like hash?
- Feel the hash: is it hard like a brick, or can you scrape small pieces off with your finger nail?
- Hold the hash next to a lighter, but not in the flame: if it "bubbles", chances are that you have real hash. Although some additives can also cause bubbling, fake hash often doesn't bubble. If you have real hash, you should also smell it clearly when you heat it up.
Different kinds of hash
There are many different kinds of hash available, especially in these times. Historically, most sorts of hash were named after their origin: "Nepal Hash", "Maroc Hash", "Afghan Hash", "Lebanon Hash" among many others. With more and more countries legally producing cannabis, there are also new sorts of hash being introduced almost daily. This is also a result of the worldwide crossbreeding to improve the cannabis varieties and therefore improve the quality of the hash.
How does hash get its colour?
An interesting fact to note in this article is that many different sorts of hash are named after their colour. "Red Lebanon", "Yellow Maroc", to name two. But why do they have different colours, when it's all basically made from the same plant? How does hash get its colour? The reason for that can be simply understood when you think of the way it is produced. Traditional hash is often made in old country houses made of sand, by filtering the trichomes from the plants using a big screen in order to collect the trichomes and press it together. This is often done in large quantities, so in many hash farms they simply collect the trichomes on the floor. This floor is often made of sand, so when the trichomes are collected, sand is mixed in. And of course, the colour of the sand is not the same in every country or region. There are other factors that influence the colour of the hash, but this is the most important and prominent one. The colour of the hash is often similar to the colour of the soil in the region where the hash is made, because there is a good amount of sand mixed in with the hash (yes, you are probably smoking sand, and the hash farm makes more money!). That also explains why commercial hashish is often very hard and not too sticky: it's simply not very pure!