In the world of cannabis concentrates are where it’s at. In the middle east and India where people have been growing for centuries most, if not all, cannabis grown is for the manufacture of hashish. This removes all the plant matter from your buds or trim and concentrates the trichomes into a solid hash. The end result has many advantages over dried herb.
- It lasts longer.
- It is more potent.
- It contains no plant matter, so is kinder to your lungs when smoked.
- It’s smaller (and less stinky) so easier to stash.
- It’s easier to transform into medicated edibles.
The online headshop/seedshop/smartshop Zamnesia generously donated an Ice-O-Lator set along with a pollen press so I could have a go at producing my own hash. Zamnesia are a great choice for shoppers in Europe offering discrete packaging and even accepting Bitcoin for payment.
I had a jar containing 20 grams of cannabis “sugar leaves” (the small leaves covered in trichomes that surround the buds) and some small “pop corn buds” (small buds that are not really big enough to trim properly) from my grow over the summer. I used the four bag set to make some solventless bubble hash. Here’s how I did it.
You will need:
- Trim, sugar leaves or small buds – not fan leaves.
- Ice-O-Lator bags, I used the small model with a four bag set; 1x 220mc, 1x 185mc, 1x 70mc, 1x 38mc which can process up to 200 grams of trim at a time.
- Bucket – size depends on the size of bag. In my case I should’ve used a 20 litre bucket but the largest I had was 15 litres. In hindsight buying a 20 litre one would’ve been preferable.
- Heavy duty mixer, I used a drill with a plaster/paint mixer attachment.
Step one – grind the trim
This is the most time consuming of the steps. I used the biggest grinder I have which has about a 12 cm diameter. It still took a while to work through my small amount of trim. I then put it all in a jar to store, the same jars I use for curing my buds.
Step two – prepare the bucket
Put the Ice-O-Lator bags into the bucket to line it. The smallest mesh size first. Once you have all your bags in the bucket pour in water until it rises just above the screens, then add your trim and finally more water and ice. According to this High Times piece you add some water first as most contaminants will float, you therefore prevent them from falling through the top mesh.
Step three – mix for 20 minutes
Now mix everything up for 20 minutes. Here’s where I discovered that it would’ve been better had I used a larger bucket. I lost some liquid as I played around with the speed on my drill. Hopefully, not too many trichomes were lost in this little mishap. What’s happening here is that the ice cold water is making the trichomes and their stalks more brittle so they snap off when you mix. They then sink to the bottom of the bag and pass through the mesh. The plant matter is caught in the 220mc mesh and the trichomes are caught in the next smaller mesh sized bags.
Step four – drain out the water
Let the mix sit for around half an hour to allow the trichomes to sink and plant matter to float. Once you’ve mixed for 20 minutes take out the bags one at a time and squeeze out the excess water. The first bag contains all the plant matter and can be discarded. As I was using a four bag set the three other bags contained varying amounts of trichomes. I found that the 70mc bags caught the most.
Step five – dry
I emptied all the pollen from the bags onto a large plate and allowed the trichomes (that look like sand) to dry out. It’s important you let it dry fully or else you hash may get mouldy.
Step six – press into hash
Now you have a fine dry sand like powder. There is just one more step to turn it into hash. You breakdown the trichomes into hash through applying pressure and heat. In the past I’ve processed it by rubbing in the palm of my hand with my thumb. This is how hand made charas is produced in India. I’m afraid my wimpish western hands are not up to the task. I soon created a painful blister and sought alternative ways of processing this step. Now I use a pollen press. I opened this model up from one end and put the harvested trichomes inside. I then tightened it up. Finally, I popped out my new hash pellet.
In the end from my 20g of trim I ended up with a half gram pellet of cold pressed, solventless, bubble hash from organic sun grown cannabis. Seeing as though the trim would end up in the trash it’s a nice little bonus.
If you’re interested in experimenting with your own home made hash a good place to visit is Zamnesia’s after harvest section for a selection of high quality hash making equipment. Please note that they only ship to Europe.