Chapter 15: Hash and Oil Making
by Jorge Cervantes
Hashish is the connoisseur’s smoke. Hashish, also called hash, is the resin heads of glandular trichomes that are collected, pressed together, and shaped. The more resin on the input material, the better the hash. Here we will touch on the basics of making hashish using safe extraction methods. I have omitted detailed information on chemical extraction methods using butane, acetate, different alcohols, etc, because of possible health risks from explosion, fire, and fumes. Chemical damage may result from premature use of the end-product before all solvents and residuals have been extracted.
Resin can be collected by scraping it from your hands after handling resinous plants r buds. It can be scraped from tools, to. Resin can be collected by separating it from foliage and letting it fall through a sieve. Or it can be separated from foliage using cold water and sieves.
Before Making Hash
Make sure your plants are as clean as possible. Any oil-based residues on leaves will show up in the hash. For example, if extracting resin with water, you can see impurity residues as a sheen of oil in the water. During the month before harvest, do not use any harmful chemicals that leave residues. I prefer to use only water-based organic products to avoid potential health risks to the consumer.
Flush plants with water for seven to ten days prior to harvest, to remove built-up fertilizers in the soil and foliage. This will hep ensure clean, sweet-tasting hash.
Freeze first – Once dry, freeze leaf trim immediately to prepare for making hash. Place leaves in freezer for an hour or longer. Remove them from the freezer, and use a dry or wet sieve to separate gland heads from foliage. Collect more resin by making foliage and resin glands brittle. Cold, brittle resin gland heads snap off and separate easily.
The yield from 7 ounces (200 gm) of leaves and small buds is around 0.2-0.7 ounces (6-20 gm) with the average around 0.36 ounce (10 gm). The quantity of hash produced depends in large part upon the quality of your original material.
Clean stems, dead material, large leaves with no visible resin, and other debris leaf and bud before making hash with it.
Male plants contain resin with THC but much less overall than female plants.
Outdoor plants are subject to wind, rain, dust, etc, which may prevent resin growth or cause much of the resin to be knocked off the pant. Because they live in a protective environment, indoor plants are able to exude as much resin as possible. Such plants with heavy resin make the best hash. Great hash comes from the close trim around the buds.
Sativa-dominant strains have smaller trichome heads than indica-dominant strains. Smaller mesh sieves do a good job of separating smaller resin heads.
Hand Rub Hash
Hand rubbing hash is simple and easy, but horridly inefficient and wasteful. All you need to hand rub are a good pair of hands, adequate cannabis buds, and desire. Much of the resin falls to the ground or becomes lost deep within buds or sticks to other foliage. Overall hand rubbed hash is lower quality and contains more debris than sieved or water-extracted hash.
Hand rubbing is most common in the Himalayan Foothill regions of Nepal, India, and Kashmir where “charas” (the Indian word for hand rubbed hash) are fairly common. Most small-scale and commercial growers collect the little bit f hash from their hands and tools during manicuring. This is the closest thing t hand rubbed hash most growers experience.
Plants that are best suited to hand rubbing have sticky resin that adheres to hands much better than it sticks to other foliage. At the same time, the resin must be relatively easy to roll into little balls to remove from hands.
Collect hand rub from healthy, strong, mature plants with green leaves. However, some large leaves may already have started to turn yellow. Remove brown, crisp, and dead foliage before rubbing. Remember, cannabis plants are generally pretty tough and can take vigorous but not abusive rubbing.
Once collected on hands, resin must not be allowed to collect other debris or foliage. Any foreign matter that sticks t resin -laden hands should be able to be brushed off easily.
Gather resin by rubbing individual flowering branches firmly between hands. Slowly move hands up from the bud, continually rubbing back and forth. Rub palms and fingers in between resin covered flower clusters so they come in contact with as much resin as possible. Each branch should be rubbed 20-30 seconds or more. After rubbing a few branches, you settle into the intoxicating, hypnotic rhythm. Aromatic fragrances are released as you rub the buds.
The resin sticks to hands slowly at first, but once they are covered with a light sheen of resin, the accumulation process speeds. Brush off any foliage or debris from hands as soon as it sticks so the resin remains reasonably pure.
To remove the resin from hands, rub your palms together so the resin clusters together into sticky little balls. At first the resin will ball up relatively quickly. Lump the balls together to form a single piece. Use this piece to rub on resin that is still n your hand to hep remove it. If hands are mist or sweaty, soak up moisture with a paper towel before removing hash.
Once collected, knead it in your hand until it reaches your desired consistency. Hand rubbed hash is best enjoyed within a few weeks f collection. Collecting hand rubbed resin is time consuming. An average collector can rub all day and collect a mere five to ten grams!
The first time I saw sieved cannabis resin was in 1983 at the Cannabis Castle in Holland. Neville, owner of the Seed Bank, had a large silkscreen stretched across a frame that was set on top f a large desk with a glass top. We would toss a handful or two of buds on the screen and bounce them around a few seconds. After two or three rounds of tossing and bouncing, a thin sheen of resin could be found n the top of the glass below the silkscreen. I had never smoked anything so potent in my life.
Resin heads are different sizes. With the help of sieves, you can use the differences in resin head sizes to separate them from other plant matter. Typically, a minimum of two sieves are used to make hash. The first one filters out the large plant matter and larger debris, letting the resin glands and small debris pass through to the second sieve. The first sieve should have 135-150 micron pores. The second sieve allows small resin glands to pass, while it holds back large, mature resin glands. The pores on the second sieve should be from 50-60 microns. You can find silkscreens at your local hobby and art supply store. Printing supply stores also sell framed screens.
To sieve, plants should be as dry as possible and cold so resin glands break off easily. Be careful not to force the plant material through the sieve. Forcing will break more resin glands and smear their contents on the sieve and and other plant material. The contents of these ruptured glands cannot be recovered.
Normally, the largest mature resin glands fall first. They are followed by less mature glands and debris including pistillate hairs and plant debris. If you abuse sieving and force too much through the sieve, the hash will be green and of ow quality. At best, sieving removes only half of the THC-rich resin in cannabis.
Atmospheric relative humidity can slow the sieving process to a halt because it causes the pores of the sieves to clog. High humidity also remoistens dry plants, thus making it more difficult for resin to fall free.
Make sure the micron size is labeled n sieves. Color coding helps, but there is nothing as good as the micron size of the screen.
Once prepared, break up buds and foliage over a sieve, and tap the sieve lightly to jostle resin heads through the pores. You can also rub the leaves lightly on the sieve, but this will force through more green foliage. Resin powder will sift through the screen. The more resin on the plant material, the more resin that will fall through the sieve. Use a credit card to move the cannabis back and forth across the sieve. Exert minimal pressure on the cannabis to coax the highest quality resin through the sieve. The first layer of powder will be the purest. Sieved hash contains more debris than most other methods, but sieving is a simple and inexpensive method to make hash.
Collect the powder below the sieve. Now the resin powder is ready to press into a piece of hash. Pressing generates a little heat which also helps congeal the resin glands and debris together.
Mila is a good friend, and she has carried the hash torch for countless connoisseurs. She has spent much of her life learning and teaching how to extract more resin from cannabis. She invented and popularized the Pollinator, a motorized cylindrical shaped sieve to separate resin powder from leaf and buds. Mia has many ongoing experiments with hash and cannabis, one of which includes teaching the doctors in Kazakhstan to grow medical cannabis.
The Pollinator consists of a drum that turns inside a box. Cold, dried cannabis is placed inside the drum that is made from 150 micron screen. A motor turns the drum, and resin glands fall through the 150 micron screen as the cannabis tumbles inside. Resin is collected below the drum.
Highest quality resin falls through the screen first. Progressively lower quality resin falls through the mesh the longer the drum turns. More green matter and other adulterants fall through the screen when the Pollinator turns for longer periods of time.
First you must prepare the dry cannabis. Put it in an airtight bag, and place the bag in the freezer for two hours. This will make the cannabis hard and brittle, which makes the sieving process much more efficient and productive.
Let the drum turn for two to five minutes. Use a short range kitchen timer to make sure not to let the drum run too long. As the drum turns, the purest resin falls onto the bottom of the box underneath the drum.
Water Extracted Hash
Hash extracted using cold water is known as water hash, Ice-O-Lator hash, ice hash, THC crystal, etc. When very pure, hash will bubble releasing volatile resins when exposed to a flame, hence the name Bubble Hash. This boiling effect is called “full-melt bubble” hash.
Modern water hash extraction started with “Sadu Sam’s Secret” that was published in HASHISH! by Robert Connell Clarke. Sadu Sam’s Secret is simple physics: resin is oil-based and cannabis foliage is water based. This difference makes separating the two in aqueous solution easy. Heavy, oil soluble resin glands will not dissolve in water; they are heavier than water so they will sink. Water soluble material dissolves in liquid, and foliage is lighter than water, which makes it float!
A passage from HASHISH! states, “Sadu Sam’s Secret involves stirring a few grams of pulverized flowers or freshly sieved resin powder into a tall container of cool water containing ten to twenty times the volume of water to dry powder. Coo or cold water is essential because warm water softens the resin, which tends to stick together forming and unmanageable ump. The mixture must be stirred vigorously for several minutes until the lumps of the powder disperse. Once stirring ceases, the differing particles in the suspension begin to separate. Plant particles and other light debris float to the surface. Small, immature resin glands also tend to float. mature resin glands and any dense debris such as sand and mineral dust sink, settling to the bottom.”
Sadu Sam and Mila (the Pollinator) are old friends, and both live in Amsterdam, Holland. Mila continued to play with the separation method and refined it. Within a short time, she combined the dry sieving process with ice-cold water-the outcome was Ice-O-Lator bags. They are three waterproof nylon bags with progressively smaller micron silk screens sewn into the bottom of each. Clean cannabis is chopped and placed in ice-cold water in the bags. The water is mixed. When the slurry settles, the resin glands pass through the screens, and the foliage and debris are retained in bags. The water is retained in bags. The water is drained, and a few nice clumps of high quality hash remain.
Bubble Man refined the process by adding more bags with progressively smaller mesh. He has been adding screens, and at the time of publication, he uses seven different screens. He found that each screen separates unique sediments, some of which contain exceptionally pure THC. This hash is so pure that it bubbles when heated. Bubble Man popularized this saying, “If it don’t bubble, it ain’t worth the trouble.”
Water-soluble terpinoids found in cannabis resin contribute to fragrance and taste. The majority of these soluble terpinoids dissolve and are washed out when extracting resin with water. The result is often hash with little flavor and aroma.
Now the hash is out of the bag! Many manufacturers have jumped on the band wagon. Your time and budget will dictate how many bags you want to use for making water hash.
Use three bags and process the mix twice to extract virtually all the THC rich resin. Keep the wet plant material from the first water hash extraction. Freeze is and process again to make more resin. Or you can use five or more bags in a single run and harvest different qualities, some of which are very pure.
Ice-cold water makes trichomes brittle, and agitation knocks the heads off. Strain the mix through filters for increased purity.
Use leaves that have visible resin. Using large fan leaves or immature leaves will result in disappointing hash.
Use a mixer with paddles. If you can, find one with long shanks on the paddles for easy, deep mixing in a five gallon bucket. You can cover the bucket when mixing to hep contain splashes. However, moving the mixer around the perimeter of the slurry helps mix up any dry or stagnant places.
Ice-O-Lator Step by Step
The Ice-O-Lator was popularized by Mila, owner of the Pollinator, in Amsterdam, Holland. This water extraction process is simple, efficient method of extracting THC packed resin crystals from cannabis plants. Using the Ice-O-Lator is very easy. Here is a brief recap of the process.
You will need – Ice-O-Lator set, 20-25 liter (5-gallon) bucket with lid, kitchen mixer (use the kind with paddles for mixing, do not use the kind with a short copping blade), paper towels, dinner plate, plastic card, large mixing spoon, 4.5-11 pounds of ice cubes, enough to keep the temperature down to 41F.
Keep the temperature of the water just above freezing at 41F.
Put in the most resinous leaf trim available. Make sure the chopped cannabis does not contain stems or other sharp plant parts that would damage the precision screen. Prepare buds by pulling apart or cutting into bits before introducing to the mix.
Fill the bucket with ice-cold water to six inches below the rim. Put the bags into the bucket in the proper order. Make sure there are no air bubbles trapped between the bags or the bucket. The bags will hang straight down, nested inside one another and the bucket. Pull the top edge of each bag over the rim of the bucket, hold it down and lock it in place with the drawstring and siding lock.
Now you are ready to throw in the frozen cannabis. Put up to seven ounces (200g) into the water. Do not put too much plant material into the water because it needs space to mix and for the resin to separate and fall through the sieves below. When there is too much plant material in the water, many resin glands adhere to the foliage.
Add more ice on top of the plant material. This helps ensure the leaves get wet. Fill the bucket with more water to within two inches of the top of the bucket. Let the mix soak for 15 minutes. Time is needed for the mass of foliage to become as cold as water. The temperature should be about 41F.
Cut two holes in the lid of the bucket – a little bigger than the shafts of the mixer. Attach the paddles of the mixer with the top of the lid in between. Put the lid on the bucket, and turn the mixer on at a low speed. The mixer will stir the concoction. Keep the mixer on and let it mix for 15 minutes.
Remove the lid. Use a spoon to move the plant material on the perimeter to the center. The goal here is to make sure everything mixes evenly. Let the mix soak for five minutes longer. Replace the lid and turn the mixer on again.
Repeat the process until all leaves have been stirred with cold water. Mila likes to mix it for about an hour so all the wet trim and leaves are floating on top of the water.
Turn off the mixer and let the resin settle one more time for about 15 minutes. Remove the first bag that contains all the raw material. Close the top and hang in a place where it can easily drain. Remove the debris in the bag and turn it inside out. Run water through the screen to wash out any latent resin that may have gotten caught in it.
Cleanliness is of paramount importance from beginning to end!
Everything that falls in the second bag will end up in the end product. When cleaning out the first bag, make sure the crystals do not stick on the outside of the second bag. Ample water here is important. Remember, it is a rinsing and separating operation.
Remove the last bag having the finest screen. The water will drip out slower than from any other bag. You may have to hold the bag between your hands and sift the water back and forth across the sieve in the bottom to evacuate all the water because the accumulated hash slurry in the bottom tends to block the sieve. This part is fun! You can watch the slurry of hash congeal as the water drips through the sieve in the bottom of the bag.
Once the water is gone, the even changing slurry of hash remains, seemingly floating on the sieve in the bottom of the bag. If the slurry is green and full of contaminating debris, rinse carefully in cold water. The rinse will carry some of the green matter through the sieve.
Concentrate the wet hash in the bottom of the sieve. Fold the sieve and squeeze out more water. Place a couple of paper towels on the bottom of the screen to absorb more moisture.
Dance around the room with the hash in your hands high above your head. You may have made your first Ice-O-Lator hash!
Do not waste the cold water; start another load! You can make up to five batches with the same cold water!
When you are done with the water, pour it on your plants. They love the nutrients.
Remove the semi-dry caked resin from the screen. Scrape it out with a plastic credit card or a small thin teaspoon.
Thoroughly rinse out all the bags to remove resin and debris. Clean screens with 96 percent pure alcohol so no oil based resin remains. Hang to dry.
Moisture must quickly be removed from the resin powder to prevent mold. Crumble it up and spread it out on a screen or hard surface. I like a screen because you can sop up moisture by pressing a paper towel under the screen.
Another option is to hand press all the water out of the ball. Continue working the wet powder until it transforms into a cohesive ball of oily hash.
Or you can hand press until you have a slid ball. Keep squeezing and pressing, water will become visible on your hands.
Remove the last bit f moisture by flattening out the ball and putting it in the freezer. Freezing expands the volume of water, which will appear on the surface of the hash. Simply wipe off the ice when you remove the hash from the freezer.
When you press powder, the resin crystals will break and the oil will be released. The mix will darken as it oxidizes. The resin crystals from very fresh leaf will remain white, a very high quality.
Water Hash with 15 Bags
The guys at THSeeds in Amsterdam, Holland, are expert hash makers. They taught and inspired my god friend Mono to strive to make the absolute best possible hash. Mono uses bags from several manufacturers to separate more and different grades f hash. Mon uses 15 different bags and extracts more resin than anybody else! Mono;s work is so impressive that we decided to profile his extraction process here.
More wet sieves separate more and different qualities of cannabis resin. Resin heads are different sizes. They fall through different size pores in a sieve. You can separate different sizes of resin glands with different size wet or dry sieves.
Separate hash with progressively smaller sieves so smaller screens do not clog with wet hash.
Mono has a full array of separating bags from several manufacturers. His laboratory is setup in the bathroom, with the tub the center of attention. He keeps the laboratory clean with a shower head attached to a flexible hose. Here is the array of bags he uses t separate the trash from the hash.
The work bag is the one that contains the bulk of the processed resin-less leaf. The work bag is usually drained and set aside so the debris inside can be discarded at will.
Mon likes bags with rigid sides. They perform better because they retain their shape inside the bucket and are easier t use when only one person is making water hash.
The process is done in two steps. First, he washes and separates the resin glands from the marijuana foliage using six screens. This process washes out virtually all of the foliage and contaminants.
The hash-laden water that is left over after passing through six bags is separated again by running through six bags is separated again by running it through eight more bags. The resulting hash is very clean.
Washing Machine Hash
On a recent trip to the tropical region of Colombia, I was able to record how expert grower friends made hash in volume. They learned this technology from Mila. This information is very useful to process the leaf that is left over after the harvest. Using an everyday washing machine will save hours of labor. Following all the steps and paying attention to the water temperature in this simple process will extract all remaining cannabinoids from the leaves.
The best bet is to purchase the proper bags that have been tested. Mila and other manufacturers make different bags for outdoor and indoor crops. Plants grown outdoors have smaller resin heads than plants grown indoors and require a smaller mesh bag to collect the resin.
A washing machine filed with cold water is used to agitate the leaf and glands that are located inside of a zipped silkscreen Ice-O-Lator bag. This process separates the resin glands from the green leafy material. Once separated, resin glands fall through the sieve into the washing machine water. The leafy material stays inside the bag. The hash-laden water is evacuated out of the washing machine’s drain hose and separated from the water in a simple filtering process.
The machine is filled with ice and ice-cold water. Cold water is used to keep the resin glands intact and facilitate separation from the leaf. The principle is simple. Resin is oil based and leaf is water-based.
First, the Colombians pace paper bags of 500 grams of leaf in the freezer for one and a half hours. Cold temperatures make the leaves brittle, which allows them to easily separate from the resin glands.
Next, the two one-pound bags of cold leaves are loaded int a zipped Ice-O-Lator bag. The drum of the washing machine is filled with very cold water. Chunks of ice the size of your fist are added to the water until the desired temperature of 41F is achieved.
Two zipped Ice-O-Lator bags are laded into the drum and machine turned on to agitate for 10-12 minutes. Two bags are used to keep the machine in balance. As the machine agitates the bags, resin glands slip out through the mesh of the bags into the water.
The next step is t evacuate the resin laden water out the drain. The drain water is sifted through an Ice-O-Lator bag to remove any remaining leaf. The water is collected in a larger bag placed in a large container. Once all the water is evacuated, they lift the large bag from the container. The “clean” water flowed out the sieve in the bottom of the big bag, and the wet resin stayed in the big bag. They squeeze the last of the water by hand out of the big Ice-O-Lator bag and the resulting unpressed hash is set out to dry. Every one kilo bag of leaves leaves 30-40 grams of dried resin. In a singe 14-hour day they can process 100 kilos of leaf and transform it into three kilos of quality resin that is later pressed into hash.
Resin Extraction for Cooking
Cannabis butter and oil are simple to make. Each takes a little time to make, but large batches can be processed and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
The psychoactive cannabinoids dissolve in butter, cooking oil, or alcohol. Dissolving the resin in the butter, oil, or alcohol makes it available for absorption by the body. Cannabis butter contains about 80 percent of the cannabinoids that were in the original foliage used to make it.
Heat 1.6 quarts (1.5L) of water in a large pan on the stove. Add 4 ounces of marijuana leaf, one pound of butter, and stir.
Bring the liquid to a boil. Put the lid on the pot and simmer two hours on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Strain the mix through a colander, catching the liquid below. Press the wet foliage to get all the liquid out.
Pour 0.5 quart of boiling water over the wet leaf to wash out remaining butter. Press the leaves to squeeze out all the liquid possible.
Let the mix stand and cool. Within an hour or two, the mix will separate – water on the bottom and cannabis butter on top. You can speed the process by placing the hot mix into the refrigerator.
Pour off and discard the water, and retain the cannabis butter.
Use the butter in any recipe that calls for butter. Use small portions until you are familiar with dosage and effects. Be careful when consuming; the butter is quite potent.
Cannabis vegetable oi is made very much like cannabis butter.
Use liquor as a solvent to dissolve resin glands into a potent cannabis potion. You can use any liquor, but the higher the percentage of alcohol, or proof, the quicker and more efficient the process. You can let the spirits evaporate so the tincture contains virtually no alcohol.
If you prefer a flavored drink with alcohol, use Kahlua, Cointreau, Galliano, etc. Just remember, liqueurs contain a lower percentage of alcohol, and the extraction process will take longer.
Clean 4 ounces of cannabis leaf in two quarts of lukewarm water. Stir the leaf and water so they are well mixed and the leaf is wet. Keeping the leaves whole makes them easier to work with. Strain out the leaves with a colander, letting the greenish water drain into a receptacle. This step will wash out much of the green chlorophyll.
Place the wet foliage in a bowl and cover with one quart of 80 proof alcohol of your choice. Stir the blend until the alcohol and foliage are well mixed. Make sure all foliage is covered with alcohol. Put a lid on the bowl so the alcohol cannot evaporate, and let it stir for 48 hours.
Take the lid off the bowl, and let the mix sit uncovered for 123 hours, until about half the alcohol evaporates.
Stir the brew again so it is well mixed, and pour it through a coffee filter into a receptacle. Use the coffee filter to wring all liquid out of leaves.
Pour the alcohol through the leaves again, and wring out the liquid.
You will have about two cups of cannabis tincture concentrate that is ready to use. Or you can boil the mixture down to concentrate it more. The tincture will have 60 percent or more of the THC contained in the entire four ounces f raw material.
The tincture can be added to recipes in lieu of other liquids such as water, wine, etc.
Store concentrated tinctures in a cool, dark place to avoid early degradation. Heat and light degrade tinctures quickly. Use the tincture in one to three months.
Be very careful when you drink the tincture; it is potent! The buzz is similar to the one you get when eating cannabis, but it comes on in less time.
Hash or Cannabis Oil
Hash oil is a concentrate of hash or marijuana (cannabis oi) that has been dissolved in nasty hydrocarbon solvents such as ether and alcohol to extract the THC. Hash and cannabis oil frequently retain residues from solvents used to extract the THC. These residues are a health risk.The oils can be very concentrated and potent.
Honey oil was somewhat popular in America in the early 1970s. The oil was a translucent golden amber color. The oil transformed from stiff, toffee-like consistency to runny oil when warmed. Cannabis oils are normally dark in color because they contain chlorophyll and other contaminants. Filtering the oil through charcoal will remove virtually all of the impurities.
Hash oil has never became super popular because it is inconvenient to smoke and many users do not want to be exposed to the health risks associated with the solvents used for processing. There are many safe ways to separate the THC potent glands from the foliage.
The oil can be wiped on joint papers, cigarettes, pipe screens, hot knives, etc. A popular smoking method is to smoke it in an oil pipe, a stem with a glass bubble on on end. A little oil is placed inside the glass bubble. When heat is applied, the THC vaporizes and is inhaled through the stem.
We do not recommend volatile solvent extraction because it requires the use of dangerous chemical solvents such as isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and white gas.
Cannabis is soaked in the solvent, and the solvent is removed by evaporation. The resulting residual is a sludge that contains chlorophyll, plant waxes, other debris, and cannabinoids.
Isomerization is a chemical resin extraction process that was very popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. The process has fallen out of favor because of the harsh and dangerous chemical solvents – white gas, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, etc. – used in the process.
Butane cannabis oil is made by passing butane gas through chopped cannabis. The butane dissolves the THC and transports it out a drain where it is collected. The captured butane contains THC. The butane is evaporated away by setting the collection container in a pan of warm water. Once the butane has dissipated completely, the residua honey colored oil is scraped from the bottom of the collection pan.
Butane hash oil is dangerous to make because the process involves using a quantity of butane in an pen container. The fumes are toxic and a small flame or spark could cause the butane to explode. People who make butane hash should make it in a well-ventilated or outdoor location.
Jelly hash is a combination f high quality hash and cannabis oil made from butane extraction. The typical recipe contains eight parts hash and one part cannabis oil (aka hash oil) usually extracted with butane. Although very strong, the dark jelly hash has a characteristic sticky, oily consistency which makes it difficult to handle.
Once collected, resin powder is often pressed t facilitate handling and storage. Bulky resin powder is awkward t handle. It is easily spilled, blown away, and contaminated by dust and dirt. Resin powder is also more difficult to smoke, especially is no screen is available. Once pressed into a piece of hash, the resin is easy t handle, store, transport, and consume. Proper pressing is essential for storage and to slow decomposition.
Pressing ruptures resin glands and warms the resin, causing many volatile aromatic terpenoids to release their aromas and flavors.
You can press the resin powder by hand r with a mechanical device. You can elect to add heat, a drop or two of water, or alcohol while pressing to make less pure hash stick together in a block.
Mechanical presses must be precise and align well so pressed hash does not ooze out seams. When pressed, heat and friction cause the outer layer of pressed hash t oxidize and turn darker than the interior. In fact, hash can have a dark exterior and a blonde interior packed with creamy resin glands.
Make sure to pre-press water extracted hash in a piece of cellophane to contain it an help get rid of the water. The cellophane will give the pressed hash a shiny skin.
Pressing Small Amounts of Hash
By hand pressing, you experience the transformation of the resin powder into your very own piece of fragrant, dense hash.
To hand press, collect one t fur grams of resin powder in the palm f your hand and apply pressure to the powder, working it between your palms full of resin powder to work it int a piece f hash. Continue this process for 10-30 minutes until the piece of hash is completely pliable and whole. Heat will be generated and hep rupture and meld the resin glands together. Relatively pure resin powder will congeal faster than less potent powders will congeal faster than less potent powders that contain impurities. But a little vegetable matter and debris gives hash different flavors and more body.
Potent resin powder is a creamy white to gold in color. Pressing the powder together and working it in your hands ruptures and oxidizes resin glands, which makes the mass turn ever darker.
Press small amounts of resin powder between cellophane to form a pancake. Fill a long cylindrical bottle with warm water and use it as a rolling pin to press the pancake of hash./
Press small amounts f hash by putting resin powder in cellophane and putting it under your heel inside your shoe. Walk around for an hour or so, doing what you would normally. Take your shoe off and voila, fresh hash.
You can use a laminator – the kind that laminates photos and documents between two sheets of plastic – to press your hash! Simply sprinkle out the best resin powder you can make onto a piece of cellophane. Lay another piece of cellophane on top. Roll it with a bottle full of ht water to get it into preliminary shape and make it easy to work with. Remove the piece of hash from the cellophane; treat it like you would a document and laminate it. If your laminator can control the level of heat, wonderful! You are now ready to pack hash for a rainy day!
Place resin powder in a plastic bag or cellophane wrapper to contain it while pressing. All the powder will be pressed within the wrapper into a brick or plaque of hash. Poke a few small holes in the bag before pressing to allow trapped air to escape. The bag is placed int a heavy duty steel mold, and pressure is applied with a hydraulic jack. Hydraulic jacks have a capacity from 10-20 tons and are mounted to heavy duty steel frames that normally contain a 100-gram mold.
The pressure exerted to form a cohesive block is contingent upon the volume of contaminants in the powder. The more pure the resin powder, the less pressure it takes to form it into a block.
If your hash was made with water, make sure it is totally dry before pressing to avoid mold.
Water hash does not react like dry-sieved hash when pressed. Resin has been melded together in a different way than dry powder.
Pressing the resin when it is wet will trap moisture inside the hash. The hash will not dry completely, and it will not properly gel together later. It will retain a powdery consistency.
Dry sieved resin powder will press easily and stay together under lower pressure when it is relatively pure. If it is adulterated with impurities, more pressure and heat will be necessary to press it into a block.
Add a little heat to hard to press hash that contains impurities. The heat will hep the mass congeal so bricks do not need excessive pressure to stay together. But do not heat the resin too much or it will be damaged. Do not forget that pressing also increases heat.
You can also add a drop of alcohol in the form of brandy, whiskey, bourbon, rum, etc. Higher alcohol content spirits are favored. The alcohol melds the glands together. Add only a drop at a time; alcohol takes a few minutes to completely penetrate and act. Be careful, add only a little!
Hammering hash is a popular method of pressing in Morocco but uncommon in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America. Hammering bursts and blends resin glands together int a cohesive mass. Often resin glands are hammered before being hydraulically pressed into plaques.
To hammer hash, place resin powder into an extra heavy-duty plastic bag. Place the bag in a wooden bench, tree stump, board, etc. Place a piece of plywood over the bag. Whack the plywood with a hammer until the resin powder forms a cohesive pancake. Remove the hash from the bag and fold once or twice to make it smaller and thicker. Repeat the hammering and folding process until the resin glands transform into a sticky piece of hash. Apply a little heat if the hash is slow to form.
Make sure hash is dry before storing. Moist hash contracts fungus easily and decomposes quickly. Decomposition decreases THC levels. If you make hash using ice and water, make sure to dry it well. Dry by pressing the water hash into a flat pancake that has much surface area. Leave the pancake out in an arid room for a few days to dry out completely. Cover the hash with a paper towel so dust does not contaminate it. If you made hash with a dry method such as sieving, you should not have to take any extra precautions before storing, unless working in a humid climate.
My favorite way to store high quality water hash is t put it in a glass tube. This way all the resin stays intact until it is consumed. Upon smoking, you should press it a little so it will burn evenly.
Store hash in a cool, dark, dry place. Keep in an airtight container with a packet of silica crystals. You can also put the hash in the freezer for long term storage.