In 2023, there’s a ton of cannabis concentrates to choose from. From shatter and wax to live resin and rosin, high-end technology is used to extract the oils from the cannabis plant and leave everything else behind.
But, before all these new concentrates, before vaporizers, and even before dab rigs, there was hashish.
In this blog post, we’re taking a deep dive into hash - what it is, its rich and interesting history, and how to smoke it.
Let’s dive in!
What is Hash?
Hash, short for hashish, is a cannabis concentrate made from the resin glands (trichomes) of the cannabis buds, which are often extracted from it by shaking the plant, allowing it to release the potent trichomes along with some residual plant matter. With Arabic and Indian origins, it is one of the oldest and most potent forms of cannabis preparation, thanks to its concentrated cannabinoid content.
Its short-term effects might include feelings of euphoria, increased heart rate, decreased problem-solving symptoms, and cravings.
Hash can vary in appearance and texture, from soft and malleable to hard and brittle, depending on how it was made, where it was made, and which plants were used to make it. You can consume it in multiple ways, including smoking, vaporizing, and using it to prepare edibles.
Hashing Out the History
While there is no clear record of when hashish first came about, the history of hashish dates back thousands of years and spans various cultures, apparently gaining popularity in the 1500s in India, Asia, and the Middle East.
Hashish use spread across the Islamic world, where it became an integral part of Sufi mysticism, where it was used to induce altered states of consciousness during rituals and meditation practices.
With the expansion of trade routes and cultural exchange, hashish found its way to the Western world. By the late 1800s, hashish was common in nearly every European country as well as the US, being used to treat a wide variety of ailments. It gained popularity among artists and intellectuals in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in Europe, thanks to its higher concentration of THC at a time when cannabis plants were lacking in concentrations of active ingredients.
During cannabis prohibition in the 20th century, hashish became a sought-after alternative for cannabis users who wanted to avoid legal consequences. It was sometimes smuggled into countries where cannabis was illegal, including American lands, although, in 1961, the UN cracked down on hashish, regulating it and significantly reducing its worldwide usage.
In recent years, however, hashish has experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the growing acceptance of cannabis flowers and cannabis products around the world. With modern solvent-free extraction techniques, you can nowadays find high-quality hash concentrates with minimal plant material, high levels of THC, and precise cannabinoid profiles.
Types of Hash
With ancient and modern extraction methods being available, let’s take a look at the different kinds of hash available for you today:
Hand-rubbed hash, also known as Charas, is a traditional form of hashish originating from regions like India and Nepal. This is the easiest type of hash to make, and it has been produced historically for centuries; it is made by gently rubbing fresh cannabis flowers between the hands to collect the sticky resin that collects on the palms.
The collected resin is then rolled into small balls or sticks. Charas is typically dark in color, soft, and aromatic. It has been used for centuries in spiritual and medicinal practices and is well known for its unique flavor and potency.
Bubble hash, or ice water hash, is a popular type of hashish made using ice-cold water and agitation to separate trichomes from the cannabis plant material.
The process involves freezing the cannabis and stirring it in ice water so the frozen trichomes can break off into kief-like material that sinks to the bottom. The collected trichomes are then dried and often pressed into hash. Bubble hash can vary in color and texture but is typically dry and crumbly.
Sieved hash, also known as dry sift hash, is produced by mechanically separating trichomes from the cannabis plant using screens or sieves of different mesh sizes. The dried cannabis material is gently sifted, and the separated trichomes are collected.
The resulting hash can vary in texture, ranging from fine and powdery to coarser and more granular, which is often pressed into blocks of hash.
How to Smoke Hash
Ready to smoke up? There are multiple ways of smoking hash; here are the most common ones:
Top Off a Bong or Bowl
This very simple method involves adding a small amount of crumbled or broken hash to the top of a bowl or the bowl piece of a water pipe to give your herbs an extra kick. Just make sure the hash is evenly distributed and mixed with some cannabis flower to help with combustion.
When you light the flower, your hash will burn alongside it, producing smoke that you can inhale through your bong or pipe.
This is the easiest method if you already have a smoking device and some ground flower.
Smoke it Straight Up
Smoking hash straight up involves heating a small piece of hash and inhaling the smoke directly.
To do this, you can use a specialized hash pipe or simply roll a small amount of hash into a ball or snake shape and approach a flame to ignite it. As it heats up, it will produce smoke that you can inhale through the pipe or by directing the smoke into your mouth.
Although you’ll quickly feel the effects of hashish with this method, it’s often not the most efficient since hash may not burn all that well by itself.
Roll it Up
Just break the hash into small pieces and mix it with your ground cannabis flower. Roll the mixture into a joint using rolling papers as you normally would, and then smoke it like a regular joint.
Keep in mind that hash can burn differently than dry herbs, so ensure an even burn by properly breaking it off and mixing it well with your flower.
Vaporizing hash is probably the most modern and efficient method to inhale hash. You can use a vaporizer designed for concentrates or one that has a compatible temperature setting.
Place a small amount of hash in the vaporizer's chamber, set your desired temperature, and let the device heat up. As the hash reaches the appropriate temperature, it will vaporize, allowing you to inhale the vapor without combustion and the side effects of smoke.
Hashing it All Together
As we’ve seen, hash is a concentrated form of cannabis popular for its high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol. From vaping and vaporizing it to making edibles or hash oil, hash is quickly becoming one of the most popular marijuana products for recreational use in America and the world.