Hash and Concentrates
What is hash?
Hash, or hashish, is the product of collecting the resin stalks, trichomes, or THC, from cannabis plants. This classic form is commonly collected by growers when they handle the mature plants. The resinous trichomes of the plant rub off on their hands, thus creating the common terminology for it: rub. In some areas it’s referred to as finger or scissor hash. When the plants are trimmed after curing, they also trickle down trichomes. Growers tend to trim over a silk screen, and the sieved product is what’s commonly referred to as kief. It’s also collected in grinders with screens inside, though without a filter through a proper silk screen, it’s not truly a hash. Another common collection technique utilizes several silk screen bags(bubble bags) and ice water to separate the trichomes from the cannabis plant matter and filter them through the screens. This yields a solventless bubble hash, full melt, or ice wax.
Concentrates refer to the product of a cannabinoid extraction processe using a solvent (H2O, C2O, butane, alcohol, etc). The goal of concentrates is to eliminate all plant matter and extract the resin glands from the plant matter. Concentrates are made by mixing cannabis plant matter with a solvent. Then, the solution is usually strained and purged to remove all plant matter and any dangerous solvents from the product. There are various forms of concentrate:
CANNABIS BUTTER / OIL
Cannabis butter or oil is the product of butter or oil extraction. It’s one of the most natural and safest concentrates available. An excellent way to conserve cannabis, and change the experience, cannabutter is often eaten or baked/cooked into various foods. Though when consumed orally, cannabis becomes 4 times more potent, as the THC gets converted to a more psychedelic form in the liver. Learn more about edibles here! Learn how to make cannabutter here.
Wax, or hash oil, is the product of a butane hash oil extraction. It’s often the product of a failed budder/shatter extract, as there are still residual fats, lipids, and possibly butane left due to improper purging techniques. In comparison to budder, it’s stickier and not formed.
Budder is the product of butane hash oil extraction. It’s achieved through particular techniques, often whipping the oil into a more stable consistency. It has yellow hue and crumbly texture. It’s also referred to as super melt, for it’s incredibly clean burn (although this is all just dispensary sales talk). Learn how to make budder!
SHATTER / AMBERGLASS / SEXY OIL
Shatter, amberglass, or sexy oil (opted by Dave Warden) is the product of a butane hash oil extraction. It’s achieved through skillful purging of the butane and cannabis solution, often employing the use of a vacuum. The product is a clear, often yellow or orange hue. It’s very malleable, almost like taffy.
ISO HASH / QWISO
Iso hash is the product of a isopropyl alcohol extraction. QWISO is an acronym for Quick Wash Isopropyl Alcohol hash, a popular technique for creating iso hash. Using alcohol as a solvent is incredibly cheap, however the flavour isn’t as comparable to other solvents/methods. The product depends on the quality of the cannabis and extraction. High quality QWISO often looks clear and yellow, like a shatter, with a malleable texture. Low quality iso hash is often green (from plant chlorophyll) or black, and gummy in texture. Learn how to make QWISO here!
Bubble hash, full melt, or ice wax is the product of ice water extraction. It’s one of the safest and cleanest forms of hash. Since the resinous trichomes don’t get absorbed by water, it simply washes the trichome heads off the plant matter (rather than using a solvent to absorb the trichomes). The product is a stable, grainy texture. Ice wax is an extraction technique popularized by Matt Rize that provides a cleaner product. Learn how to make bubble hash here!
Kief is the product of sieving dry plant matter through a screen. Kief is essentially the trichomes from the cannabis plant. It is not a ‘true’ hash however, until it’s been sieved through a proper screen to remove any plant matter. This finer form of kief is called dry sift/sieve. It’s also popular to extract kief utilizing dry ice and bubble bags (screened bags for bubble hash extraction). Kief burns faster than flowers, so it’s best to be vaporized, converted to a more stable finger hash, or combined with flowers in a joint, blunt, or bowl. Kief is commonly collected in grinders with screens. Learn how to make dry sift hash!
SCISSOR / FINGER HASH
Scissor or finger hash is the product of trimming wet cannabis plants. Cannabis plants are very sticky, especially when they still growing and wet. While handling and trimming plants, the resin stalks (trichomes) get rubbed onto growers hands/gloves and scissors. By rubbing the trichomes off the hands/gloves/scissors, you get essentially wet kief. The product is often discoloured (due to plant matter, dirt, etc) and gummy in texture.
ALCOHOL / GLYCERINE TINCTURE
A tincture is the product of mixing plant matter with drinking alcohol or glycerine. It’s a liquid, edible form of hash that’s often dark in colour. Alcohol tinctures are often referred to as “Green Dragon”, made with the highest proof and clearest alcohols, and offer a heavy body buzz combined with the effects of the alcohol. Glycerine tinctures take months to properly make, and are much sweeter than the alcohol variety (making it a perfect edible for children).
HOW TO USE HASH?
Smoking hash with a bong or bubbler is also an option, using attachments that replace the bowl/slide called skillets or hash nails and vapor domes. With a skillet or nail, the stoner has to heat it with a torch, and then drop their concentrate onto the skillet/nail(see above). The process is commonly called a dab or dunk. The metal or glass nail/skillet is heated to a temperature near THC’s vaporization point, providing less harmful smoke and more flavor. Depending on the quality of the concentrate and it’s extraction, there may be residue(resin) left over on the hash nail or skillet.
Vaporizing your hash/concentrates is another healthy option for medicating. There are several devices and apparatuses that allow for vaporization. All forms of hash and concentrate may be vaporized, excluding edibles (glycerine, cooking oil, or grain alcohol based hash). Vaporizers in general are an excellent start. A vaporizer is a device designed to heat up to the exact temperature that THC and other cannabinoids vaporize. It’s the healthiest and tastiest way to ‘smoke’. Depending on the quality of the concentrate and it’s extraction, there may be residue(resin) left over in the vaporizer. Check out our vaporizer guide.
The healthiest options for hash consumption are always oral. Most hash can’t be eaten in it’s current state. Only cannabis butter/oil, tinctures, and decarboxylated hashes are orally active. Other forms of hash (bubble, BHO, etc) may be mixed with butter, oil, glycerine, or drinking alcohol to create an edible form of hash. Edible hash may be used in cooking and baking, as long as the temperature doesn’t surpass approximately 350 degrees Farenheight. THC and other cannabinoids vaporize at this point, making the edibles less potent and wasting weed.
If hash is heated at approximately 250 degrees Farenheight for 30 minutes, it becomes decarboxylated, converting inactive THCA to THC. Decarboxylation allows you to make hash edible without mixing with butter/oil/etc, however the product is less potent and more of a body high. Learn more about edibles here!
Another popular attachment for bongs and bubblers is a concentrate bowl(see above). It’s a bowl/slide with holes on the sides, rather than one on the bottom, so that the hash can melt to the bottom of the bowl and the vapor gets sucked through the holes. To smoke with one of these specialty bowls, hash is placed in the bottom of the bowl. Generally a glass ‘wand’ is heated with a torch and when it comes in contact with the hash, the wand vaporizes the hash. Soldering irons, lighters, and hemp wicks are also an option — but do no achieve the proper vaporization temperatures, causing combustion (and carcinogenic smoke).
Hash/concentrates and even flowers(plant matter) may be slightly vaporized, mostly smoked with a proper soldering iron(see the FAQ for more information on picking the proper soldering iron). The ceramic tip of the soldering iron heats up to a temperature slightly above the vaporizing point of THC and other cannabinoids. This process minimizes the amount of harmful smoke consumed by the stoner, as well as the consumption of any byproducts from lighters. To use the soldering iron, it’s simply pressed against the hash/concentrate/flowers in a bong, bubbler, pipe, etc. You may also place hash directly onto the soldering iron and using a whip(hookah hose), straw, or even your lips to suck the smoke in. The process is similar to a ‘hash cup’.
Another healthier option for consuming cannabis is the hemp wick. Although this method doesn’t vaporize, it’s still healthier than burning a bowl or sparking a joint with a lighter. By using the hemp wick, the stoner benefits by avoiding harmful chemicals released by lighters(such as butane).
All forms of hash may be simply smoked in any method used for flowers. In a bowl, blunt, or joint, the concentrates may be mixed with marijuana to burn evenly and slower. Salads of kief and flowers are common, also known as “supercharging” a joint or blunt.
HOW DO YOU MAKE HASH?
Hash can be fairly easy to make, and many of the processes are safe. When dealing with chemical extractions(alcohol, butane, etc), incredible care must be taken into the process. The product may contain harmful chemicals if mistakes are made, and explosions/harm can occur from mishandling of chemicals. It’s also important to note that any form of chemical extraction is generally illegal, so check your local and federal legislations before attempting the extractions.