By making cannabis hash at home, you have become part of a tradition that goes back to prehistory. Be proud of your work and you will be rewarded with the head of the gods! When making hashish, the psychoactive resins (THC) are extracted from the cannabis plant and preserved. THC is mostly found in tiny glands called trichomes (which look like mushrooms under a magnifying glass). Trichomes are most concentrated in the buds, but more than 10% of the plant's trichomes are in the leaves and trim of both male and female plants. Your finished product is only as good as the raw materials you start with. So take some time to examine it (frost on your leaves isn't enough evidence that it contains THC, get a magnifying glass and look for fungal glands. If trichomes aren't there, discard the leaf as it only adds impurities to your hash.)
Crushing or grinding it in advance will only damage the trichomes and increase the impurities.
There are many ways to create hash. We've listed the most popular easy ways to make solvent-free hash.
1) Flat shield method
Flat screen TV removes the trichomes by rubbing the cannabis over a fine steel or screen print. This is a very simple process, but the quality of the hash depends a lot on the skill and patience of the maker. The principle behind this method is that the trichome heads are of a fairly consistent size, so when applied to a suitable mesh size, the trichome heads will go through but other plant matter will be left behind. You need a flat screen. Screens can be purchased from print shops for $ 10-30, depending on their size, or you can make them yourself. Attach four pieces of wood to a frame and glue the shield to the floor. Small perforated screens are best between 125-137 lines per inch.
You will also need a piece of glass or a mirror to collect trichomes, a credit card or something similar to slide and of course some marijuana. Marijuana used for the flat panel display should be dry, but not too dry. If your marijuana is really crumbly, too much vegetable matter is being passed through the screen. Place the screen on the mirror or a piece of glass and place the cannabis on the screen. Using the card, gently slide your marijuana back and forth across the screen. With minimal pressure on the cannabis, you will get the best hash. The first layer of powder that comes through is the purest and most effective.
Since the cannabis must be in contact with the strainer in order to remove the glands, it is almost impossible to get pure hash through flat screen monitors. Because of this, some people choose to run their marijuana through an old pair of tights or a screen with slightly larger holes first.
This creates a mixture of trichomes and small pieces of plant material, which are then transferred to the small perforated sieve. The screen then only has to be tapped so that the glands fall through and can be separated from the vegetation. Flat panel hash generally contains more contaminants than any other method. However, it is the easiest and cheapest way for the home gardener to use scrap metal.
2) Mixing method
Unlike the previous methods that used sieves to filter the trichomes, the mixing method uses the principle that the resin glands are heavier than water while other plant materials are not. The mixing method uses water, ice, and agitation to remove the trichomes. Ice water makes the trichomes brittle, causing the resin glands to solidify and break off easily. The glands are heavier than water and when separated, they sink to the bottom while the plant material floats. To make hash this way, you will need a blender, ice cubes, a reusable metal coffee filter or screen printing, a large glass, and paper coffee filters.
Fill the blender about half full with cannabis, cover it with cold water, and add a tray of ice cubes. Mix for 45 seconds to a minute, the mixture will be green and frothy like a smoothie. Pour this mixture into your glass through the metal coffee filter. Run more water through the filter to make sure you haven't missed any trichomes.
Once your glass is full, put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You should be able to see a white or blonde substance on the bottom of your container which is the trichomes. Carefully so as not to disturb the trichomes, drain or vacuum about two-thirds of the green water.
If you need to process more marijuana, do so now and filter into the container you just drained. Return to the refrigerator, allow to settle, and vacuum again. When you've processed all of your marijuana, add a few ice cubes to the container and let it sit one last time. If you want to increase the purity of your product, you can carefully pour this settled mixture back into the blender for final mixing and separation. This may or may not be necessary depending on your preferences.
Pour the final mixture of water and trichomes through a paper coffee filter. The water flows through the paper, but the glands do not. Drain well and let dry. You now have dried resin glands ready to be pressed into hash.
3) drum machine method
A drum machine is cylindrical like the inside of a clothes dryer and is electrically powered. Inside the drum there is a screen against which the cannabis is slowly thrown. It's almost the same principle as with the flat screen, except that the drum machine tumbles the cannabis instead of rubbing it. Drum machines can be purchased, or if you are handy, plans can be found to build your own. The most popular drum machine is the Pollinator, developed by Mila, a pioneer in the Amsterdam hash community. She has developed machines of different sizes to handle different amounts of product.
Like the flat screen, the drum screen should be 125-137 lines per inch. Lightly fill the drum with dry cannabis (remember not to be too dry) and turn the machine on low. Let it run from a few minutes to an hour. The shorter the time, the more likely it is that you will only get glandular heads. You can collect the hash powder and then run the machine again to produce a lower quality hash. Depending on the quality and quantity of the original material, you can do this a few times, with each variety containing more impurities. If your cannabis contains a lot of larger leaves, after the initial collection, you can place a rubber ball in the drum to rub the surface against the screen.
4) bubble bag method
The ice water filtration technique has quickly become a very popular method of making hash. This method combines the best of the sieve and mixer method by using ice water to make the trichomes brittle and exercise to repel the heads. The mixture is then sifted through filters to increase the purity. Hash made this way is sometimes referred to as “bubble hash” – because it's so pure that it bubbles when heated! Well-made bubble hash is a very strong product? A tiny piece creates enough billowing smoke to bring a small amount up.
The two most important commercial ice water filtration systems are “Bubble Bags” from Fresh Headies and the Ice-O-Lator, another product developed by Mila. Both work on the same principle of isolating trichomes with cold water and filter bags. You can also make your own kit by purchasing an appropriately sized net and carefully sowing it into bags of strong material.You will need a kit that includes filter bags, two spotlessly clean 5 gallon pails, and a hand mixer. The exact method used may vary depending on the system used, but the key points are the same.
The Ice-o-lator uses two filters to sort out contaminants, with the trichomes trapped in the second filter. Fresh Headies' bubble bag kits contain either three or six color-coded bags and allow different hash grades to be produced at the same time. To start with a bubble bag kit, put your cannabis in one of your 5 gallon buckets. Use up to 100 grams of dry marijuana or double the weight if it's fresh or wet.
Since ice will brittle the trichomes, add plenty (at least six ice cube trays). Then fill the bucket with cold water. Leave a few inches at the top so you don't splash too much while mixing. Use the hand mixer to mix continuously for 15 minutes to an hour or more. Longer mixing results in a higher yield that is slightly less effective. The mixture will turn green and frothy. You should take breaks from time to time to allow the mixture to settle. When you're done mixing, let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes. When the ice has melted add more. If possible, put the bucket in the freezer or outside (if you live in a cold climate) you want the water to stay cold!
Now put your “work bag” in your second bucket. This bag should have a screen size between 200 and 250 microns, that of Fresh Headies is 220. Pour your foamy green mixture into the work bag in the second bucket. Slowly lift the bag out and squeeze out the water. Set the work bag with the green substance aside for a second rinse. Now you have a bucket of green water that is full of trichomes as well as other contaminants. Everything that was smaller than 220 micrometers is in this water. Arrange the other bags in the now empty bucket. First put the bag with the finest mesh in the bucket, then put the bag with the larger screen sizes in the first.
With the three-bag kit from Fresh Headies, put the 25-micron bag and the 73-micron bag in first. If you only use a bag with a screen size of around 73 microns, you will get fine hash. Now carefully pour the green water into the bucket with the bags. Then slowly lift out each bag one at a time, giving it time to drain. If you are using a 25 micron bag, it will drain very slowly (be patient). Squeeze the excess water out of each bag after it has drained. You now have a brownish sludge at the bottom of the bags. Use a credit card or a spoon to remove it into a plastic bag. Blot the mud with a towel to remove excess moisture and let it dry for at least 12 hours.
If you are that patient, you might want to wait up to a week for it to completely dry and harden! Make sure your product is completely dry to avoid mold problems later. You get less product from the 25 micron bag, but it has a unique and powerful effect when consumed.
Bubble bag creator "Bubble Man" speculates that these are the smaller trichome heads, not immature, but simply the smaller heads associated with sativa strains. He argues that Indica strains have larger trichome heads and that Sativa strains have smaller heads on longer stems. Crosses between these two types do not produce medium-sized trichomes, but rather a mix of large and small. This theory seems to be confirmed by the results, but much more research needs to be done. Now go back and rinse the green substance in the work bag one more time to make sure you get every last trichome out!
The yield of 200 grams of cannabis is 6 to 20 grams, the average yield is 10. The amount of hash produced depends to a large extent on the quality of your original material.
Press your hash
The previous four techniques will give you a product that, once dry, will resemble sand. This "sand" is actually a collection of trichome heads and stems.
The final step in making hashish is to turn this powder into a solid mass. This can be as simple as rubbing small amounts between your hands to create a resin ball like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. (Unlike our ancient ancestors, wash your hands first!)
Another option is to press this powder into a bar or cake. The powder should be completely dry before pressing. If stored moist, it can mold and ruin your precious product. So make sure it is completely dry! If you put it in the freezer for a while, the water inside will coagulate as ice on the surface and can then be dabbed off.
To press, you will need heavy plastic wrap, cardboard, newspaper, a pan, a heavy rolling pin, and a tile or marble surface to roll. Cut the cardboard to the size you want your finished rod to be. Make a Bag Around Fill the bag with dry trichomes, seal it, and wrap it in several layers of damp newspaper. Put the bundle in a pan on a very low level. Rotate and unwrap your rod frequently to check that all of the trichomes have melted. (Don't let the newspapers dry out or catch fire!) After melting, remove them from the pan, leave them wrapped in the newspaper and place on the rolling surface. Using the rolling pin, push and roll from the center outwards. Do this around your bar for 30 to 45 minutes. Unwrap the newspaper and let it cool in the freezer for at least an hour. Then wrap out your plastic. You now have some amazing cannabis hash!
- (Updated, originally published 11/12/2016)
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