Making Hash After Harvesting Cannabis Plants

21 Apr 2022

You may have grown up hearing about and smoking the different hashes from around the world that would make their way from Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, India and Lebanon. Hash making can also be done from the comfort of your own home, and the process to do so is not that difficult. In this article we explain about the different types of hash and what you can do with your trim and unwanted buds.

What is Hash?

Hash is a product that is made up of trichomes that have been broken off the buds and carefully separated. How the hash is pressed or heated after will determine how the end product ends up. There are two ways to traditionally make hash that have been practiced for hundreds of years locally in some parts of the world, and they are using water or dry sift.

Both methods involve using some type of screens that separate the different size trichomes. The starting screen will be the clean up screen that is responsible for removing the large sized plant material and any contaminant. Once the material has been cleaned up, the sieving and separation process can occur allowing a grower to refine the different grades or blend them together.

Water Hash: This is a method that requires using water and ideally ice to be able to wash way the trichomes from plant material. This may be a run of top shelf buds or it may be the sugar leaf and less desirable buds.

Dry Sifting: A technique practiced in places such as Morocco where the farmers will take the dry and cured material, and will beat inside a drum that contains mesh nets to clean and refine the sandy looking end pile.

Water Hash Explained

When trichomes are agitated and gently separated off a mature Cannabis plant, the trichome will fall to the bottom of the water under its own weight. Once the water is filtered, all of the available trichomes are washed through the bags resulting in a sandy gold substance. 

Below are the two ways to make bubble hash in terms of stating material. Once the water hash has been made, it will need to be dried out which can be done using a dry freezer, or micro planning after freezing the hash patty.

1)    Fresh Frozen Bubble Hash:

This refers to when a Cannabis plant is not allowed to dry and the sugar-coated leaves and buds are immediately frozen. Extractors call this technique ‘fresh frozen ‘and believe the end result has a much more superior terpene profile and effect than when the starting material has been left to dry out and decarboxylate.

2)    Dry Material Bubble Hash

Making water using dry material such as leaf or bud, will result in a different outcome than using fresh frozen, and will often produce more in final dry weight once the hash has been dried. Many hash makers also believe that using dry material is more practical and much more rewarding than fresh trim.

Dry Sift Hash Explained

Dry sifting is generally the easiest way to produce hash that does not require a drying out period and can be ready to press and smoke. There is no need to set up washing machines, and have at least 10 bags of ice on standby, and no water to drain and refill.

Sifting simply involves rubbing the material over the different screens until the desired grade has been achieved. The agitation process should not take longer than 2-3 minutes each clean up, and the most important thing to remember is the environment and material should be as cold as possible.

Placing dried material inside plastic bags in the freezer for a few hours prior to sifting, will provide the best results and make life easier than working in a warm environment with room temperature material.

Fresh frozen trim placed in the freezer

The Different Screens and Bags

 It may look complicated with all of the work that is required especially when making a large-scale water hash run, but all that is happening is a basic filtering system. The bubble bags and dry sift screens will have the same micron fine mesh screens and both do the same job. The different sizes of micron screen start at 220, 180, 150, 120, 90, 73, 45 and go down to 20 microns.

The best quality grade will be found in the 73 microns to 120-micron range. Cannabis plants that have large sized trichomes will typically give great returns on 150–180-micron screens, whilst most varieties throw out their best produce from 73-90 being the most desirable commercially and known as full melt quality.

185 micron bubble bag

Pressing The Hash

The very best way to achieve hash that is the same quality as Morocco’s and Pakistan’s finest is to heat press the hash. This method has been practiced for centuries and can be done as simply as using a glass water bottle filled with boiling water and a tea towel to handle the bottle when rolling.

Using Heat and Pressure

There are many benefits to heat pressing hash and not only will it produce a far superior product in terms of taste and effect, the hash is also much easier to handle and will be very sticky and bubbling at room temperature. Frenchy Cannoli was famous for his hash pressing techniques that would create a black, shiny liquorice flat patty.

Hash Rosin

In the last decade, rosin has become a very popular form of extracts across the world, and many believing it is the cleanest way to smoke an extract without any contaminants inside. Originally rosin was made by squashing dried flowers through a 25-micron screen. Times has changed dramatically and now many extractors will press dry sift directly into the rosin press using a 25-micron screen bag. The result is a liquid gold, honey like sap that pours away from the bag due to the pressure created by the press.

5 Top Tips For Making Hash at Home.

1) Keep the ice topped up when stirring the material, making sure you can hear the ice rubbing against the sides. If you no longer hear this then add more ice.

2) Do not use buds or leaf material that at any point in time had powdery mildew or mould. These should be thrown away and making hash with them is a bad idea. 

3) Keep your dry sift shaking times down to a minimum and put the trim back in the freezer if necessary and keep repeating until all the material is thoroughly cleaned.

4)    If you are letting your hash patty dry out, be extra vigilant about mould and make sure there is a good air flow blowing over the drying net and hash blocks.

5)    Always wash your bubble bags after they have been used and keep them as clean as possible. Using alcohol can be a good way to wash away any built up oils.