If you’ve ever seen cannabis enthusiasts examining their cannabis flower closely and complimenting the “crystals” and “trichomes,” they’re admiring the fundamental building blocks of hash, also known as kief. But what is hash?
When observing a nugget of cannabis under a light or a magnifying glass, you might notice that it sparkles. These sparkling crystals are called “kief.”
Before we talk about hash, let’s talk about kief. Kief is strong and has many uses. Pure kief will be lighter in color, but if your kief has hints of green, that’s fine too – it’s just plant matter.
Kief can be collected and sprinkled on top of bowls or joints, and it can also be harvested and converted into a super THC-rich concentrate called “hash”.
In order for kief to become hash it must undergo a transformation through either pressure, filtration, or heat. The process of collecting kief is easier than you think!
Hash is short for “hashish” which comes from the Arabic word “grass”. Dry-sift hash is simply kief that has been collected and pressed tightly together.
The best way to collect kief is to get your hands on a multi-chambered grinder that has at least one, but maybe two, kief-catching chambers. The grinder will automatically separate kief through the metal screens as cannabis is being ground. You literally don’t have to do anything different to harvest this stuff, just update your grinder.
The finer the mesh on the screens of the chambers, the more potent the kief will be.
Just as if sifting sand, the bigger pieces will remain separated from the smaller ones, which will be sifted through the screen underneath.
Bubble hash is a newer style from the 1990s, and slightly more difficult than the dry-sift method and involves dry ice and “bubble bags.”
First, a bud of cannabis is placed into icy cold water (dry ice, not regular ice), which freezes the trichomes. Next the water is stirred, which allows the kief to break apart from the cannabis.
The water should be filtered through several fine-screened bags, then the bags must dry before the herbal extract is collected.
Once It’s All Hashed-Out
The quality of hash is rated on a star system that ranges between one and six, one being the least refined. Potency can range from 40-80% THC. This is between three and six times more powerful than consuming regular cannabis flower alone!
There are kief smashers called “pollen presses” that are able to create a pellet of hash out of the keef that you’ve been harvesting at home. This can be great in a pinch if you are low on cannabis.
It works a bit like a finger trap for children, there are two steel ends that meet from either side and can also be removed to load the keef in. In order to apply the pressure needed to create a pellet, there are two metal screws that lock in the steel ends like a plastic bottle of soda.
In case you didn’t know, yes, you can smoke hash from a dab-rig! Unlike live-resin, however, hash will need to be cleaned out of your dab rig after smoking so that it doesn’t taint the flavor of whatever you dab next. Regular maintenance of your dab rig is important, so be sure to clean the hash out of the banger/nail of your rig to protect the piece from a nasty green hugh.
In order to smoke a dab rig you will need: a dab rig, a banger (which is the same thing as a nail and really just means “bowl”), a carb cap (which is a cap for your carb), a dabber/pick (also known as a dab too), and a torch lighter.
Some people prefer smoking from dab rigs because inhaling the vapor is thought to be more healthful than inhaling carcinogens from a butane lighter. Plus, when smoking from a dab rig you are inhaling less plant matter and more cannabinoids.
Other Ways To Use Hash
Hash can be sprinkled on top of a bowl of cannabis (the term for this is called “crowning a bowl”), used to coat that joint you just rolled if you give it a lick, and it can even be made into cannabutter and then cooked or baked with.
In order to make hash, kief must undergo a transformation from: heat, pressure, or being turned into a solid wax.
Hash is a potent and versatile product from the cannabis plant, and the best part is that if you already have cannabis flower on hand, collecting the pollen necessary to begin making your own hash is essentially FREE!
It can take a couple of weeks for your first batch of kief to grow big enough to collect a substantial amount, depending on how quickly you go through cannabis. Don’t forget to begin using hash in small amounts, as it is quite potent.
Have a blast with your hash!