Kief is what most of us know as that good stuff you get on the bottom of your grinder. Indeed, this is one of the several methods of extracting it. We’ll be getting into more serious methods of doing so below. But now, it’s important to establish how to make hash once your kief is collected. You’ll need a pollen press. The pressure from this device will transform the kief into perfectly compressed hash.
For those of you with a larger budget, there is an automated option that will save you both time and energy! It works similarly to the dry sifting method, but it’s all done by a machine. There will be a container where you’ll place your weed, which will be covered by a large silkscreen. The machine will shake this container, releasing all those delicious trichomes. To achieve the best results, freeze your cannabis three hours before you place it in.
The next step will be to get your bubble bag and wrap it around the top of the bucket so that you can turn it upside down. Find a large, flat, and clean surface. Turn the bucket upside down, transferring all your product and dry ice to the bag. Once you have a safe and tight grip on the bag, shake it on top of your surface. After doing this for a few minutes, you’ll see the surface filled with amber-looking dust. Get a card and scrape it all together. This will be your resin, and it probably looks delicious. To turn it into hash, place in the pollen press and follow the same directions as above.
It’s the additional procedures of hash-making that give the final product its distinct high, aroma, and physical consistency. Below, we’ll be showing you a few different ways of extracting trichomes and turning them into hash.
Hashish results from the separation of trichomes from the cannabis plant. Although most trichomes are found on mature cannabis flowers, they can be sourced from all over the plant in smaller concentrations. This is the reason so many growers save their trim; they can extract all the trichomes holding the almighty cannabinoids and terpenes. These trichomes are then used to make edibles, or are pressed/heat-treated to form hash. Until recently, trichomes were referred to as simply “kief”. In fact, kief is technically the swollen crystal formation on the end of trichomes, which appear as microscopic, hair-like glands.
You might’ve heard this name before, as this is a very popular extract in India, Nepal, and other regions. It is very similar to that of hand rolling, only charas derives from uncured buds and trim instead of already harvested material.
For this, most growers will remove a few cuttings from plants that are 2-3 weeks away from full maturity. Others wait until it’s harvest time. From here, the process is the same as hand rolling. Rub the buds and trim gently between your hands until a thick coat appears. Charas will be smokable under most methods. You can add it to some flower in a joint, blunt, bong, or pipe.
Once this is done, grab a glass jar and drain the mixture into it through the silkscreen. Let this sit for around half an hour. You’ll see the trichomes settle on the bottom of the jar. This is what you want. Try to empty about ⅔ of the water without losing any of the good stuff. Now, fill the jar again with ice water; let it settle for 3-5 minutes, then drain ⅔ of the water again. Repeat this process 4-5 times for top-quality hash.
You’ll probably have most of the materials for this one at home, but you’ll also need a silkscreen. Put your trim into a blender and add water until it covers your greens. Add plenty of ice and blend for around a minute.
Thankfully, hash, which can be created in a variety of ways, utilizes these wasted parts and concentrates them into a block of concentrated THC.
Pressing hash involves a combination of force and mild heat to condense the glands into a solid mass. The shape and size of hash varies depending on the pressing method. When hand pressed, hash is often ball-shaped. Flat-pressed hash may look like thin shale rock, with hardened shelf-like layers that chip along the creases. Mechanically pressed hash is usually a neat cake, like a bar of soap.
Pressing transforms the material both chemically and physically; the glands are warmed and most break, releasing the sticky oils that contain the psychoactive cannabinoids, as well as the terpenes—the source of cannabis’s smell, taste, and suite of effects.
Further refinement using machinery and tighter control of temperature and humidity will yield the strongest nonsolvent concentrates.
Side note: You might also be interested in making dry ice kief. Here are 8 simple steps to making Dry Ice Kief
Making hash is a wonderful method of preserving resin long after cannabis has been harvested. Whether in the kitchen or in the lab, hash making is a process that is available to everyone. Using old school methods or new school techniques, the process is relatively straightforward — agitate to remove trichomes, collect the resin, sort the resin by size, dry the resin, smoke and enjoy!
Before attempting to compress kief or water hash the material must be completely dry. To ensure that all moisture has been eliminated before pressing, dry the material one last time. Place the kief or water hash in a food dehydrator set on the lowest setting, or a horticultural heat mat (preset at 74˚F [23˚C]), microwave the material on low, or place it in an open dish in a frost-free freezer. The vacuum conditions promote water evaporation, preventing mold from infecting and spoiling the hash. However, when the drying temperature is above 75˚F (24˚C), some of the terpenes will evaporate, diminishing the kief’s unique odors and their effects.
Hashish oxidizes and darkens from exposure to light, oxygen, and heat. Regardless of its texture, high-quality hash should soften with the simple warmth of your hands.
Water and ice can be used to mechanically separate trichomes from the plant, and filters can concentrate the glands into unpressed or “loose” hash.
Pressing unrefined hash into balls, cakes, or slabs creates hashish; all steps of the process are consumable, but making hashish is a two-step process: First, the glands are collected; second, the collected material is compressed into bricks or balls.
Pressing hash involves a combination of force and mild heat to condense the glands into a solid mass.