Hashish – also referred to as Hash is considered to be the original cannabis concentrate. Humans have been producing, using and consuming it for centuries all over the world, with a few countries standing out as producing countries because of their unique cultivators, climates and cannabis expressions that make some seriously good Hash.
According to “Cannabis: A History” (written by Martin Booth and first published in 2003), the earliest published mention of the term “hashish” is found in an Egyptian pamphlet from around 1123 – almost a 1000 years ago!
The history of Hash or Hashish is diverse and unique to a number of “producing countries around the world”. From places like Morocco, Egypt, the Persian Empire and the whole of Europe. But the so-called “historic hash” is most famously produced in the mountains of India and Nepal, where it is called charas.
Charas is Hash made by rubbing the live Cannabis buds right at the end of their flowering cycle. The sticky plant resin sticks to the hands of the Hash maker as they rub from flower to flower collecting layers of resin on their hands as they go. Once this layer is thick enough it will be removed from the hand by collecting the resin on a finger and slowly peeling it off to form one mass.
This mass of resin is often then heated to activate the resin before it is prepared for storage and curing. In India and the mountains of Nepal, a famous means of preparation for storing and curing resin is a temple ball which a spherical mass of resin that is left to cure often for years.
The curing process is said to give the resin a mystical effect that is not seen or felt in young uncured and unpressed resin but the effect has not been isolated and defined in it entirety.
The Charas is primarily consumed by smoking it. Either by mixing it with Tobacco and rolling it into a “Spliff” or even more effectively – in a Chillum. Charas can also be consumed by eating or drinking preparations like Bhang (a yoghat cannabis infused drink) or by chewing the resin and swallowing pieces.
So how did Hash get from its places of origin and into the culture as we see it today? According to a study done by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in the early 2000’s, hashish first began to move to countries like Europe when colonizers returned to their home nations from countries like India, Egypt and Morocco. The first mention of hash can be found in European texts by German botanist, Johann Gmelin in 1777.
As you can imagine, Hash gained traction in many European countries fairly quickly. Realization and interest in the medical benefits of Hash grew in the U.S. toward the end of the 19th century. Interestingly, Hash was most commonly prescribed to treat conditions such as depression, nausea, diarrhea and appetite loss which are still some of the conditions treated with Hash today – along with an incredible array of newly discovered treatments and remedies for common and uncommon conditions in humans and other animals.
Today, “Hashish” exists in a galaxy of colours, textures, smells and effects. The most popular of which is referred to as Bubble Hash. Bubble Hash is made by agitating cannabis in Ice water. The mixture of ice water and agitated material is then filtered through a series of micron sieves that remove the plant materials from the very small resin filled trichome heads found on the leaf surfaces of buds, leaves and trim.
Hash is also made using dry sifting techniques which employ a similar technique as is found in many producing countries. Dry plant material is agitated over a poros mesh screen that is course enough to allow trichome heads to pass through it while at the same time holding back the majority of unwanted plant material contaminates.
The sift material is then collected and processed further using a variety of methods from Rosin to hand pressing or left as is and consumed as desired, when desired.