Hello Professor Lee,
I want to know if there is a way to make hash that doesn’t involve using oils or alcohols. I’ve never made it before and I don’t like the idea of setting up a chemistry set in my kitchen. Any suggestions?
There are three methods for making hash that I’ve used that don’t involve a solvent. I’ll describe them in order of difficulty starting with the simplest one which is good old fashioned finger hash. Whenever one trims a harvest of delicious buds they will find that their scissors and hands will get covered in resin. Simply scrape this resin off into a ball and bingo you’ve got finger hash. It’s the first kind I ever smoked and always considered it a pleasant bonus at harvest time. The only downside of finger hash is a matter of hygiene. Mixed in with the resin will be oils and flecks of skin from your hands. If this doesn’t bother you then enjoy.
The next easiest hash making technique involves using a silk screen that one can buy at any art or hobby store. I suggest one with a mesh gauge of about 125. This will produce a fine quality hash. To make it you must dry your buds out until they are bone dry and crumble to dust. Take your time and remove any bits of stem that will poke holes in the screen. Once the material is crumbled finely enough place the silk screen over a flat surface like a mirror or a glass table top. Next place a small amount on the center of the silk screen and gently work it back and forth by shaking the screen, using your hand, or a credit card. The trichromes will pass through the screen and land on the surface underneath. If there is any green material mixed in then you are working the bud material too hard or for too long. Repeat until you have processed all your material. You can load the loose trichomes, sometimes called kief, into a bowl or joint. Enjoy it as is or you can work it into the more familiar solid form of hash by tightly wrapping it in some cellophane and then some paper sealed with a small amount of tape. Saturate the paper with water and warm it in an oven set at 65.5 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Fahrenheit) for ten minutes. Use a kitchen rolling pin to firmly press the packet for several minutes. Cool the packet in a refrigerator for an hour or two before unwrapping. I really like this method because it’s truly straightforward and for me smoking kief is about as good as it gets.
The last method produces bubble hash. It involves using a series of bags with mesh bottoms and ice water. Trichomes are not water soluble so they don’t dissolve but rather break away and settle to the bottom of the bags where they can pass through the mesh leaving the ice and plant material behind. This method is the most involved and has the highest start up cost, but there is no arguing with the results.
Carefully made bubble hash ranks highly amongst hash smoking connoisseurs. The first two methods work well for the small time grower. The bubble hash technique is a favorite of larger growers because it works well to recover resin from leaves and stems that most growers would normally throw away.
Enjoy… a lot!