As soon as we step into the designated area, we are transported to somewhere else.
My first meeting with AC of Unforgettabuds was quite fortuitous. On a cool Sunday afternoon at Dolores Park in San Francisco, while doing research for my latest article by taking dabs of San Fernando Valley OG full melt, I was excitedly approached by a beaming stranger. She introduced herself to me and I was delighted to find out she was a hashmaker. We had a friend in common and within weeks we were washing sungrown cannabis together from a dry farm in Medocino County. It was during this session of spinning and smoking that I inspected their wares and discovered the power of the Sour Sunset Crasher Hashish.
G and AC have been growing cannabis for three years and have planted more with each crop. As single source processors, they have at their disposal much more material than most, so they are able to wash a lot; experimenting and fine tuning their bubble hash making technique. Consequently, they have several large hunks of Hashish in various sized jars. Opening each affords me plentiful smells which both entice or repel me (I’m not one for those overly sweet cultivars). One jar in particular catches my eye as I glimpse a bit of satin finish peeking over parchment paper. I open the jar and spy three plump mounds which seem to be fighting for space. I look over to AC and she nods her approval. I reach into the jar and with some maneuvering, and, taking full advantage of the soft, pliable texture, I wrench the large chunk out. The sides have been smushed slightly, but the mass of resin hardly looks worse for wear. Rather this is a stunning example of self-directed learning. I am impressed. G learned how to make Hashish from reading books, watching videos on YouTube, and from attending one of Hash Master Frenchy Cannoli’s classes in January 2018. Looking at this gleaming resin, it is hard to believe that G has been making hash for less than three years. I cock my head to the side examining all parts of the solid mass in my hand. There are absolutely no cracks and no wrinkles in the chocolate-colored Hashish. Its dark, shiny surface bears no mars save for the smudges from earlier. This resin has obviously been cared for in good fashion. I inquire about the cultivar and G answers me somewhat sheepishly. Although instructed otherwise, one of their trimmers had been less than careful when handling the lower, small buds and the sugar trim. In the end, rather than having discrete piles of material for strain specific washing, they had a mish mash mainly of Sour Diesel, some Sunset Sherbet, and a little Wedding Crasher. All of these plants were organically grown outdoors to get the plants to their best potential. G and AC chose plants particularly for their resin production and for flavor. Pairing the flower and the Hashish is a favored way to consume their garden, so pleasing their palate is of utmost importance.
In my hand is a startling example of well pressed Hashish. They use the freeze dryer to dry their material and AC and G press their hash following Frenchy’s style of resin manipulation. Pressed Hashish is commonplace in Brazil. I watch AC peer upwards wistfully as she recalls the many different types of Hashish she has surreptitiously enjoyed over the years. Unfortunately, cannabis reform is not a large priority in Brazil and AC and G hold onto a dream of returning to Brazil to teach both large scale cultivation and bubble hash making. They lament at the number of people, especially children, who could be helped by the long list of benefits of cannabis. Though they miss their families, they understand the value of the sacrifice they are making to be pioneers in the burgeoning global cannabis community.
Although I no longer partake in blunt wraps and very rarely accept Backwoods passed in a friendly circle, I have come to expect that Hashish will often be paired with tobacco when being smoked by people from outside of the United States – especially Europeans and Brazilians.
AC and G are no different, though they declare that they will stop smoking tobacco this year. In a small plate, she meticulously chips the South Sunset Crasher Hashish into tiny pieces that will be perfect for her slim, pre-rolled joint paper. Watching her take her time with the tobacco and Hashish mixture reminds me how particular and detailed she is with her washing cannabis material.
AC scoops the last of the tobacco Hashish mixture into the joint and twists the end close. She lights it, takes a few puffs and hands it to me. This joint is practically a pinner and I eye it suspiciously. I am used to smoking my own very large joints which customarily measure one and a quarter inches (3.175 cm) in diameter. However, I am not judging this book by its cover and I inhale with medium intensity. Although I want a full amount of smoke, the tobacco, however minimally added, is a relatively harsh component which I have to get used to tasting. Otherwise I am sure to endure a wild series of coughing followed by excess saliva; not exactly the calm and chill experience I desire.
Surprisingly, the initial flavor is mild and vaguely spicy. I exhale and feel a little tickle from the tobacco. It is not much, so I inhale again; this time more deeply and my mouth is suddenly filled with smoke. Taking my usual extra breath of fresh air, the smoke is pushed into my lower lungs. On the exhale, the Sour Diesel gas come forth strongly. Within seconds, my head feels like it has been thumped a couple of times. It begins to throb and I am not sure I am going to like this. I swear I hear an incessant vibration in between my ears. And just as quickly, the feeling subsides. Now I feel my chest throbbing and I hear G mention something about what he loves is the power and force behind the concoction. I agree that I feel the “high’ squeezing my body; as if pumping me up. We continue to pass the joint around, though I have none of the initial unpleasantness. Instead, I am talking a mile a minute and hoping AC and G can keep up.
Buoyed by the intense rush, I am energized to complete the wash with flourish and gusto. I am both high on the adrenaline of my impending birthday and also zipping from the Hashish. Whatever Indica-like characteristics this Sour Sunset Crasher may have are not being expressed right now. Not only am I hyped up, but I am super talkative about every subject imaginable and I want to get everything done as quickly as possible.
Perhaps this is just what I need to propel me through my end of the year, pre-birthday cleaning. I am optimistic. My goal with smoking cannabis is indeed to feel good. However, a large part of feeling good for me is getting through my day with as little mind-numbing anxiety as possible while I am steady pushing forward my hopes and aspirations. There is nothing appealing to me about sitting around in placid comfort day after day.
The next day, early in the morning, I whip out my dab rig. Smoking little joints is pleasant, but I want the full array of flavor. I locate my jar of Hashish that has been left on the counter. A whiff of sweet Sunset Sherbet reaches my nose. Being pressed Hashish, the Sour Sunset Crasher looks exactly as it did yesterday. With no regard to keeping to a particular temperature I have no concerns about stability at all. I pull off a small piece of hash to drop onto the banger; noticing the smooth creaminess of the cocoa-colored Hashish. I take a moment to massage the Hashish, rolling it between my index and thumb. Bringing my fingers to my nose, I catch the pungent aroma of wet pine; like early Mendocino mornings. Using the cold start technique, I place the Hashish into the banger and apply the lit torch for about eight (8) seconds. The Hashish, while not full melt, is very oil and begins to bubble furiously. I cap the banger and inhale. As the Hashish begins to dance all over the surface of the Banger, I taste the sunset Sherbet first. This mixture is very GSC heavy, appearing in the ancestry of both the Sunset Sherbet and the Wedding Cake. I can taste that earthiness heavy in the back of my throat. I take my mouth off of the banger to inhale cool air and to reveal the outgoing terpene profile. As expected, pine rolls right out. However, it is not alone. My tongue is practically slathered with the taste of sweet spices. Looking at the chunk of Hashish I have left, I chuckle thinking how much the Hashish reminds me of West Indian Rum Cake both in appearance and taste.
The is exactly how I want my year to come to an end.
With a mutual appreciation for art, a trip to the world famous de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park the next day, on New Year’s Day, is deemed a wonderful idea. AC and I are both interested in a highly anticipated exhibition of contemporary Muslim fashion. I am not quite sure what to expect, but I keep my mind open and free of prejudices and preconceived notions.
My husband Nicholas and I meet up with AC and G and decide to have a quick hotbox before we enter the museum. I find that I always appreciate art a bit more with some THC flowing through my blood. We do not have much space in the car, so we choose to use my Nectar Collector, which is easy and fast. Using a small torch, I light the tip before dipping it into the large jar of Hashish. We are not doing anything special; just hitting the Hashish quick and dirty style. In being in too much of a rush, I do not allow the tip to cool properly before touching it to the Hashish. Almost immediately, the Hashish chars at the tip, but I do not stop inhaling. The flavor is slightly burnt, but the dependable pine rolls right over my tongue. Sour Diesel is one of those flavors you can have forever. Quickly, a change comes over me. Though we are packed into the cramped back seat, I am experiencing the utmost luxury. A constant ache that I had been bearing is steadily receding behind my eyes. It is not until relieved of pain that the realization comes that there is discomfort in the first place. Frankly, I am PMS’ing and the headache that had settled upon me is thankfully finally disappearing. It is my birthday and I will like to start the year off well.
Now appropriately high and bundled up against the blistering Bay area winter cold, we journey into Golden Gate Park. Temporarily closed to car traffic, the paved road is bustling with people enjoying a chilly, but bright New Year’s Day. My eyes dart to-and-fro at the colors adorning the bikers, the roller skaters, the skaters, the walkers, the stand around talkers, and everyone else generally milling about. I am always taken in by colors and the park goers seem to be willing away the frigid gloom both with their apparel and apparent joy at the new year. Everything feels so fresh and alive. There is a bounce to my step that is partially from the steady buzz in my ears and the desire to stay are warm as possible.
We enter the toasty museum lobby with just an hour till close. It is Tuesday, which is a free day, so the museum is packed with noisy children and their equally bustling parents, thoughtful looking tourists, and us. To our dismay our free admission does not cover specialty exhibits, so AC and I decide to leave G and Nicholas to their own devices as we want to explore the contemporary fashion. After all, they were just going along to make us happy and we want to appreciate the art in peace without subtle and not-so-subtle hints that it is time to leave. Larger than life posters of multihued beauties guide us downstairs to the awaiting exhibit. With our tickets in hand, we are practically giddy as the revving aspects of the Sour Diesel combine with the anticipation of the gorgeous exhibit. Hurrying down the hallway, we are abruptly stopped by a serious faced woman appearing to be defending the federal mint rather than a display of clothing. Rolling our eyes at each other, we show her our credentials and practically run to the entrance. We only have an hour to take it all in.
As soon as we step into the designated area, we are transported to somewhere else. Mannequins are adorned with the most dazzling combinations of textures and colors. Nowhere in sight is the drab shapeless garb we Westerners are accustomed to seeing. As we stare at the exquisite fare we are serenaded by a video projection of Mona Haydar as she raps in about the pride in wearing her beautiful hijab. I am transfixed as she spits her lyrics. In fact, all around me, people have turned to the wall to watch Muslim women of several nationalities proclaiming their strength through their manner of dress. It is the opposite message which we are constantly fed about women withering in the constraints of a patriarchy. That is probably still the case (as is in many parts of the world, Muslim or otherwise), but in this instance, these women were declaring that they would not be painted with one brush.
Fantastic! I feel their power. I feel their fortitude. What I do not feel is the power of the Sour Sunset Crasher Hashish. I look around for AC and give her the all-knowing look.
I have the Nectar Collector and she has the Hashish. It is time for a reup on our herbal stimulation.
We retrace our steps and pass the stern, but slightly-more-friendly-looking lady and hurry into the handicapped-access bathroom. Looking around, AC points to the smoke detector and the fire alarm. We retreat to the furthest corner of the small bathroom and rest our belongings on the changing tray. Will this be worth it? It’s just the first of the year and we are risking being thrown out of a world-famous museum for taking a few incognito puffs of super dank Hashish. We talk briefly about whether we believe lighting the Nectar Collector will incite screaming from smoke detector. I remember that I have an odor spray in my bag. I spray upwards expecting a large cloud of fine mist. Instead, a short burst is followed by a dripping mess. That piddling amount of air freshening will have to do. Practically crouching in the corner, I light the tip of the tool for a few seconds. Nothing happens. It seems we are in the clear. I light the tip again and deftly dip the tip into the jar of mocha resin. I watch the resin bubble along the side of the tip and I rotate it to get on all the hot surfaces as much resin as possible.
I inhale sharply and pass the tool to AC. I don’t know if there is a certain concentration that needs to be met to get the alarm going, but I want to get high enough before accidentally finding out.
Someone jiggles the knob and we burst out laughing. We flush the toilet a few times as if that will clear up the thick blue smoke that is swirling around our faces. When the alarm does not go off, we do another round of puffing.
My mouth is dry, my eyes are wet, and my smile is broad. We are now good to go.
Back in the room full of remarkable dresses, sportswear, and pantsuits, all of the outfits seem to sparkle just a bit more. I adore intricate craftsmanship and these handmade works of art have me spellbound. Made visible by social media, and blogs, modest Muslim fashion pairs the traditional with hip new styles to give birth to eye popping creations. Oscar de La Renta and Karl Lagerfeld were both inspired by modest designs and their creations are draped alongside more youthful artists. Old meets new and everything is wondrous.
I leave the exhibit much more thoroughly educated about the nuances surrounding fashion, culture, and identity. Just as cutting through pressed Hashish reveals a beautiful inner core regardless of the condition of the outer shell, so were the complexities of modest Muslim fashion unveiled (no pun intended) when these cultures were more thoroughly regarded and investigated. Rather than enduring the customary bland and faceless images that Westerners are afforded when speaking of women in Muslim countries, visitors have a chance to delve into these cultures via colorful and vibrant worn art which speaks to the adherence to societal norms while still being mindful of individual expression.
I return home to Oakland and my energy is kind of low. The hubbub of my birthday has exhausted me, my hormones are going crazy again, and I just want to relax. But I do not want to just fall into the couch either. I need something stimulating yet relaxing. I believe the confluence of the racy Sour Diesel, the smooth Sunset Sherbet and the brazen Wedding Crasher will fit the bill precisely.
New time-saving techniques matched with old-world high standards have given rise to entirely new results that both harken back to the traditions of the past and acknowledge the coming trends of the future. Just as a dab of pressed Sour Sunset Crasher Hashish hits the quartz banger, I smile as old school meets new school in pure perfection.
Grown and processed by G and AC of Unforgettabuds
Words and photos by The Dank Duchess
Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 139