Hashish is one of the most effective and least harmful ways of getting the sacred medicine into your body. recent advancements in trichome isolation technology have brought high quality hashish into the hands of many, but there are still those of us out in the world that prefer to “roll our own.” Trichome isolation procedures can be broken down into three basic methods: manual separation, separation by size and separation by density.
There’s the rub
Manual separation, also known as “hand-rubbing,” requires the least amount of specialized equipment and the greatest amount of raw material. This is a technique that takes time, practice, and access to as many live plants as you can muster. A pair of unpowdered latex exam gloves is a must-have for the average home cultivator interested in creating hand-rubbed hashish (also known as “charas”).
Hand-rubbed hashish can be made at any point in the life cycle of your garden where there are visible capitate stalked trichomes. The prime time is during or after peak floral production (approximately two weeks prior to harvest date). At this point, with each rubbing you will be removing mostly mature trichomes, and as new trichomes are produced leading up to finishing time, multiple hand-rubbed harvests can be realized. The later in the life cycle of the plant, the more leaf debris you should expect in your charas.
Take any bathroom, smoke, snack, or drink breaks before you begin this procedure. The process of hand-rubbing hashish produces a sheen of sticky hashish coating the exam gloves (and possibly forearms, depending upon plant and garden dimensions) that is more than capable of removing body hair from any body part you touch.
After donning your exam gloves, begin by grasping the cola loosely (imagine you are picking sides for a game of stick ball with open fingers) and rubbing firmly up and then back down the length of the cola. Make as much contact with trichome bearing surfaces as you can, working slowly and evenly up and down the cola. Trichomes are generally tenacious, and the point of hand-rubbing is to burst the trichomes as you rub to collect, so you should apply a decent amount of hand pressure. If you find yourself pulling whole calyxes or guard leaves off of the plant, or if your collections seem “watery,” you are grasping too hard.
When you have worked your way through the garden, remove the exam gloves and place them into a freezer. After a few hours in the cold, the resin will peel from the surface of the latex easily. The resultant resin can be pressed and smoked or vaporized at your leisure.
1> Hand-rubbed hashish can be made at any point in the life cycle of your garden where there are visible capitate stalked trichomes.
2> Put on your exam gloves and begin. Grasp the cola loosely and rub firmly up and then back down the length of the cola.
3> When you have finished going through your garden, remove the exam gloves and place them into a freezer. Wait a few hours then remove the gloves from the freezer. Peel the resin from the latex. Enjoy!
If you are having trouble getting an incense-like smolder in your hashish, it is too wet.
If you are having trouble pressing a cohesive lump you have too much plant debris present. You can re-sieve any unpressed trichomes by density separation after fully dried.
If you are having trouble standing? well, you can take it from there.
Sieving the kif
Separation by size, also known as “dry sieving,” is the most widely used commercial hashish production technique. The concept is quite simple: Trichomes are small, while (most) all other plant parts are large. Rubbing or agitating trichome-laden plant matter over a porous surface will result in a fairly pure powder of trichomes that can then be pressed into hashish.
Devices designed for this technique come in all shapes and sizes, and a great range of prices. One example is “The Pollinator” invented by Mila in Amsterdam. This is essentially a cylinder of sieving screen that you place the trichome-laden plant matter into and slowly rotate. A collection plate at the bottom catches the loose trichomes for later pressing. Another example is the popular “kif box.” These handmade, attractive wooden boxes are a wonderful way to catch lost trichomes from your stash of buds.
Creating a small dry sieving device for bulk trichome separation is a simple process. Begin by finding two tightly lidded containers that nest together. Any of several “disposable” food storage containers, such the Zip-loc brand, will suffice as long as there is a “short” inner container that nests tightly inside of a “tall” outer container. You will also need a section of loosely woven nylon or silk fabric, such as a knee-high stocking or a scarf to use as the sieve.
Begin by removing the bottom of the inner container. A pair of scissors and a minimum third grade education should work out well. Stretch the nylon or silk fabric over the mouth of the outer container and press the inner container into the outer container until they “lock” together.
Placing your very dry trichome-laden matter in the freezer prior to and during sieving will enhance harvest potential. Letting the contents of your shaker settle between loads will reduce trichome loss due to wind turbulence.
Place very dry trichome-laden matter into the inner container directly onto the stretched fabric. Fit the lid tightly onto the top of the inner container and begin to shake the entire device firmly and deliberately. Occasional taps onto the palm of your hand or a table top will also help to free up those glands. When you get to the end of your trichome-laden matter, go right back and do it again, and then again for a total of three times.
Let the contents of the shaker settle. Gently remove the inner container from the outer container to reveal your collection of trichomes. Unless the hashish is intended for immediate consumption, the trichomes should be dried before pressing to decrease chances of mold. Spread the powder out on a piece of black and white newspaper (no colors) or blank cardboard and leave it in a warm draft-free location overnight.
1> Find two tightly-lidded containers that nest together. You will also need a section of loosely woven nylon or silk fabric, such as a knee-high stocking or a scarf.
2> Cut out the bottom of the inner container. Stretch the fabric over the mouth of the outer container and then press the inner container firmly into the outer container until they “lock” together.
3> Place “frozen” dry trichome-laden matter into the inner container directly onto the stretched fabric.
4> Shake the entire device firmly and deliberately to free up those glands. When you get to the end of your trichome-laden matter, repeat three times.
5> Let the contents of the shaker settle. Gently remove the inner container from the outer container to reveal your collection of trichomes.
6> Spread the powder out onto a piece of black and white newspaper (no colors) or some blank cardboard and leave it in a warm draft-free location overnight.
Hashish pressing can be accomplished by many different methods. My personal favorite is hand-pressing. Here’s how it’s done:
Place a small amount of trichome powder into the palm of your (clean) hand. Take the thumb of your opposite hand and press firmly down on the pile of trichomes in your hand. Begin to press and rub the trichomes, popping them and smearing them together into a cohesive ball in your hand.
Continued rubbing and pressing should result in a final product that lights well and stays lit.
Separation by density, also known as “water separation,” has become very popular since the Ice-o-later, or Bubblebag, technology hit the market a decade ago. However, since this widely available combination of size and density separation has been described in several fine articles, it will not be covered here (CC#41, Bubblehash!).
Neville, of Neville’s Haze fame, discovered one method of separation by density that can, with a bit of practice and patience, far out-yield dry sieving with any given trichome-laden material.
Begin with the driest material you can acquire. “Stays lit as a joint” dry isn’t dry enough. We’re talking crumbly here. It should powder easily. What you might call “too dry.” As with dry sieving, yields will be enhanced and speeded by freezing the trichome-laden material prior to separation.
You will need a coarse sieve (such as a window screen or a strainer), at least two straight-sided glass containers (like a large mason jar), a spoon and some coffee filters.
Take the very dry material and grind through the coarse screen. Place the ground material into the glass container, making sure to not fill more than half of the way. Fill the glass container with cold water and shake or stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Set the glass container down and let it rest for 10 minutes. You should notice that the top of the container now has a thick layer of green plant matter, and the bottom has a thin layer of sand-like trichomes.
Carefully skim off the top layer with a spoon. Let rest for 10 minutes. Pour off all but one inch (four cm) of the water, being careful not to disturb the trichome layer at the bottom and refill with fresh cold water. Let rest for 10 minutes. (Tip: This second rinse can be repeated to remove mold from moldy stash.) Again carefully pour off all but one inch (four cm) of the water in the container.
Swirl the slurry of trichomes and water around and around in the bottom of the glass and pour quickly into a coffee filter. After letting the water drain out, you should spread the wet trichomes to dry overnight.
1> You will need a coarse sieve, at least two straight-sided glass containers, a spoon and some coffee filters. Use the driest material you can acquire. It should powder easily. Yields will be enhanced by freezing the material prior to separation.
2> Take the very dry material and grind through the coarse screen.
3> Place the ground material into the glass container, making sure not to fill it more than half of the way up. Then fill the rest of the container with cold water.
4> Shake or stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
5> Set the glass container down and let it rest for 10 minutes.
6> The bottom has a thin layer of sand-like trichomes.
7> Carefully skim off the top layer with a spoon. Let rest for 10 minutes.
8> Pour off all but one inch (four cm) of the water, being careful not to disturb the trichome layer at the bottom, and refill with fresh cold water. Let rest for 10 minutes.
9> Swirl the trichomes and water around the bottom of the glass and pour quickly into a coffee filter. After letting the water drain out, you should spread the wet trichomes to dry overnight.
? HASHISH!, by Robert Clarke. Red Eye Press, Los Angeles, 1998