Mmm ... at least strictly speaking, hash or hashish is not marijuana (or ganja or grass), although it is a derivative of the Cannabis Indica plant.

The first part of the Webster definition, basically.

Hashish is very common in Europe, mostly because it is so very handy for transportation: it can be packed in bricks, made reasonably waterproof and shipped across the Mediterranean Sea be enterprising Albanians and Italians and Turks and basically anybody that is willing to risk.
Hashish also lasts longer than grass.
Its key defect is that it does not really burn by itself, so making a hashish joint entails:

  1. Toasting the hashish with a lighter: not too much, or it will carbonize and goodbye THC.
  2. Crumbling the hashish together with some cigarette tobacco.
  3. Making the joint.
This is clearly messier than a nice clean spliff or pipe of pure grass, but the price and availability of good marijuana in Europe being what they are, hashish can be your only option.

Hashish is usually known by its real or assumed place of production, so you have Moroccan, Albanian, Afghani ... with different flavors and potency (or so I hear).
One good place to sample different varieties is Amsterdam, where you will easily turn into a hash taster (like a sommellier, but more ... groovy, you dig ?) - supposing that you resist the greener and fresher lure of skunk or Northern Lights.


In my experience, the color of the hashish is all that matters. Perhaps this is a true indicator of the origin of the hashish; I don't know. But I do know this:

The blond hashish would provide the most non-threatening high. It was hardly like being high at all. The black hashish smelled foul and was a waste of money. The comic book green hashish was also pitiful.

It was the soft green hashish that was the emperor of all smokable drugs. You could take a gram of this and cut it up into small pieces that would fit in, say, a small Excedrin bottle. Armed with only this little bottle and a small pipe, perhaps with a blue barrel and a golden bowl, with just a touch of red where the mouthpiece joined the barrel; add a couple of fresh mesh screens, a dependable lighter, an acoustic guitar with fresh strings, a crisp fall day with puffy white clouds floating by at an almost sing-song pace:

If there is a Heaven, this is what it will be like.

There are four basic methods of consuming hashish; three involve smoking it, and one involves eating it.

Of the basic methods of smoking hash, two keep the hash "pure" and one doesn't. The first method is to simply crumble the hash into a pipe-like container and smoke it. I say "pipe-like" because one can use everything from a squashed soda can with tiny holes punched in the side to a artfully-carved apple as a pipe. You would be (maybe you wouldn't) surprised how many ways there are to make a smoking container when you don't have a proper one to smoke a fortuitously-acquired lump of hash. To flake hash, simply heat it, and pinch off flakes of hash. (The cheaper the hash, the grainier the flakes will be.)

The second method involves taking a small piece of hash (about the size of a bullet-shaped LED without the leads), and setting it afire until its edges glow, then blowing it out and inhaling the smoke that comes off of it. You need something to hold the nugget, preferably a needle, something to hold the needle, like a beer coaster or stiff piece of cardboard, and a glass or cup to catch the smoke. (A glass is best, so you can see the nugget and know when the glass is full of smoke.) You stick the needle through the cardboard, place the nugget on the tip of the needle securely, and once you've got it glowing (this takes practice, so it's best to let someone with experience handle this) cover it with the glass. Once the glass is full of smoke, tilt the glass just enough to suck the smoke out. Repeat. This is often called "smoking a glass". A variation of this is "hot-knifing" where a hot knife or other metal implement is used to heat teh hash and make it smoke.

The third involves mixing flaked or crumbled hash into tobacco (or if you're hard-core, marijuana) and rolling it as a cigarette. The infamous "spliff" is made using this method. This method is very popular in Europe as many people smoke "roll your own" cigarettes normally, and so someone almost always has rolling papers and tobacco.

To eat it, find a recipe that uses a lot of butter or oil. Before using the butter or oil, heat it in a saucepan (be careful not to get it too hot) and crumble the hash into it. THC is fat-soluble, and the (Low, but not too low, just a simmer!) heat releases it into the oil. Then use the oil or butter in the recipe as intended. This is why fat-rich foods like brownies are so popular (and they taste really good.) This method also works with marijuana.

This is not advocating the use of hash, btw.

Good hashish (or hash) usually consists of pure resin, gathered from a female Cannabis Indica plant (these generally produce more resin than their Sativa counterparts). Commercial hash often, if not always, contains additives (varying from pepper to coffee to rubber), so be careful what you smoke!

In theory, the effects caused by smoking hashish should not be very different from those experienced when smoking cannabis, although they may be more intense. It is, in effect, a concentration of the psychoactive chemicals present in cannabis, so you are just leaving out the plant matter (and some flavor) and increasing the cannabinoid levels in your smoke.

Hashish in a beige, powdery state (bubble hash) is considered to be the least psychoactive. By pressing it together until it turns to a dark brown, almost black color, you break the resin glands and release the oils inside. Hash in its pressed black state is presumably the most potent. It must however be noted that this is the result of oxidation, storing your hash in this state will make it decompose (into CBN) faster. Hash is best stored slightly compressed into a block, while still maintaining the beige color. When rolling it into a joint, one can simply cut off a piece and process it.

Pure, pressed hashish can vary in color from beige to almost black, it should feel harder than a block of rubber, but you should still be able to bend it somewhat when applying ample force. However there is not really a way you can see or feel, or even smell that you are holding pure hash. Even the taste can not always guarantee it.

If you want to know what you are smoking, you should make it yourself! Minimal amounts can be gathered even by processing the small, harsh-to-smoke leaves from buds. There are many ways to make hashish with plant material at your disposal. One could simply rub the resin from the plants, run the plant matter through a series of sieves, or separate the resin glands from the plant by means of more exotic methods such as ice water hash extraction.

Having just read some of the incredible misinformation that has been posted in this node shell, I have been motivated to prepare for the open-minded Everything 2 community the definitive write-up on hashish. As I'm sure many of you know, language barriers and drug cultures have modified how Westerners understand certain terms; I am accounting for these modifications to the best of my ability. Please contact me if I don't get the job done, and I'll edit my post right away!

What is Hashish?
Hashish is the informal Arabic term for the cannabis herb -- "grass". In the Mediterranean region, and particularly in the Fertile Crescent of the Arabic-speaking Middle East, this herb is processed for consumption by concentrating the trichomes of its leaves and buds by removing them from the plant, and compacting them with the application of heat and pressure. Hashish is believed to have first been manufactured thousands of years ago by central Asian hemp farmers who discovered the psychoactive properties of cannabis whilst reaping it, the plant resin (trichomes) rubbing off onto their hands, and amassing by the gesticulations of field labor. After its invention, the manual method of making hashish by thumbing the cannabis leaf spread south and west, and its product became understood as simply the only narcotic generation of cannabis (In America, there is a general belief that marijuana is the most essential form of prepared cannabis -- and of course, this is entirely untrue. Those who cure marijuana know how particular curing is, and drying the cannabis leaf in a controlled manner is actually much more difficult than making hashish).

So I Live in the New World...
If you live across a pond from Eurasia, you may not be aware of the... advantages?.. of smoking hashish over marijuana. I mean, Hell, in the States, weed is very, very cheap (much cheaper than hash), very, very abundant -- like, you-can-get-it-on-any-street-corner-abundant -- virtually everyone is very comfortable with its use and effects, and to top it all off, it gets you high. Some varieties get you very, very high. And I'm sure that all the same is so in Canada, and Mexico, and Brazil... Probably even in Australia. But trust me -- hashish has its place.

The best thing about hashish is that it's easy to move. If you have a nickel-bag of marijuana on you when you're pat down on a pull-over, you're positively done. You've been caught transporting a controlled substance, and the penalties are serious. But in the same situation, with enough hashish to blaze eight people -- lets say a finger of hashish (a finger is usually substantially less than a single gram), you could have it at the bottom of your wallet wrapped in cellophane, where it is invisible to all; the cops could literally search your wallet, and flip right over the thing. That's handy.

Another of the pros for hashish has been well addressed by its noders: Hashish is more intense than marijuana. It is often so intense, in fact, that many people break it up and cut it with tobacco rather than smoking it straight. The high that one gets from hashish should be of precisely the same nature as with marijuana, as their active ingredients are identical; tetrahydrocannabinol, along with between 25 and 75 other cannabinols, depending on the strain, are exclusively common to both drugs. However, it should be noted that American marijuana is usually of the sativa sort, while most hashish is made with the trichome-rich indica sort. Cannabis sativa induces laughter, goofiness and hunger; Cannabis indica induces hypnagogia and pre-dawn philosophizing. The differences are in those fifty or so secondary cannabinols.

The last hash-benefit on which I'll write (although there are probably some that others recognize that I have failed to -- message me if you're one of those "others"!) is that hashish is much more versatile than marijuana. It can be smoked alone, with a pipe or without, or rolled with tobacco into a joint; it can be eaten; and it can be part of a tincture, or further refined into an almost-impossibly-potent hashish oil. While the smoking business is pretty straight-forward, eating hash should be expounded upon a bit. Eating hashish is much better than eating marijuana, for a number of reasons. For one, you don't need to eat nearly as much; for every ten grams of marijuana you would need to eat, one gram of good hashish would suffice. For another reason, hashish potency is much more consistent than marijuana potency. Many people avoid cannabis ingestion because eating weed is flimsy; you never know when the high will hit. Sometimes it hits you like a brick wall, others it takes hours of increasing pleasure to fully kick in. Hash isn't like that. It usually hits hard, after (without having eaten for the last few hours) about two hours. That's that. Also, on the topic of hash oil... Well, that's usually ingested, but it can be added to just about anything -- brownies, cheese dip -- it could even be tossed into a salad in a vinaigrette. And, as I mentioned before, it's ridiculously strong. Lemme tell you, there is no marijuana equivalent to hash oil!

Alright, I'll Bite. How Do I Know Which Hash To Buy?
There are only a few things to know about hashish quality assessment. First, regarding color: There are a number of different colors that high-quality hashish can have. Yellow, brown, red, orange, purple, black... All fair game. What you have to watch out for it green. Green hashish is green because it has leafy matter in it, which is among the last things you want in there. The less green, the purer the hashish, and the stronger the high. Now, regarding texture: Good hashish is pliable, either immediately, or with the application of a little heat. It can be rolled into a finger, broken up with little trouble, and cut without much of a mess. Good hash will turn to bad hash by drying out, therefore losing its pliability; this physical plasticity is a property of all worth-while hashish.

Also: Beware hashish which is cut with materials such as pepper or bay leaf. Most hashish in the United States is impure, due to the fact that it is so expensive to make in a world of marijuana infrastructure. I recommend buying only from very trusted sources, or making the hash you use yourself.

OK, So How DO I Make Hash Myself?
I'll neeeeeeeeeveer tell!

In all honesty, there are so many ways to do it that it isn't worth my address. Basically, get the trichomes off the cannabis plant, put 'em all together, and you've got hash. I make it myself, and I do it with a golden coffee filter, cellophane, paper towel, a convection oven and a heated filament; some use a water separation method, some high-tech tumblers. Go to YouTube, search "how 2 make hashish", and you'll get some decent processes. That's all I can type on that matter...

References:
Personal experience and assorted readings, mostly from long ago. Sorry, Google it if you don't believe what I'm typing!

Hash"eesh, Hash"ish (?), n. [Ar. hashish.]

A slightly acrid gum resin produced by the common hemp (Cannabis sativa), of the variety Indica, when cultivated in a warm climate; also, the tops of the plant, from which the resinous product is obtained. It is narcotic, and has long been used in the East for its intoxicating effect. See Bhang, and Ganja.

 

© Webster 1913.

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