Hash is a compressed format of the cannabis drug but it is not just compressed bud. In fact compressed bud has nothing to do with Hash contrary to public belief.
Cannabinoids are the major drugs produced by the cannabis plant. We have already looked at Trichomes and we understand that these tiny stalked resin glands contain our THC and other cannabinoids. We also know that female flowers produce the majority of the little trichomes. Now this is all over the flower's surface and is correctly referred too as "stalked capitate trichomes". Since we are on this topic we will ask you to refer to Figures 1.12 and 1.14 in chapter 1. The gland heads (the rounded tips) secrete the major cannabinoids within an oillike substance that you can remove by rubbing your fingers over the bud. We normally refer to this substance as resin. The stalks that support the gland head are secondary to the head in cannabinoid production amounts. The gland and the stalks may also burst. In the case of a strain like afghani#1 that is thick with resin, this sometimes-explosive action of the gland is automatic.
The reason why the cannabis plant produces resin oils is to gather fallen pollen from the male plant.
When we smoke bud, we hope to covert the oil into a vapour, which we can inhale. However the surface of the flowers is not the only area which produce cannabinoids. It is known that the bulbous glands on the leaves produce cannabinoids and so does the stem, but these are only in minor quantities compared to the stalked capitate trichomes.
Hash is made primarily from the collection of the stalked capitate trichomes. When the collected trichomes are compressed they form a blocky mass, which we refer to as Hashish.
There are many ways to do this, ranging from bulk hash production to small finger sized quantities. Also each method will produce different qualities or grades of hashish. Some methods will gather only the trichomes, while other methods will gather trichomes and some other subsidiary elements like leaf particles and branch shavings. Water extraction seems to be the best way of achieving trichome extraction only. Let us look at each home method. We will not discuss other methods used for mass production by some eastern countries, as these are somewhat substandard to the home methods mentioned below. In fact some of these Aold eastern practices' are less common in their native homelands now because of these updated methods.
There is also a preparation process that you must go through with your dried plants before you attempt any of the methods outlined below.
When you harvest your bud you will have trimmed the leaves away from the bud. This trim is what we refer to as Skuff. Skuff should be sticky. So whether it is on the stem or branch or leaf or bud, if it feels sticky then you can use it to extract the resin. Now if you really want to be a connoisseur about this then you should examine your skuff for trichomes with a microscope. If any parts of the skuff do not have trichomes then discard them.
You must take this trim and store it much the same way as you would canned bud for 3 to 6 weeks.
Also the quality of the overall result can not be much better than the genetics that you started with in the first place. If you used plants that where not very potent then don't expect to produce very potent hash from them.
BASICS OF SCREENING
Flat Silk Screening:
Screening is a process much like cheese grating but on a much finer level. A silk screen is stretched across a square wooden frame and nailed tight to it. The screen typically has a pour size between 180 to 120 microns. The smaller the microns the higher the quality, but the lesser the amount. The larger micron pours will result in larger sieved amounts but some leaf matter and branch trim will drop through. This will degrade the quality of hash that you smoke. Actually typical street hash is not nearly as fine or better in quality than the larger pour screen method.
The bud is placed over the screen and can either be manually dragged across the screen or rolled across the screen using a roller. Manually it is much easier if you are using smaller quantities of bud but for larger quantities another method should be adopted like the automatic tumbling method. A sheet of glass placed under the screen is the best way of catching the matter that falls through the screen. After the process is finished the screen can be patted down to shake any powder that is stuck in the pours.
Flat Metal Screening:
This is done much like the flat silk screen method but before the flat silk is used the bud will go through a metal grating process. The metal grate is usually made from tough nylon or stainless steel and is of equal proportions in pour size to the silk screen. By first using the metal grate we can remove more matter from the bud than the single silk screen would do. The bud matter that passes through the metal screen can then be sieved through the silk screen by shaking the screen back and forth over a glass surface. You can end up with 2 grades of sieved bud residue this way. The silk screening should produce mostly trichomes.
Multiple Screening Method:
This is a refined version of the above two methods. Several screens can be used in this method but the average is four of five. Each screen running from start to finish should have a different micron measurement starting from the largest and running down to the smallest silk screen. The bud matter is sieved through the first screen and then down onto the second screen. The process is repeated picking up and sieving with each new screen until most of the matter has passed through. You should end up with several screens that contain bud matter running down to the finer trichomes on the last screen. This is an excellent way to achieve the best results. You should end up with several screens each with different qualities of cannabis residue.
Now that you have an idea of what screening is about we can look at it in better detail. This explanation will apply to all of the above screening methods.
We stated that a metal screen is used first followed by a silk screen. Nowadays steel fabrics can be bought in sizes that have much smaller pours than even the finest silk screen.
You should typically look for a metal screen that is ranged somewhere between 100 lines per inch to 140 per inch. A common screen used by most home hash makers is a screen with 120 lines. A wooden frame is constructed to hold the screen in place on one side. You can glue the screen on or nail it into place.
Take 4 small wooden blocks and place them over a sheet of glass or a mirror. Place the screen over the blocks. Have a gap of an inch or so between the mirror and the screen. Place small amounts of skuff on the screen and gently role it back and forth across the screen using a credit card or similar plastic object. Do this very gently, over and back and over and back and over and back. You may have to push the skuff over and back a hundred times before you can see the tiny resin glands gather on the mirror below. All this is done with very little pressure.
Once you have collected as much resin glands as possible use the card to sweep them off the mirror and onto another surface. Now take the Aused' skuff and this time apply a bit more pressure to it as you roll it back and forth across the screen. With this little bit of extra force applied you will be able to knock through any resin glands that did not fall through the first time, but you will also push through some veg material such as branch shavings and leaf particles. This second round of pressing will result in a lower quality grade of skuff.
You see skuff is skuff. From when you cure your trim to the point where you sieve it through, it is still skuff. Your objective is to try and collect as much resin from the skuff as possible. You will not end up with hash, but you will end up with different grades of skuff that can be used to make hash later.
You can smoke the different grades of skuff there and then, but you may notice that it is hard to do so. Since this powder is so fine it will typically fall from a joint easily or pass through the pours of a pipe screen. In order to solve this problem we must compress the skuff into hashish. This we will discuss later after we talk about other extraction techniques.
A drum machine is an automatic screening device. You will probably have to build one yourself but this is easy enough to do with the right materials. The size of the unit depends on how much cannabis you wish to sieve at a time. Most drum machines have a 1.5 - 2ft diameter.
This is a simple example of what a drum machine looks like. In between the two wooden cylinders is the screen. The cannabis trim is placed inside this screen and a small motor attached to the side rotates the drum. As it rotates, very slowly (2 rotations a minute), the trichomes drop through the sieve onto the surface stand between the legs of the drum. A simple mirror or sheet of glass is best used to catch the skuff. You can keep the tumbler rotating for up to 1 hour to get the most from your skuff without applying any pressure. If you want to apply more pressure to the skuff then place a small wooden cylinder in with the barrel. This will help press the skuff as it passes under the cylinder. Different sized screens can be used to extract better quality skuff.
Resin glands can be removed from the cannabis plant by agitating the trim in cold water, typically ice cold water or water that has been chilled in a fridge overnight. The trim is placed in a bucket and the cold water is poured in on top. The whole lot is swirled or mixed around using a blender. After mixing you let it sit for a few minutes before scooping out the skuff that is floating on the surface. The remaining liquid is strained through a sieve. By sieving this liquid through a coffee sieve you will be able to collect most of the trichomes, as they will not pass through with the water. Just let the coffee sieve dry and hey presto!, you got excellent grade skuff to make hash from.
The basic idea behind this is that cold water breaks the glands away from the leaf matter. The glands will eventually sink to the bottom of the bucket because they are heavier than water. The bulk leaf matter should stay afloat which can be easily scooped away.
HOW TO PRESS SKUFF INTO HASH
Again the quality of the skuff will determine the quality of hash that you will smoke. Remember on the first chapter we talked about Zero Zero?
Well this is a term used to grade the quality of hashish. The simple ratio is cannabinoids : vegetable material. Good quality hashish has high ratio of cannabinoids to vegetable material. 00 is a term used by Moroccans to express that the hash has the highest level of cannabinoids to vegetable achieved by their extraction process. You can almost imagine that this is the finest skuff available compressed into hashish. To compress hashish is simple.
Take your fine skuff and put into a cellophane bag. Fold it into a block shape. Tape the ends of the cellophane down to create the package.
Press it with your hands to make it more even and try to create the best square block you can with it. Use a pin to make a few holes on both side of the bag. Just scatter a few around. A hole per square inch is a good measurement to go by.
Get two or three newspaper pages and dampen it down with a cloth that has just been rinsed. Don't break the paper just dampen it down. Set an Iron to low heat and place the newspaper over the cellophane bag. Hold the iron down over the paper and press it down with medium pressure for fifteen seconds. Turn the bag over and place the newspaper on top again. Wet it down if need. Press again for the same amount of time. You should only have to do this twice.
Let the bag cool for five minutes and remove the cellophane. Voila! You have a nice block of hash like in picture on the introduction to this book. Easy as pie! Also your quality of hash will be better than the street hash you find on the market. Street hash tends to be made from the less finer skuff material to make more blocks of hash at a lesser quality. If you smoke homemade hash then you will probably understand why 90% of street hash is sold at rip-off prices. Those big ounce chucks you buy probably only contain 10% of the good stuff, if any at all!
Many countries use most of these techniques to make hash. You can almost imagine that in order to achieve bulk amounts you will have to use a lot of skuff in conjunction with a lot of employees or several drum machines working around the clock.
As a ratio you will find that in order to produce 50grams of good quality hashish you will need about 900grams of dry trim. That is a ratio of about 1:18
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