What is Hash? How to Make, Smoke, and Store Hashish

By Nick Congleton Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

Despite the many new types of weed-derived products available today, some still opt for classic types of cannabis concentrates. One of these is hashish, or hash.

In this article, we explore what this concentrate is, how to make your own, and how to use and store it.

What is Hash?

Hash is one of the oldest cannabis concentrates known, with roots stretching back into ancient history. Hash is short for hashish, an Arabic word that loosely translates to “grass.” Hash originates in the Middle East, where several countries have ideal conditions for producing large quantities of this venerable cannabis concentrate.

Traditional methods of making hash usually involved rubbing or rolling cannabis buds through a screen–or multiple screens–to break off the trichomes and collect them to be pressed into hash. More modern methods involve freezing the trichomes off with ice water. 

The product is a powerful, heavily concentrated form of cannabis that’s natural and free from chemical solvents. Keep reading to learn more about this versatile concentrate and how to make the most of your experience with it.

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Hash vs. Weed 

“Weed” typically refers to dried cannabis flower. These are literally flowers from the cannabis plant that have a high concentration of trichomes. Trichomes are tiny resin glands that produce cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, and terpenes, the plant compounds responsible for how a plant smells and tastes. 

Hash is made by separating those cannabis trichomes from the rest of the flower. The loose trichomes are often called kief. To make hash, the kief needs to be pressed into a more solid form. This can be done over time with pressure or more quickly with a combination of pressure and heat. 

Either way, hash is a more solidified form of cannabis trichomes and the resin they produce. Like some other popular concentrates, hash remains close to the original plant’s profile while being more potent than dry flower. This is because hash only contains the parts of the cannabis flower with the highest concentration of THC and CBD. 

Both hash and weed are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Smoking is the most traditional method when consuming cannabis or hashish, though consumers should be mindful when rolling hash into a joint or topping a bowl of flower because of the concentrate’s high potency. 

Like dry cannabis flower, hash can be used to make edibles or infused into beverages. You can also dab hash, though beginners or those with low tolerance should exercise caution, as the high THC concentration in hashish can be overwhelming for even experienced consumers.

The effects from hash, as with traditional weed, can be felt within minutes when smoked or vaped. Edibles made with hashish can take up to two or three hours to feel the effects. Regardless of your preferred method of consumption, it’s recommended that consumers start with small amounts of hash and only increase dosage over multiple sessions.

Types of Hash

Types of Hash

Hash has been made for centuries using a variety of methods. Some have become more popular in the modern cannabis community, but they’re all effective and have their benefits. 

Dry Sift Hash

Dry sift hash is one of the oldest forms of hash. The name “dry sift”– sometimes called dry sieve – refers to how the hash is made. 

In order to make dry sift hash, cannabis is rubbed against a series of screens with smaller and smaller openings to refine it. The initial pass is usually to remove the trichomes from the cannabis. The kief is then pushed through more screens to remove any other plant material and further refine it.

The end result is a powdery resin. That resin can be used as is to enhance other cannabis products, like sprinkling the resin atop ground flower to make a stronger mixture for smoking. But many cannabis users prefer to press the powdery resin into dry sift hash. This involves applying pressure over a long period of time. The process can be sped up by adding heat, though the heat may potentially eliminate some of the cannabinoids and terpenes, lowering the potency of the finished product.

Bubble Hash (aka Ice Water Hash)

Bubble hash employs ice-cold water to separate cannabis trichomes from the rest of the plant. Bubble hash gets its unusual name from the bubbles that usually come from the hash when smoked.

Making bubble hash requires several mesh bags with tighter and tighter mesh to capture any unwanted bits from the original cannabis. Special machines have been designed for the process, but they aren’t strictly necessary to make bubble hash. 

Cannabis is put into ice-cold water, then stirred to break off the trichomes, which have become brittle in the ice water. Those trichomes sink, while the rest of the plant material floats to be sifted off the top. The remaining water and trichomes are then poured out through a series of mesh bags to catch first the impurities, then the trichomes themselves, allowing the water to pass through. The result should be a bag of soggy kief.

Whether you begin the process manually or with the help of a specialized bubble hash machine, the resulting kief should be left to dry. Once dry, it can be used as it is or pressed into hash. The idea is to catch only trichomes and resin, not any other part of the plant. The highest quality hash is refined to the point that it doesn’t have any other remnants of the cannabis plant.

Jelly Hash

Jelly hash is considered a luxury form of hash because it’s harder to make, higher in concentration, and – as a result – more expensive than other forms of hashish. Jelly hash gets its name because it’s a mixture of bubble hash and hash oil, giving it a thick, jelly-like consistency. It usually looks like a dark greenish-brown buttery jelly.

Similarly to other high-potency concentrates, like RSO, consumers have reported a variety of medical benefits (though further research is needed to validate these reports).

For the most part, jelly hash can be used like regular hashish: it is most commonly smoked in a bowl or bong, though it’s possible to mix it into a joint, vape it, dab it, or use it to make your own edibles.

How To Smoke Hash

How To Smoke Hash

Most people prefer smoking hash in a bowl or pipe, but those are far from the only ways to use this potent concentrate. Hashish can be used in edibles or infused into beverages. It can be vaped or, for experienced consumers, it makes a good option for dabbing.

When people smoke hash, they’ll typically smoke it in a bowl or a pipe, like a bong. These methods tend to work better for hash because it’s easier to take smaller hits and manage the amount of high-potency hash being smoked. When smoked in joints, hash is most commonly mixed with cannabis flower to increase potency without raising the THC levels too high. 

When someone refers to a cannabis “bowl,” they’re typically talking about a short-stemmed cannabis pipe. These devices are called “bowls” because cannabis is packed into a bowl at the end of the pipe stem for smoking. Because hash can be sticky, many consumers prefer glass implements to wood, silicon, or other materials.

To smoke hash from a bowl:

  1. Pack the hash into the bowl end of the pipe (or sprinkle some hash on top of a bowl of dry flower). Be careful not to pack it too tightly, or it won’t burn evenly. 
  2. Place your finger over the pipe’s carb hole and light the hash from the corner of the pipe. 
  3. As soon as you light the hash, begin to inhale. 
  4. When you see that the hash is lit, remove your finger from the carb and keep inhaling. The hash should go out as you inhale. However, if you have had your fill and the hashish is still smoking, you can pass the bowl to a friend or cover the carb to try to keep it lit until you’re ready for your next hit.

A bong is a water pipe. It uses water to filter smoke, so it’s theoretically cleaner and smoother. Many users report a more pleasant smoking experience with a bong, but new consumers may struggle to control the size of their hit from a bong.

How to use hash from a bong:

  1. Start by filling your bong with fresh water and packing the bowl with hash. Only use a small amount when starting, and be careful not to pack it too tight. 
  2. Hold the top of the bong to your mouth and slowly inhale while lighting the edge of the hash. Be sure that the carb hole is covered while you do. The water will bubble and the chamber will start to fill with smoke. 
  3. When the chamber is about half full with smoke (or filled to your liking), release the carb hole or pull out the bowl and inhale.

There are plenty of other ways to use hash, and these are just the basics.

How to Store Hash

How to Store Hash

The rules for storing hash are generally the same as the best practices for storing cannabis flower

The main difference is that hash can be sticky. To avoid sticky resin attaching to the bottom of your storage containers, consider wrapping your hash in wax paper or parchment paper.

It’s always important to store cannabis in an airtight container. This keeps contaminants, like mold, from getting in and spoiling the cannabis. Airtight containers also keep the cannabis smell and moisture in, which can keep your product from drying out or stinking up your place. Glass or silicone storage containers tend to work best. 

The two other foes to avoid when storing cannabis are heat and UV light. UV light breaks down cannabinoids and causes cannabis to lose potency. Heat and humidity create the ideal conditions for mold to grow. It’s best to keep cannabis at cool temperatures. Between 60 and 70 degrees F is best.

It’s always a good idea to store your cannabis in childproof containers to make sure to prevent children or pets from accidentally getting into it. 

If you properly store your hash, the only problem you’ll need to worry about is the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occur over time. 

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Final Thoughts on Hash  

Hash is one of the oldest cannabis concentrates. Versatile and easy-to-use, hash can be vaped, dabbed, smoked on its own, or added to dry cannabis flower to enhance the flavor and potency. It can also be used to make edibles, and it’s been infused into beverages for centuries. 

Due to its high THC concentration, it’s important to use caution when consuming hashish. You should also be aware of the laws where you live as every state is different, and some state laws don’t allow for the purchase or consumption of high-potency cannabis extracts.

Unlike more modern cannabis extracts, hash doesn’t require chemical solvents to make. It can be made with a simple set of mesh screens and a little pressure. 

Hash can be a fantastic starting place for experienced cannabis users who want to try shifting to concentrates. Regardless of your experience level, start with a low dose, and make sure that you’re operating within the laws of your state.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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