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Hashish and cannabis have been making people stoned for many centuries. Yet they are two very different substances, if you ask the connoisseur and enthusiast. Apart from the effects, the difference lies mainly in the way it is made. But how exactly is hashish made? And is it much different now in modern times than it was hundreds of years ago? Read here how exactly hash is made.

What is hash and how does it differ from weed?

Weed, as you no doubt know, is made from the leaves of the cannabis plant. And hash? The name actually gives it away. Hash sounds like... indeed: resin. And that is exactly what it is, the resin of the cannabis plant. So the basic material of hash and weed is the same: the cannabis plant. However, hash is made thanks to a specific part of this plant, the resin glands. These glands are found in the buds of the cannabis plant. And so resin droplets come out of them. These resin droplets are also known as trichomes. If you want to make a good harvest of hash, it's a good idea to go for cannabis plants that have lots of trichomes.

Where does hash come from?

Hash that you buy in the Netherlands these days usually just comes from our own country. Because yes, of course it can and should. Originally, it comes from the Middle East, North African countries and a few 'Stans' like Afghanistan. Nowadays, too, you can find a lot of hash in these countries. In Morocco, for instance, a lot of (good) hash is still made. In Afghanistan, despite the conservative regime, they are quite busy producing opium, but in addition, an astonishing amount of hash is also made.

How hash is made: the process from growing to harvesting

Hashish is made in several steps, each a crucial part of the making process.

Plant selection

The first step is to choose the right cannabis plant. There are several cannabis varieties that are known to produce beautiful (and lots of) hash. But besides quality and quantity, the choice of cannabis seeds will also determine the structure of the hash. A plant with sticky buds like the Glue-strains gives a different hash structure than a plant with drier buds. In the latter case, one gets hash that has the structure of polm.

2. Growing plants

After selecting the cannabis strain, the plants must of course grow up until they secrete resin droplets.

3. Collecting resin: manual versus machine

Now begins the process of collecting the resin from which the hash will be made. There are several methods used to do this, but the most common are manual extraction and mechanical extraction.
In the manual method, people rub the tops of the plants between their hands or over a sieve. This loosens the resin droplets. They stick to the hands or sieve, making it easy to collect by scraping it off the hands or sieve. Takes a while, but then you have something: quality resin.

Option 2 is mechanical extraction. This uses machines to collect the resin. A so-called 'pollinator' or 'kiefbox' can do this quite well. This is a box with a sieve into which the buds of the plant are placed. By shaking the box, the resin droplets fall through the sieve and are collected in a designated container. While this method is more efficient than manual extraction, it can sometimes result in a less pure form of hash.

4. Processing resin into hash

After collecting the resin, it is pressed and sieved. The resin is placed in a press and compressed under high pressure. This causes the resin to clump together and take on a compact shape. Ever seen pressed hash in large quantities? A 100-gram block looks like a dark bar of soap from some health food shop. Not very impressive at first glance, even though you can of course do infinite things with such a block.

Another method is to use a sieve. The resin is placed on a sieve and then sieved by hand or with the help of a mechanical vibration. This separates the resin particles and leaves a powder. This can then be pressed into hash. Last but not least, solvents are also sometimes used to collect the resin.

5. Hash drying

The last step is drying the hash. After pressing, the hash is often not sufficiently hardened. The hash is placed in a dark and dry atmosphere and left alone for a few days. After this, it is ready for use.

How do you make your own hash?

Is it very difficult to make your own hash, we hear you thinking... The good news: nope! Earlier, we wrote an extensive article on this: Make your own dry sift hash.