Old-school black hash was typically one of three consistencies: hard and crumbly with consistent colour inside and out; semi-soft with black exterior and brownish red inside that would soften and crumble when heated; very soft black with a very dark inside that bubbles slightly when heated and crumbles into a very sticky goo that sticks to everything. The last of those was always the most rare and the most potent making your fingers sticky just handling it. It was and is always a real treat.
With the above preamble in mind, you can imagine my surprise when the mail brought me a wonderful blast from the past of what has to be some of the very best black hash my 40+ years consuming cannabis has ever seen. It wasn’t just a random gift or anything, so perhaps some context is in order.
A friend in the twitter canna community and talented grower, Tom @thegrowshoweh, held a contest late last year. Contestants had to guess the amount of hash used to make this hashface and win 5 grams of home made hash.
With the kind of magical luck I wish the national lottery would bestow upon me, I guessed the magic number, 9.7 grams, and won the prize.
Early this week, I was thrilled to receive my prize in the mail. I became even more excited when I opened the package and started to play with and smell the hash. It is soft and gummy at room temperature, makes my fingers sticky and has the most wonderfully deep, kush, musky hash aroma. Upon trying to heat and mix it with some herb, I found more of it stuck to my fingers than the weed! Not a bad problem to have, right up there with ‘my gold bar is too heavy’.
I have no insight into how this hash was made, bubble bags or otherwise. The only information I did get is this is a product of multiple phenotypes.
Knowing so little made no difference in the enjoyment factor whatsoever. This is absolutely some of the very best hash I have ever tried. It smokes smoothly without any of those inevitable pin hole burns down the front of your favourite satin shirt. The effect comes in as great hash does, initially at the top of the neck, then a little fog in the head followed by a relaxing overall body high minus the overpowering couch lock. I found I could function very well, or not at all, and be quite relaxed and comfortable doing either.
I do not recall any name being given for this soft and gooey goodness aside from ‘homemade black hash’ but if I were to be so bold as to give it one, it would be something along the lines of “Alberta’s Other Black Gold”. When given choices of flower and or hash, flower would always be my singular 1st choice. If Alberta’s Other Black Gold were on the menu, it would have me splitting my buying power between it and whatever premium flower was available.
There’s simply no better way to start a new year than with a nice hunk or premium Gold. Thanks, Tom! You are a hash master, sir.
Welcome to the next installment of Gourmet Hash.
The recipe this time around is super simple and super rewarding. We used just two ingredients this time, Death Star Sugar Crumble and kief.
The kief we get from TrueMeds is very consistent, making a project such as this a little easier and our results more consistent. The kief has a nice bright aroma with a hint of floral and spice.
Death Star Sugar Crumble is a very enjoyable smoke on its own. Bright terpenes dominate the scent giving it an almost fuel-like smell. Like any fuel with high octane, it has some kick. It produces a very bright high as would a strong sativa, with a very energetic influence. It’s great for daytime use and getting stuff done.
Gentle warming of our crumble caused the wax-like appearance to give way to a thick brown semi transparent goo. Warming a bit more to just below the bubbling point made it thin enough to stir in the kief. The warm Sugar Crumble was very absorbent of the kief. I added additional kief twice to reduce the super sticky nature of the warm crumble.
It’s always fun to open the jar and experience the scent released by our newly cured batch. After opening the jar, a strong and very pleasant scent greeted my sinuses. The aroma was spicy and a touch earthy. The scent was somehow familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.
This batch remained softer and more flexible than previous recipes and showed no tendency towards wanting to crumble. The colour lightened overnight to a medium brown and was more tan on the inside when broken open. It really appeared to be enjoyable to smoke!
Sample time was very enjoyable. The mix was still very melty and bubbled a fair amount. Once it started to combust, the hit was super strong with a flavour that was earthy, spicy and something I could not quite figure out. The high was a very pleasant balance of head and body high, which was a surprise since neither ingredient alone has such effects. Both are very sativa like. The body high was very hash-like and surely had to be a result of mixing the ingredients.
The only noticeable difference in the high compared to a good black hash was strength. The higher THC content of the Sugar Crumble naturally made for a very high-THC hash. Because of the high THC content, the effect was strong and lasting. This hash is a great companion for a soft seat, a big bowl of popcorn and a good movie or, perhaps, a relaxed evening of conversation with friends. This mix has been a great after dinner treat. Late into the evening, it would not be so suitable, as it would inhibit sleep.
I reached the end of the process for this edition of Gourmet Hash, but something was still gnawing at me: The scent. What was that familiar part? I spent a good 2 hours over a couple of days just sniffing this creation trying to identify it. I finally took the chunk to the Mrs to have her give it a sniff. It only took her about ten seconds to solve the mystery! “Pepper,” she announced. That was a very unexpected twist. The name “Death Pepper” came right behind the epiphany. How fitting.
I really love mixing terpenes. Thank you for joining us for another edition of Gourmet Hash. There is something special in the mix for the next episode so be sure to tune in.
Until then may you be blessed with Health, Healing and Herb
If you’re interested in creating your own hash, visit TrueMeds to purchase your ingredients:
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Welcome back to the Gourmet Hash series. We get to start this edition with the excitement of delivery day. Each order placed mostly contains products we have not tried before. Most of you might agree that trying new strains and experiencing the taste and effect is a joy all its own. This order contained Death Star Sugar Crumble, Walter White shatter, regular Kief, Pink Blueberry Kief Hash and some Comatose indica bud.
I was in the middle of giving each new item a good hello sniff when my eye caught sight of some of the items from the previous order and the bulb went off. Why not make a batch with more ingredients? This adventure being brand new, I had imagined using basic recipes while learning what the different combinations would bring. Yeah, that didn’t last.
<insert maniacal laugh here>
Since caution had now been thrown to the wind, it was time to go Mad Scientist. Lining up all the available ingredients from the previous and new order, we went with 0.2 grams each of the following: Death Star Sugar Crumble, Walter White shatter, Death Star Greenhouse pull-n-snap shatter and Hindu Kush live resin.
I gently heated the four ingredients until all were melted into a thick liquid and then thoroughly mixed them together. Once everything was well mixed, I slowly re-warmed the jar and the thick goo was allowed to settle on the bottom of the jar. I topped the contents with a little under 0.2 grams of Pink Blueberry kief, capped the jar and warmed it again for a couple of minutes. Once everything was up to temperature, I mixed everything together with the dab tool. I stirred the mix and slowly added kief until the mix did not stick to fingers.
Once our batch could be worked by hand, I packed it into a tight chunk. From the picture, it looks still very shiny and sticky. Oh, and it looks tasty as hell. It also looked much greener than expected, considering none of the ingredients were that colour. Even the kief was a consistent tan colour, indicating the highest quality. While it was tempting to play with this new creation, however, it went in the jar to be better examined the next day.
Pondering what might come of this new creation, I spent some time giving each ingredient a good smell so the distinct aroma of each would be fresh in my mind when the new monster was unleashed. As unique and aromatic as each singular item was, it did not prepare me for what awaited when I opened the the jar. While trying to imagine what it smell like, it never occurred that it would be the most simple outcome possible. It smelled like what it was: Hash. Not just any hash, though. It smelled like that super-premium, old-school Afghani, black, sticky goodness of years ago. The scent was clean, bright and earthy, with a hint of floral. I was pleasantly surprised that something so new reminded me so much of the old school goodness.
While manipulating the solid chunk in my fingers, it started to come apart and crumble. That’s something that should be better controlled in future episodes when I add a kief press to the process.
Trying the new creation was a pleasure. It melted and liquified when heated, so adding more kief, pressing and heating the batch would give a more even burn. Going by the smell, the taste was no surprise, but was certainly no disappointment. It tasted like a brighter, somewhat flowery version of old-school black hash. The smoke was smooth and easy to inhale, which made enjoying the exhale very easy. Rich hash flavours left their trace behind for you to enjoy a second time.
The effect for a small amount was very cerebral and suggested a sativa like influence. This was quickly overpowered by heavy indica effects when more was consumed. Couch lock and relaxed muscles became the most prominent effect, but did not overpower the cerebral effect enough to let you forget you were not going to be doing anything too complicated for the next couple of hours.
In this case, it meant that writing this article was not going to happen as planned that day. Remembering my name would have to be the hardest thing attempted while under the effects of this new monster. This super potent hash would need a name that befits its strength and character: Frankenstein’s Monster.
Sounds about right.
Until next time, may you be blessed with Health, Healing and Herb.
Welcome to the third installment in the Gourmet Hash series! We’re venturing further and further from our comfort zone and heading deeper into the unknown. Since the last article, there have been some interesting developments. Mainly, everything has fallen apart. As I mentioned in the previous installment, the UK Cheese/kief hash was fairly crumbly. I was a bit surprised to see that the shatter itself became crumbly.
After some research and seeking advice from well informed extract specialists, I was relieved to learn this is a very normal outcome. It turns out that by removing the shatter from its wrapper and placing it inside silicone containers, the shatter is able to absorb moisture from the air. The increased moisture causes the material to crystalize. The crystallization is not a bad thing in terms of potency or taste. In fact, the major upside is that the shatter is much easier to work with due to it not sticking to the paddle end of the dab tool. That enables it to be scooped up in small amounts, much like you might with kief.
Ok with that out of the way, on to the ingredients for today’s Gourmet Hash. The kief used was a higher-grade, lighter-colour and slightly more expensive kief that was selling for $14/gram at the time this was written (late February). The light kief has a less earthy smell than others and it offers a very nice taste on its own. It is rich in mild terpenes, which results in almost a skunky spice flavour.
The chosen extract was Hindu Kush live resin from Diamond Concentrates. The aroma of the Hindu Kush live resin is bright with overtones that are more like cedar than pine, and a hint of pineapple. Terpene-rich, the resin looks very wet in the jar, like a mass of tiny globs suspended in a thick oil. Sampled on its own, the flavour very much matches the smell. It has an earthy, almost spicy, exhale. It is very enjoyable on its own.
We started with close to a half-gram of the resin placed in the mixing jar and warmed it to just shy of being too hot to touch. I expected better kief absorption than we saw with the shatter, so I went started with 1/4 gram of kief. I put the kief in the jar and closed the lid to allow everything to come up to temperature.
Using my trusty dab tool, I stirred the mix together. The rosin, as expected, absorbed far more kief than the previous batch I made with shatter. After I thoroughly stirred the mix, I compressed it by hand into a nice clump. I then sealed it in the mix jar and left it to cure for 24 hours.
When I opened the jar the next day, there was a wonderfully complex aroma that much more closely resembled a bud of premium flower than hash. The hash was a nice. light colour with an almost translucent appearance that showed the kief was well wetted and absorbed. It was very soft and was easily pressed and played with without sticking.
I placed a sample of this new hash in a bowl and gave it a try. Under heat, it maintained the properties of resin, bubbling and melting into the little bit of kief underneath. Getting a thick rich draw was very easy, featuring a very smooth smoke with wonderful flavours of soft spice, earthy cedar and, perhaps, even a hint of skunk. Very enjoyable. The name I gave it is simple: Hindu Resin Hash.
The onset of the high was fairly fast, with an initial cerebral rush that was followed by a mellow, body-relaxing wave of calm. In small doses, this would be a wonderful companion to almost any task. In higher doses, it would be perfectly suited to a relaxing evening with friends, a movie and a pizza or candle light and dinner for two.
A couple of days and a fair amount of exposure to air, it happened: The hash went from soft and shapeable to a drier texture and began to crumble. Worked and poked with the dab tool in the container, it totally crumbled very much like the shatter hash did.
The crumbling really doesn’t present an issue, as the potency and flavour remained unaffected. Adding a pollen press to the process, however, seems like it would be a good addition. A press might reduce or even prevent crumbling in some of our final products.
Until next time, may you be blessed with Health, Healing and Herb.
From the very start, the first “Gourmet Hash” session was a really fun experience. Browsing the dispensary selection alone took hours. With four kinds of kief and forty five types of shatter, wax and resins, live and regular on the menu, there are tens of thousands of combinations possible. If we play with the ratios of each ingredient we decide to use for a blend, we literally wind up with a near-infinite number of permutations of Gourmet Hash. Oh, the possibilities! Narrowing down our choices to just a few ingredients was tough, only made a little easier by the reality of having to work within budgetary constraints.
As this is very much a learning curve situation — and everything we are doing is, if not unique, quite new to us — we decided on a balanced mix of ingredients. I ordered 2 grams of Kief, 2 grams of OG Kush Kief, 1 gram Death Star Green house Pull&snap Shatter, 1 gram UK Cheese Green house Pull&snap Shatter and — saving the best for last — 1 gram of Hindu Kush Live Resin. The total cost of the order was a little less than $200.
After a few days to get everything individually sampled and evaluated, it was time to create the first batch. For this run, I chose the OG Kush kief and the UK Cheese shatter in large part because the UK Cheese is a hybrid. I hoped it would be Sativa-like and suitable for daytime use and periods of activity.
The tools and accessories I used were basic, as this was an unexpected offshoot of a bigger, ongoing project. As the series progresses, we will learn what the needs are, look at what the market has to offer and then obtain and review the best choice for a given task. We started this batch having a small torch; two metal dab tools; a glass, 1-gram wax jar for warming and mixing; and a marble container, which is used to hold and transfer heat to our glass jar.
Pull&snap shatter is soft at room temperature and is pretty sticky stuff. Hand rolling the shatter into little balls, as some shatter users do, is not possible with this shatter. Even when cooled, this shatter warms very quickly with hand contact and begins to stick. To counteract this tendency towards warming, I used a margarine container out of the freezer as a working surface to gently cut away the desired amount with a clean razor. The result was quite effective.
We started with close to one third of a gram of the shatter and placed it in our glass jar. The marble was heated until hot to the touch, but short of being too hot to touch. I then heated the jar by placing it on the hot marble and gently warming the jar with a low and small torch flame in a continuous circular motion. As the desired temperature is neared, it is good to stop and let the heat equalize. It takes a few seconds for the heat to transfer to the inner part of the glass.
Once the shatter was up to temperature, we added a bit less than a quarter gram of kief to the jar. We then placed a cap on the jar for thirty seconds to let the kief get up to temperature. This is where the marble shows its value. Because marble maintains its temperature well, we do not need to use the torch often.
When I took the cap off to give the blend a stir, the first hint of what this blend would smell like filled the air as the warmed kief added its colour to the scent palette. While taking a moment to enjoy the aroma, the realization of what was about to happen struck me: “You are taking these wonderful extracts on their own and mixing them together. This is planned madness”.
That hint of madness did not stop me from grabbing the dab tool and mixing the warmed ingredients together anyway. Should someone suggest I am crazy for doing this, just tell them, “He knew and he did it anyway”.
It was obvious almost right away this batch was mixing a little differently than the first batch did. This batch was a lot less sticky. Our first gourmet hash included a rosin and it absorbed the kief like a sponge. The shatter mix, when cooled, was a nice looking dark hash, but very crumbly. It could not be packed into a stable mass at all. The best option? Add more shatter.
I rewarmed the batch and added a small amount of warm shatter. This brought the amount of shatter in this mix up from 0.25 of a gram to 0.40 grams. This made the mix much more sticky warm and it packed together nicely. When cooled, it was again not as sticky, but it could now be pressed into a stable chunk. When trying to remove small amounts from the single piece, there was still a lot of crumbling. I decided to leave it in a crumble state, as working with it was easier.
While working with this batch and adjusting to the loose texture, it became clear that one of the first tools we need to add to the Gourmet Hash kitchen is a kief press. For the amounts we are working with right now, a small one will do. Since they are reasonably inexpensive, I should be able to order one fairly soon.
As with any great dish, the best part comes when served. After letting it sit for a day, it was ready. Well, even if it wasn’t ready, I was and was not waiting.
Opening the jar was a treat! The aroma blend that came about from this mix was pure magic. The UK Cheese shatter is mild and piney on the scent side and the OG Kush Kief is an earthy, piney blend that proudly reflects its Kush heritage.
What the final mix produced was nothing like either of the ingredients, which was very pleasant surprise indeed. Imagine the most pleasant, soft sandlewood fragrance with the barest hint of fruity melon. Sitting and just smelling it for ten minutes made it no less sensational. If there were a cologne with that fragrance, I would buy it.
Risking my elation to get an unbiased opinion, the wife was recruited to offer her thoughts on its scent. Immediately, she had a pleasant reaction. After taking a few really good whiffs, she told me if there were an incense with that scent, she would love it. I did not share my cologne thought; why risk walking away with less than a win?
Sampling this hash was just as enjoyable. The flavour was once again a unique blend, very much tasting as it smelled with a notable exception: an added earthy, old-school hash flavour. It was smooth and mild to smoke in conservative amounts. The effect was much as I’d hoped, with a mild yet present body buzz that was very relaxing and a cerebral head high that was very suitable for energetic or mentally engaging tasks. This was a strong high. It was clear that getting engulfed in a task for long periods and losing track of time was very possible with this very potent mix.
Coming out of the first planned Gourmet Hash making session, the results are exciting and encouraging. I had hoped to come up with something unique that exceeded the qualities of the separate ingredients. In this case it was a complete win! What came out of the proverbial oven was a half a gram of unique wonder that smells and tastes amazing along with a wonderful kick.
I am naming this creation: UK SandleKush.
I very much look forward to making the next batch.
Thank you for reading. Please, feel free to comment.
Until then may you be blessed with Health, Healing and Herb.
I was born in the sixties and started to become aware in the seventies. By the time the eighties rolled around, we were kinda lost. The hippie movement had come and gone and the biggest influencer it left behind was Cannabis. Cannabis was everywhere; even our parents smoked it. For many like myself, Cannabis itself became the culture. Merely getting high was the goal of many. For others, there was something magical and mysterious about this funny looking plant.
For the most part, any next-level Cannabis interest involves experiencing as many different kinds as possible. The early eighties most certainly provided far fewer varieties than we have today, but some of those options were every bit as potent then as the modern versions are today. In truth, things such as hash and the few different oil varieties were often far more reliable in terms of quality than the weed of the day. Back then, the weed of the day would range from dark, very earthy, pressed brick and ten dollar bread bags of leaf to buds that we would today consider tastes great, but just OK potency-wise.
While weed was always easy to find, the most potent options of the day — Honey Oil, Cherry Oil and the best hash varieties — were much harder to come by. Decent hash was widespread and sometime in the mid 80’s there was a significant quality drop. What used to be a malleable, aromatic and pleasant tasting, knock-you-on-your-ass black Hash became a hard chunk that was difficult to work with and tasted like nylon brick.
Things stayed that way for many years. Good Hash rarely ever made it out of the big cities, but when it did, it was a real treat. Oddly enough, I found out during a five year adventure to the Maritimes that all the good hash was there. Perhaps that was part of the reason I stayed so long.
Fast forward to today and we find ourselves in a modern, hash lovers paradise. The varieties we have now are more numerous than at any time previous. If black sticky Hash is your preference, it can easily be found in most any dispensary. Along with the old school flavours, modern techniques such as ice and Co2 extraction allow for strain-specific varieties that combine all the best of old school Hashish with the broad range of effects found in what now number in the hundreds of Cannabis strains.
I was browsing the site of my preferred dispensary and something caught my attention: While there were perhaps eight or ten varieties of Hashish, there were three or four times as many extract products. It made perfect sense. The popularity of dabbing extracts among the ‘baby bonger’ youth culture of today is not only prevalent, it is big business.
I thought it was a shame that there were not that many varieties of hash. The solution immediately followed: “Melt extracts, mix them with kief and make your own”. I very nearly dismissed the idea. Later, however, I remembered a conversation with a good friend where he was telling me how he loved the strong and different flavours of shatter. That got me wondering whether I was missing out on something because I don’t dab.
When it came time for my next dispensary order, I made some adjustments and ordered a gram of Gorilla Goo rosin and two grams of kief in two types. When the order arrived, there was a hint of excitement as I opened the package and it was time to inspect this rosin stuff. I have little experience with modern extracts; my only previous exposure was a little bit of shatter a couple of years ago and a more recent purchase of a gram of RAW distillate.
I opened the little jar of Gorilla Goo and released an attack on my sense of smell I was not expecting at all. It was a very strong terpene scent with all the rich wonderful overtones found in the best buds. I spent the next ten minutes just enjoying the thick rich aroma that very much reminded me of the terrific, bright smell that was produced in curing jars. So this is what I was missing! I smeared a bit on a paper so it could be sampled before mixing it. The flavours were as the odour, bright and brilliant. To a trained palette, however, there was something missing on their own. It almost tasted like the most premium flowers. Not to take anything away from it, mind you; it was very pleasurable to smoke. The taste and smell were fantastic, as was the effect.
The next day, I decided it was time to make my first, homemade, gourmet hash. I placed a gob of Gorilla Goo rosin equal to less then 1/4 gram inside a small, preheated, glass jar and allowed it to slowly melt. Once the rosin melted, I added about an eighth of a gram of OG Kush kief to the jar and stirred it using a dab tool. The warmed rosin quickly absorbed all the kief and I gradually added more until the blob of G-hash was not sticky to the touch. The little jar was then sealed airtight and allowed to cool for 24 hours.
When I opened the jar, the odour was strong and very pleasing. The smell was much the same, but somehow a little different. The chunk of hash now looked very much like a chunk of hash, except for the colour, which was a light brown/tan that did not seem to darken on the outside when handled and stored like finer grade ice hash does. The volume was considerably more than I expected and I ended up with a pretty nice chunk that was almost spot on a half gram. The texture was firm yet malleable and it softened with hand warmth. The texture was ideally suited to rolling into a long thin insert for putting inside a joint.
And Now To Smoke It
When consumed, the smell and taste are a bit richer and fuller than they were with the rosin alone. Combining the rosin with kief changes the flavour profile for the better. It tastes a bit more natural and maintains its very strong potency. Clearly, any end product is only going to be as good as the worst ingredient.
This initial test has created an area of interest that was unexpected, fun and exciting. There are many aspects that are of interest: How extracts are created, how kief is harvested, what combinations and methods result in the most desired end product, etc. Look for more stories in this series as we delve more into creating our own gourmet hashish from the best varieties of waxes, rosin, shatter and kief products.
Until then, may you be blessed with Health, Healing and Herb.