When it comes to harvest time and trimming your trichome-rich nugs, you will often be left with resin dense cannabis leaves and some smaller buds. Knowing how to turn these undesirable buds and sugar trim into top shelf hash, is an excellent way to get the most out of your crop. In this article we cover 10 top tips to help you on the way to making the finest hash in the comfort of your own home.
Most growers with large cannabis plant counts often prefer to let their plants hang for 2 weeks, before taking the scissors to them. It is during this time that the chlorophyll will die off, and that foul hay aroma will disappear leaving behind all of the terpenes.
- Our top tip here is to trim your dried plants over a plastic tub, or better yet a sifting screen that will collect all of the fallen trichomes, once they become agitated during trimming. You would be surprised how much free-falling trichomes there are and always keep something underneath the plants as a collection tray.
Trimming The Plants Fresh
For those who choose to trim their plants without letting them dry for 2 weeks, will use mesh drying nets to hold the neatly trimmed nugs. The sugar leaf and smaller buds can either be left to dry out, or placed inside a freezer to allow the plant material to freeze.
- Our top tip here is to carefully place the trim into the bag and be careful not to squash the bag, or let anything heavy to sit on it in the freezer. The idea of freezing the trim is to allow the agitation process to be as straightforward and efficient as possible when making water hash, so be as delicate as possible when handling the frozen material.
Another great point regarding freshly frozen plants is the fact that the terpenes are classed as live resin. One of the most desirable products on the commercial market, live resin will possess the same terps that existed prior to harvest without the possibility of decarboxylation and change in chemotype.
- Our top tip here is to try this with the best buds and you will find the end product is superb. It is then easy to press your live resin water hash into a rosin sap, resulting in some incredibly clean and tasty terps.
Pressing Hash Into A Hard Ball
After you have made your dry sift and it is full melt grade, you can now press the sift into a hard to squeeze ball. The same can be done with dried water hash and by pressing with a glass bottle filled with water (Frenchy Cannoli style) the hash will take on a whole new body, appearance, color and consistency.
- Our top tip here is to research how to do this technique properly, as when it is done right, the end result is true hash. It is also much easier to store and cure the hash balls, allowing the cannabinoid profile to change over time.
Washing Machines Are Great
Filling a washing machine with ice and adding your trim, will allow the plants plenty of force to become agitated, in return allowing the resin to sink to the bottom. Using a washing machine will not only allow you to maintain a consistent vortex, you can also customize the spinning times to fit in with your preferred method.
- Our top tip here is to make sure you use plenty of ice. The big thick ice cubes will be best, and you will know the right amount when you can hear the iced water, grinding on the inner walls of the machine during a spin. Set your spin times to cycles of 3,3,3 and 6 minutes and this should give you the best return.
Avoid Contaminated Trim
There is nothing worse than discovering your Cannabis crop has become infected with a pathogen, and your buds have become moldy. Smoking contaminated flowers would be very bad for your health, and unfortunately the same rule applies when making hash or extracts.
- Our top tip here is despite how beautiful, frosty, and dense those moldy buds are, throw them straight into the bin, and do not try to fool yourself it will be fine as a concentrate. The truth is with hash or BHO and rosin, any contaminant such as pathogens or pesticides will reveal themselves in concentrated form also. An extremely dangerous and risky side of recreational smoking that can be easily avoided by using only clean plant material.
How Much Ice and Water?
When making water hash, having the perfect balance of ice and water is essential into how well the separation process goes. Adding too much water and not enough ice will cause the trim to become soggy much faster and cause little agitation. Adding too much ice and not enough water will mean the trim cannot freely spin to the current of the vortex being created by the washing machine.
- Our top tip here is to fill your washing machine up with ice-cold water that you have kept in the freezer or fridge before, and add enough ice so when you turn the washing machine on, there is a loud crunching noise. Use big ice cubes as these will take the longest to melt and keep the water temperature freezing.
Cleaning Up Dry Sift
Sifting is basically the action of rubbing plant material over a screen net, or to vigorously shake in some type of commercial, cheap shaking device. Serious hash makers will pride themselves on owning a sifting screen, each made with a unique micron size. These screens will range from 220 microns down to 45 microns.
- Our top tip here is to clean your dry sift through a series of screens, in order to refine the end quality down to a full melt quality. Using a 220-micron screen will help remove most of any contaminant plant matter, allowing you to separate the largest-sized trichome heads at 150 microns down to the 73 micron. If the sift is still green colored, then it needs more work cleaning up until you are left with a sandy, golden texture.
Drying and Curing
If drying out water hash patties, then serious care should be taken in the same way you were drying flowers. The trick is to allow all of the water that is remaining in between the trichome heads to naturally evaporate, leaving behind concentrated trichomes.
- Our top tip here is to make sure that the patties are not left in an enclosed space, and encouraged to become moldy. Micro-planing is a technique that involves rubbing hash patties over a grater to increase surface area, as a result of drying the hash faster
Making Rosin With Hash
Using a rosin press and squishing bags, it is very simple to press your top shelf fresh frozen, or your 73-90 micron dry sift into a rosin sap. This is perfect for those who enjoy dabbing, or who wish to make medicine such as capsules or creams.
- Our top tip here is to make rosin using full melt hash, instead of squishing flowers. The returns will be far greater and the final product will be a bright golden sap.