A summary of hash extraction methods

  Added by: snoofer  Last edited by: snoofer  Viewed: 647 times  Rated by 38 users: 9.09/10
Contributed by: fergetit
Submitted: 04-01-2003

Hash is the collected and pressed resin glands from buds. The best hash is "blond" (in reference to its light tan color); only the pure resin crystals are used. Green hash is the next grade, it contains much more of the plant matter than the blond hash giving it its characteristic green appearance. Black hash is generally either hand rubbed hash, which has turned black because of THC oxidation or a mixture of keef (the crystalline resin glands) and other psychoactive alkaloids.

The methods of collecting this resin vary depending on who makes it and what materials are being used. Typically, most hash is made from the manicured leaf left over from trimming fresh pot, but some is made from buds, and can be chemically extracted from all manner of herb leftovers. Real hash handles easily and tends to stick to itself, instead of you. Under very brief heat, it becomes very soft and easy to crumble or smear into little hash curls that can be rolled into cigarettes, or thrown on bowls or hot knives. Remember the best hash is made from the best bud!

Traditional Preparations

1. Crystal collection

A) Hand rubbing - Hand rubbing is the practice of accumulating lots of resin on your hands then rubbing them together to produce small black balls of hash. Scissors hash is very similar, it is taken off of manicure scissors when pruning bud. This is probably the least effective method of making hash because the hand rubbing breaks open the resin glands oxidizing THC and giving it a black color, but sometimes it's convenient if handling lots of bud.

B) Sieving - On it's most crude level, a sieve is a piece of cloth stretched over a pot, which you break up, handle, bounce, or scrape your buds over to knock the resin glands off into the bowl. The best screens are sized at 150 microns and only allow the resin glands and some fine debris to fall through. They can be obtained from hobby and art supply stores. Green keef can be re-sieved to make it more blonde, the plant matter will tend to float on the screen while the crystals fall through. Alternatively, hash can then be turned over a 50-micron screen, which will allow most of the debris to fall through, but leaves the keef. To maximize the resin collection, the bud or budleaf trimmings should be extremely dry and cold. Put it in the freezer for a few hours before processing. Cruder sieved type hash is made bye drying or rolling dried pot in burlap bags, the resins tend to stick to the sides leaving hash.

C) Water extraction - A crude water extraction can be done with some really dry pot and a jar full of ice water. Don't fill the jar more than 1/5 full of material, throw in some ice cubes and cold water, shake, and voila! The resin tends to sink to the bottom while the leaf matter floats. The vegetation is removed the crystals caught in a coffee filter. A more advanced extraction can be done with 150-micron pore bag to separate the crystals from the leaf. The remaining leaf can be saved to make butter or honey oil.

2. Pressing

Once the keef has been collected it can then be pressed into hash. Keef needs pressure and warmth to become that dense lovely THC laden wonder called hash. Very small amounts can be pressed between your fingers and rolled into a ball (if done in a piece of cellophane it will help inhibit THC degradation). Alternatively, a precision press can be used, it's important to have a good die fitted to 0.001 inches, unless you want to squeeze a bunch of your hard won keef to smash into the gap in the die. Once pressed, most hash tends to darken on the outside but remains blond in the middle. Make sure to pre-press water-extracted hash in a piece of cellophane to help get rid of the water.

Chemical preparations

1. Volatile solvent extraction

A volatile solvent extraction is the simplest method of chemical extraction since it involves simple equipment and solvents that are liquids at room temperature, but low boiling points. Good choices for solvents are alcohols and fine petroleum distillates (EG 99% isopropyl alcohol, 95% ethyl alcohol, and white gas), ketones tend to redux with the cannibinoids, and naphia and heavier solvents are too hard to drive off. Pick a solvent that boils at less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and exhibits non-polar tendencies.

Soak your dry weed in the solvent for a few hours to a couple of days, the longer you soak it the more trash comes with the solvent. Then separate the solvent and evaporate. The left over gum is chemically extracted hash. Typically it tends to have a green/black color because most solvent also dissolve plant waxes and chlorophyll, as well as cannibinoids. This green oil can be cleaned from dark green -> light green -> red -> amber using an activated carbon filter on the solution before evaporation. Just fill a tube or funnel with activated carbon (fish tanks, air filters) and run the juice through it. If allowed to soak in ethyl alcohol (usually vodka) and left diluted the green solution is usually refereed to as green dragon, and is drank for some intense effects.

2. Lipid based extraction

Pot butter is easy to make and can be made with butter or any other high fat cooking product (oil, ghee, margarine, Crisco, etc). There are a lot of ways to get the THC to go into the butter, but as far as I see it, only one really easy way- that's to boil it. Step by step:

A. Use the right amount of dope for your butter. My standardized dose is one gram of keefed manicure, trimmings or schwag bud per hit. I generally achieve this by using one stick of butter per ounce of pot. Most recipes I cook with would use 1/4 cup of butter, so I split each recipe into 14 units of cookies, rice krispy treats, toffee, etc.

B. Place your dope and butter in a pot with a couple quarts of water. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer for one to two hours.

C. Line a bowl big enough to fit the mix, with cloth. Pour the hot mix into the bowl. Once it is cool enough to handle, strain all of the pot out of the mix by carefully lifting the cloth. Be sure to squeeze the mess real good, before throwing the waste vegetable matter into your compost heap.

D. Allow the bowl with water and pot butter mix to sit at room temperature for several hours until cool. Then put the whole mix in the refrigerator over night.

E. In the morning, carefully remove the layer of hardened butter off the top of the water. You did let it sit and cool slowly, so it came off as one neat piece, instead of lots of watery grains. Let it sit on an uncovered plate in the fridge, flipping occasionally until it dries out. Store it in the freezer to keep or cook with it.

3. Direct isomerization

Sometimes if pot is totally rank and crappy, or you're dealing with a bunch of roaches, trimmings, or some other inferior source of THC it is desirable to go well beyond what a simple volatile solvent or super critical fluid extraction can do. You want to convert all those free available cannibidiols into more potent THC analogs and cannabinols.

This technique also will render a fully decarboxylized end product, as well as destroying many terpenes and aromatics which can improve or destroy a product depending on the original quality. It is important to understand this is not a full conversion to 9-THC, but to THC analogs and more active cannibidiols, and is included in this discussion more as an educational exercise. Basic isomerization takes place with a quick reflux of your cannabinoids in the presence of any H+ source (acid).

1. Treat your stuff as if it were a volatile solvent or critical fluid extraction.
2. With the remaining resin, dissolve it in a non-polar solvent. Be sure to use one that separates easily from water such as naphia or white gas.
3. Treat this mixture with sulphuric or hydrochloric acid until a pH around 1-2 is reached (approximately one drop of concentrated acid per gram of extract).
4. Place this in a reflux apparatus and cook it for about an hour. In case youre not familiar this is basically just Pyrex breaker with a large looped tube plugged into the top. This will cause the solution inside to be exposed to elevated pressures as well as temperatures, as well as preserving all of the original contents. Simply simply boiling the mixture in a small strong covered vessel can mimic it.
5. Wash whats left with water, keep the oil layer.
6. Neutralize your mix (bring it to pH 7.0) with a little Sodium Hydroxide solution (pH 9.0) or baking soda then rewash it with water. Save the oil layer again.
7. Allow your oil to evaporate and you should be left with a sticky amber liquid that contains almost pure THC.

I would recommend an extraction for a starting point, since if you start clean your product can only get much better. Once youve obtained nearly pure THC, converting it to an acetate is supposed to produce more psychedelic like effects.

More THC analog modifications can be made (to yield pure 9 or 6 THC), but generally the consumption of the original products in these reactions makes them hardly worth while (usually 5-20% yeild, so it may be half as psychoactive but you have 5 times as much of it in the beginning).

Hash oil

Hash oil is basically hash in which the walls of the resin glands have been broken down leaving a gooey oil. Often chemically-extracted hash will be almost an oil, or keef can be dissolved in alcohol, then the alcohol is allowed to evaporate. Hash oil can be smoked like hash in cigarettes, bowls, hot knives, reconstituted into a more hash like substance with the addition of ash or powdered plant matter, or applied to bud to make it more potent (way more potent!).

Hash additives and preparations

A variety of different plant extracts can be, and sometimes have been, added to hash for more a more intense psychedelic experience. Generally only a very small portion of additive is added for the amount of keef available, maxing out around 20% additive and around 5% additive on the low end.

Almost any psychotropic herb could be used. Screen your additives into your keef before pressing.
  Last modified: 15:17 - Apr 13, 2003 

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