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How cannabis extraction gives us a deeper relationship with our plants
By Lovin’ In Her Eyes

Making hash has been a part of cultivating cannabis for thousands of years. 

Cultures around the world developed different hash-making techniques as a way to preserve the resin and oils that the plant produced for long term storage. It would not spoil as easily as dried flower. The resin lasted much longer when collected and processed. 

There are many techniques for collecting and processing resin. 

Some are thousands of years old and require nothing other than cannabis flowers and your hands. Other techniques are much more modern and require laboratories, permits, solvents, and certifications. My focus is on combining traditional techniques with the conveniences of today's world. 

My understanding of the endless possibilities that resin offers has led me down a path of appreciation for all forms of hash, leading me to exclusively focus on solventless concentrates.

Working with various plants and their resin is beyond fascinating. Not only are there differences in each type of resin on a plant, but how that resin ages also presents itself in many forms. Oxidizing–or fresh air–will change the color and consistency, too. 

I’m not sure if I believe any of it is truly better than another, it’s just different. 

It’s like vegetables; I don’t like peas, but there’s room for peas as a vegetable because others seem to love them. Variety is the spice of life and I believe that’s the case with cannabis and trichomes, too. 

I realized that every trichome has a different look and feel. 

Some are sandy, some oily or fluffy. They all age differently too. A variety of small differences can be found which is exciting. The anticipation of learning a new plant is a high all in itself.

I was compelled to make hash after my very first harvest. 

Once I trimmed my harvest, I was left with a lot of trichome covered leaves that I knew could be useful for something. I did a little research and picked up a set of mesh bags used to make bubble hash. Bubble hash seemed like a great way to process the trim because all I needed was water, ice and agitation to remove the trichome from the plant matter. It didn’t require expensive equipment and it seemed like something that I could do.

In the beginning, the bubble hash that I made wasn’t very good. 

My technique was in its infancy and I was producing hash that I didn’t really want to smoke. So, I started making edibles with it. I found that hash was great for making edibles because it didn’t have the “weed” taste that some edibles can have if they have been made with green plant matter. 

As my technique got better, both in the garden and making bubble hash, I began producing products that I was excited to smoke, and found myself wanting to further refine my hash. 

This led to making rosin. I had started hearing of people using hair straighteners to press flowers, so I went and got a hair straightener and some parchment paper, and began smashing flowers in between the parchment paper using the hair straightener. 

The results were unpredictable and varied greatly. However there were times when I got some incredible hash from that process. My interest grew.

Not too long after that, I went from pressing flowers to pressing bubble hash with the purchase of my first rosin press. 

I found that the press gave me the more refined product I was seeking. The first rosin press that I got wasn’t very good and it didn’t take too long to realize that I wanted to upgrade. After all, the process of investing in upgrades in order to be/grow better was a stance that I have always had in regards to growing flowers. 

Naturally, my philosophy of continual reinvestment in my process crossed over into hash-making as well. 

It was at this point that I also got a freeze dryer. The freeze dryer gave me the ability to remove all moisture from my bubble hash while keeping it from oxidizing. This lack of oxidation allowed me to begin to manipulate my finished product into various finished consistencies. I started experimenting with trim, and then worked my way up to using whole plants.

There are all kinds of terms used for various consistencies of hash.

With the right technique, I could now produce full melt bubble hash, rosin, cold cure rosin, jams, cakes, jellies, rosin diamonds, and much more. I’m not sure if any of these terms are “correct,” but, as a young industry, I think time will tell what sticks or doesn’t. 

Hash-making has gifted me a deeper relationship with my plants as I continue to explore this incredible plant. 

Let it grow.

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