Hash comes from trichomes, the ripe, resinous gland heads that line the surface of cannabis plants. Processes to achieve resin separation have been practiced for centuries, however, the rapid rise of cannabis legalization in the Western world has brought new methods in hash preparation that are sweeping legal markets by storm.
What is hashish
The word “hashish” originates from the Arabic language, roughly translating to mean “grass.” It is believed that the popularization of hash originated around AD 900, although some argue methods such as charas, or the collection of resin from the hands of cannabis farmers, are believed to have existed prior to written documentation.
As a result of early European exploration into Africa, hashish made its appearance in the Western world at the turn of the 19th century. For years, European doctors imported hashish to conduct research, which led to the introduction of various extraction methods that allowed for further refinement into medications.
By the turn of the 20th century, cannabis extractions were accounting for a large majority of Western pharmacopeia. It wasn’t until US prohibition of cannabis in the early 20th century that hashish products were outlawed from Western medicine and pushed back into the black market.
Dry sift hash
With the reemergence of cannabis enthusiasm in the 1960s, hashish found its way back into the limelight. Countries such as Nepal, Afghanistan, and Morocco saw an increase of hash exportation into Western countries. At this time the varieties of hash imported were old world varieties, mainly hard-pressed, brick-like solids made from heat and pressure.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s when gland separation was introduced to the West through a machine called the “master sifter.” According to Ed Rosenthal and his book Beyond Buds, this breakthrough machine by John Gallardi used vibration to separate the trichome gland heads from the plant material.
Ice water (bubble) hash
During this time, Neil Schumacher and Rob Clarke began experimenting with water extraction methods, the early precursor for what we now refer to as ice water hash, or bubble hash. The equipment used to popularize the ice water extraction method was first introduced to the public in 1997 by Reinhard C. Delp at the High Times Cannabis Cup. His patents would later be adapted and modified by Mila Jansen with her pollinator isolation bags.
This design would be further improved upon by Canadian hash enthusiast Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson and his popular line of BubbleBags, one of only a handful of companies worldwide who have leased permissions to use methods from the original patent filed in 1999.