We’re all aware of that hard brick of mysterious brown matter that old hippie sneaks out of his 100% hemp wallet at the back of the pub to roll a ‘cigarette’ with. A lot of us still buy and smoke it while others prefer a good helping of their greens. Thanks to the wonderful thriving technology of today’s world any one of us can purchase an indoor growing kit and plant whatever he/she desires in their home. So naturally the amount of florists in the UK grew and the need for imported goods slowed down. However, it’s still possible to locate some of that brown/black (or if you’re lucky golden) goodness.

The Cannabis plant produces ‘resin glands’ or ‘trichomes’ which contain cannabinoids, the most famous of these being THC. The one we’re all very familiar with. These resin glands then need to be separated from the plant matter it’s self. This can be done using a variety of different ways. In the middle east where hashish is said to have originated they still use traditional hand rubbing techniques to produce ‘Charas’ or ‘Squidgy black’ which is the oldest way to produce Hash. Basically they take a fat bud and rub it between their hands for a long time until the resin glands mount up and cling to their hands as a black and sticky oil (this can take hours and hours). The hash is then scraped off the rubber’s hands and added together to create a ball or block of Charas. This kind of hash can be made at any time of a plant’s life cycle as long as there are visible trichomes, the prime time is during or after peak floral production (approximately two weeks prior to harvest date). The reason hand rubbed hash is always such a dark colour is because when you break a resin glands they begin to oxidize and change in colour to a darker hue. Even the most experienced Charas rubber can only produce about than 5 grams of the finest hash in a day. There’s something to think about every time you pick up an eighth!

The other main type of hash is called ‘Pollen’ It’s not actually the pollen of the plant but again the resin glands. The reason it looks so different to hand rubbed is because it’s gathered up and either beaten with sticks to compress it into a block or compressed via industrial machine presses that achieve that hard brick that you have to dig your fingernails into on a cold day in the park. A good sample of pollen will be a beautiful golden colour that is almost pliable when given a small about of heat (stick it in your sock for 5 minutes to soften her up!). A bad example of pollen hash would be hard to the touch and almost have a slight green colour to it. However this example of ‘bad hash’ is nothing to soap so if you get a slight green tinge to your hash don’t worry. Pollen can achieve a more uplifting high and is more likely to be a Sativa than Charas.

In the middle east where hash originated the cannabis plant grows naturally and there for is widely available. Charas is generally from northern India particularly in Western Bengal, Rajasthan and the Himalayas.

It’s thought by some that skunk is always stronger than hash. To those of you who believe that I urge you to take a swift trip to Amsterdam, find the best coffee shop you can and purchase some of their ‘ice-o-lator/bubble hash’ (can reach over 50% THC). This is hash that’s made from the resin glands of the highest grade skunk trimmings and will be sure to rip you a new one.  However on the complete polar opposite of the scale you can get the rough stuff. That hideously firm and brittle black rock that is a mockery of the hash industry. Soap bar hash is contaminated hashish which plagues the UK (and I’m sure other countries). It has been known to be mixed with:

  • beeswax
  • turpentine
  • plastic
  • henna
  • ground coffee
  • animal turds
  • milk powder
  • pine resin
  • ketamine
  • aspirin

Just from reading this brief list of possible contaminants it’s enough to put you off even with its hilarious price tag of as little as £1 per gram in some cases. The name ‘Soap Bar’ come from the shape of the 250g bar being shaped like a bar of soap.

Soap bar is a waste of time and not worth smoking, It’s an awful excuse for cannabis so always check before you buy. You’ll know if it’s soap when it’s as hard as a rock and will burn and crumble to a black dust instead of turn to a golden or brown fluff like it should do. The smell could be a slight off smell or even a chemically scent.

If you know the right florist you can pick up 1/8 of afghan hash for £20-£25. Pollen is generally the same price but they both can vary depending on quality. Some high grade hash sells for £10 per gram in some places.

If you regularly smoke hash please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below about what rate you’re paying and what kind of quality you’re getting.