Large-scale production of hashish, or hash, likely originated in Morocco in the 1960s when the West African nation became an essential stop on the infamous Hippie Trail. However, researchers believe hash originated several thousand years before in East Asia, which makes it the oldest concentrate still used today. Though it can be made into extract hash oil, traditional hash is plant-based, which differentiates it from oil-based concentrates like wax and shatter. The oil in modern concentrates inspired the association with 710 (which spells 01L upside-down), and the potency of concentrates means people only need a small dab, which inspired the name dab for concentrates and dabbing for their use. Traditional hash is not oil-based, but as a concentrate, many people still categorize it as a 710 dab.
Trichomes and Terpenes
Trichomes, a name derived from the Greek word for plant outgrowth or hair, are the translucent resin glands on cannabis plants that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoid compounds. Different types of cannabis trichomes exist—e.g., bulbous, capitate-sessile and capitate-stalked—and the amount of THC in the trichome heads dictates potency. Hash producers typically make hash using sieves to separate the trichomes from mature cannabis flowers, collecting the resin glands and pressing them together into a dense hash brick. By contrast, modern concentrates typically use solvents to capture the cannabis compounds and then purge the solvent through heat and other methods. Hash tends to have lower THC content than modern concentrates, but solvents can reduce other important compounds. Compared to shatter, for example, hash has more terpenes, which are the organic compounds responsible for the smell and taste of cannabis.
Though a hash brick is the traditional form, new ice-water extractions produce solvent-free hash concentrates often called ice hash or bubble melt hash. To make it, cannabis is typically placed in ice and cold water. At low temperatures, the trichomes separate from the cannabis plant and sink to the bottom of the icy slush. A filtration bag or other type of filter is then used to collect the resin glands, which take a paste-like form that can vary in color, sturdiness and pliability. Other new techniques to make solvent-free hash include heat/pressure separations and static-electricity sieving, among others.
Hot knifing was an early version of dabbing in which users placed a lump of hash between two hot knives and inhaled the vapors. Today, hash lovers typically heat the concentrate in a pipe, bong, hookah or vaporizer, and some people combine hash and cannabis in a rolled joint. Historically, individuals also used hash to make edibles, notably the Hashish Eater’s Club in 19th-century Paris. Club members included influential authors like Victor Hugo (Les Miserables), Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers) and Honoré de Balzac (The Human Comedy).