By Michael Domecq, CEO of CALIHASH
There are many apprehensions and curiosities surrounding hash in the United States — most stemming from the fact that hash is a continuously growing and versatile term.
In reality, hash, or hashish, is just a potent form of cannabis – made from extracting, compiling, and compressing the trichomes, or resin, of cannabis flower. With several existing methods of production and distinct benefits, hash has the ability to pave the way to a unique experience for any user.
Currently, the hash market in the United States is small and stifled but holds a great deal of potential for expansion. Bringing awareness to the product, its production, and its benefits can help to grow this market and, ergo, allow consumers a wider variety of choice when it comes to cannabis material.
How is hash made?
While the U.S, traditionally, was never considered to be a hot-spot in the hash market compared to Canada and Western European states, new extraction techniques and curing methods have caused a swift spike in consumer demand. Now, the “hash” or extract market is beginning to gain momentum in the United States and, with it, the need for cleaner methods of approach.
There are many methods for extraction, but they all generally achieve similar ends. The goal in mind is to compile all active ingredients, such as THC and CBD, and leave behind the inactive materials, such as plant fiber and chlorophyll, causing the distinct potency and smoother experience that is hash.
Solvent extraction methods typically use common yet harsh chemicals such as alcohol, hexane, butane, CO2 and many others that are effective at stripping cannabis of its active ingredients or cannabinoids but ultimately change the original shape, texture and makeup of these key components. This inherently changes the experience of hash for the end consumer, whereas an alternative, solventless extraction method using cold water and ice is a far more gentle process that does not disrupt the integrity of the original cannabinoid profile, is more environmentally friendly, and better for the end user.
See also: Green Rushed: Why The Tortoise Will Win The Cannabis Race
As awareness and education surrounding the difference between these extraction methods continues to grow, trends will shift in favor of the cleaner and greener solventless technique of cold water extraction to make ice water hash that keeps the original, finest cannabis material intact.
What are the benefits of hash?
While many are aware of the health benefits of cannabis and how it can be used as a safe alternative to addictive pharmaceutical medications, hash not only shares in these benefits but offers some unique advantages of its own.
When certain cannabinoids are oxidized, like they are in the process of cold water extraction, new cannabinoids such as CBN, found mostly in aged cannabis, are produced. Traditionally, CBN has great sedative and anesthetic properties that can remedy anxiety, manage pain, and help with sleep deprivation.
Medical benefits aside, hash can heighten any consumers’ experience when mixed with cannabis flower. Its slow smoke effect allows for a 25-30% longer burn time, and its reinforced, robust profile and higher cannabinoid concentration make for a stronger flavor and effect. Tailoring unique combinations of hash and cannabis flower is a great way to achieve a targeted result and custom experience specific to each individual’s needs.
How can I use hash?
The oldest form of hash consumption is through a chillum or pipe. This is oftentimes the most overlooked form, but it allows the user to burn the hash directly and therefore smoke directly for the most immediate and purest effect.
Apart from the chillum, hash can be used in a multitude of ways. A popular choice, as previously stated, is to combine the product with cannabis flower to enhance the smoking experience. Hash provides a great deal of accessibility and choice when it comes to any consumer discovering their exact cannabinoid concentration preference.
See also: 3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Need To Pay Attention To CBN, The Next Emerging Cannabinoid
For those who prefer alternative methods, there are many other ways to reap hash’s benefits such as using it as an ingredient in edibles, heating it in a vaporizer, brewing a tincture, or even following an ancient tradition of drinking cannabis tea.
Of course, hash can only be as good as its starting material. Cold water extraction does a phenomenal job at preserving the plant’s trichomes, so that perfect trichomes can make for perfect hash. Luckily enough, California is home to some of the best cannabis production facilities and farms in the world, and companies that can locally source are ensured premium quality materials.
So, why hash?
Hash, along with the variety of methods that go behind its production, has been utilized around the world for centuries, but the United States only recently gave way to the legislation that caused its rise. The resurgence of Hash in today’s cannabis culture speaks volumes to not only its multitude of benefits, but the capability of its manufacturing to incorporate modern technology into age-old traditions in order to produce the best product for the end user. That being said, distributors and consumers both have plenty of space to learn and grow when it comes to the hash market.
As consumers become more educated on the materials they are purchasing and the methods involved in the creation of these materials they will be able to make more informed decisions to better suit their needs – tailoring purchases to their desired consumption and overall benefit.
The cannabis industry itself is growing astronomically, and new methods of production, distribution, and usage are the backbone of this expansion. Consumers want more – more benefits, more products, and more options. The growing hash market and new solventless extraction methods can provide this — creating custom, unmatched experiences to all users.
See also: What We Learned From Working With A CPG Company Looking To Enter The CBD Market
The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.
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