How to make hashish from trimmings

Published Jun 1, 2019 11:57 a.m. ET
Credit: Jose S

Now that growing marijuana is legal in Canada; there are going to be a lot more people harvesting their crops at least once a year. One of the most substantial byproducts that are obtained during the trimming of cannabis buds is the leaves and other hash plant materials that are often thrown away. Most people don’t know just how useful this excess matter can be, but if you’re throwing out leaf trimmings than you are wasting a fair amount of trichomes which could be harvested and made into high quality marijuana concentrates like oil, shatter, or hash. Here we will show you precisely what is needed to perform the extraction process and finish with a solvent free hash that has no chemicals and remains full of flavor.

How to make hash

So many people will assume that the fan leaves from cannabis plants are of little use, but they do contain some THC, but that’s not generally where all the good stuff comes from. The majority of the trichomes that you will be harvesting are clinging to small bud portions that were trimmed away with the smaller leaves. The better you clean your weed; the more THC will be present in the materials. This can help to alleviate some of the worries about waste when it’s time to trim your marijuana plants since any small bud tips that are cut away will be fully utilized later when you make hash out of it. You will not find any specific amount guidelines here because the amount you begin with will only affect how much you get, not how well the process itself works.

If you are just learning how to make hash than it’s essential that you read this article to the end before you begin, as several tools will be needed to complete this project. Since some of the extraction tools called for here are slightly more technical, we’ve also included a list of their definitions to help you become more familiar with them. This how to make hashish from trimming guide has two separate portions. The first will guide you on the preparation of your cannabis, and the second is where the actual extraction takes place. You will need one full day just to get everything ready, and additional time to make it, so be sure to start at least two days in advance of when you’d like to start smoking it.

The preparation of marijuana plant trimmings

The tricky part is the extraction and then manipulation of the trichomes to form the hash, but to remove as much of the elements as possible, there are a few things that you should do.

1. Be sure that the plant materials being used are as dry as possible.
Freshly harvested cannabis leaves should never be used. A cure time of at least ten full days is recommended before using trimmings to make hash.

2. Freeze the marijuana leaf trimmings
At warmer temperatures, the trichomes that are harvested to make hash will be resinous and sticky, which will make them much more difficult to remove from the cannabis plant materials. Therefore, it is always recommended to freeze your trimmings for at least 24 hours before using it to make hash.

3. Prepare a cold room
Since the trichomes are so incredibly tiny, it doesn’t take long for them to warm back up, undoing the last 24 hours of deep freezing. The best way to deter that from happening is to find an area in your home or even outdoors with a minimal wind that is as cold as possible. Ideally, it best to stay below 15 C.

Credit: Stephen Barnes

How to make hash from leaf trimmings

Now that you have all your trim frozen and ready to go, it’s time to start making some marijuana concentrate. This process is going to require a few tools that you won’t find lying around at home.

Materials

  • marijuana leaf trimmings

Tools

  • 3 sifting screens (90, 110, 200)
  • rubber gloves
  • 1 plastic card (or sifting card)
  • 1 large holding bowl
  • 1-2 small holding containers
  • 1 eye dropper
  • 1 piece of tinfoil

Instructions

  1. Line up the three sifting screens fo that the smallest number is sitting on top, and the largest is resting on the bottom.
  2. Now you can perform your first run of the plant materials, which will provide you with the highest quality kief collection. This is done by sprinkling the leaf trimmings over top of the sifting screen and using a plastic card to move it around a little before slowly scooping it back out and into a holding bowl. Depending on how many leaves you have, you might need to do this several times. Always remember, that the more you work the trimmings over the screen, the more plant materials will make it through which will lower the quality of the end product.
  3. Once you have run all the plant material through the first sifting screen, you can remove both top filters and collect the trichomes that are gathered underneath and set them into a small bowl for now. This step is not absolutely necessary but will give you a small amount of potent high-grade powder. I highly recommended gathering each batch and storing it separately between runs, but if you prefer quantity over quality, then feel free to leave it all until the very end.
  4. Use the plastic card to clean the screens from any remaining plant matter before performing a second run and refreeze the leaf trimmings while you do so.
  5. Now it is time to do a second run of the leaf trimmings, and this time it’s ok to be a bit rougher with rubbing the plant materials against the sifting screens. Once finished, you can use a plastic card to help the trichomes through the levels of filters. When that is complete, and you have removed the second screen, use a plastic card to tap gently on the third and final one. This will help the trichomes to separate the rest of the way from any remaining contaminants or plant materials.
  6. Now wipe off the plastic card and use it to scoop up the crystals which can be placed into a holding bowl for storage.
  7. Prepare separate foil pieces for each separate holding bowl of materials by cutting squares that are large enough to envelop the crystals into a small brick like shape.
  8. Fill the foil piece with kief and add one or two droplets of water to the mixture.
  9. Now you will need to apply pressure to the kief to compress it into a chunk. This can be done with your hands, a heavy book, or anything else that will apply a fair amount of pressure for a few minutes without wrecking the foil.
  10. Once the hash has been pressed, it will need to rest for 12-24 hours. This will allow the water time to evaporate and leave the kief crystals combined.
  11. After all that hard work and waiting, your freshly made hash is ready to enjoy.

Screen size number meaning

The numbers that are displayed on sifting screens refer to the number of lines per inch. You will need to place each one in the appropriate order starting with the highest base number and ending with the smallest one. Though the amounts might be more substantial, the screens themselves are finer the higher they go, which sometimes confuses new users. Each screen has an important job, and you will find a brief description of the three called for in this project below.

90 - Removes larger pieces of plant matter.

110 - Removes all remaining pistil hairs, decapitated stocks, and other contaminants.

200 - This base sifting screen collects the trichomes and is often referred to as the final catch system and cleaning tool. It will remove the smallest remaining plant matter or contaminants.

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