Hashish—or just plain old “hash”—is definitely one of the more esoteric cannabis products out there, but it’s also one of the most potent (and, we think, one of the most enjoyable!). With a history dating back roughly 1,000 years—and a list of fans including some of the first presidents of the United States—it’s a product worth getting to know.
We typically stock at least one type of hash at our cannabis dispensary in Des Moines. You can always give us a call or check our live menu to make sure we have what you’re looking for. And we have all the tools you might need—pipes, screens and cleaning tools—so be sure to ask one of our friendly budtenders next time you come by!
Enjoying hash takes a little practice, and it’s important to know how to load a hash bowl correctly. We’ll get you pointed in the right direction, as well as sharing some of the backstory of this potent and exotic cannabis concentrate.
How to Load a Hash Bowl: What Is Hashish?
Simply put, hashish is a potent cannabis concentrate made from the compressed and purified trichomes of the cannabis plant. Trichomes are the beautiful sticky clear resinous stalks that grow all over cannabis buds. Those gooey little stalks are removed from the cannabis either by hand or mechanically, with a grinder or other method. Then, the powdery product—known as “kief”—is compressed into the dense, sticky cakes we know and love as hashish.
Apparently, the first fans of hash didn’t smoke it but ate it as an edible. In fact, the beverage called “bhang”—a sort of sweet cannabis or hash smoothie—is still popular in India. If you ever get a hankering to try one, you should know they’re easy to make, and we’ve got a great recipe!
How to Load a Hash Bowl: The Story of Hashish
The history of hash takes us to the lands spanning ancient Persia and Arabia, and also to Northern India, where the classic indica strains known as “Kush” come from. Though the exact birth of hash is fuzzy (maybe because its inventors sampled their invention!), it’s believed that humans have been using hashish since at least the late 11th century, or roughly 1,000 years.
It wasn’t until much later, in 18th-century Europe, that hash began to be smoked. In what was surely the invention of the century—the spliff!—adventurous consumers mixed hashish with another wildly popular import, tobacco brought from the New World.
Interestingly, this early “hash wave” inspired not only countless daydreamers but doctors as well. Hash was included in any number of medical textbooks and pharmacopeia and was used to treat everything from cramps to symptoms of serious diseases, and even as a supremely useful tool in psychiatry.
How to Load a Hash Bowl: The Tools
Just like any other cannabis concentrate, hash can be enjoyed a number of ways, but the most popular is the simple hand pipe or more complex water pipe (aka “bong”) (yes, we sell those too!).
In addition to your pipe, you’ll want a fresh fine-mesh screen to place in the mouth of the ignition chamber. Why fine-mesh? Some hash is notably crumblier or more fine-grained that others, and you don’t want to just suck it all through your screen on the first hit! The most common screen materials are brass and titanium; while titanium is definitely spendier, we feel it’s worth it for its long-lasting durability and ability to withstand repeated torchings.
Finally, you’ll need a flat, clean surface on which to prepare your hashish. It can be anything from an informal piece of paper (or the cover of a Led Zeppelin LP!) to a square of mirror or polished chrome. The idea is to break off a small chunk of hash from your brick—we recommend starting with a tiny amount, roughly half the size of a Q-Tip head—and then crumble it with a tool like the tip of a knife or a metal probe.
How to Load a Hash Bowl: Practice Makes Perfect
Now that you’ve prepared your hash for smoking, use the knife tip or scraper to load a little bit of hash onto the new fine-mesh screen you installed over the mouth of your pipe. Putting the pipe to your lips, ignite your lighter or match, place it close to the crumbled hash and gently inhale, just enough to draw the flame over the hashish.
This part requires a little practice. It’s easy to scorch the hash without actually drawing the smoke in, and you want to avoid that as much as possible. Truly great hashish—like all the cannabis concentrates we sell—has a very special and “alive” flavor, and we want you to enjoy it to the fullest.
If you have any other questions about hash (or any cannabis products), stop by our dispensary in Des Moines!