High-quality hash has never been easier to buy and use. As more markets make cannabis legal, it’s getting tougher to weed out the good stuff from the bad stuff. Unlike buds that have their distinct trichomes plain for the eye to see, high-quality hash varies in color, texture, aroma, and effects without any obvious signs to indicate its quality.
Solventless hash can be made using dry sift, hand rubbing, and ice water extraction techniques. In the end, these processes separate the bud’s trichome glands from the plant material. The resulting kief is collected and compressed into a small ball or slab known as hash.
In today’s highly regulated markets, it’s hard to determine the quality of hash because you’re not allowed to touch or smell the product beforehand. You’re relying on budtender recommendations, customer reviews, and the hashmakers reputation to make a sound purchase. If you do get a chance to test out your hash, here’s how you can determine its quality.
Like any other cannabis product, it’s quality is directly influenced by the genetics of the strain. Buds that are completely covered in resin and have a fragrant and punchy aroma and taste can make better hash than low quality trim. In addition, the use of organic cultivation practices and no harmful chemicals improves the look, flavor, aroma, and effects of the extract.
Just like any high-quality flower, high-quality hash must smell dank. If your hash doesn’t have any notable scent or smells too much like grass, it’s low quality. High-quality hash will have a pleasant and pungent aroma that remains true to its original scent profile. Hash that hasn’t been dried enough can attract mold and emit a musty smell.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Hash can take on various shapes, sizes, and colors depending on the way it’s extracted. Hand rubbed hash may take on a darker brown color with a shiny sheen. Dry sift and ice water hash can have a lighter golden yellow color. A brownish exterior results from its interaction with oxygen in the air, which causes oxidation on the surface. Regardless of its color, any high-quality hash worth its salt shouldn’t be completely black or green.
Is your hash soft or hard to the touch? If it’s hard as a rock, it may be too aged and compromised for consumption. However, if you can compress the hash with your fingers, it’s ready for action. If your hash is soft and crumbles to the touch in a sandy texture, it’s high-quality.
If you can’t rely on your visual and olfactory senses to determine its quality, you may take the plunge and smoke the extract to experience it first-hand. High-quality hash delivers a warm and relaxing feeling that can last for hours. Lower-quality hash can not only taste bad but give you a headache, head rush, and make you feel worse than better.
Price doesn’t necessarily define high-grade hash, but it’s a good indicator of it’s value. Generally, cheaper hash is made with lower-quality trim compared to higher-quality bud material used for premium hash. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Prices vary by region.
If you can get your hands on your hash, you can perform the melt test to see if the hash melts on contact or when exposed to a flame. With the hash in the palm of your hand, use the thumb of your other hand to press into it. The heat from your body is more than enough to slightly melt any consistency of hash. If it becomes softer, it’s good hash.
Many hash users swear by the melt test to determine the quality of their resin. To perform this test, approach a flame from a lighter to the resin without making direct contact. On a scale of 0 to 6 with 6 being the highest quality, here’s how each grade of hash should react to the flame.
- 0-2: Hash does not melt
- 3: Hash melts slightly and can burn up
- 4: Hash melts slightly more and can darken color when heated
- 5: It completely melts and starts dripping everywhere
- 6: It bubbles up and melts completely
Hash makers around the world have spent millenia perfecting the art form of solventless extraction. In today’s world, everyone is capable of making top-shelf hash. Whether you source it or make your own, premium hash starts off with prime genetics, an optimal growing climate, and a passionate grower.