A Complete Guide on How to Grind Hash
Pungent, potent, delicious. Hash is surely one of the most consumed and appreciated cannabis derivate around the globe, and it has been this way for many, many centuries. Cut a piece of hash from a block with your pocket knife, smell it, and let it take you to a remote place where time has stopped. The ritual of grinding hash for a joint or a pipe hasn’t changed much throughout time. However, every hash type has a specific grinding technique to make it express its qualities. Read our guide to discover these techniques, and become a master of hash grinding.
How to Grind Hash: What is hash?
Hash is a cannabis derivate obtained by mechanically separating trichomes, the little globular resin sacks that cover cannabis buds and sugar leaves, from the rest of the plant matter. Master hash makers achieve different hash qualities by using a variety of separation techniques, from traditional sifting methods to modern ice water hash tech. The quality of the final result depends on the resin to plant matter ratio, and on how well the terpenes, the aromatic compounds contained in cannabis, have been preserved during the hash-making process. A product with a lot of resin, minimum plant matter and maximum terpenes is generally regarded as high-quality hash.
Regular dry sift hash, easy to crumble with your hands or with the ZenPen hash grinder
Main hash types
We can roughly divide hash types into four main categories, depending on the production process. Some people would consider rosin a type of hash, since it is made by means of mechanical separation exclusively. However, rosin doesn’t need to be ground, so we will not take it in consideration in this guide. Read the paragraphs that follow to expand your knowledge on the most popular hash families.
Dry sifted hash is made by gently passing buds and sugar leaves over a special sift. The sift lets the trichomes through, while the plant matter stays on the top. Hash makers are able to achieve various degrees of purity by agitating the plant matter more or less vigorously. Top-quality dry sift involves minimum agitation: only the best and most ripe trichomes detach from the plant and make it through the sift.
Fresh dry sift, sometimes called kief, has a beautiful yellowish-white colour. As the trichomes age, dry sift hash changes colour, passing from yellow to light brown and then brown. Albeit yellow dry sift may look more appealing, the colour alone does not define the quality.
Well-rounded and aromatic, dry sift has the distinctive taste of traditional hash. It tends to become more aromatic as it cures
Dry sift consistency ranges from powdery to hard, depending on how much the trichomes have been pressed together. The higher the pressure and the heat, the harder the final product.
Possibly the oldest form of hash ever produced on planet earth, live resin involves collecting the resin from a living plant by rubbing its buds with the palms of the hands. The resin sticks to the hands of the hash maker, who will then sit in front of a fire and slowly work to get the resin out of its hands. The final product is a dark paste of rubbery consistency and exquisite taste.
The colour ranges from very dark green to black, depending on the initial material used and the quantity of chlorophyll in the final product.
Very aromatic, with a fresh, minty aftertaste and incense undertones.
Rubbery and hard when cold, live resin quickly softens and expands when heated by your hands.
Iceolator defines a technique more than a specific variety of hash. The technique involves separating the trichomes from the plant using ice-cold water. The purpose of this operation is to get the most resin and the least plant matter. The ice water process does, to some extent, wash away some of the aromatic terpenes. If not made properly, iceolator could contain some chlorophyll.
From gray-brown to green-brown depending on the quantity of chlorophyll.
Well-rounded and delicate, with flowery undertones.
From medium hard to hard, depending on the external temperature.
Full-melt class hash defines a type of hash, obtained either by dry sifting or with iceolator tech, that contains close to 100% resin and almost no plant matter. Considered the holy grail of hashes, full-melt can be dabbed on a quartz banger just as you would do with rosin or BHO, but it can also be smoked in a pipe, joint or vaporizer.
Shiny brown or dark brown, with light brown-golden accents.
Spicy, rounded, intense and aromatic.
From rock hard to gooey, depending on the outside temperature.
How to grind every hash type
Now that you know what the main families of hash are, you’ll probably want to roll up a fat hash joint. Sticky fingers and dirty fingernails are almost inevitable; however, you can follow the instructions in the paragraphs below to achieve the best possible grind for your hash with minimum inconveniences.
Kief (dry sift)
Kief is a powdery, unpressed type of hash. It is probably the easiest form of hash to use, as it doesn’t require any grind.
Do not heat the kief. Actually, the colder, the better. If you heat kief with a lighter’s flame, it will burn and become black; if you heat it over a radiator, the trichomes will start to melt and stick together, making the whole grinding process harder.
How to grind kief
Leave kief as it is. Scoop it up from the bag with the tip of a knife and simply sprinkle it in your joint. Alternatively, if you’d like to add kief to a weed joint, you can slightly moisten the surface of the rolled joint ad then roll it in kief.
Moroccan (dry sift)
Moroccan hash is, to put it simply, pressed, cured kief. Depending on the pressure and heat to which it was exposed in the production process, Moroccan hash could be hard or soft. It does require just a little bit of heat to express its full potential.
Place a small portion of Moroccan hash on the tip of a knife. Opinel knives work very well; they have a sharp point, and a wooden handle that doesn’t conduct heat. Heat up the hash for 1 or 2 seconds while moving the lighter around to distribute heat evenly.
How to grind Moroccan hash
- Once heated, let the hash cool down for 1 or 2 seconds,
- Then take it with your thumb, index and middle finger
- Press slightly with your fingers while you move them in a sort of “counting the money” movement. You should feel the hash expanding and breaking apart
- You can do this directly on top of the tobacco/weed in your joint, or in a bowl with tobacco
- Make sure the hash does not form lumps and that is evenly mixed
- Put .5 grams of Moroccan hash per cigarette in the mix
Lebanese (dry sift)
Lebanese is a form of dry sift hash typical of Lebanon. It tends to be more humid and softer compared to Moroccan hash. Its colour ranges from blond to reddish brown and its taste is warm and earthy.
Good quality Lebanese hash requires very little heat for grinding. If the outside temperature is relatively warm, you could grind it without heating it. Take the desired quantity from the block, and keep it in your hands. The heat from the hands is often all you need to make Lebanese hash soft.
How to grind Lebanese hash
- Once the piece of hash is soft, grind it using the same motion described in the how to grind Moroccan hash section
- If the Lebanese hash is too hard for this, you have two options: either warm it up some more, or use your fingernails to break the hash into little pieces
- The ideal size of the pieces for smoking is approximately half a millimeter in diameter
- The ideal ratio is .5grams per cigarette
Polm and super polm (dry sift)
Polm and super polm are pretty much the commercial name given to good quality Moroccan hash in Europe. Polm and super polm generally come from plants grown in the EU that have been processed with pollen tumblers and presses. The result is a yellow-light brown hash that is very similar in properties to Moroccan dry sift hash.
Depending on the product’s quality and the outside temperature, polm could be hard or quite soft. We recommend using a little bit of heat from a lighter to achieve best results when grinding. Place a portion of polm on the tip of a knife and heat it up with a lighter for 1 to 2 seconds.
How to grind polm and super polm
- Throw the warm piece in a bowl of tobacco (the ratio is approximately one cigarette – or the equivalent of one cigarette – to .5grams)
- Work everything together with your fingers
- Break up the lumps of hash with your fingernails as they become colder
- Distribute evenly hash and tobacco in the joint
Afghan black (dry sift)
When the temperature isn’t too cold, Afghan black hash has a soft, pliable consistency similar to clay. It has a delicate, incense-type taste that makes the mind travel to remote places to meet exotic cultures. It is one of the easiest types of hash to work with, and requires nothing more than the heat of your hands to soften up.
Just work a piece of Afghan black hash with your fingers for a couple of minutes to soften it up. Do not use a lighter; the heat will destroy the delicate aroma typical of black hash.
How to grind Afghan black ash
- The best way to grind Afghan black is not to grind it
- Instead, work a .3-.5g piece of hash into a long string with a diameter of approximately half a millimetre
- Place it lengthwise in your joint in the centre of the tobacco, roll everything up and enjoy.
Temple balls (dry sift or iceolator tech)
Temple balls sure are delicious. Due to the high resin content, they tend to be hard, especially when the temperature is cold, but soften up very quickly when it’s warmer, for example on a summer day. Temple balls are extremely sticky, and the little pieces you’ve ground tend to stick together again very quickly. Grinding temple balls can be a pain in the ass, but not so much if you use our technique.
Some people would heat up a piece of hash with a lighter as described in the paragraphs above; however, we prefer not to use a lighter’s heat when grinding temple balls.
How to grind temple balls
Try this technique instead.
- Take a piece of hash, approximately .3 to .5 grams per cigarette.
- Keep it in your hands for a while, until it softens up to a pliable consistency
- Then, work it slowly until you get a long string with a diameter of approximately half a millimetre to one millimetre
- Use your fingers to cut out little pieces of hash from the string, approximately half a millimetre long
- Drop the pieces directly onto the open joint with tobacco, to prevent them from sticking together
Charas (live resin tech)
Charas is traditional live resin hash from India. Typically smoked in chillums, you can also smoke it in a joint. Charas tends to produce a very heady, trippy high and has a fresh, minty taste with incense undertones. Charas has a relatively high plant matter content, so the perfect proportion is approximately .5g per half to ¾ of a cigarette.
The heat from your hands is more than enough to make charas soft enough to be then broken into pieces.
How to grind charas
- Charas can be ground directly with your fingers and no heat
- Just use your fingernails to cut out little pieces of charas with a diameter of approximately 1 mm
- As you proceed, drop the little pieces in a bowl with tobacco
- When you finish, give the mix a little stir with your index finger to ensure that the hash is evenly distributed
- Then, load a chillum, joint or vaporizer and enjoy
Bubble hash (dry sift or iceolator tech)
Bubble hash refers to high-quality hash made by refining the trichomes obtained with iceolator or dry sift tech into an almost 100% resin product. Due to the high resin content, bubble hash can be quite hard, especially when the outside temperature is cold. Use approximately .3g per cigarette for best results.
Applying a little bit of heat to bubble hash will make the grinding process a lot easier. Put a portion of bubble hash on the tip of a knife, then heat up for 2 to 3 seconds while moving the lighter around to avoid heat spots.
How to grind bubble hash
- Once warm, throw the piece of hash in a bowl with tobacco and work vigorously with your fingers
- The idea is to squeeze the tobacco into the piece of hash, so that it will then help you to break the hash
- As the mixture cools down, lumps will form. Break them up with your fingernails
Full-melt hash is the holy grail of hash. It is made of 100% trichomes with close to 0 contaminants and, due to this, it can be messy to work with. Full-melt hash enthusiasts usually dab full-melt hash; a process that involves taking a portion with a dab tool and placing it in the banger. However, nothing stops you from using full-melt hash in a joint. Here’s the best way to do it according to us.
Work a little piece (approximately .3 grams per cigarette) of full-melt with your fingers and, in no time, it will become very soft. You don’t need to use a lighter.
How to grind full-melt hash
- Once the piece of hash is soft, work it into a little string with a diameter of approximately half a millimetre
- Then, place it on a non-stick surface, such as a silicone mat
- Once the string is on the mat, let it cool down again, so it becomes less sticky and semi-brittle
- Cut the sting in small pieces, roughly half a millimetre long, and place the pieces onto the open joint over the tobacco
Note: Hash in joints is typically used mixed with tobacco; however, you may want to mix hash with weed, mallow, or your herb of choice. If you use vaporizers, use pure hash (refer to the blog article on using concentrates for a complete guide on the topic).
All-in-one solution: The ZenPen Hash Grinder
The 'ZenPen' Hash Grinder is the world's best, first and only grinder for hash. It can be used in two different ways: you can use the sharp scraper edge or "cutting head" to scrape small pieces of hash from your block (similar to using your fingernail), or use the pen's cylinder and internal rod to make a 2mm thick hash string that is ready to be rolled. Click here to have a look at the ZenPen and order one directly from Bongify!