What is hash and how is it consumed?

Hash, short for hashish, is a cannabis product made by isolating trichomes from the cannabis plant and then pressing them into a solid substance. Because this substance is made out of only trichomes—the part of the cannabis plant containing cannabinoids and terpenes—it is much more potent than regular cannabis flowers. Depending on the type of cannabis plant being used and the preparation technique, hash can range in texture and consistency from a kind of chalky solid to something almost like a thick paste, and in color from reddish-tan to dark brown or black.

Hash is arguably the oldest form of cannabis concentrate. While there is no definitive agreement on when or where hash first appeared, there are ancient traditions of making and consuming hash that stretch back as far as the 12th century BC — or possibly earlier  — in places like Nepal, India, the Middle East, and parts of Northern Africa. Despite the recent explosion in cannabis concentrates on the market today, hash remains popular, especially throughout the Middle East and Europe, and among people who make their own concentrates at home.

One of the things that makes hash so popular with consumers around the world is that it is versatile and easy to consume. In general, you can smoke hash by adding it to marijuana flower or some other smokable herb, or you can vaporize it in a vaporizer or a dab rig.

What you'll need

What you'll need to smoke hash depends on your preferred method. Here are some of the most common techniques:

In a joint, spliff, or blunt

For this technique you'll need:

  • Hash.
  • Marijuana flower (or some other smokable herb).
  • Rolling paper or blunt wrap.
  • Lighter or hemp wick.

In a bowl, spoon pipe, bubbler, or bong

You'll need:

  • Hash.
  • Marijuana flower, or if you want to smoke your hash all on its own, a metal screen.
  • Your pipe of choice.
  • Lighter or hemp wick. (If you're smoking your hash all on its own, it's recommended that you use a high-powered lighter as hash often needs higher temperatures and more sustained heat.)

In a vaporizer or dab rig

You will need:

  • Hash.
  • Vaporizer (Make sure you're using a vape designed to handle concentrates or a specialized concentrates adapter if it's a dry herb vaporizer.), or dab rig.
  • Blow torch or e-nail (if using a dab rig).

Please note: Not all forms of hash will melt easily, and this makes it hard to vape or dab. If this is the case, you will most likely need to process your hash a bit further. The simplest way to do this is to sandwich your hash between layers of wax paper in the middle of a hair straightener. With the hair straightener heated up all the way, firmly squeeze the wax paper and hash. The combination of heat and pressure will turn your non-melting hash into a rudimentary form of rosin, which should work much better in your dab rig.

Hot knives

You'll need:

  • Hash.
  • Two metal knives.
  • Hot stove or blow torch.
  • Plastic water bottle that's been cut in half.

Step-by-step directions

This portion of the guide will walk you through how to consume your hash using each of the methods listed above.

In a joint, spliff, or blunt

Step 1: Build the foundation

One of the interesting things about hash is that it sometimes doesn't burn that well. To remedy this, you need to roll joints, spliffs, or blunts that include a combination of flower and hash. Start by putting a thin layer of flower in the bottom of your rolling paper or wrap.


Step 2: Add a layer of hash

Next, add a layer of hash. To make it easier to work with, try shaping your chunk of hash into a thin cylinder that lays down neatly on top of the flower.

Step 3: Roll it up

Add a bit more flower on top of your hash then roll up your joint, spliff, or blunt like you would normally.

Step 4: Smoke it

With your joint, spliff, or blunt complete, light up and smoke. Expect to get higher than you normally would since you've added hash into the mix.

In a bowl, spoon pipe, bubbler, or bong

Step 1: Pack the bowl or insert screen

Depending on the method you choose to use, start out by putting either a thin layer of flower in the bottom of your pipe or a metal screen. Be sure you use only screens designed specifically for smoking purposes. Both of these will ensure that your hash burns evenly and that it doesn't simply melt and slip through to the bottom of your pipe.

Step 2: Add the hash

Now add a small chunk of hash to the top of the flower or the screen.

Step 3: Smoke it

Smoke your pipe or bong the same way you would normally. If you're having trouble getting the hash to burn well, try using a higher-powered lighter.

In a vaporizer or dab rig

Step 1: Will it melt?

In order to vape or dab effectively, your hash needs to melt well. If it doesn't, you will have problems getting it to vaporize. The only way you're really going to know how well your hash vaporizes is to give it a shot and see.

In the event that your hash isn't responding to your vaporizer or your dab rig, you might need to turn the hash into a cannabis product called rosin. To do this, sandwich the hash between two layers of wax paper. Place the whole thing in a fully-heated up hair straightener and squeeze. The combination of heat and pressure will press your hash into rosin, which should now be more suitable for use in a vaporizer or dab rig.

Step 2: Vaporize your hash

If you're using a vaporizer, make sure the device is equipped for concentrates. If it is, simply add your hash to the chamber, dial in your preferred temperature (between 350 and 450 Fahrenheit is recommended), fire up the vaporizer, and inhale through the mouthpiece, balloon, or whip when it's ready.

If your vaporizer isn't automatically equipped for concentrates, be sure it can accommodate a concentrates adapter—typically a removable concentrates chamber. Remove the regular dry herb chamber, replace it with the concentrates adapter, drop in your hash, and use the vaporizer like you normally do.

Step 3: Dab your hash

To dab your hash, be sure there's water in the water chamber. Use a blow torch or e-nail to bring the banger up to your desired temperature (between 350 and 450 Fahrenheit is recommended). When it's hot enough, use a dabber to place a piece of hash onto the hot banger. When dabbing hash, it's recommended that you use a carb cap. Put the carb cap over the banger, start drawing in through the mouthpiece, remove the carb cap, and inhale the vapor.

Hot knives

Step 1: Make a mouthpiece

Start by cutting a plastic water bottle in half. Discard the bottom half, but save the top half for use as a mouthpiece.

Step 2: Heat your knives

Get two metal knives. Place them onto a hot stovetop or heat them with a blowtorch. Either way, you need to heat them until they are literally glowing red.

Step 3: Add your hash

Let the knives cool slightly. Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and hold it there with your teeth or lips. Place a small chunk of hash onto one of the hot knives, then quickly press the other knife on top of it. 

Step 4: Inhale smoke

As soon as it's sandwiched between the hot knives, your hash should immediately start smoking. Use the mouthpiece to suck up all the smoke, trying to minimize how much of it escapes.

Why people like smoking hash

People like smoking hash because it is a fairly common and easy to find cannabis concentrate that gives consumers a much more powerful high than regular flower. Additionally, as you can see in this guide, hash is relatively versatile, offering multiple options for consumption.

Why people don't like smoking hash

In the context of today's cannabis market, hash often can't compete with other types of concentrates. In general, hash has much more plant material and other impurities than other, more pure concentrates now widely available. As a result, although hash is still more potent than flower, it also tends to be much less potent than other concentrates on today's market.