This is the second article in my vape hash trilogy. The first discusses what hash is and how it differs from some of the more modern concentrates. In this article, I’ll present my findings and recommendations for those who may be interested in trying to vape hash.
I am lucky enough to have quite a few portable vapes - as part of my work is reviewing them. I also am quite partial to hash. However, since I predominantly vape dried flowers and occasionally concentrates my hash has gotten somewhat neglected. I never really found the time to research and experiment to see how I could marry my vape and hash passions together. Thankfully, Azarius came along and commissioned me to do just that.
The information is generic enough that you will be able to try it in pretty much any vape that’ll vaporise ground herb. Although, you will find (as I did) that some will work better than others. The third article covers four portable vapes and the results I got when trying to vape hash in them.
Here’s my generic hash vaping advice.
How to vape hash - general tips
Pure hash only
I tried to find a way to vape just hash and not ground herb. Some people sandwich ground hash in between two layers of ground herb. I’m not sure what the point of that is? There’s a good chance that nothing happens to the hash but you’ll be so high from the cannabinoids you just vaped you’ll be none the wiser. The only way to measure the effects of such a technique would be using laboratory equipment that is way out of my reach - and maybe does not even exist. So for the purposes of the following advice, we’ll skip this cocktail.
Which type of hash is best?
I would recommend using the best quality pollen hash (or keif) you can get your hands on. You don’t want any contaminants messing up your expensive vaporizer.
I would recommend using hash that is more crumbly - this is sometimes referred to as pollen (it is yellow-brown and granular powdery) most likely the source will be from the Middle East, Central Asia and Mediterranean where it is sieved from the harvested plants and then compacted using a press of some kind.
I did a trial run with some scissor hash I had left over from a grow. It was super sticky and resinous. The trouble I found was that it was incredibly hard to chop up into small chunks. The best I could get was little blobs. These blobs then all stuck together as I tried to transfer into my vape. What I wanted was to get the material as finely ground as possible to increase the surface area and ensure that the maximum cannabinoids are released. The resin did vape, but I felt that I was never going to get all of the cannabinoids out of it so looked for another solution.
I settled on a rather special (and potent) pollen that I picked up from Media Coffeeshop in Amsterdam. It is an interesting hash as it is Amnesia Haze that has been processed using traditional Moroccan hash making techniques. You could say that it’s an artisanal craft hash.
Buy some degummed hemp fibre
You’ve probably never heard of it but “degummed hemp fibre” is the key that unlocks the door to vaping hash. When you vape hash - it will melt. You do not want this molten hash getting into your expensive vaporiser. Some models come with “concentrate” or “liquid pads” so you may be tempted to put your hash on these.
Don’t! - Unless you want to trash your concentrate/liquid pad directly afterwards and buy some new ones. They are not cheap so I wouldn’t recommend this approach.
It’s much more cost effective to get hold of some “degummed hemp fibre” first and use it to protect your vape.
It is like hemp cotton wool. Make a layer of it over any part of your vape that will be exposed to the molten hash. In the case of my Mighty, this meant putting a layer on top of my concentrate pad and a layer on top of the hash. This meant I protected the liquid pad and also the mesh which leads to the mouthpiece.
Depending on your model of vaporizer you will need to figure out which way to use the hemp fibre best but please - I beg you - use it. In all my tests I did not have a problem with it combusting and it didn’t noticeably impart any taste.
Your hash will not evaporate like a quality concentrate does. There will be residue left behind so make sure your vape is protected with the hemp fibre.
Preparing the hash
I was able to grind my pollen nicely using a chopping board and a sharp heavy knife. Below I explain why I ground with a knife rather than burning it to fluff it up - a technique many people use when making “spliffs” (tobacco and cannabis cigarettes).
Forgive me if you know this already - within a cannabis-derived product (dried herb, concentrate or oil) you will have terpenes, which give the taste and smell, and cannabinoids (THC, CBD etc.), which give the medicinal effect or high. Terpenes are the most volatile and vaporize at quite low temperatures - this is why the first hit always has the nicest taste. Cannabinoids have higher vaporization points.
People say that terpenes add to the final effects too which I’m sure is the case. So vaporizing them all off by burning with a lighter before you have even put it in your device seems a bit of a dumb thing to do - even if it smells nice at the time.
This is why I prefer to grind the hash with a sharp knife and put the resulting powder into the vaporizer.
How much hash for each vape session?
In the four portable vapes I tested I found 0.1 grams a good amount to grind and place in the oven. This gave 8-10 nice draws offering dense and tasty clouds. Enough to get 2-3 people high. Or in my case one person very high!
Depending on your vape you may be able to add more. Or you may even want to add less. If you’ll be using your vape again soon for flowers you might not want to have it blocked for a while as you wait to finish your hash.
The effects are heavy, so it’s great for evenings but not so great if you are vaping in the morning or are on your way to a party.
Another argument against putting more in is that the hash melts quickly and clumps together. The more that is there to start with the bigger this clump will be and therefore the smaller a surface area compared to the mass. A big clump may have cannabinoids locked inside and therefore end up wasted - which, if done correctly, is ultimately what you want to be.
Here’s a roundup of things I discovered from my tests.
- You can vape hash.
- Pollen works better than resin as it’s easier to grind, thus increasing the surface area.
- The best way I found to grind the hash was with a sharp heavy knife.
- After heating, the ground hash will end up looking like melted resin.
- Temperature does not have to be on maximum like with other concentrates. Lower temps (<185°C) get results too and give a more cerebral high and higher temperatures (>185°C give a more typical hash like high.
- High temperatures (200°C+) are a very good way to induce sleep.
- You seem to get more draws than you would from an oven full of dried herb.
- About 0.1 grams is a good amount to grind for each bowl. This will allow space for your hemp fibre.
- Degummed hemp fibre is not essential but I would not attempt this without it. The molten hash will mess up your expensive device.
- Vaped hash clouds are dense.
- The taste is good.
- Effects can best be described as “heavy”.
Do you vape hash? Do you have advice that we need to know?
Please share in the comments below.
Bill Griffin, Author of Easy Organic Weed
Images: Bill Griffin