Anyone who has been smoking cannabis for long enough knows that before shatter, wax, and other modern concentrates took over the scene, it was hash that commanded a preeminent status. By sprinkling a little hash on your bowl, you could dramatically elevate potency and enjoy incredibly rich cannabis flavors.
The first hash makers date back over 1,000 years with hash itself possessing a deep, global history. Although terminology has changed over time, the original name for hash comes from the Arabic word ( حشيش ), which means grass. Hashish making is an art form that has been passed from artisan to apprentice for centuries, originating from Asia and the Middle East.
Many smokers from the 60’s and 70’s will fondly remember authentic Turkish hash, Thai sticks, and all other manner of old school hash products that are either non existent or comprise only a tiny portion of the market today. With BHO dominating the cannabis market, the art of hash making had taken a backseat until recently. That is changing quickly however, thanks to two new major developments: rosin presses and freeze dryers.
Traditionally hash had been made either by hand with pressure and heat, or more recently, with the advent of specialized hash washing machines. It’s speculated that many ancient hash making techniques have been lost to the sands of time, however the vast majority of hash artisans today employ methods that are completely different than the ways of old.
Modern hash making machines closely resemble clothes washers, except they work by using a slurry of ice and water to separate the trichome heads from the cannabis flowers or trim, which are then filtered through various micron-width mesh bags. This type of hash is specifically known as bubble hash.
After the soaked trichomes are collected, they are graded, separated, and dried. An air drying process, similar to how cannabis itself is dried, has been the primary method used to remove moisture from hash. Properly drying bubble hash has typically been the most difficult and time consuming part of the process, requiring precise temperature and humidity control.
When the hash is finally dry, it ends up in a variety of different qualities based on the individual micron bag it was collected from. The most prized and sought after of these grades is known as “full melt” which means that those trichomes literally melt on a dab rig the exact same way shatter or wax would. Full melt is highly desirable because it is the original cannabis concentrate. When old school tokers wanted something special they reached for the hash. Pressing that hash into rosin is just the next step that people are now taking.
Two key advances in hash making have come to the fore recently and have breathed new life into the practice.
First, utilizing modern freeze dryers, the hash drying process is as simple as pressing a few buttons and waiting 24 to 36 hours, whereas with air drying it can take 5 to 7 days or longer in a highly controlled environment, requiring immense skill and care.
Secondly, with the invention of rosin presses, all of the non-full melt grades of hash can now be easily made into full melt extracts of a variety of textures (including shatter, budder, wax, and so on). Whereas commercial rosin presses are a recent development, freeze dryers have been around for much longer.
Historically freeze dryers have been a key piece of equipment in many pharmaceutical laboratories and also have been frequently used for dehydrating food items for longterm storage. With the ease of use a freeze dryer offers, the hardest part of making great, terpene-rich hash (drying it) is now considerably less labor intensive. A few clever hash makers figured out that they are the perfect machines to dry hash with, and now with the addition of both machines used in conjunction, a revolution is taking place.
While the demand for rosin has grown dramatically over the past year, hash rosin’s reputation in particular as the ultra premium concentrate is also making major headway among true connoisseurs.
Due its truly solvent-less profile, hash rosin is frequently regarded as the purest full melt concentrate right alongside full melt hash itself. With BHO and solvent-based extraction, you can blast low quality material into golden shatter, however with rosin, there’s no way to remove impurities — so what you see is what you get.
Terpene content is also consistently excellent with hash rosin, which many cannabis aficionados consider to be the cardinal quality concentrates. With proper equipment and techniques, the terpene content of hash rosin can naturally reach and exceed 10% weight by volume.
This is evidenced by modern testing results, such as a sample of some “Banana Split” hash rosin, made by Denver’s own The Proper Extracts. This banana split hash rosin won highest terpene content at Chalice’s 2017 competition and was dried using a scientific freeze dryer.
We got a chance to catch up with Manny, the owner of Fox Cannabis and The Proper Extracts, to get his opinions on how freeze drying makes a difference. He said,
“Freeze dryers are a game changer, you can decrease dry time and processing from days to hours, while preserving the peak trichome and terpene profile of the hash.”
It’s important to note that your standard food dehydrator won’t cut it for drying hash. Freeze dryers work by a process called “Lyophilization” which, through various cycles of extremely cold temperatures and subsequent warming in a vacuum environment, remove moisture from the hash, thus drying it to be ready for consumption.
More technically, this process is known as sublimation, where water in the form of ice goes directly to a gas, skipping the liquid stage. A variety of freeze dryers are available to the public that anyone can use, even at home. Most serious hash makers demand the elevated control that only a scientific-grade freeze dryer can offer through its customizable freezing and warming cycles.
Freeze dryers, when combined with a high quality rosin press, can help a hash maker produce some of the best rosin available, especially given that hash rosin is derived without the use of any harsh solvents.
The best of the best rosin is known as “live rosin”, which means that fresh frozen plant material is first washed into hash and then pressed into rosin to produce a product on par with live resin, sans butane. It’s typically known as “full spectrum” because when hash is derived from freshly frozen cannabis it offers a full complement of cannabinoids and terpenes.
As a result, many solvent-based extractions can’t claim “full spectrum” because so many terpenes and cannabinoids can be lost in the process. Virtually anyone can now start washing hash, quickly dry it in a freeze dryer, and then profitably sell both the full melt grade while pressing the remaining grades into rosin. Top quality, fresh frozen rosin can retail as much as $100 per gram given its often unmatched terpene profile.
Given that making hash and hash rosin are both solvent-free, a number of business have started up due to the low startup costs of making hash and pressing rosin together. Without the burden of a tightly-controlled laboratory that BHO or other closed-loop solvent-based extraction systems demand, it’s now more straightforward than ever to make incredible solvent-less hash and hash rosin.
As with all things cannabis, it truly starts in the garden. A movement in the industry paralleling the farm-to-table food ethos has already begun; with each passing day demand is growing for boutique genetics and rare terpene profiles. More and more consumers are demanding not only potent cannabis products, but ultra high quality, contaminant free ones too, right alongside truly solvent-less concentrates.
This is where rosin fits in long term, and especially hash rosin for its unmatched quality. Against a flooded market of low quality BHO and questionable vape pens, rosin’s popularity is expected to increase sharply given its small batch, labor-of-love style of production. If you ask any true cannabis lover what they’re always on the lookout for, chances are they’ll rank hash rosin right next to or above live resin.
Despite consumption of hash having been in a mild decline for a number of years, these evolutions in consumer tastes are once again bringing hash making to the forefront of cannabis.
Famous hash makers such as Bubbleman, Nikka T, KennnWall, Matt Rize, among many others first staked their claim as celebrities in the cannabis world by producing incredible solvent-less hash, long before shatter was in everyone’s dab rig.
There are now even growers who consider themselves “resin farmers” — meaning that they aren’t just growing for the flowers themselves, but for the trichomes and resins, which are the true fruits of the cannabis plant. It’s always been a labor of love for these elite hash makers, making their products in small batches for true connoisseurs.
Now virtually all hash makers are also pressing rosin and many of the best commercial hash labs have learned that freeze dryers provide superior terpene preservation along with dramatically reduced drying times.
It’s now more straightforward than ever for individuals to get involved in the concentrate-production business by acquiring a rosin press, hash making equipment, and a freeze dryer, thereby skipping the $50,000+ closed-loop methods entirely.
Of course starting a business is certainly a tall task, so if your local dispensary isn’t stocking hash rosin or full melt hash, it’s high time you asked them to!
If you like microdosing — consuming low dose THC — then pay attention to Lucid Mood’s brand new line of four disposable vape pens and sippers. Rather than deliver a psychedelic THC high, Lucid Mood harnesses the power of aromatic compounds called terpenes to elicit specific mood-based experiences.
With Lucid Mood, you can vape yourself into Bliss, Focus, Relaxation, or Energy, and count on a consistent experience every time. For the purpose of this review, we’ll focus on the Bliss Sipper.
The first blissful thing about Lucid Mood? They’re smaller than almost every other pen out there—about the size of a cigarette. Next, the vapor exhaled has a familiar clove-like scent, easily passed off as a flavored tobacco should you be questioned. I was not when I whipped mine out at a cafe in Philly (I took the pen in my carry-on via airplane, another testament to their discretion).
Crafted in Colorado by a team of Boulder-based scientists, each pen comes with a mild one-to-one THC to CBD ratio formulated to ease consumers into a subtle high, which is then guided by the pen’s powerhouse pack of terpenes. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD, is known to buffer the psychoactive effects of THC, and no matter how many times I puffed, I never felt more than slightly high.
The trick to Lucid Mood is to sip. The shorter the puff, the more concentrated the sweet, clove flavor and the smoother the pull.
Like most intoxicants, effects depend on your surroundings. I tried Bliss to calm me down as I was stressed over a deadline. Bad move—I rely on stress in those situations, and had to work twice as hard to finish. However, sipping on Bliss right after work? It was just as effective as a beer. Bliss-ing before a massage? Yes, oh dear god, yes. Using bliss vapor while banging out monotonous paperwork? I merrily typed along with quite a stupid grin on my face. But the true test? Getting Blissed throughout Thanksgiving dinner. It was the first time I could stomach being in a room with Trump supporters! Could Bliss be what gets us through the next four years? I’ll be keeping mine handy.
We live in an enlightened era of cannabis, and nothing makes me feel more enlightened than being able to light up. When it comes to choices on how to smoke, however, there is more variety out there than ever before. I personally prefer to use vaporizers because they are discreet, clean, perfect for sharing, and highly potent.
I recently had the pleasure to try Livwell’s Blue Dream strain of Infusiasm Wax using their proprietary Stealth Stick disposable vape pen. The Infusiasm Wax looks like a small, dry adobe brick, and hits harder than one. I simply took some of the crumbling concentrate, loaded it into the Stealth Stick coil, press a small button and seconds later I was inhaling sweet, euphoric, blueberry flavored concentrate through one of the most affordable and easy to use disposable vaporizers on the market.
For only $10, Livwell’s disposable Stealth Stick is a bargain that can’t be passed up. While it is highly effective for short-term concentrate use, its heating mechanism uses an electronically heated coil, which are notoriously short-lived pieces of hardware. I was able to enjoy more than 100 hits out of my Stealth Stick until the battery, and the coil, had run their course–with still lots of Infusiasm Ceramic Wax left over. Like any portable vaporizer, users need to be careful not to pack too much into the heating chamber or else the battery will struggle to keep up. Nonetheless, the stylishness and affordability of this sleek vaporizer more than makes up for its lack of longevity.
I would highly encourage anyone who wants to enjoy concentrates without breaking the bank to try Livwell’s Stealth Stick Disposable Wax Pen, and to pick up some Infusiasm Wax to break it in. I always trust the dependable and professional staff at Livwell’s Pearl St. location in Denver to provide me with the highest quality customer service, which is a staple of the Livwell brand.
Dabbing is the most potent and powerful way to experience cannabis. In order to dab, however, one must have a dab rig. Typical dab rigs would involve a metal nail that requires a blowtorch to heat up the surface to red-hot, vaporizing temperatures. As you might have guessed, using a blowtorch in order to inhale cannabis concentrate vapor can be inconvenient and dangerous, which is why WeVape’s 74 Enail Dab Rig Pen is in a league of it’s own.
Sleek, stylish, portable and versatile, the WeVape 74 Enail is a marvel in this booming era of vaporizers, and helping to improve the standard of vaping across the industry. With three clicks of a button, the WeVape 74 Enail electrically heats a domeless titanium nail to an intense and safely confined 600 degrees. No blowtorch needed!
Simply load your favorite concentrate, like rosin, hash oil, wax, shatter, live resin or budder onto the heated titanium nail, cover the top with the magnetic carb cap, and start inhaling the powerful vapor. Water can be added to the detachable glass mouthpiece to make it a bubbler, drastically cooling down the inhaled vapors for a smoother hit. Be careful, though—this portable electric-nail is just as powerful as a normal dab rig, and is guaranteed to produce the same acute effects. A little goes a long way with this cutting edge vaping device.
The WeVape 74 Enail comes with 2 titanium nails and a USB charger. This electric rig can hold a decent charge, powering through several vape sessions. When it needs charging, it couldn’t be easier; simply plug the USB charger into a computer or outlet adapter and watch as the button on the Enail turns red, to indicate that it is juicing up.
Along with its respectable battery power, the WeVape 74 Enail is extremely portable. Packaged in a discreet metal box with black foam padding, the this Enail is powerful enough to dab, and portable enough to travel. Since the mouthpiece is made of glass, the carrying case ensures the Enail will remain safe during transit. Unlike other dab rigs, the WeVape 74 Enail is small and incredibly efficient, making it easy to carry from place to place and face to face.
I have highly enjoyed my time with the WeVape 74 Enail, and I couldn’t recommend it more to seasoned and sophomore stoners alike. This dab rig is convenient, efficient, safe, and satisfying. Purchase your own WeVape Enails Vaporizer Dab Rig for yourself, and experience the next evolution in vaping technology.
Read an expert review of another great product from WeVape — The Aquamizer Bubbler Attachment.
Legendary rapper and iconic cannabis smoking celebrity Snoop Dogg has teamed up with the LivWell Cannabis of Colorado to create a line of Leafs By Snoop branded products. The product line includes strains like Cali Kush, candy edibles like Peach Gummies and strain specific concentrates like Gold Rush Sativa Wax.
The latest gem to drop from the Leafs by Snoop line is the Gold Rush Wax, which lives up to its name with a crisp yellow color and extremely sweet flavor. I picked up a gram of the Gold Rush Wax from the LivWell on Broadway in Denver on Friday April 15, the day it first hit the shelves. After being consumed, the mellow sativa effects slowly started to creep in, leaving me relaxed and smiling yet aware and sociable.
To top off an already desirable product, the packaging is both unique and sleek, creating a sure way to identify this new brand’s work in the future. The presentation is always on point. The white and gold triangular, folded box that the Gold Rush Wax comes in, gives these dabs a royal feeling, and even sparkles when it’s held up to the light (as you can see in the photo below). Spoiler alert: the inside of the white outer surface is splashed with swirling colors and a fun “OOOO WEEEE!!” message.
The Leafs By Snoop Gold Rush Wax was housed in a industry standard clear plastic twist-top container that was, like a Matryoshka nesting doll, inside another white container with a screw-off cap. It was easy to scoop crumbs out for the final dab, which is important for concentrate cannoisseurs like myself.
This Gold Rush wax took on more of a crumbly consistency, which works amazing for anyone that likes to dunk their dabs with their fingers. On a fresh quartz banger, the bright gold pigment began to melt into a clear liquid, and was eventually vaporized at a very low temperature with the help of a carb cap.
Almost immediately after inhalation, the taste of melon with a pinch of a floral underbelly starts to overcome the taste buds. Similar to its therapeutic scent and flavor, the high that’s attained can be described as both sweet and mellow. The difference between the tongue and brain’s impression is that the effects take a little while to roll in on the latter. However, with a couple of hits and a little time, the Gold Rush Sativa Wax from Leafs By Snoop is a favorable and desirable experience.
Every time I go to a party or family gathering, I like to bring along a joint when I don’t plan on drinking. This plan occasionally backfires for several reasons: first, friends bring their kids along and I can’t smoke at all; second (and perhaps worst of all) the smell tends to attract immediate “friends” that hoover my jays and then go on their merry way. Now that summer is just around the corner, I decided it was high time I invested in something a little more discreet. After trying a handful of pre-loaded vape pens, it’s become clear that when it comes to flavor and effect, nothing beats LivWell’s disposable Indica Blueberry Stealth Stick. It’s smooth and sweet, but the smell is discreet!
After taking my first hit off the Indica Blueberry Stealth Stick, the first thing that struck me was the flavor. Unlike some other pens I have tried, the terpene-infused hash oil in LivWell’s brand does an excellent job of matching the sweet and subtle taste of blueberries. The pre-loaded cartridge is filled with 400mg of very strong indica hash oil (activated THC), and after a few hits the calm and relaxing effects are in full swing. This pen is potent, but it comes on slowly and left me feeling happy, calm and relaxed…but not necessarily sleepy. The Indica Blueberry Stealth Stick is great to smoke before bed, but it won’t induce sleepiness by default like some other strains I have tried.
As far as smell goes, the Indica Blueberry Stealth Stick is aptly named. When exhaling, the vapor tastes and smells faintly of blueberry, but has no discernible cannabis aroma to arouse suspicion or envy. This would also be the perfect purchase for visitors to the Mile High City because it is disposable.
The Stealth Stick, which comes in a Sativa Grapefruit version as well, costs up to $30 after tax, but is a great investment. There are about 80-150 hits per pen depending on tolerance, and I was able to make mine last more than a week.
I picked up my Indica Blueberry Stealth Stick from the incredibly friendly and well-informed staff at LivWell’s Pearl Street location in Denver. Next time you’re looking for a high-quality disposable vape pen (or just need a better way to sneak a smoke), try the Stealth Stick, available at all LivWell locations.