Updated: Mar 27
While researching the history of hashish through contemporary literature, I was shocked to learn about the widespread existence of hashish parlors that were in every major US city as recently as the 1920s. I've been wanting to lay out an ideal future for where I want to see cannabis and hashish five to ten years from now, along with what we as consumers can do to help get there, when it dawned on me that history is bound to repeat! My vision for the future of hash sounds eerily like the untold "glory days" of a 1900's American hashish parlor.
By the late 1800's, inspired by Fitz Hugh Ludlow's incredibly successful book The Hasheesh Eater (you don't want to read it), hashish was introduced to the West. By 1870 Ludlow’s work was republished, bringing hashish into the spotlight with, “hashish candy and hashish clubs popping up around the U.S.” Still, it seems a stretch to imagine public smoking domains, despite the current state of partial-legalization. "Over 500 hash parlors were operating within New York City" and believe it or not, "hash parlors still outnumbered the infamous speak-easys that the era was known for." Hash clubs are nothing new to America, they were just hidden from history, until now. In order to arrive at an ideal future, we need to envision where we are heading, and what everyone can do to support the future of quality cannabis access.
Backed by "Too-Big-To-Fail" money, Corporate Cannabis isn't concerned with immediate success and aren't going anywhere fast. They're concerned with owning and controlling assets. Assets too big for me to wrap my meager financial brain around. Corporate industry strives for maximizing profit, regardless of consequence, which will never jive with high quality grass.
We aren't going to beat them head-to-head. I mean no single company is going to overcome corporate cannabis. It will take a whole lot more than that, starting with our combined buying power and our full financial support to solventless products only. I see one way, and only one way out of this mess and toward an ideal future for quality hash:
The way out has been written on my homepage since the first day Hashwriter.org was created. It's become my slogan of sorts and was the title of my first published article, which provoked me to create HashWriter.org. The phrase: Cannabis Concentrates for the Informed Consumer, has been the guiding mantra and focus of all my writing. Having spent the past two years influencing the turn from solvent to solventless, I now aim to end spending on any product symbolic of corporate cannabis.
Informed Consumption is the answer to fight a corporate-owned and dominated America, but what does informed consumption in cannabis mean? Well, with new brands appearing on a daily basis, let's take a quick theoretical look at product categories to understand what they consist of and what they represent.
*(Long-Time readers can probably skip product explanation and jump to my ideal future for the plant).
95% of Products Sold Today are Trash
While there are always exceptions, the general premise of my theoretical analogies hold true. The small batch, hand made, solventless method of refinement stands directly opposed to the mass produced, mega-profit margins, of corporate cannabis and distillate extraction products.
If solventless refinement is the epitome of quality cannabis, vaporizer cartridges are quality's antithesis. Aside from one or two expensive, overpriced and hard to find, if not impossible to find, rosin sauce pens, the rest of the vaporizer cartridges are trash. They're worth little more than the metal and glass they come in, and represent mass-production, Big-Agriculture, Big Pharma, and the corporate elite's best interests. They're made from the worst of the worst cannabis, including crops riddled with mold. In fact, so many cartridges are so poorly made, that it is wise to completely avoid them.
STOP PUTTING YOUR FULL-TRUST IN BRANDS
What About Live Resin Carts?
Most are not and many are proven to simply be distillate with added terpenes.
Other than "emergency" situations, quit giving your hard earned money for a product that is a laughable excuse for cannabis. There are too many other high quality options to choose from, than buying the trashy hot-dog-flavored-water cartridges that support and scream corporate cannabis.
Aside from Space Gem, who is phenomenal (And provides an extensive educational blog for it's consumers), every other product on the edible market is made from the exact same distillate concentrate that goes into cartridges, only worse. Unlike the cartridges, no one sees the oil in edibles, allowing producer's to use whatever dark and dirty oil they want.
Producers making hash who decide to make edibles, are just cashing in on the useless "food-grade" hash, normally discarded. If one of best and most well-known hash companies are putting out white-label edibles, with ethanol in them, can you imagine how terrible some of the others must be? Avoid big names in the edible field and find @spaceGemca or another local solventless hash edible producer, who is committed to producing solventless edibles first and foremost.
Chemical Extracts-BHO etc.
Live Resin BHO is a vastly improved product from distillates, also using fresh-frozen cannabis. However, bulk fresh-frozen cannabis meant for Chemical Extraction sells for half the price of fresh-frozen material meant for solventless hash. The price of Live Resin products does not reflect this however, and sells for well over half the cost of solventless hash. I believe the vast majority of Live Resin extracts are one of the most overpriced products in cannabis (aside from distillates). While some Live Resin can be high quality, it is nearly impossible to tell who is running quality fresh frozen and who uses CRC to turn black sludge into passable low-grade cannabis oil.
Ah, yes one of my favorite topics. Celebrity and rapper promoted cannabis brands. Do I really even have to say it? When cannabis is sold under rapper, movie star, rock-stars, or big brands, they're clearly trying to cash in on celebrity and stereotype. Just say no thank you.
What to Consume
Let's start with cannabis flower. Unchanged by man's chemicals, some is anyways, the picked and dried cannabis flower contains everything desirable and a lot of plant material that isn't. Trying to find a brand that grows quality cannabis can be difficult. So many of the best and latest genetics are being frozen at harvest and dedicated toward hash production. Seek out quality indoor or mixed-light flower, from a trusted grower like @humboldtkinefarms.
I recommend all flower smokers to try dabbing solventless hash instead; it is the future and all that tar and smoke, burning up plant material, is unnecessary. Dabbing solventless hash is unlike BHO dabs, despite using the same techniques. Solventless hash will melt and vaporize producing a smooth, flavor-packed, insanely accurate taste and portrayal of a given cultivar. I doubt that you will go back.
Solventless Hash and Hash Rosin
We have finally discovered how to remove, preserve, and present 100% trichome glands using nothing but water and gravity to refine. That's all we were ever after are the resinous trichome heads covering the surface of the plant. Now it is possible, perfected, and unlike anything experienced in cannabis consumption before.
Not only is it a tedious, labor intensive process, but it's all done by hand. Using only water and ice to help remove trichomes, requires a major sacrifice in profit compared to using chemical solvents for extraction. Maybe more important than all of this, is the necessity of using only the highest quality cannabis imaginable, grown and tended to in small batches. The efforts and added interests necessary to grow hash making cannabis, refuse mass-production, and the general depravity of corporate consumerism.
Informed Consumerism Leads Here:
Hash clubs and parlors will return as history repeats. Dab-Bars and smoking lounges will allow for the full and proper experience of flavors and smells. Bud Tenders will transform from low-wage cashier's to Bar-tenders, becoming informed on the farmer, the flavors, genetics, heritage, and cultural legacy of each hash genetic, as though they were explaining a detailed Wine List or an intricate Sushi menu. And since so many products today are trash, menus will be free from hundreds if not thousands, of distillate and chemical-based clutter. The solventless method will become standard and work as an equalizer, allowing a blank slate to capture the full depth of each grower's craft and terroir.
The solventless method is a grounding block, an acid test, a blind equalizer. While some hash makers are clearly better than others, it is a fairly simple, but heavily labor-intensive process that will level off soon, as the standard method. With the standardization of hash making, the attention of consumer's can finally turn back to the farmers who grew it. It is their cannabis after all.
With solventless hash becoming the namesake of all our consumption, the product defies corporate control. With hash lounges popping up in small towns and cities across the country, local, farm-to-table cannabis experiences will be expected. Small local producers with unique genetics and interesting farming practices, will create rich new flavors, exclusively in fresh batches.
The small-batch craft cultivation needed to make six-star hash, baffles corporate weed and they are forced to provide bargain-based products sold at a bare minimum. There are far too many sacrifices in profit, in the name of quality, for corporate cannabis to perceive solventless hash as a viable product.
Hashish will become Federally legalized, as we branch out from cannabis' Garden of Eden, The Emerald Triangle, and explore the vast landscape that is America through the growth of this miraculous plant. You can already see the widespread popularity of small batch hashish taking off, with incredible cannabis coming from all over the country. We are yet to grow natural, outdoor-cannabis in so many different areas under different climates and conditions, leaving a lot in store to be discovered.
The sooner consumers focus their buying power to quality solventless products, the sooner our hash tasting future can arrive.
"Hey waiter! Excuse me, we'll take two dabs each of your finest specimens!"
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