One of the most common questions I get asked is “how can I get hold of some good hash in the UK?”
Usually it’s from the more mature (ok, older) cannabis consumer who is looking for that familiar hash experience they remember from back in the day, before high-potency flower became the norm across the country.
Because, you see, before Stardawg, Cali packs and Nerdz Ropes, even before Cheese, White Widow and Northern Lights, pretty much all you could get in the way of weed in the UK was hash.
From the mythical soapbar – which was occasionally cut with melted bin bags and smuggled in fuel tanks, making it catch light if you put a flame to it – to luxury imports from Morocco, Afghanistan and Nepal, hash was what a lot of us grew up with.
In a way it’s no surprise that in the age of high potency buds, high purity concentrates and highly commercialised cannabis brands there’s growing demand for the smooth, comforting and nostalgic embrace of some good hash.
However, it’s not that easy to find these days.
This article is not only going to tell you how to find good hash in the UK, but also explain what hash is, its history, the types available, and the benefits of hash over other forms of cannabis.
What is hash?
Hash is a hard, dark substance made from the resin glands, or trichomes, of cannabis plants.
Trichomes are the tiny hair-like structures on cannabis flowers (buds) that can look like crystals or white dusting by eye. They are actually the resin glands of the plant and are where cannabinoids – like THC and CBD – and terpenes are produced.
To make hash, you remove these resin glands, traditionally by shaking and sieving the buds or rubbing it with your hands. The collected trichomes are then pressed or rolled into blocks or balls.
Depending on many factors – such as the strain of cannabis used, the freshness/dryness of the bud, and trichome-separating and pressing technique – the resulting hash can be hard, soft, crumbly, brittle, squidgy or sticky. You can also get dry sift hash, which hasn’t been pressed so is more of a fine powder.
The colour also varies based on a number of factors, but hash is generally somewhere between light brown and black.
History of hash
Cannabis is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, going back as far back as 4000 BCE. There is no evidence of hash use, however, until around the 10th century in Persia and Central Asia.
While North India and Nepal are known to have a long social tradition in the production of hashish, known locally as charas, the first use of the term “hashish” is in a pamphlet published in Egypt in 1123 CE, accusing Nizari Muslims of being “hashish-eaters”.
As smoking did not become common until after the introduction of tobacco in the 15th century, hashish was consumed as an edible in the Muslim world. It’s also likely to have been used as incense for medicine and in religious ceremonies.
Hash arrived in Europe from the East during the 18th century and is first mentioned scientifically in 1777.
In 1839, Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who introduced the therapeutic use of Cannabis sativa to Western medicine, wrote a detailed study of Himalayan hemp, which describes hashish as useful for treating cramps and a number of afflictions such as rabies, cholera, and tetanus.
Hash grew in popularity over the decades and by the 1960s a large amount was being imported into Europe from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Morocco also got in on the act around this time.
All the way until the 2000s there, Morocco held a quasi-monopoly on hashish in Europe the 1990s and is home to 250g so-called “soap bar” blocks of low quality hash. Over the last 20 years, however, Afghanistan has emerged as the main producer of higher quality hashish.
Nowadays, hash making is becoming more and more popular in Spain and the quality is generally very high. Moroccan hash is also still common in Europe and even homemade hash is on the rise.
Benefits of hash
Traditionally, hash is less potent than bud and other extracts. And although hash has got much better over the years – stronger, tastier and more aromatic – it still offers a less intense experience than flower.
This makes it great for people who either can’t handle strong weed too well or simply want a more subtle high. I personally enjoy hash during the day as it doesn’t wipe me out for hours like a joint of high grade bud would.
Hash is also revered by many aficionados as a sort of cannabis delicacy, like a fine wine or cheese. This is because there is much variety when it comes to origin, production techniques, terpene and cannabinoid profile, taste and effects.
How to smoke hash?
To smoke hash, traditionally it would be mixed with tobacco in a joint or cigarette or in a pipe. If the hash is hard, it might need heating with a flame in order to be crumbled into the tobacco.
These days, you can also vape hash in a dry herb vape for a healthier option as it doesn’t involve combustion. Vapes basically heat the hash until the oils present start to vaporise and can be inhaled. Most vapes require some sort of concentrate or extract attachment or insert in order to be used with hash.
Where to find good hash in the UK
Now this is why you’re really reading this article. You know what hash is and why it’s good, you just wanna find out where you can get some. Well, here goes…
- Cannabis clubs
There’s a network of clubs around the country where cannabis activists and enthusiasts can hang out and enjoy social events as part of a community. It’s also a good place to find friendly contacts who may have a mate called Dave who can hook you up with some top smoke.
You may even bump into a fellow hash-lover who can help you out in that department.
There’s no guarantees, but until cannabis is legalised for commercial sale, it’s one of the safest avenues to take in order to find some good hash.
- Local connection
If you have a local hook-up, it’s worth asking them if they known anyone who may be able to provide some high-grade hashish. It can’t hurt to ask.
There’s definitely loads of drugs being sold online, but there are also so many scams to avoid. I’ve written about this a bit before, which is why I warn people to be very discerning when ordering weed online.
Having said that, there are some social media sellers and websites where you can choose from a nice selection of cannabis products, including hash, pay online, and have it pushed through your letterbox (by a servant of her majesty the queen, no less) in a matter of days. It’s a great service, for those in the know.
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- CBD hash
If you want hash that’s more relaxing than intoxicating, then maybe CBD hash could be for you. With low levels of THC, it won’t have the same effects as regular hash, but CBD is very good at calming the mind and releasing tension in the body.
There’s some incredible examples of CBD hash on the market right now. I did a recent article listing the top 10 products available in the UK. Check it out here, if you fancy. I also reviewed some awesome 40% CBD squidgy black hash from IceHeadShop here.
Whether its soft and creamy or spicy and crumbly, good hash is one of the finer things in life. Its effects are more of a subtle stone than a euphoric buzz, which many people appreciate in current times as well as centuries gone.
Unfortunately, hash has been illegal in the UK for the last 50 years and I can’t exactly post the contact details of all my reliable dealers and online sources. However, sign up to my newsletter below and I’ll point you in the right direction (don’t sign up if you’re a copper, unless you’re cool and recognise drug laws are stupid and wrong).