If you have been around long enough, you will likely be quite familiar with the term 'Squidgy Black' which refers to a bizarre-looking brown/black brick, of dubious origins. The black matter is a processed cannabis product called Hash.
Compared to a flush beautiful bud that is more common these days, in the past, most of us who smoked regularly would have to settle for wildly varying levels of mind-melting tar to put in the pipe.
What is Hash?
While in the UK, Hash seems like an underground alternative to cannabis which is born out of prohibition, hash (then called Hashish) is one of the oldest forms of cannabis. It was smoked, traded and eaten by ancient Indian merchants as far back as recorded history goes back.
Hash is produced using the thick resin and trichomes which cover cannabis (why the buds can be sticky). The glands in the surface of the bid contain a whole range of wonderful chemicals but the important one is THC, which is what makes cannabis psychoactive.
Traditionally, the resin and cannabinoids are separated from the plan by rubbing the bud between the hands to squeeze out the good stuff. The process takes a number of hours but eventually, a layer of thick sticky resin covers the hands in black tar. This is then scraped off and collected in a small ball called 'Charas' or 'Squidgy Black'. The estimated handcrafted yield is about 6 or 7 grams a day. The Squidgy Black substance that is collected is basically a rudimentary concentrate, like Rosin.
You may be asking: 'Wait, but Rosin is Gold? and Trichomes are clear? Why is Squidgy Black, black? This colour change is caused but the rubbing process where the resin gland oxidizes and become darker.
What is Pollen Hash?
While black hash is produced by rubbing hands together, the resin glads can also be bashed off the buds by using a stick, then gathered up and beaten/ pressed into a block. This creates a much cleaner looking product that resembles Rosin, a golden colour and has the consistency of cold honey. Even the slightest bit of heat can cause the Pollen Hash to soften up.
Sometimes you can find Pollen Hash which has a slight tinge of green. While it is not something to worry about, it shows poor workmanship and may be of poorer quality compared to the clearer version.
The final hash to talk about is often referred to as 'soap hash' or 'soap bar hash'. The reason for the name is due to its texture and consistency. It is upsettingly the most common form of hash that is found in the UK, thanks to prohibition and the unregulated underground market.
Soap hash is hard and brittle because it has been 'cut' or 'contaminated' with other substances to flesh out the yield. In short, you literally have no idea what is in the block. It could be anything from plastic, cow manure, natural/ synthetic wax or who knows what. This is something you do not want to be consuming if you can help it. These days, access to buds is easier and much safer!