Trash into cash? Not so much…


JUNE, 2017

When people first starting paying attention to cannabis concentrates, one of the mantras was, “turn trash into cash.”  This was an oversimplification of the newly discovered uses for the sugar trim that is leftover after the last stage of trimming.  Those trichome covered small leaves were being thrown in the trash while laden with oil worth more than their weight in gold.

I make Bubble hash, a concentrate that requires the highest quality of material.  Poorly stored material will produce half broken trichome heads and undesirable stalks.  Bubble hash preserves the intact trichome head and badly beaten trim does not make good hash as promised by growers who repeatedly make assurances that they “had a buddy that ran this same material and it was FIRE.”  I am sure it could have been fire, but my needs as a bubble hash maker and the needs of a butane honey oil maker are vastly different.  Makers of BHO have an advantage because the process itself ‘blasts’ open the trichome heads and then extracts the precious cannabis oil.  In contrast, bubble hash makers are always playing a game of hot potato; babying each head from collection, to drying, and final post processing.

Therefore, in order to have great concentrates, I have to start with phenomenal material.  Up until very recently, I have only been running my own cannabis starting material from the ladies I grew on the roof last year.  Unfortunately, I am nearing the end, so I have to work with other farmers’ goods.  I am taking the opportunity be grateful for possible fruitful collaboration with other farmers as one never knows what can happen with the crop.  I cannot only rely on myself.  My friend in Desert Hot Springs is just about ready to start his grow, but at this point, the more connections I have, the better.

Gorilla Glue TrimSo I am running other people’s stuff.  One guy has given me two pounds.  One is an organic pound of Pineapple Chunk trim.  It doesn’t look too spectacular, but one never knows.  It smells decent.  The other pound is inorganic Gorilla Glue #4 smalls and trim.  I make a point to mention whether the plants were organic or inorganic because the resin just is not the same.  No hate to inorganic product, but I want my end result to be as natural as possible.

The first pound of Pineapple Chunk is a terrible wash.  The resulting resin has very little yield and I can tell from when I scoop the resin heads out of the bubble bags, the quality is poor.  I have it freeze dried and attempt to press it, Frenchy Cannoli style.  No dice.  The resin barely changes color as their was little to no melting action.  This means there is no oil in the resin head.

I am very leery of taking the time to run the Gorilla Glue pound, but I happen to run into the guy at a dispensary and I decide to give it a try.  I have a little over a pound, and not wanting to push it, I wash only half.  Thankfully I end up using little of my resources on this endeavor.  The wash is significantly less than worthwhile.  Like the previous wash, the resin does not press.

Rosin from Gorilla GlueIt’s time for the next step.  I do not want to give the impression that hash rosin is simply a salvage situation, but today it sure is.  I am thankful that the resin does have a nice smell.  It isn’t super loud and dank, but it is not odorless either.  I squish both the Pineapple Chunk and the Gorilla Glue.  The Pineapple chunk maintains a pretty pale yellow color and the consistency is stable.  The Gorilla Glue, however comes out dark and not quite as appealing.  It is not as if the plant is loaded with anthocyanins which would affect the color of the resin.  I think the material is just older, has been exposed to oxygen, and has been poorly handled.  I take a dab and the flavor is pretty good, but due to the presentation, I think it will only be good for personal consumption by the farmer.  No one will be jumping for joy for this one.  I personally should have known better.  Besides using our noses, we hash makers are encouraged to heed this advice, “If you wouldn’t smoke it, don’t run it.”  This iss not amazing trim.  The results fall short of my desires as well.

Lesson learned.

Trash is just that, trash.  And that which is valuable must be treated as such.  So if you are growing some dank, and can foresee smoking both the flower and the concentrates, handle your trim with the same care as you would the flower.  

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