Citation: Jacobo. "Little Balls of Joy: An Experience with Cannabis - Hash (exp46344)". Erowid.org. Dec 23, 2008. erowid.org/exp/46344
Introduction: Tonight my roommate and I were out of bud, so we decided to try to do an cannabinoid extraction of some leftover stems using rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) as the extracting solvent. I documented the experience for a forum I frequent, and it was suggested that I submit the report here as well.
At the time, I had no other drugs in my system except a small amount of caffeine from the Mountain Dew I drank throughout the preparation of the hash. I can't speak for my roommate on this topic, however - he's on an ever-changing battery of mood-altering prescriptions for his bipolar tendencies. He is comparable in body size to me.
Our ingredients and tools:
-Spare bud, leafs, trimmings, stems, and/or shake. In our case, this was about 1/2 an ounce of stems leftover from mostly middle-of-the-road quality cannabis buds.
-Enough rubbing alcohol to completely coat the plant material. The only ingredients in the bottle were isopropanol and water. In our case, one 16 oz. bottle of 91% isopropanol was more than enough.
-A mason jar to mix the alcohol and plant material.
-At least two coffee filters to filter the alcohol/plant matter mix.
-A cup to catch the filtered liquid, a smooth glass or ceramic surface for it to dry on, a fan to blow the resulting fumes away, and a double boiler of some sort to prevent fire. Make sure you're in a ventilated area - warm rubbing alcohol can let off some impressive fumes.
-A razor blade or X-acto type of knife for scraping the hash off the evaporation surface. We used a plastic ID card, but a razor blade would have probably worked much better.
-Rolling papers or some other smokable material on which to apply the hash.
Preparation: After going out and buying some 91% isopropanol rubbing alcohol, we came home and ground what I would estimate to be half an ounce of leftover stems and poured the result into a mason jar. Then rubbing alcohol was added until the ground-up stems were thoroughly soaked with a layer of about an inch of extra rubbing alcohol on top. We used about a third of the 16 oz. bottle. The jar was sealed and shaken vigorously for about three minutes before it was opened and the contents poured through two coffee filters into a measuring cup.
There was about one-half to two-thirds of a cup of green/yellow semi-transparent liquid after the filtering. This was poured onto a large (10' in diameter), circular, flat, ceramic plate which was placed in a deep baking pan filled with water. The pan was placed over the stove burner and served as a makeshift double-boiler - we didn't want to apply the flame directly to the plate for fear of the alcohol igniting. Instead, the water was brought to a gentle boil and a fan was placed to blow all the fumes and steam away from the area. The filtered liquid evaporated over the course of about 50 minutes and formed a thin, sticky, dark green coating over the top of the ceramic plate.
This resin was loosened from the plate by applying heat with a lighter and scraped using the edge of a plastic student ID card (the only tool available). Then the resin was wiped off both sides of the edge of the ID using a piece of rolling paper folded in half. The areas of the paper with thick coatings of green-black resin were ripped from the rest of the paper and rolled into balls, each the size of a large pinhead.
The balls were placed one at a time into a pipe and smoked.
Observations: I honestly didn't think this was going to work in the first place, but I figured it was worth a try. The whole procedure was pretty simple - the only change I'd make next time is to use more material to start with and to evaporate the filtered liquid over a smaller area than the large ceramic plate.
I used all the leftover plant matter I had available, so the materials issue couldn't be helped. As for the evaporation surface, the plate worked decently but made scraping the hash/resin somewhat difficult. Evaporating the filtered liquid over such a large area made it go quickly (it took less than an hour for the alcohol to evaporate), but the result was spread very thinly across the plate. This made the scraping bit harder, especially because the resin that formed was really sticky and held fast to smooth surfaces. In spite of those problems, we still got a decent result.
Results: I smoked it first, as my roommate was leery of scraping and smoking something we mixed together on a whim that resembled dried green paste. I rolled the first ball and smoked it. It took a couple hits before I figured out how to get enough smoke into the pipe each hit.
The little balls of resin and paper seemed to smolder more than they burned, and the carb of the pipe had to be plugged until the very end of each hit to draw enough smoke. The smoke itself was thick, but lacked the typical taste and scent of bud. My roommate compared the taste of it to 'burning plastic...sort of.' Personally, I didn't think the smoke had much of a taste beyond that of the rolling paper we used to wipe the ID's clean. It was a little on the harsh side compared to most bud, but by no means unbearable. Each ball lasted for two to four hits.
Within a minute after I finished smoking the first ball, I noticed a change in my state of mind. I wasn't getting sick, which was encouraging, so I rolled another ball, larger this time, and smoked it as well. At that point, my thoughts got a little jumbled, but I distinctly remember a heavy head rush that lasted for a couple minutes. Once that was over, I noticed that the high was considerably different from the high gotten from smoking bud. It was almost entirely centralized in the mind - I didn't feel the normal body high that I do from bud, but my line of thought was obviously altered. The lack of a body high made it a bit disorienting. My body felt sober, but my mind felt heavily intoxicated. It led to a few weird times when I wouldn't *feel* stoned, but when I got up to do something, like getting a glass of water, I'd have to pause and remind myself what I was doing. Over the course of three hours, I smoked about four balls in all, with about equal time between each.
It's now about two hours since I smoked the last one, and I'm still far from sober. To be honest, this report feels like it's taking forever to write, and I keep getting distracted by small things. I also have to reread paragraphs to make sure they make sense after I type them - a few of them haven't.
My roommate, who has been smoking weed with regularity for only a couple months, felt the effects more strongly. After smoking a couple of the balls, the head rush hit him hard. He had a lot of nervous energy and started pacing and saying things that didn't make particularly much sense to me, though to be fair, I was high as well. At one point, he entered the kitchen then left it, sat down on the couch for a moment, got up, walked to the kitchen, paused at the entrance, looked around for a moment, stiffened up, and said 'uhh...water!' before finally grabbing his cup and filling it up. He did a lot of strange little things like that for the next couple hours. He also seemed rather confused and didn't look like he was enjoying himself as much as I did. Also, the taste of the smoke got to him much more, possibly because he used more paper than I did when rolling the balls. In any case, the hash had a profound effect on him.
Conclusions: I was surprised this worked so well. It might be worth repeating if I can get my hands on a lot of cheap, low-quality weed. In this case, we were able to roll six balls from the resin we scraped from the plate. But considering we started with nothing but a half an ounce of stems, I'd consider this a success.
I'd recommend this to anyone luck enough to have extra weed around - especially schwag, trimmings, stems, and/or shake - and some time to kill. It's a simple experiment, and somewhat crude, but the results are definitely interesting.
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