The Clever Root

Fall / Winter 2015

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6 0 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t John Oliver is a connoisseur who evaluates cannabis dispensaries and the quality of their products at his blog the CANNABIS CONNOISSEUR JOHN OLIVER PROMOTES A NEW METHOD OF MAKING HASHISH Wa Wa W sh A TRADITIONAL WAY TO SEPARATE THE RESIN—the active ingredient— from cannabis plants in order to make hashish, is to use extremely volatile solvents like butane, acetone, or naphtha. Hence reports of basements exploding and houses burning down. John Oliver has a better way. He's a connoisseur who evaluates can- nabis dispensaries and the quality of their products at his blog (the can-, or you can email him at: thecannabisaficionado@, and he's director of Higher Ground Farms, which pro- vides dispensaries in California with medicinal forms of cannabis. It's a relatively new method, invented about a decade ago, and uses water in liquid and frozen forms to extract the hash. In other words, no explod- ing basements. Oliver identifies two parts to the process: washing and sieving, then drying and curing. Washing the leaf trimmings and small buds of the marijuana plants dislodges the crystals of cannabinoid resins and sus- pends them in very cold water. The colas, or thick flower stalks, are usually dried and used for smoking, not for hash. Cleanliness is important in the workroom so dust and debris don't get into the hash. Work surfaces are wiped down with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to both pick up dust and sterilize the surfaces. Keeping everything cold in the washing and sieving phase is essential to protect the quality of the resins, so Oliver keeps his workroom at 61 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower. For washing, he uses a small clothes washer, such as the compact one- to two-cubic-foot capacity washers used on small boats or in apartments. About two pounds of trim and broken up small buds are lay- ered in a plastic mesh bag with a quart or so of very cold ice cubes—they stick to your hands—made from pure filtered water. First, 15 to 20 pounds of pure ice cubes go into the washer, then the bag of plant material. The washer is filled story by Jeff Cox / photos by Nate Napierala It All Comes Out in the 6 0 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t

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