Hashish makers sometimes wait until weather conditions allow for optimum moisture and humidity levels before sieving. To prepare for sieving, a large silk or nylon cloth is secured over the top of wide-mouthed basin. Using their hands, workers strip the buds and leaves from each branch. Some Moroccan Hashish makers perform additional grinding of the buds and leaves first, while others simple sieve the collected buds and leaves as-is without additional shredding or grinding.
The plant material is portioned out and placed on top of the fabric. A nonporous cover is placed over the plant material and secured to prevent any resin powder from being lost. Once everything is secured, a worker takes two long sticks, one in each hand, and performs a drumming motion, making direct hits on the top of the cover. This drumming technique creates vibrations which loosen the trichomes from the plant material, which eventually fall through the pores of the cloth and collect in the bottom of the basin. The drumming cadence differs for various levels of quality. The highest-quality resin powder is sieved with quick, rapid drum beats, whereas the lowest quality resin powder receives slow drum beats. The length of time each batch of plant material is drummed depends on the amount of plant material being sieved. For example, two (2) pounds, or 0.91 kilograms, of cured plant material would receive about 10 minutes of drum time. Unlike Lebanese and Afghan methods — where cloths with varying pore sizes are used to separate and grade the resin powder — only one pore-sized cloth is used for sieving in Morocco.
Like Lebanon, Morocco occasionally exports unpressed resin powder as kief. Yellow colored resin powder has a higher value than resin powder with a greenish color, which indicates a level of dilution with undesired plant material. Hashish from Morocco is typically pressed by mechanical means rather than by hand. Hashish is commonly pressed using a “bat-pressing” technique where resin powder is secured in heavy-duty plastic bag. While the bag is flat on a table, a stick is inserted partway into the bag so it can be used to maneuver the bag, with the whole thing resembling an oversized lollipop. The contents of the bag is placed on a flat, sturdy surface and beaten repeatedly with bats or mallets. The bag is occasionally warmed by either fire or steam to help it created the final desired Hashish form. Technique may have been introduced to Morocco from those who brought Hashish from Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is located in South Asia, bordering Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In the late 1960s, Afghanistan was regarded as having the highest-quality sieved Hashish available in the world. The region surrounding the cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Khulm, near the Uzbekistan border, is argued to be the source of the best Afghani Hashish. In 1973, the United States government provided millions of dollars in funding to Afghanistan to prohibit and eradicate the farming and any production of cannabis and the opium poppy. In that year, King Zahir Shah, the last monarch of Afghanistan, banned cannabis and the opium poppy. Although the king was dethroned that same year, Afghanistan’s prohibition had taken effect, deep enough to disrupt the existing cannabis farms, Hashish production and exports of the products. These activities remain illegal, but farmers of northern Afghanistan continue to grow and harvest cannabis and produce Hashish in order to support themselves and their families. Afghanistan has an arid to semiarid desert climate, with its coldest temperatures reaching just below freezing, about 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or zero degrees Celsius, in January, and its highest temperatures peaking in July at about 77.54 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25.3 degrees Celsius. The dryness and low humidity throughout most of the year is conducive to collecting and storing resin used for Afghani Hashish. Farmers plant their cannabis crops around March or April each year, when the land receives the greatest amount of rainfall. Hashish from Afghanistan is commonly referred to as simply “Afghani hash” or “Afghan hash.” The color is typically a dark brown or black on the outside, with a glossy appearance. Resin collection is a process similar to the one used in Lebanon; mesh cloths with varying pore sizes are used to sieve the resin powder and grade it for quality. Once sifted and graded, the resin powder is stored until its ready to be used for producing Hashish. Afghani Hashish starts with 2 to 3 cups, or 256 to 384 grams, of loose resin powder. The resin powder is placed in the center of a metal plate with a deep lip to prevent spilling. Two to 4 tablespoons, or about 30 to 59 milliliters, of fresh water or tea is then poured in the center of the resin powder. The plate is then placed on a small stove top with an open flame lit with a medium-low flame. As the liquid heats and boils, it produces a steam that warms and binds the loose resin powder.
After about ten seconds, the plate is taken off the burner and is allowed to cool for a few seconds. While it’s still warm, a person then balls the mixture by hand, and pulls it off the plate. Using both hands, the Hashish ball is kneaded like clay, then continually folded, pressed, and pulled by hand to form a small, flattened shape. It’s then placed directly on the burner’s flame to soften it. The process is continued, with the Hashish maker using the palms of both hands to fold, press, and pull the Hashish as it’s condensed and well formed. Through the process, the color of the resin powder changes from a light khaki or green to a dark molasses brown. The form is placed in the center of a circular mold, similar to an oversized cookie cutter, and wrapped in heavy plastic. Starting with just the heel of the foot, the Hashish maker digs the heel and presses the Hashish, then uses just the toes to evenly distribute the Hashish in the mold to create a consistent thickness throughout the form. The plastic is kept on the Hashish, and then heat-sealed for packaging .
The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is located in South Asia, bordering China and India. Hashish from Nepal is sometimes referred to as “Nepali hash” or “Nepalese hash.” Despite centuries of cultivation and farming, as well as having ties to Nepalese culture, the government of Nepal outlawed cannabis farming, Hashish production and distribution in 1973 — the same year Afghanistan prohibited cannabis — as a result of political pressure from the United Nations and the United States government.