Its rich history, artisanal mechanical separation and innovative solvent-free cannabinoid processing make hash a unique alternative to cannabis for evolving consumer bases around the world.
The global legal cannabis market is seeing exponential growth with every passing year. In 2020, the market size was valued at US$24.6 billion, with market analysts projecting market expansion at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3 percent from 2021 to 2028. With innovative cannabis products entering the market every day, the sky’s the limit for this industry.
One particular cannabis product that demonstrates huge growth potential is hashish. With deep roots in Asian and North African history, this powerful cannabis plant concentrate is amid a reinvention that blends old-world traditions with new-age technologies for modern consumers to enjoy and investors to capitalize on.
What is hashish and how is it made?
Hashish or “hash” is the cannabis extract produced through separating kief, the sticky, crystal-like substance at the head of the cannabis plant’s trichomes or mushroom-shaped glands found on the plant’s leaves, stems and calyxes. After filtering, the kief is pressed and heated to rupture its resin glands, ultimately changing the composition, which is later formed into a softball or brick.
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Modern separation of trichomes from cannabis buds involves a type of cold sieving to carefully remove and collect the trichomes in an efficient manner.
This potent concentrate has strong effects and a unique flavor, often ranging from golden yellow to dark brown or black in color depending on the method of production. As a purely mechanical process, hash production involves zero solvents like butane or propane, which can affect the taste and texture of the final product. For cannabis enthusiasts, hash is unlike anything else on the market.
The history of artisanal hashish
The history of hashish spans thousands of years. Some scholars place hash use as far as 900 AD, where it was widely popular in West Asia and still is today. This cannabis extract would be used in an array of applications from personal use for its “euphoriant properties,” royal offerings and more.
Even in the west, history finds appearances of hashish in Europe around the 18th century and later 19th century as a means of experimental medical use. As hash makes its way around the world, divergent methods in its production have created one-of-a-kind uses, euphoric effects and brilliant flavors unique to different parts of the world.
For example, in Moroccan and Afghan hash, producers use traditional sieving methods to separate trichomes from dried cannabis plant material. This helps yield the highest-quality kief for heating and pressing to give a potent concentrate.
Companies like The Hash Corporation (CSE:REZN) or HASHCO, utilize these old-world traditions in Moroccan and Afghan hashish production to safely deliver authentic hashish experiences and premium cannabis products crafted to modern standards and regulations. Their solvent-free process and collaborative approach with licensed cannabis cultivators embody the perfect blend of old and new for modern consumers.
Additionally, Indian hash or charas is produced by separating the trichomes by hand. Workers roll cannabis buds between their hands and the trichomes are removed through friction and heat, later formed into balls to give charas. With such a delicate and labor-intensive process, the exclusivity of this artisanal hash has begun to pique the interest of international cannabis users who are seeking something special outside of the typical joint of cannabis.
Hashish vs. cannabis
While most of the buzz surrounds large Canadian licensed producers like Tilray (TSX:TLRY,NYSE:TLRY) and Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED,NASDAQ:CGC), or American multi-state operators like Cresco Labs (TSVX:CL), Curaleaf Holdings (TSVX:CURA) and Trulieve Cannabis (TSVX:TRUL), hash products represent a significant opportunity in this growing industry.
Innovations in cannabis extraction and product development have created methods of cannabis consumption that offer more versatility than ever before. Like cannabis, hash can be enjoyed by smoking in a pre-rolled joint or through other accessories like extract-specific or dried flower vaporizers. When vaporized or dabbed, hash offers a smoke-free option to inhaling dried cannabis flower.
The biggest upside of hash is its high concentration of cannabinoids. Its potency can reach as high as 60 percent tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in comparison to estimated concentrations of 15 to 30 percent in cannabis. Hash users need to consume less for the sought-after effects of euphoria, relaxation and calmness that cannabis is known for.
In addition, the difference in processing both cannabis and hashish also lead to distinct end products and flavors. Cannabis, either grown indoors or outdoors, is harvested after seven to 11 weeks, when it is dried and cured to improve its maturity, potency and flavor. For hash, the amount of care and treatment needed to produce these extracts is evident in how uniquely complex, rich or spicy its flavor translates when consumed.
Investment opportunities in the growing global hashish market
Market researchers project the legal cannabis market to reach upwards of US$43 billion by 2025 in the US alone. As the high-potency alternative to cannabis and other lower-level THC cannabis products, hashish could hold a large portion of that pie.
Shifting legal frameworks surrounding cannabis have also contributed to a massive growth in predicted cannabis use throughout the world. With more countries opening up to the economic benefits of cannabis legalization, cannabis retailers and producers could see significant widening and diversification of distributed consumer bases to segment and target.
Morocco, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the world’s three largest exporters of hashish, have introduced proposals to legalize cannabis for medical use and a strategic economic powerplay to benefit farmers nationwide. With a well-established consumer base and competitive market conditions, hash could be the catalyst for where the hottest cannabis hubs stem from next.
Like HASHCO, Colorado-based cannabis and hash factory The Greenery has made strides in bringing this rich cannabis extract to western markets. With a diverse catalogue of kief bricks, Lebanese hash and modern bubble hash, these companies continue to blend tradition, artistry and technology for a high-quality hashish that is unlike anything on the market.
Especially as cannabis stakeholders look for innovative ways to consume and produce cannabis for rapidly expanding markets, hash presents the potential to disrupt cannabis markets in the west as it has in the east.
Hashish is a high-potency cannabis concentrate that has the potential to play a significant part in the growing global cannabis market. Companies like HASHCO are introducing premium hash to western markets where investors can gain an early mover advantage across shifting legal frameworks. Its rich history, artisanal mechanical separation and innovative solvent-free cannabinoid processing make hash a unique alternative to cannabis for evolving consumer bases around the world.
This INNSpired article is sponsored by The Hash Corporation (CSE:REZN). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by The Hash Corporation in order to help investors learn more about the company. The Hash Corporation is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNSpired article.
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