The Importance of Curing and Aging Hash

Just like how fine wine gets better over time, fine hash isn’t made in a flash.

With the release of Highly Dutch’s 6-Month Oak Barrel Hash, along with our 60-day cured Organic Afghan Black Hash, we’re breaking down the importance of the aging and curing process and how these techniques lend a hand in transforming and enhancing the flavours, aromas, and textures of the product.

Let’s get into it!

How Is Hash Made?

Let’s start with the basics—hashish, more commonly known as hash, is made from the thick, sticky resin of the cannabis plant. The resin can be manipulated in a multitude of ways to create hash. From rosin, to bubble hash, to more traditional ways like hand-rolling; creating hash is a sometimes secretive process that cultivators are having fun experimenting with to this day—and that includes us.

A close-up of a cannabis trichomes used to create hash

How Does the Curing Process Work?

Curing is a maturation process of preserving organic material and removing moisture. When cannabis or hash is curing, gasses get released. A proper cure allows for those gasses to be released, without letting oxygen in. In addition to providing long-term stability to the product, the curing process also does wonders for flavour, potency, and aroma—for both cannabis flower and hash.

What Does the Curing Process Do for Hash?

There are actually a variety of curing methods when it comes to hash, but they’re all intended on reaching the same goal. When executed correctly, this is what the curing process does for the product:

  • Preserves and further develops the hash’s terpene profile
  • Preserves and improves the hash’s composition—density, texture.
  • Develops deeper and more complex flavours and aromas.
  • Prevents fungus and mould formation. 
  • Results in an overall higher quality product.

How Long Is Highly Dutch’s Afghan Black Hash Cured For?

One of the many things that sets Highly Dutch’s Organic Afghan Black Hash apart is the fact it is cured for 60 days in environmentally controlled cool, dark rooms. This curing length is not commonly found within the legal industry—in fact, this may be the only  hash cured for this long, at the time of writing this article.

How Does the Aging Process Work?

It’s important to note that aging and curing are different. Curing occurs after the product has been manufactured, before it’s been packaged. Aging on the other hand, occurs within the manufacturing process—and in the case of our 6-Month Oak Barrel hash, is a key step in how the hash is developed. Making hash that’s aged to perfection requires several environmental factors to be in the most ideal conditions. During the aging process, the natural elements (light, oxygen, and temperature) all have to be carefully monitored to transform the hash’s flavour, potency, texture, and aroma. 

Our 6-Month Oak Barrel hash for example, uses barrels previously used to store red wine, whisky, and bourbon. Dried kief is stored in oak barrels for several months before being mixed with an organic cannabis crude oil and pressed into bricks. These bricks then continue to age in the barrels for several months more, allowing for textures, density, and composition to transform. In addition to creating incredibly soft, fluffy black hash, this aging process allows for flavours and aromas to transfer from the oak barrels, giving a strong, enriched, smooth flavour that is unmatched in this market. 

Depending on how long the hash stays aging, the THC and CBD levels can change over time as well—creating new cannabinoids like CBN.

The aging process is still being studied by many cultivators and hash creators to this day. With knowledge of how resin ages and its relation to the fermentation process, aging hash has become a growing curiosity for cannabis enthusiasts around the globe. What we do know, is that we are still discovering, still learning, it’s not an exact science yet. Aging hashish provides unparalleled benefits in taste, aroma, and texture—much like aged wine or whisky. 

Oak barrels used to age hash

How Whisky Barrels Enhance the Flavour Profile of Hash

Since the 1800s, Canada has been the home of many distilleries carefully curating what we know today as rye-whisky. There are specific regulations set by the FDA when perfecting Canadian whisky, and this includes a minimum three-years of aging in wooden barrels. 

The same wooden barrels are used to age our 6-Month Oak Barrel hash. In addition to terpenes, those rich flavours you enjoy are largely thanks to the barrels.t . 

But just how does that work exactly?

Whisky barrels are kiln dried and charred to perfection with gas flames. This involves putting the barrel in direct contact with fire to filter out unnecessary compounds as it gives the oak sweet caramel and vanilla notes. Char plays a vital role in whisky aging; in fact, 50 to 60% of the drink’s flavour comes from the barrel itself. 

Similarly, when hash is aged in whisky barrels, these unique elements are passed on to the product and the flavour profile is enhanced. 

The Benefits of Cured and Aged Hash

Good things take time, and some things cannot be rushed—which is something that the curing process and aging process embody perfectly. Hash that has undergone such careful and artistic journey come with additional benefits, including:

  • Preventing the active compounds, such as terpenes and cannabinoids, from negatively changing by halting the degradation process;
  • Allows the chlorophyll content within the hash to decay, contributing to a better smoke—void of any grass or hay scents/flavour;
  • Helps the hash maintain optimal moisture levels; and
  • Results in a much longer shelf-life.

Get Highly Superior Hash with Highly Dutch Organic

Making high quality organic hash is a careful journey that transforms it into the extraordinary product that it is. The aging and curing processes, when done the right way, both work to bring out the best of the bud’s flavour, aroma, and potency. 

At the end of the day, you’re looking for superior hash to accompany you during your daily moments of chill, cheers, and creativity. With Highly Dutch Organic, you can treat yourself to quality, affordable, organic hash you can feel good about.

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