What Is A Pollen Press?
A pollen press can be used to press trichomes from female marijuana plants that have accumulated in a herb grinder, or by some other means, into a solid mass known hashish.
Some herb grinders have screens, and the screen allows trichomes to pass through and be collected. This is the same mechanical principle as using a sieve to produce hashish, more commonly called hash.
An herb grinder with a screen allows people with limited amounts of marijuana to produce hashish on a small scale. The hash powder can be consumed as is, or pressed into hashish.
Until the trichomes have been pressed, they are often referred to as hash powder or kiff (also spelled kef, keef, kief, kif). However, it is not necessary to press hash powder into hashish.
Pressing is done to preserve the potency of hash powder if it is going to be stored for more than a few months, or to compress the powder so it takes up less space, or to ensure that the powder doesn't get blown away.
This simple tool shown below can press a couple grams of hash at a time. It is made up of 5 pieces (picture I). The main body is made so that 2 plastic pins, shaped like wood dowels, can fit snugly inside (picture II).
Powder is placed between the two pins and the end caps are screwed on. As the end caps are screwed on they force the pins together. Any hash powder in between the pins gets pressed into hash (picture III).
Wait 8 hours or longer to remove the hash from the press, but don't leave it there for more than a few days or it can get very hard to remove from the press.
The pressed hash can be stored until you are ready to use it. Store in an air tight container in a cool place away from light. It can be smoked or made into some other form of cannabis, like food or drink.
Using A Pollen Press To Make Hashish
1) If you are using powder from an herb grinder, start by removing the bottom section of your herb grinder so you can access the hash powder (picture IV).
Make sure the hash powder is dry prior to pressing. This can be accomplished by storing it, for two weeks or longer, in an area where the relative humidity is below 40%.
Spread the powder out rather than clumping it together in a pile. This is because the powder on the inside of the pile won't be exposed to air and won't dry. If you don't dry the powder the hash could get moldy, and be ruined.
2) Put the pollen press together and remove one end cap and one pin. Stand the pollen press so that the open end where the pin goes is facing up (picture V).
3) Transfer the hash powder into the pollen press. You can use a funnel or some other means to make sure you don't lose any. When all the powder has been transferred, insert the pin. (picture VI).
4) Screw the end caps on as tight as you can, using maximum hand pressure. You want to apply as much pressure as possible but tools (like wrenches or vice-grips) may damage or destroy the pollen press.
Be very careful if you use anything other than your hands to tighten the press. If you have enough powder (this model requires a minimum of about 1 gram) you will feel some resistance as you screw the cap on, and you won't be able to screw it fully closed.
Let the powder remain under pressure for a minimum of 8 hours. Apply more pressure (tighten the end caps) every hour or two for best results (picture VII).
5) After 8 hours or longer, unscrew the end caps and remove the pins from the press. Then separate the hash from the two pins. The picture shows the hash after pressing.
Diameter is about the same as a penny, thickness depends on how much powder was pressed (picture VIII). The hash (bottom) is dark yellow to light brown.
It may look darker in the picture than it actually is. The hash will usually stick to one or both pins. Try to force it off in a way that won't scratch the pins.
Plastic pins are better than metal pins because they are less sticky when pressing hash, but hash will stick to plastic also. If the press doesn't force the powder into a solid mass, you can add a few drops of alcohol and press it again.
For smoking purposes, rolling about 1/4 gram, or less, of hash per joint is recommended for your first attempt. After a few tries you can adjust the amount of hash you use.
Crumple the hash with a sharp knife, scissors, or something similar. Hash broken into small pieces that are somewhere near the size of large grains of sand (not much smaller or larger) is optimal for smoking in a joint.
A bit of finely ground, slightly larger than grains of sand, tobacco or marijuana should be mixed with hashish and rolled into a joint. Prior to rolling, the tobacco or marijuana should be mixed thoroughly with the prepared hash.
A mixture of about 3 parts hash to 1 part tobacco or marijuana will help keep the joint burning. A hash/tobacco mixture is recommended if you want to really taste the hashish, marijuana masks the taste.
A pure hash joint is the best way to evaluate the taste of the hash you are smoking. It is a bit harder to roll and smoke a pure hash joint, but it can be done.
If the hash is not broken into sand grain size pieces prior to smoking it in a joint, burning pieces can fall from the tip of the joint when it is being smoked.
Not only will these pieces be wasted, they will burn whatever they land on. It is best to smoke hash over an ashtray so any pieces that fall from the burning end don't do any damage.
If you plan on smoking the hash in a pipe, try using pieces that are about an 1/8th of a gram (or smaller) and adjust the size to your preference. After a bit of practice, you will be able to determine the optimal size for your needs.
Hash is very potent and can be hard on the lungs. To get the most out of it, try taking small deep tokes and hold them in for as long as possible. Large amounts of hash inhaled deeply will usually cause a smoker to cough.