Well, we processed the harvest and ended up with a surprisingly small amount of hash. It’s enough to give Alex probably 100 doses, so I can’t really complain, but it was a lot less than I expected, considering how much bud and really good shake we started with. Turns out I probably made the hash incorrectly.
Speaking to a pro this week, I found out that he runs his shake through four separate times in different sets of bags. We ran ours just once, and tossed out what was leftover. When I did my first batch in July or so, I only had a total of maybe three ounces, and only an ounce of that was bud, so I’m betting I pulled most of the hash on the first run – in a five-gallon bucket, that little product will be pretty easy to filter. But this time it was more like four ounces of bud and four of shake. A lot more plant, and a lot higher quality overall, should have yielded a great deal more hash — but it stands to reason that my one-pass approach wasn’t enough to really pull out a lot of hash. I got about 10 grams, just about 60% more than last time. Oh, well.
In other news, we discovered that heat doesn’t really “activate” the THC so much as increases the amount of THC out of THCa. The important thing here is that the problem with getting it into somebody’s system isn’t one of heating the hash beforehand – it’s quite possibly what else is in one’s system at the time of ingestion. Heating the hash will make it more potent, but it won’t go from “dud” to “WHOA” just due to heat. What will cause that to happen is likely eating fatty foods around the same time as the hash. Note that a lot of this is pieced together from internet ramblings and my own educated guesses, but here’s what I’ve got: THC isn’t water-soluble. It’s got low bioavailability when consumed raw. It works so well in brownies because it binds to the fat in the butter — heating in this situation is helpful, because it helps the THC bind to the butter fats more easily. But when eaten in the form of hash, your body can’t do much with it. My guess as to why we have seen such wildly varying results in Alex is that, among other things, we haven’t been giving it to him with any consistent foods. Sometimes we gave him hash or oil with nothing else, sometimes with low-fat yogurt, sometimes with fat-rich candy, etc. I’m betting the amount of fat he gets around the same time as the oil is going to affect its potency. So now we’re aiming to give him a bunch of peanut M&Ms whenever we give him the hash.
Sounds shaky, and let’s face it, I’m far from an expert on the subject, but the past few doses we’ve given him have seemed to work quite nicely. Tonight he arrived for a home visit raging and hitting, and his mood was pretty unpredictable for a while. Within 30 minutes of his hash and M&M medication regiment, he seemed to be calm more often than not. By the hour mark, he was downright happy and hungry. His arms got into a less defensive posture as time passed, which is a sure sign of something good happening, because he’s usually holding them close to his body as if to keep them from hurting him. Anyway, the short story: we gave hash, he got happy, and we had a really wonderful visit.
Could it be that Alex just needs time to get comfortable at home? Perhaps. But given his past visits, I’m going to say it’s at least a fair chance the hash is making a difference. Other visits not that long ago were bad the entire time, yet the past few have been pretty good. Maybe it’s just coincidence again, but there’s no point in hoping for the worst.