Hash has a mysterious history. It was used for both religious and medical purposes in the Arabic cultures 1000 years ago. The use of this drug then spread to the rest of the world through Europe. Europe remains the biggest consumer of hash to date.
Hash, or hashish, is collected and made from trichomes of the cannabis plant (the modern hash making process is quite fascinating). The political and spiritual significance is associated with it.
Did you know that the early records of hashish usage show that it was ingested and never smoked? Yes, the practice of smoking hash has started much later. Although we do not find any mention of the hash in the Koran, it would suffice to believe that it was discovered between the 7th and 10th centuries.
One of the first literary sources that featured Hashish was the tale of the hashish eater. The tale speaks of a once-prominent man who ruins all his wealth on women. After wandering without a single penny, he enters a hammam, eats a ball of hashish, and dreams of being rich again. Upon waking up, he feels embarrassed to realize that he was being laughed at by people. However, he does not let slip of his experience with the drug and rebuilds his self-confidence.
Some legends credit the primary usage of hash to Haydar. He was the founder of the Sufi order. He fell into depression and wandered off alone into the forests. Once he returned, his disciples were in awe of his changed self. Haydar then attributed his happiness to hash. In fact, he was buried in an area surrounded by the plants of cannabis.
Wherever hash has originated, and whoever is credited with its discovery, the usage of hash spread to a great extent in the Arab world in 900 AD. It came to light in Europe in 1800 AD. From the middle of the 19th century, doctors in the western world began exploring its medicinal properties. In fact, literary figures like Charles Baudelaire and Victor Hugo also started experimenting with hash.
Expansion of its use
Two main factors majorly contributed to the spread of hashish in the 17th and 18th centuries:
- The introduction of tobacco in Europe, and then across Asia. This meant that people started to mix tobacco with hashish, thereby rapidly increasing the popularity of both hash and tobacco.
- The evolution of new sieving techniques, which were much more efficient than the traditionally used methods. This development in the production procedure helped in meeting the rise in demand for the drug.
One of the finest examples to portray its vast popularity is that of the troops of Napoleon. In the early 19th century, Napoleon’s troops came back from their campaign in Egypt. They brought with them a habit of smoking hash. This habit gained massive popularity in France. In 1843, it was even possible to obtain hash from most of the drugstores in France.
Modern usage and Developments
The majority of hash comes from Afghanistan, Morocco, and Turkey. But this might be subject to change. With more and more research into the medical efficacy and usage of cannabis, hash is finding new markets worldwide.
Modern techniques of extraction and a special focus on medical processing of the cannabis plant produce will undoubtedly create a new era of popularity for hashish. The markets outside Europe have also flourished quite well.
Although it is quite difficult to date the origin of hashish, we can base it on the written records and affirm that hashish was put to use in the 10th century. Hand-rubbed hashish taken from fresh plants, referred to as charas, is older than sieved hashish.
The most ancient culture of hash that is still alive today is that of Afghanistan. However, in the past few decades, Morocco has been the largest producer of hash worldwide.
Do you feel drawn to it and are wondering about how to smoke hash? It can be smoked in a bong, joint, or a pipe. It could also be ingested orally. What are you waiting for? Get your hands-on hashish right away and enjoy the highs!