It is Sunday, 8:55 a.m., and my heart is pounding a mile a minute.
I fidget nervously in my chair and adjust my headset as the seconds alternately crawl and fly by.
I wonder, “Am I really ready for this? Will I be able to hold my own?”
The time has come. I have received that most sought-after invitation to join Episode 90 of Hash Church, the internet’s leading online gathering for extract aficionados and fans, featuring the likes of Dr. Lester Grinspoon and Nikka T.
The waiting room is quiet. I am the only newbie and I dare not type anything silly lest the veterans question my temporary acceptance into the clique. Digitally whisked away into the inner sanctum, I am introduced to the congregation and the first things I hear is: “That’s what she said.”
My face appears and iconic water-based extract artisan Bubbleman sheepishly apologizes for the off-color joke.
I respond with, “Don’t be sorry. Size does matter.”
That’s how it goes on any given Sunday on Hash Church. The main topic of cannabis is always coached in a familiar, friendly setting, but the delivery is anyone’s guess. Initially envisioned as a gathering of like-minded cannabis connoisseurs, Hash Church has grown to be a global phenomenon, capable of dragging even the most lethargic late sleeper out of the bed for the 9 a.m. start time every single Sunday. By watching Hash Church you’ll get a free college-level education in cannabis extraction, and come away with unforgettable stories.
For 99 straight weeks, Marcus Bubbleman Richardson, respected hashmaker/grower and creator of Bubblebags, and his panel of regulars and special guests have — through Google Hangout video conferencing broadcast live via YouTube — regaled their virtual audience with familiar stories and less widely known tales of cannabis exploration, battles against prohibition, and the struggle to maintain the sanctity of the cannabis community. All of this is cast against the constant onslaught of lies, persecution, and prosecution by law enforcement all around the world.
I smile and on the cue with the “BOOOOOOOOONG RIIIIIIIIIIIIIP” refrain, I take a dab of full-spectrum, full melt Sour Diesel hashish, which slides down the side of my banger and bubbles furiously before dissipating with little residue. I close my eyes briefly, enjoying the tartness that has coated the inside of my mouth. I appreciate the full mouthfeel of bubble hash over any other concentrate, it bursts with flavor as the direct result of less adulteration than other extraction methods requiring chemical solvents. My lungs expand pleasantly before I let out the fragrant smoke. On exhale, a torrid blend of fuel and citrus tumbles out and hangs thickly in the air. Within minutes I feel a distinctive flutter between my eyes andI feel like I am floating. I cannot help by grin as I am quite honored to be included on the list of people who have appeared on the show.
The name Hash Church might be profane, but it still attracts the world’s greatest cannabis experts. Guests have spanned from Dr. Lester Grinspoon, highly regarded associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and noted cannabis author, to Kyle Kushman, award-winning organic and veganic cultivator. Viewers delight in taking notes from well-known hashmakers like Nikka T, Cuban Grower, and the hash queen herself, Mila Jansen. The regular panelists include Tony Verzura, director and CTO of United Cannabis Corp; Todd McCormick, cannabis activist and esteemed author; Dr. Mark Scialdone, founder of BetterChem Consulting Inc. and renowned chemist, and Étienne Fontán, director of Berkley Patients Group.
Each Sunday I look forward to the conversation that will surely fill me with more questions as I learn more about cannabis and concentrate production in a real-time environment.
My discovery of Hash Church occurred in early 2015 when searching for a conclusive how-to video on YouTube about dry sift methods. Ever curious to know more about concentrates, I was hunting for key tips in Bubbleman’s dry sieving technique when I stumbled upon Hash Church 14 which featured Rick Delisi, son of Richard Delisi, who was sentenced to three consecutive 30-year terms for cannabis trafficking.
After watching a few episodes, I noticed that besides teaching a new generation of concentrate makers how to make superior dry sift, bubble hash, and to undertake BHO, PHO, and terpene extractions, Hash Church focuses a lot of time on providing a platform for meaningful stories. Each story is heart-wrenching, whether recounting the horrors of war and the relief found in cannabis or detailing the hoops and runaround that the parents of very sick children frustratingly endure in effort to find cures for their dearest. Invited panelists chime in with their own perspectives on the ongoing conflict all cannabis enthusiasts face in each region of the world. And, instead of delving into preachy rhetoric, each contribution adds to the complex fabric of our cannabis community and our determined movement gains momentum.
Bubbleman talks to the panelists and guests, and quotes the fast-paced, no-holds barred, chat room. The online gatherings last anywhere from 17 minutes to over four hours, hundreds of people around the world watch live to exchange ideas and ask questions that benefit us all. Right now, the chat is in a heated exchange about the right time to harvest plants and the importance of a particular color of trichomes which prompts a guest panelist, my mentor hash master Frenchy Cannoli, to launch into an impassioned explanation about definitions of ripeness and true quality. His thick French accent obfuscates some of his words, but his passion shines through loud and clear.
When asked about his favorite hashish he mentions the Pinot Noir from Aficionado Seeds. That bit of hashish was the subject of my first article for “Weed World” magazine and I remember it fondly. I see my chance and I speak of my unbounded adoration of the caramel-colored, chocolate flavored hashish that melted so smoothly and blanketed my brain with easy comfort. I continue to talk about the value of pressed hash and explain my decision to follow in Frenchy’s footsteps. For a brief moment, I hold sway over the listeners, satisfied that in a small way, I have added my own heart-felt words to the ever-growing narrative that will last forever in its archive.
Hash Church is a vital open forum that takes advantage of our available technology and through virtual means and creates a real sense of place and connection for cannabis aficionados. Hash is not the only topic, but like resin, keeps us glued together on our journey to educate the masses of the wide benefits of cannabis to our lives and society as a whole.
Originally published in issue 23 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE