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“The One” Hash Oil: Rosin’s Grandpa or (Herb)an Legend?

Photo Andres Rodriguez for Cannabis Now

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“The One” Hash Oil: Rosin’s Grandpa or (Herb)an Legend?

A high-potency hash oil from the 1970s made with bricks of Lebanese hash and massive pneumatic presses that were eventually confiscated by the CIA —  “The One” is the stuff of hippie folklore, the factual particulars of its mellow existence forever lost to the harsh march of time.

Cannabis was a cultural cornerstone of the counter culture that manifested in the 1960s, and like all cultures, it has an oral history. Until recently, a dark shroud of secrecy hung over all things cannabis, making an accurate taxonomy of the myriad strains and extractions from this formative era nearly impossible.

Some names still managed to gain legendary status through widespread distribution and immortalization in art: flowers like “Acapulco Gold” and hash varieties like “Red Lebanese” still strike a nostalgic chord with many from that time.

Others, like “The One” — a hash oil allegedly produced by pressing large bricks of hashish with industrial presses — are the stuff of urban legends.

A Pirate’s Tale

“North Bay Pyrat” is a longtime denizen of the San Francisco Bay Area with deep connections to both the music and counter culture scenes of California during the state’s first golden age of cannabis.

When I ask him to (roughly) pin down placement of events in time, he always uses a concert or music festival as his compass. That or then-president Nixon’s “paraquat pot” program, which saw U.S. helicopters spraying the herbicide on Mexican cannabis fields in the late 70s — that’s like his BCE/CE point for head history.

He came of age in 1969 via the same route as so many adolescent Baby Boomers during the summer of love — a hit of LSD.

“I was 16 and some of my friends gifted me an 800 microgram LSD capsule they’d put together with Orange Sunshine dust they’d been capping up for sale,” he said. “I took it with me to the opening of the Family Dog on the Great Highway.”

Among the bands playing that night were Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, but Pyrat said his trip was so overwhelming he had to leave before the Dead took the stage. Thankfully, he said that roughly two years later, while he and the cast of a local theater troupe were practicing at that same venue, he was treated to several private jam sessions from the psychedelic rock legends.

“We got to watch them rehearsing up close and personal for a couple weeks,” he said. “That was around the summer of 71′, which is right about the time ‘The One’ showed up on the scene.”

“The One”

It’s been over 40 years since Pyrat last smoked “The One,” but he still talks about it with a hushed reverence that borders on religious.

“It was some good shit, man. They called it ‘The One,’ not just because it was made from Red Lebanese hash oil [a highly prized variety at the time], but because it only took one hit to get you stoned for like a f*cking day,” he said. “It was a very clear, red liquid (and) it was so clean — looking at it was amazing, it was almost translucent.”

The One was so strong that it inspired Pyrat and his crew to perform an early version of “twaxing,” only instead of using cannabis joints as the vehicle for the oil, they rolled cigarettes from dried mint leaves and coated them lightly with the potent oil.

“We used to take a regular gumless paper of some kind and take a tiny drop of this stuff and spread it a thin as we could on the paper and roll up a joint of mint leaf,” he said. It was definitely a liquid, cause you had to use like a needle and get a drop on the tip to spread it, and then you could smoke it and be just f*cking ripped.”

Pyrat said his friend’s go-to dealer just had it one day, and that it was gone just as suddenly.

“It just appeared one day, my buddy Bob had picked it up. It was $30 a gram, which was a lot back then, and it came in a little one-gram vial with a cap, which was very unusual at the time,” he said. “One day his dealer told him ‘here, I got some neat stuff,’ and just like it floated in, it definitely just went away one day.”

Ancestor of Hash Rosin?

But perhaps the most interesting thing about The One is why it went away.

Pyrat said it had to do with the unique process supposedly used to produce The One.

The CIA found the oil presses and stole them all — these were five ton hydraulic presses that were used to press the oil out of bricks of red Lebanese hash,” he said. “The CIA located all of those presses, cause apparently they were fairly unique items and were easy enough to trace, and they stole them back from the drug manufactures and that ended it.”

Cannabis Now reached out to the CIA for confirmation, but at press time they had not responded to our inquiry.

TELL US, Were you around California during the early 1970s? Do you remember The One?

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Joe Pietri

    September 7, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Joe Pietri I remember that red oil from Lebanon, and the gold honey oil from Afghanistan, that was produced by the Brotherhood of Love, who made honey oil in many places they brought technique to Jamaica. My wife RIP Victoria produced oil for the Brotherhood in Nepal that was black oil that they reprocessed in US into golden oil. DJ short had no 1st hand knowledge he was not part of the scene, anything he states is second or third hand information.

    • Aging Boomer

      September 24, 2019 at 10:53 am

      My experience with the red hash oil that was published last year is based on 30 + sessions – not here say. The red honey oil in 1980 produced the same high as back in 1976. It was 40 -50 % THC and produced a wonderful 12 -16 hour high that was consistent from session to session. By the way, some current strains are as good as the 1970s strains – One example from 2018 is the rare Maui Pineapple Chunk strain which was remarkably similar to genuine Maui Waui…. Red Hash Oil is in my top 3 cannabis experiences.

  2. CBDiva

    July 10, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I suspect the reason stronger weed & weed products would get people so high in such memorable ways in “the old days” was the comparatively low THC content of average weed. When something truly potent came around, it was mind-blowing because their tolerance wasn’t very high. Now EVERYTHING is uber potent & our receptors are bathed in THC, CBD & other cannabinoids in every imaginable form ranging from plain flower to hash to dabs, shatter & rosin.

    Our brains can only get so high, guys. While it’s great that we’ve mastered growing & extraction techniques, we also don’t get the blast-off effect of the occasional potent product. In other words, nothing’s that impressive anymore. And we’re seeing stuff like Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome to boot. Too much of a good thing perhaps. (Yeah, nobody wants to hear that I know).

    Also: Everyone’s youthful smoking days were the most blissful regardless of weed quality. I started out on Mexican brick with tons of seeds, but my first few highs were definitely the best (not just of all my weed highs but of ANY drug).

  3. John

    February 9, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Here in Seattle clear to light gold “honey oil” showed up in ‘71, 2 yrs after Vietnam return. Only around a few weeks. Small pipe load of flower, dip pin into 1/2 thumb-sized jar of oil, apply heat to pin, oil drips onto flower. Expands and made you choke until you were HIGH for extended period. Flat earth? You’re showing your immaturity and naïveté. Lack of knowledge.

  4. AgingBoomer

    November 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

    DJ Short has written an excellent article called “Strains of Yesteryear” (2005) which accurately describes the various cannabis strains available during the 1970s. It is a must read for this latest cannabis generation. It details the glory of real Jamaican, Thai, and Hawaiian varietals. He even describes the Black African weed that was wonderful but rarely available. Now for my experiences with the famous “One” also known as Red Honey Oil. My first experience with Honey Oil was during my undergraduate orientation in1976. Another undergrad provided the honey oil in a glass pipe. Two hits later and I was impossibly high. I aced my Inorganic chemistry placement test the next day. The last time I encountered the Red Honey Oil was 1980 when I purchased a 1 gram vial of the wonderfully translucent Red Honey Oil for $35.00. Research revealed that it was best refrigerated until use with a glass oil pipe.. It had a wonderful THC taste and aroma – not harsh at all. My estimate is about 40% THC and was a borderline hallucinogen. It was wonderful each of the 30+ times I smoked it. After 5 glass pipe hits , you were high for 12-16 hours – no exaggeration. No negative consequences whatsoever – a little hazy that’s all. My top cannabis experience of all time!!!. Never saw it after 1980.

  5. Mike

    July 18, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Yeah I remember all the O G Hash going around so.Cal. In the 70’s. Black Nepalese was plentiful…

  6. Mike

    July 18, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I too remember the “One” we knew it as Honey Oil.. I’ve always wondered why honey oil has never been replicated, today’s oils, shatters, are nowhere near the taste and high potency of the Honey Oil from the 70’s. So you young punk ass dabbing know it all’s couldn’t handle the Real Hash oil

    • Patty

      September 5, 2020 at 1:41 am

      In California in the 70s I had some bunk dirt weed, but I also smoked some darn good hash oil. I had gram vials of it and would make oilers to smoke/sell. It was black oil. But we also had honey oil which wasn’t as strong.
      The really strong stuff was opiumated primo. I would buy $5.00 chunks. It’s was so oily you could roll it in a ball. Smoke one hit and choke. The opium would sparkle white crystals. I hallucinated on it in a good way-like seeing trails. There was green Afghan hash but it wasn’t oil based orcas good.
      Lastly Thai sticks were bomb.

  7. jollylolly

    May 28, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    all these old timers dont know shit its like the flat earth society up in here “skunk is gone” “one hit will get you high for 12 hours on contact high”.

    weed got better, not worse. …..

  8. Shiva

    May 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    This was around Toronto in the late 70’s, went by the name Red Cherry Leb, a shared spliff would knock everyone on their ass for hours, completely paralyzed. (no joke, you could NOT move, lol!)The taste was unforgettable!

    • axle

      January 5, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      hey there…tell me more
      haha…

      I had it too, probably out of Toronto
      we just called it cherry oil….it was red, sweet…tasted like cherries
      smelt awesome burning….was delicious, and yes a strong high

      never seen it again

    • Stephen

      September 10, 2019 at 6:15 am

      Interesting. CBD tends to have a “cherry” flavor. Sounds like you got lucky and got something really rare back then. A plant with a high CBD count processed into oil.

  9. Shawn

    January 25, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Honey oil came around my home town in the mid 80’s in Newfoundland Canada ,it went for 50$ a .07 of a gram,town eat it up very fast. 8 ozs ,,,,way better than todays shatter.

  10. Chris Burton

    January 25, 2017 at 8:40 am

    My best friend growing up in California got to inherent a half gallon Mason jar that was half full. It was the early 80’s I was a freshman in high school and my good friend tells me that his father just passed away and left him this jar of clear liquid, super thick and with the look of honey. I know that it was the “one ” because we used to roll joints of shake, wipe one drop off on the rolling paper and you could get 12 guys high for the day! Oh the fond memories, wish I could find some again, what is produced now is not even in the same category.

  11. Dr. Feelgoog

    January 25, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I grew up in the Los Angeles area in the sixties and seventies. I got some of the one twice in a short period of time, the first gram did come in a small glass one gram container with a plastic tooth pick taped to the side. It tasted sooooooo good. The second one came in a thinner one gram glass container with a plastic top with a stick attached to administer the golden goodness. Now the first one I shared with all my buddies and it went fast. The second one I was silent and put a “dabb” on a joint before I’d go to a friends so I could savor it. What flavor and an all day high for sure. I truly miss the true hash oil, als I miss true skunk. The nice skunks have disappeared. What they call skunk now just does not have the same wonderful noseful. I for one wish someone could find the old recipes and strains. I miss them.

    • Bob

      July 30, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      I lived in Sonoma County back in the early 70s
      Loved the small vials of the One with their special glass pipe. Before hash oil. They came with a small paper explaining how to smoke. One day I went to a friend’s house and he had a nice stack of the info papers. I was astonished. He explained his dad had a small printing company and he was given a bunch of vials for doing the printing of the info sheets. I tell you I still remember well how special it was. In the 50 years since traveling the world India,, Nepal, Amsterdam etc I’ve not found its like. Was very pleased to find this thread. Om Namah Shiva.

  12. David

    January 25, 2017 at 6:34 am

    My dad was just telling me about all the different Lebanese hash he smoke. German derivative that didn’t matter how much you smoked even a small bit in the air and a sir contact high. This was called choker Lebanese hash. Because it expanded your lungs and chocked like crazy. He also said he had blonde Lebanese and red Lebanese hash

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