Hello IC friends and foes !
I have been hanging around Xaouen for a few weeks, likely a couple more. Been digging a little bit more into the culture, the growing, the production of Kif, and playing around with some resin
I hope this thread will shade even more light on the Moroccan hash production... I will reference some interesting publications found here and there. It will be a follow up of the excellent threads on Morocco here on IC.
This thread is a tribute to the moroccan farmers, who have carried along generations this amazing plant, and made it possible for a whole generation in Europe to access the marvelous realm of the getting high. They have an incredible dedication to this plant, which you need when you see the harsh conditions that they must work with.
Little history, source in french
J. Bellakhdar - Contribution à l'étude de la pharmacopée traditionnelle au maroc - la situation actuelle, les produits, les sources du savoir, 1997.
According to the writer Al maqrizi, the cannabis cultivation was introduced in the 13th century in Egypt. At this time, the plant was acclimated to North Africa, but the use as a psychotrope had been long known by the Arabs when the conquered the maghreb.
The cultivation was grown everywhere, not only in the North like now. It was mostly grown for personal use. At the end of the 18th century, the Rif became the larger producing region.
However, the cultivation had never reached the scale it did the last 50 years, due to international trafficking.
The use of cannabis got widespread in the 1800s, and Moulay Hassan "had to" dictate repressive laws to contain it. But it was already too late, and Kif was spreading.
During the protectorate (Spanish & french), and until 1953, Kif selling become official and it was sold by the Régie des Tabacs, which sold mixes of kif/tobacco with 1/3rd and then 1/5th of kif. There was mainly three cultivars : Ktami, zerwali, and gnawi, which needed quite a bit of water to grow.
In the end of the 1960s - some people that had travelled to traditional hash producing countries (mostly afghanistan, pakistan, lebanon), introduced the sifting techniques, as well as some new cultivars that required much less water to grow than the original Moroccan ones. Many stories you hear about here, some says the first guy was american, some english, who knows !
From the 60s to the 90s, the old morocco strains slowly got cross pollinated with the lebanese and afghan/paki genetics. It slowly got selected for using very little water, and producing resin. Then, in the 90s a new loads of genetics arrive, some places here call it mexicana. I ld tend to think it would be the cheap Sensi seeds genetics.
Later on came the Amnesia, the Critical, the Kush, the Skunk. Around here, it seems that Amnesia got there around 2005, Critical since a couple of years. They are now switching to feminized seeds, which is quite different then their old planting method.
What I will be calling the Bildya
further in this thread, the local cultivar, is in this case the old moroccan genetics mixed with the Leb & Paki. The old cultivars, the true landraces, are probably nowhere to be found anymore, but their genetics are carried on in the Bildya. While the old people do agree that the genetics of their Kif has changed over the years, the cannabinoid/terpens profile still seems to be tuned with their social and recreational use of the plant - CBD is present in ratio around 1:2, and the terroir seems to still express itself through natural selection despite multiple foreign pollen floating around.
Keep in mind that the knowledge that I am getting locally is tied to the place I am. Xaouen is quite different in term of production than the Ketama Region. Here it is more craft work, so you will find a bit different ways of working than most of the products that can be accessed in Europe, which comes from sophisticated & vast operations…
Now that the context is given, let’ s get straight to the point - the RESIN !
Moroccan have been dry sifting since the 70s. The most widespread traditional extraction is made using a bucket and a fabric screen (in the 200 microns range).
The buds, removed from the stems, are put on top of the fabric screen. Some farmers, for the special quality, do not beat the first resin but only gently break the buds by hands. Then come the plastic bag on top, and beating with two wooden sticks, to get the first to the third quality. These beatings you can hear while walking around the mountains…
The bildya seems like of piece of work on its own. While I have seen some 80+ percent resin heads in the first quality from dutch genetics, the bildya hardly gets to 50% with the same technique.
My take on why is that is quite speculative, but I see few factors
- Bildya does not get much water, so the soil is dry, particles fly and gets on the flowers.
- Bildya resins head are tiny, 20-30 microns
- The resin head seem harder to detach without breaking the stem as well.
- due to mostly natural selection and seeded buds, the overall resin content on the plant is not so good in the first place.
Bildya Hash from Amsterdam - aka the Shoe
I have vaporized a couple of times the Bildya. Interestingly, it does smell almost nothing like the final hash. The one I had access to had this sweet - bubblegumish - smell, that is very different than the final hashish, which is more earthy.
The bildya hash itself has some kind of reddish color, darker then other hybrids hash. Of course, depends on the grower and the batch, but overall that s the rule...
I also came upon a very interesting piece of information. As most of you know, local people did not remove the males traditionally. That makes little sense to us, because we know that seed production does decrease the resin and terpens content. I thought before that it was mostly because they needed seeds for the next year, but I was surprised by the quantity of seeds that came out of this pollination, way too much then needed.
Well turns out that the traditional preparation of kif, the flowers mixed with some local tobacco, requires pollinated bractas/calyxes to work with. Non pollinated ones are tiny, and have a different "texture". Because of this technique, when you smoke the kif you find some kind of a woody aftertaste, that also translate in the smoke texture. While I am not specially fond of this particularity of the kif, I have to say that overall it is an excellent product for daily use, and it is been well established to cause very little problems to health, lungs, in this form.