Traditional cannabis extracts are available in Canada

The Cannabis Act became law in October 2018. A year later, in October 2019 cannabis extracts and vaping products were legalized for sale in Canada.

When discussing extracts, much attention has focussed on products associated with vapes and vape cartridges.

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Also, bubble hash, rosin, wax and live resin are popular with modern cannabis users.    

But traditional extracts are also accessible in the legal Canadian cannabis market – these products date to the medieval era and much earlier and don’t require cartridges, vape pens, batteries or specialized water pipes – otherwise known as rigs.

Moreover, there’s no worries about the presence of MCT (Medium-chain Triglycerides used for carrier oils) or vitamin E acetate in these time-honoured commodities, unlike some of the contemporary vape and cannabis oils.    

Extracts by historical definition include kief and hashish. Ancient texts beginning in the 1300s referred to hashish as the “little dust coloured one,” (Franz Rosenthal, The Herb – Hashish verses Medieval Muslim Society, 1971).   

In North Africa, kief was cultivated at high elevations in the Morrocan Rif Mountains.

Kief was prepared by stripping the leaves off female cannabis plants, removing the floral clusters from the stems, eliminating the seeds and stems then chopping the flowers with knives into powder – later to be sifted for impurities.

By tradition, kief was smoked in a wooden pipe known as a sebsi, or in a brass water pipe.

Canna Farms in Hope BC produced a style of kief which is similar to the products enjoyed for hundreds of years in North Africa, the Middle East, India and Central Asia.

The kief from Canna Farms is created from an all-natural extraction process intended to capture the rosin glands containing the plant’s terpenes and cannabinoids. Also, a sifting process is used during production to ensure quality.

After Napoleon led the French campaign in Egypt and Syria from 1798 to 1801, the soldiers returned to France with hashish inside their soldiering kits. Consequently, hashish became a popular item in France by the 1840s and was available in Parisian pharmacies.

Hashish production throughout history has incorporated varied customs, but often kief or buds are shaken onto silk screens, dropped onto clean flat surfaces below then scraped and rolled together. 

Well known French writers of the time such as Gerard de Nerval, Theophile Gautier and Charles Baudelaire were members of the Club des Hashischins (Hash Eater’s Club), active from 1844-1849.       

The Toronto-based company say their hashish is handcrafted with kief obtained from high-quality flowers

Both of the described products with unique historical connections are available in many of Saskatchewan's recreational cannabis dispensaries.