Words and Pics by The Dank Duchess
Just as every plant is different, so is every batch of Hashish, and hash makers come in as many flavors as their products. I have had a lot of icewax over the last year, but the Purple Princess really stands out, partially because the hash maker, Billie of Emerald Alchemy, has struck her own path and is following her heart. With an unconventional approach to processing cannabis, Billie’s style of hash-making is different, reflective of her lengthy experience, 8 years, and her unique perspective on the process. Unlike most, she uses only cured material. She creates icewax that is full spectrum, rather than individualized microns. And the biggest difference is her Hashish making method. Most Hashish makers, myself included, make bubble hash using a machine. Billie, however, completes the collection process by hand. When I ask her how she can handle the physical demands and the strain put on her body, she positively remarks that she is saving herself a gym membership. She happily explains why she eschews the use of mechanical instruments to facilitate making bubblehash and why the workout is one of love.
“My philosophy is to let the resin tell me what to do with it. I like to be in control of every detail of my hash making process thus doing everything by hand allows for me to be involved in an intimate relationship with every batch. When I am processing I constantly stop and take note of what is happening in the wash. I look at how the plant material is holding up in the agitation process I look at how saturated the water is with resin.”
Billie considers her hash creations to be ‘soul extracted’ as she put all of her heart and soul into her work. Describing her work as magical, she appreciates the privilege of not only processing, but growing cannabis. I listen to her detail, with passion, the other products she makes with cannabis flowers and Hashish - floral and CBD tinctures that feature 40 other medicinal herbs. An avid nature lover from her youth, she marvels at each experience and I am eager to find out if her affection translates into unforgettable Hashish.
Created by The Doc, a Santa Cruz area grower and breeder with 40 years of experience, Purple Princess is an indoor-grown, Indica-dominant hybrid cross of Pre-98 Bubba Kush and Lavender. The Hashish was meticulously processed from high quality sugar leaf, heavy with ripe trichomes. Though the flashiest Hashish these days is golden, gooey, and greasy, true to Billie’s off-beat style, Purple Princess is sandy and ecru-colored; comfortably unassuming, like a pair of Toms Hemp Shoes. Opening the jar allows a funk body odor aroma to escape, quickly followed by robust, citrusy sweetness. Drawing the jar closer, pink grapefruits come to mind as the Hashish continues to express herself. I am reminded of warm tropical Miami nights punctuated by short gusts of sea air which sting and tickle the nostrils.
I rip a small piece of RAW parchment paper and pour the Purple Princess Hashish onto the surface, carefully folding it in half. It seems very dry and I am unsure if the beach sand will fuse together. Applying my heated hashpress, coarse grains press smoothly into a translucent film; thick enough to support its own weight yet easily pliable. The smell of citrus rind wafts upward and I fire up my torch and blaze my Halen Honey Hole knowingly. If it presses, it will most probably dab, and I am in the mood for a fat dab.
As the Hashish touches the quartz, it bubbles only momentarily before practically disappearing. My clean, full melt is fully appreciated as I take a puff and welcome the smoke into my mouth. Like the aroma, on inhalation, the funky and aggressive flavor announces itself brightly and then is subjugated by a delicate floral mouthful that tastes like a bowl of orange honeysuckles. I take another dab, low temp, and delight in the mouthwatering mix of fruit, candy and the tart, musky flavor of overripe lemons. Sliding coolly down my throat, the Purple Princess Hashish gathers steam and thickens, creating a full mouth feel. The exhaled smoke is robust, playful, and hazy; diffusing the bright sunshine streaming through the windows.
My mouth tingles like I just swished mouthwash and my chest feels somewhat stretched. I feel little else in my body, though a mental change overcomes me almost immediately. A cheery focus urges me start trimming plants from this season’s harvest. Trimming can be tedious, but feeling eager to keep my hand busy, I sit down and trim steadily for more than 2 hours. Gingerly holding fat OG colas, I snip at fan leaves and think about the care that went into the soil, the light that nourished it, and the grower that fawned over it. I manicure the buds anticipating the Hashish that will be made with the sugar leaf. I poke and prod at the tiny leaves, revealing the beautiful buds beneath and revel in the inherent beauty of cannabis.
Time passes and feeling a little cramped, I decide to take a much needed break. In appreciation of Billie’s dedication to plants and flowers I change my set and setting to the lovely outdoors. The Bay Area is enjoying an extended ‘Indian Summer’ and Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland is the perfect place to enjoy more of this Purple Princess. The 7 acre garden is home to more than 5,000 rose bushes, quiet, sun-dappled paths, dramatic stairways and several gorgeous water features. I hop into the back seat of my car and, using my three-hole pipe I take a few more hits of the Purple Princess Hashish. The thick, silver smoke slides out of my mouth and curls alluringly, like the smooth swish of a Chinese painter’s brush. The smoke hangs expectantly, trapped by the raised windows and unable to dissipate. Time and again, I am reminded how the sensual qualities of Hashish keep me mesmerized. Purple Princess is headily intoxicating and I love it. I notice that while in the first session, I felt the Hashish mostly in my head, after four or five puffs, I now feel an intense body high as well. My neck throbs, not unpleasantly, while my chest feels weighed upon, warmed, and expanded; like resin being pressed and fused into a mass of Hashish. I envision my brown skin like a river of chocolate heated by the sun. My legs are heavy; almost immovable, but I am not bothered. A calm and pleasant positivity has settled upon me and I smile in anticipation of the luscious garden. Pausing momentarily, I slowly open the door; letting in a stream of cool, crisp air. The confined smoke, still swirling, drifts upwards lazily.
With THC and the myriad of other cannabinoids coursing through me, I exit my car and walk over to the garden. The formal garden is nestled in a small canyon, pine trees tower along the sides recalling nature’s heavenly cathedral. I walk leisurely, allowing myself to be overcome with the beauty and the quiet majesty of the environment. Though easily accessible by car, the glorious flowers and proud trees whirl visitors into an enchanted cove seemingly far from city life. I breathe in deeply, savoring the scents of thousands of mature flowers, unwavering in their mission to beautify, even as their dying leaves stretch in vain for the ever-shortening rays of the autumn sun.
My legs are starting to feel weary and as I pass a large, tiered fountain, I stop to watch the soothing cascade. Like the cool water, pleasant waves of content continue to wash over my mind. I sit on a bench surrounded by a dozens of roses and I am very happy. The air is filled with the animated chatter of birds high up in the tree canopy. I pay attention to the call and response of different groups of birds before I focus my attention on the lush floral banquet everywhere I look. Some of the body high has worn off and I energetically skip through the rose bushes, taking pictures, and taking time to sniff a few. I particularly like two hybrid tea roses that remind me of the Purple Princess: Magenta, a dusty purple rose that smells of crushed lemons and honey, and Barcelona, a dark reddish, purple beauty with a loud, bold, and showy fragrance.
Though my body high has mostly subsided, my mind is still going as the Purple Princess continues to infuse the mundane with an ethereal quality. Everything about these moments is precious. Similar to when I was trimming the cannabis, the little peculiarities of each flower stand out to me briefly, popping forth like photographs before receding into the background. I begin to spin in place, turning slowly at first, peering at the varied green palette dotted with pinks, whites, and purples. Whirling like a dervish, bushes become a solid green mat, streaked with undulating splashes of intense color. This Purple Princess has whisked me off into a fairytale and I do not wish it to ever end. As the sunlight fades, I slowly walk back to my car, grateful for the experience and looking forward to the next.
Purple Princess is the breathtaking result of unwavering dedication to quality and an unforgettable expression of love. Like royalty, she is utterly enchanting, not quite what is expected, and full of much more richness than she readily shows.
This article first appeared in issue 120 of Weed World Magazine