Despite his geographic proximity to the innovators of Silicon Valley, hashmaker Frenchy Cannoli prefers to look to the past. We spoke to the French-born, Northern California transplant about the appeal of hashish, the importance of terroir and affinage, and some of his favorite non-pot related ways of passing the time.
What’s your process for making hash?
I offer a workshop called “The Lost Art of the Hashishin” to teach everyone how they can make their own hashish using an inexpensive mini-washer and a set of sieving bags. The process, in a nutshell, is to collect Cannabis trichome glands using an ice water sieving methodology based on the traditional dry sieving technique and botanical science of glandular trichomes. Once the glands have been thoroughly dried, I press them with a source of heat into a mass of resin, which then goes through an aging process. The end product is hashish. I am very much like a winemaker who collects grapes to create wine.
What does your nickname “The Hunter of the Melt” mean?
The melt is a U.S. term to define the amount of resin formed inside a trichome gland. Every one of us working with Cannabis resin is a hunter of the melt, whether it’s someone with a CO2 or BHO extractor in a cutting-edge lab or someone in the mountains of the Himalayas collecting resin on the palm of their hands.
For those who have never tried hashish, how would you describe it?
The effect will be somewhat different, depending on the cultivar and on the person smoking or consuming, but the experience is like being encompassed by a feeling of warmth and an energy of simple wellbeing. It is like a protective bubble from the outside world, a mind space that makes you if not impervious, at least much less vulnerable.
What are your favorite things to do that don’t involve Cannabis?
Traveling would be on top of that list. I gave everything to be a nomad for 18 years of my life. There was nothing more magical than being in a place where everything was new, where your awareness is on constant overdrive from the daily novelty of living within a foreign culture. I am fascinated by ancient history, art and cultures, so I love libraries, museums and ancient ruins. My ultimate stress releaser is dancing. To dance and really get lost into the beat has been a favored pastime since forever. However, to tell the truth in ‘normal times’ there is little I do that it is not connected to Cannabis. I have little time left and there is still so much to learn.
What is the concept of terroirs and why is it important for hashmakers?
Terroir is more than a concept – it represents respect and love for the land and its diversity. Terroir is a philosophy based on the combination of the land, the climate, the cultivars and the farmer. It is a dedication to quality and exclusivity exemplified in the culture of food and wine. The word expresses the uniqueness of every region and its products. It is the delicate symbiosis between the environment, the plant kingdom and the humans who nurture and enhance the characteristics of the land. Our planet is an abundance of terroirs that have been lost to a great extent due to agricultural industrialization and the globalization of the food industry.