What To Do Against Sticky Cannabis Fingers
3 min

What To Do Against Sticky Cannabis Fingers

3 min

Learn how to easily deal with the issue of trichome glands from Cannabis buds sticking to your fingers. Simple tricks and kitchen hacks to clean them right off.

Unless you are quite new to cannabis, you will certainly know about the “sticky fingers” problem. What a painful nuisance it is to inadvertently rub your eyes with gooey resin, only to suffer from the stinging and persistent itch. And it only gets worse if you keep scratching with your knuckles, in hopes it will magically wear off.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are a grower, you know far too well what a trimming session entails. It is very tough to endure long hours of snipping away with your scissors without having a smoke, drink or a bathroom run.

Sticky fingers can cause all sorts of havoc, be it with or without silicon gloves on. Gloves certainly help as you can just throw them out and reach for a new pair, but in practice, one tends not to waste them, preferring to just get on with whatever needs grabbing.

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Many a glass bong has fallen to the floor and fragmented into smithereens, due to sticky fingers holding on to them like some hidden force field of attraction. Making a mess by tipping over a glass after taking a quick sip of your favourite drink is another hazard that is very common to the newbie trimmer.

Lighters get all jammed up if you insist on using sticky fingers while lighting up. Not to mention the hilarious gladiator fights some people have with toilet paper. And those with long hair, beware: inadvertently straightening your hair with your hands is, by all means, a bad idea. The list seems endless!

Trichomes will stick to everything. But do not let that put you off. There is a solution for everything and we will show you how easy it is to quickly and efficiently deal with this situation.


Make Finger Hash

By far, this is the best option. Certainly not the easiest or quickest, but for many the preferred way as it is the only one that will let you make use of the sticky resin. If done carefully, this technique can be used with rubber or silicon gloves. In fact, with some practice, it may even be easier with gloves on.

The idea is to start by pinching your fingers together to warm up the trichomes. Then go onto rubbing finger against finger, making a circular motion and applying slight pressure. You will soon feel tiny little clumps of hash glueing together, forming tiny specs of hash. At first, they will be quite small and disperse, like tiny grains of sand, and seem like they will never stick to each other.

All you need to have is a little patience, and keep rubbing along. The temperature will rise, and the hash will eventually start to stick together. From here on it gets easier and easier. Press down harder to compact the hash ball for structural integrity, and it will also aid in continuing to remove even more trichomes off your skin. After some time, you will notice how clean and non-sticky your fingers become, as well as having some top quality hash to smoke.

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How To Make Hand Rub Hash


Using Alcohol

This is definitely the fastest and most efficient method. Virtually any type of alcohol will dissolve the resin off of any surface. The only limitation is the concentration of the liquid. Any source of pure alcohol will be the most efficient way. Rubbing alcohol is the most common, but Isopropyl is readily available too.

Other forms like methanol will also work fine, and ethanol too. So you can use vodka, gin or whisky, though they will not be as efficient. Beer also contains alcohol, but we strongly advise against this choice. Alcohol is extremely flammable, so never light any fire near it. And those with particularly sensitive skin should probably try something else, since alcohol is a powerful dehydrator and will leave your skin quite dry.


Using Oils

Oils are not as effective as alcohol but work very well. The upside is that they will often leave your hand very smooth and with a pleasant scent. Any of the oil suggestions here are not even close to being dangerous or volatile, so you are perfectly ok lighting up a spliff around them.

Vegetable oil is found virtually in any kitchen but is not as sweet as coconut oil in terms of fragrance. Olive oil is an old favourite, but you can also use margarine and even peanut butter. Just remember that unlike alcohol, these will not evaporate and will leave a bit of an oily mess, so best try this method over a sink.


Using Something Mildly Abrasive

This is an old, tried and tested mechanic’s trick, and applies the same principle as using sanding paper to soften up a surface. In this case, the idea is to mechanically remove resin from your hands by rubbing them against something small and abrasive enough to do so, without damaging your skin. Excellent candidates include sand, kitchen salt and baking soda.

You can effectively rub your sticky fingers and get most of the stickiness removed, but if you combine these abrasives with the previous suggestion, it will work wonders: a salt and oil mix is particularly efficient. There are specialised products that use this very principle with proprietary formulas like for example Swarfega. Another strong candidate is sugar in dish soap.


What To Do Against Sticky Cannabis Fingers Conclusion

Sticky fingers are a pain to deal with, but a delight to have. It only means good things. You either have primo bud, are trimming great weed, or running wild with open arms through fields of ganja. It is one of those issues you could call "a luxury problem"!

Depending on how much stickiness, always try your best to make finger hash. At first, it may seem like a nightmare to accomplish, but with some practice, you will be amazed at the quality smoke it produces.

Indian Charas are initially made using the finger hash technique, albeit further processed and compacted. In fact, growers usually enjoy this smoke so much, they quickly evolve their trimming tables to include some sort of trichome collection apparatus. It is astonishing, the quantity of broken trichomes that fall off, and how easily it can be collected. Either pressed like hash or loose like kief, you will have an amazing time tasting the flavours of the pure resin glands.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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