The Ultimate Guide to Ice Water Hash

Video Article Summary

Ice water hash goes by many names: bubble hash, ice hash, wet sift, or wet hash. But no matter what you call it, it amounts to one of the purest cannabis concentrates available. You can dab it, sprinkle it over your joints, or even use it to create edibles at home. If you’ve been making hash by hand the old-fashioned way, you might want to consider a few of the reasons why ice water hash, also known as wet hash, has become so popular.

Table of Contents

Ice Water Hash

What Is Ice Water Hash?

Ice water hash extraction is a clean, modern method of making hashish. The traditional method of making hash involves using an herb grinder to separate the trichomes from the cannabis plant and then using a pollen press to compress the resin into a solid, dabbable substance. This is an easy way to make hash, but it’s also messy and imprecise. The end product usually contains a lot of added plant material and other contaminants.

With ice water extraction, the cannabis is submerged in ice water and agitated to release the trichomes, which are then collected into different-sized filters — or a series of mesh bags and dried. When done properly, this extraction method results in much cleaner hash with little to no plant material or contamination. The highest-quality 5- and 6-star full-melt hash is typically created using ice water extraction.

Ice water hash can be made by hand or using specialized machinery. The simple method relies on buckets filled with ice cubes and water and a few bubble bags for filtration. This is an inexpensive way to make bubble hash, and it’s highly recommended for beginners. If you’re looking to create the purest full-melt hash, though, you’ll want to invest in some specialized equipment like a water extraction machine and a reverse osmosis system to purify the water. Line the bucket with a bag or filter and continue lining with the rest of the bags from smallest to largest. The largest micron bag should be the one on top.

What are the benefits of using ice water hash compared to other extraction methods?

Using ice water hash as an extraction method offers several benefits compared to other methods. Firstly, it results in a much cleaner end product with little to no added plant material or contaminants. This means that the hash produced through ice water extraction is of higher quality and purity.

Additionally, ice water hash allows for precise control over the extraction process. By using different-sized filters or mesh bags, you can separate the trichomes according to their size, resulting in different grades of hash. This level of precision is not easily achievable with other extraction methods.

Moreover, ice water hash is a preferred choice for creating top shelf concentrates because it preserves the delicate terpenes and cannabinoids present in the trichomes. The cold temperatures of the ice water extraction process help to maintain the integrity of these compounds, resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic hash.

Another advantage of ice water hash is its versatility. This method can be used with various starting materials, such as fresh or dried flower, trim, or even hashish itself. This allows for greater flexibility in choosing the source material based on desired effects or flavor profiles.

Furthermore, ice water hash minimizes the risk of extracting unwanted compounds from the plant material, such as chlorophyll or lipids, which can contribute to a harsh taste or undesirable effects. The ice water extraction process selectively isolates the trichomes containing the desired cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, resulting in a purer and smoother hash.

Lastly, using ice water hash as an extraction method is also considered to be more environmentally friendly compared to other methods that may involve the use of solvents or chemicals. The use of ice and water as the main components not only reduces potential harm to the environment but also makes it safer for individuals involved in the extraction process.

Dry Ice Hash vs Bubble Hash

Ice water hash (bubble hash) is not exactly the same as dry ice hash, but the terms are sometimes confused with one another.

Ice water hash requires you to submerge your cannabis in freezing water. As the water is agitated, the resin separates from the plant and slowly descends through the water and into the waiting filters.

Dry ice hash relies on a water-free method of hash-making. Dry ice is created using frozen carbon dioxide and then combined with the cannabis. Because dry ice is so cold, it causes the trichomes to freeze and become brittle at such low temperatures. The weed and dry ice are placed in a sieve and agitated so that the resin crumbles and falls into the appropriate filters.

Dry ice hash takes less time to create than ice water hash, but it’s a more expensive and potentially hazardous process. Dry ice is dangerous to touch with your bare hands, so you need to wear protective gloves at all times. Also, the lack of water can contribute to the kind of surface contamination common with dry-sift hash, so this method isn’t the purest. However, for a hash maker looking for a quicker production method, dry ice hash can be a viable option.

Ice Water Hash Quality

Ice water hash is rated on a six-star scale, with the highest quality hash being referred to as full-melt hash. The purest hash, known as bubble hash, contains only trichome heads and no additional plant material. The star rating system is used to assess the quality of ice water hash, with six stars being considered the best. This rating system helps consumers identify the purer forms of hash that leave no residue when burned. The term “star rating” accurately describes the evaluation process for ice water hash and aligns with the topic of ice water hash quality discussed in the blog.

Ice water hash minimizes impurities by using mesh filters that match the size of the trichomes. Most trichomes measure between 20 and 125 microns. The bubble bags are mesh-lined to suit various sizes within this range, ensuring that the trichomes are absorbed and that other plant material is left behind.

5 to 6 Stars – Full-Melt Hash

This is the highest-quality ice water hash, containing very few if any contaminants. Because it melts with minimal effort, this kind of hash can easily be dabbed using an e-nail. It has a smooth, earthy taste and a gentle inhale. This type of hash is typically produced using 70-120 micron sieves.

3 to 4 Stars – Half-Melt Hash

As the name suggests, half-melt hash typically melts about halfway. This is due to the higher concentration of impurities and plant material. Dabbing and vaping are more difficult with half-melt hash, which is why many users just sprinkle it over joints and blunts or load it into a pipe.

1 to 2 Stars – Cooking-Grade Hash

Cooking-grade hash has a lot of plant matter contamination and doesn’t melt well. Dabbing and vaping are off the table, but you can still sprinkle it over your joint, blunt, or bowl. This type of hash is most often used for cooking edibles.

Ice In A Bucket

How to Make Ice Water Hash

The bucket method is the simplest way to make ice water hash. You’ll need:

  • A bucket
  • Cannabis flower (fresh frozen works best, but dry marijuana works too)
  • 5 bubble bags of different micron sizes
  • A large stirring spoon

1. Line Your Bucket With the Bubble Bags

In this first step, layer the bucket with your bubble bags. The goal is to stack your micron filters on top of one another as though you were lining the bucket with several trash bags. Your smallest micron filter should go at the bottom, followed by the rest in ascending order. As the trichomes are separated, they’ll be absorbed by the filters one at a time.

2. Fill Your Bucket With Weed and Ice

Place a layer of ice over the micron filters. Then add a layer of cannabis flower. Continue this pattern until the bucket is filled to the top. The top layer should always contain ice. Don’t be afraid of using too much ice; you need as much as possible. The more ice you have, the more likely all of the trichomes will freeze.

3. Add Water

Fill the bucket with cold water. You want just enough water so that you can stir the bucket without anything spilling over. But don’t stir just yet. Wait about 20 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

4. Agitate the Water

Using your stirring spoon, gently stir the water to agitate it. This is the step that requires a lot of elbow grease because you’ll need to stir continuously. As the ice starts to melt, increase your stirring speed. Whenever your ice runs low, make sure to add more. You always want equal amounts of water and ice in the bucket. Your total stirring time should be about 10 to 15 minutes. When you finish the stirring process, wait about another 10 minutes for all of the trichomes to descend to the bottom of the bucket.

5. Strain Your Bubble Bags

Lift the top bag above the bucket and allow it to drain until only the flower remains in the bag. Then set it aside. Do the same for each subsequent bag. Turn your bags inside out to collect all traces of rosin.

6. Allow the Ice Water Hash to Dry

Use a spoon or knife to squeeze the remaining moisture out of your rosin, and then break it up into chunks. This will make air-drying much easier. If you happen to have a freeze dryer, you can use it to dry the hash more quickly. For best results, let the hash dry on a clean, non-stick surface for a couple of days before you use it. As with all cannabis products, you’ll want to store your hash in a cool, dark, and dry environment to preserve its quality and potency.

Hash Filter Bags

Tips for Making Full-Melt Ice Water Hash

While the above method is the simplest and cheapest solution, it’s not the most precise. To extract the most rosin and ensure the maximum purity and best terpene profile, you need to maintain precisely the right ratio of water to ice and you need to agitate the water with just the right amount of force. This is very difficult to do by hand.

Thankfully, there are machines that will do the extraction process for you. With an ice water extraction machine like the Bubble Magic Washing Machine (available in 5 gallons or 20 gallons), you never have to guess about the optimal force or temperature, and most of the labor is done for you. Just insert the ingredients and filters, set the timer, and let the machine go to work.

The Bubble Magic Washing Machine is available at Trimleaf, and you can save 10% when you use our coupon code SAVELIGHTS10. You’ll also get free shipping.

In addition, we recommend using filtered water if you want full-melt ice water hash. This will ensure that your yield isn’t compromised by hard salts and other minerals. You can also insert a couple of CO2 pellets to keep your water ice cold at all times.

Vape Dabbing

How to Smoke Ice Water Hash

There are numerous ways to consume ice water hash.

  • Dabbing: As long as your hash is at least 3-star quality, you should have no trouble dabbing. Quartz nails work especially well because they’re clean and they support extremely high heat. Any e-nail should do the trick, though. You may need to press your hash inside a folded piece of parchment paper to blend the trichomes and make the extract dab-friendly. If you don’t already have a dab rig, you can browse dab rig coupons to score a great deal.
  • Vaping: If you choose to vape, we highly recommend using a full-melt hash. Half-melt hash may clog your cartridge and make for an altogether frustrating experience, and cooking-grade hash should never even be attempted in a vaporizer. Make sure to use a vaporizer that supports concentrate use. The vape should be able to support temperatures between 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit or 260-287.78 degrees Celsius.
  • Smoking: You can load your bowl with hash and smoke it old-school. Just crumble a tiny amount (a few crumbs should do the trick) into the bowl. You’ll also want to place a fine-mesh screen over the mouth of the ignition chamber so that you don’t get an overwhelming rush of dry hash in your mouth.
  • Twaxing/Icing: This is by far the easiest consumption method, and it works with any grade of hash. Just crush the hash into small pieces and sprinkle it over your joint, blunt, spliff, or bowl. A couple of small crumbs should do the trick; be careful not to go overboard.

No matter how you choose to consume, remember that a little goes a long way. Because it’s a cannabis concentrate, hash contains a lot of THC, often up to 60%. So be careful, especially if you’re new to concentrates.

Best Practices for Improving Ice Water Hash Quality

For hash makers looking to achieve the best results, here are some best practices to follow:

Tips for Better Yield

  • Utilize mesh bags with different micron sizes to optimize the yield of ice water hash by capturing trichome heads of varying sizes.
  • Carefully agitate the mixture during the extraction process, ensuring the trichome heads stay intact while separating from the plant material, resulting in a better hash yield.
  • Using high-quality starting material, such as cannabis flower with a high trichome density, can positively impact the yield of ice water hash.
  • Incorporate the rest of the bags, with different micron sizes, in the extraction process to maximize the capture of trichome heads, optimizing the hash yield.
  • Consider freeze drying the ice water hash after extraction, as this can further enhance the quality and potency of the final product.

Preserving Quality Over Time

To preserve the quality of ice water hash over time, follow these best practices:

  • Store ice water hash in a cool, dry place, away from light and heat, to prevent degradation of the terpene profile.
  • Avoid exposing ice water hash to moisture, as it can lead to mold growth and the loss of quality.
  • Consider freeze drying the hash before storage, as this can help preserve its quality by removing excess moisture.
  • Store ice water hash in parchment paper, as it provides a non-stick surface and allows for easy handling and storage.
  • Properly cured ice water hash, stored in an airtight container, can maintain its quality and terpene profile for an extended period.

Benefits of Ice Water Hash Extraction

Although there are plenty of more potent extracts available, ice water hash remains the gold standard for several reasons:

  • It’s one of the purest cannabis concentrates available.
  • Unlike wax, shatter, and other butane hash oils, it doesn’t use solvents or chemicals.
  • The ice water extraction method preserves the full profile of cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Anybody can make it at home—and it’s safe to do so.

If you want to experience the difference for yourself, try making your own ice water hash at home. If the DIY approach isn’t for you, you can ask your local dispensary if they carry bubble hash. Once you experience the unrivaled purity, you’ll never want to go back to dry sift hash.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Ice Water Hash?

Ice water hash, also known as bubble hash, is a solventless concentrate made using ice water and mesh bags. The process involves agitating cannabis plant material in ice water to separate the trichomes from the plant matter. The resulting mixture is then filtered through mesh bags of varying sizes to collect the trichomes. Ice water hash can be used in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaping, or adding to edibles.

What is the difference between kief and ice water hash?

Kief is a dry sift of trichomes, while ice water hash is made using water and ice to separate trichomes from plant material. Ice water hash is generally considered a superior product due to the cleaner, more refined extraction process. Kief can be collected easily with a grinder or screen, while making ice water hash requires more specialized equipment. The potency and flavor profile of ice water hash are often better than kief due to the gentler extraction process.

What’s the difference between ice hash and bubble hash?

Ice hash and bubble hash are two types of hashish created using water and ice, but they have some key differences. While both methods involve using water and ice, the size of the trichome heads collected during the process is what sets them apart. Ice hash uses finer mesh bags, resulting in smaller trichome heads and a lighter color. Bubble hash, however, uses larger mesh bags, resulting in larger trichome heads and a darker color. So, while they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between the two types of hashish.

How Does Ice Cold Water Hash Washing Work?

Ice water hash washing is a process that uses ice-cold water to separate trichomes from plant material. The cold temperatures cause the trichomes to become brittle and break off easily. The plant material is agitated in the ice water, causing the trichomes to fall off and sink to the bottom. The resulting mixture is then filtered through screens of varying sizes to separate the trichomes from the water and plant material.

What is the main advantage of ice water hash over other concentrates?

Ice water hash offers several advantages over other concentrates. It is considered to be a purer form of concentrate, as it does not require solvents or chemicals. The process of making ice water hash also preserves the flavor and aroma of the cannabis plant. This makes it a popular choice in both medical and recreational settings.

What is the ice water extraction process in making hash?

The ice water extraction method is a simple yet effective way to make high-quality bubble hash. It involves soaking fresh frozen cannabis in ice cold water and agitating it to separate the trichomes. The mixture is then filtered through hash bags, also referred to as bubble bags, that catch the resin glands or trichomes. The remaining product is known as ice water hash.

How is ice water hash different from traditional hash?

Unlike traditional hash which uses dry sift or rosin press methods, ice water hash is made through a process that uses only ice cold water, fresh frozen flower, and agitation to separate the trichomes. No chemicals are used, and this results in a purer, cleaner hash with a potent flavor profile.

What is the preferred ratio of ice to water in the extraction process?

The ratio of ice to water in the extraction process is vital for the quality of the hash. The ideal ratio should have just enough ice to keep the water ice-cold but also ample water to allow for agitation. Too much ice might hinder the process. The goal is to ensure the water is cold enough to freeze the trichomes, making it easier to separate them from the plant material.

Why is fresh frozen cannabis often used in hash making?

Fresh frozen cannabis is often used because it allows for a higher quality hash. Immediately after harvesting, the cannabis is frozen, which preserves the quality of the trichomes. This process ensures that maximum resin is harvested from the plant which makes the resulting ice water hash more potent.

How does ice water hash compare with dry ice hash and rosin?

Ice water hash, dry ice hash and rosin are different methods of hash making, each having its pros and cons. While ice water hash can provide a cleaner product with high terpene preservation, dry ice hash can be faster and easier to make. On the other hand, rosin is made through a heat and pressure method and is solventless like ice water hash, but can require a higher initial investment for equipment like a rosin press.

Can you explain what a hash bag is and how it is used in the ice water extraction process?

A hash bag, also referred to as a bubble bag, is a bag with a screen used to filter out the trichomes during the ice water extraction process. They come in different micron sizes to separate different sizes of trichomes. During extraction, the mixed water and ice containing cannabis are poured through these bags, and the screens catch the trichomes which can be collected and dried to make hash.

Why is it referred to as bubble hash?

The term bubble hash comes from the way that water extracts from the cannabis bubble when they are smoked. High-quality bubble hash tends to melt and bubble when exposed to heat. It is also known as bubble hash because of the use of bubble bags in the extraction process.

How does the quality of water affect the hash making process?

The quality of water used in the extraction process greatly affects the end product. The water should ideally be filtered or RO (Reverse Osmosis) water to ensure no contaminants or chemicals affect the taste or quality of the hash. Using pure, clean water helps in bringing out the best characteristics of the cannabis plant in the hash.

Can ice water hash also be made at home?

Yes, ice water hash can be made at home using a pretty straightforward process. All you need is fresh frozen cannabis, ice, water and bubble bags for filtration. Do remember that meticulousness and patience are key to getting quality hash. Also, be sure to use good quality water and ice to ensure a superior end product.

How can I determine the quality of hash made using the ice water extraction process?

The quality of ice water hash can be determined by its color, smell, taste, and the way it bubbles when heated. Top-quality hash will have a light color, a strong aroma, a smooth taste, and will melt and bubble when smoked. The ‘melting’ is a key quality attribute because it indicates a higher concentration of the resin glands that contain the cannabinoids and terpenes.

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