There are many names to it. Ice water hash, cold-water hash, water hash, and bubble hash. All these names refer to hashish made with only ice and water. No harsh chemical solvents, like butane and isopropyl alcohol, are used for its extraction.
Hash or hashish has been around for a while. It is made by collecting and compressing resin derived from mature female cannabis plants. Resin is a sticky substance that resembles tree sap produced by resin glands. When the glands ripen, they are called trichomes, the crystalline structures surrounding cannabis flower buds. Trichomes house terpenes and cannabinoids. Terpenes give cannabis its unique aromatic characteristics.
The Cold-water Extraction Method
Extracting hash is all about separating the resin glands from the rest of the plant material. The resin is then filtered and concentrated. You can use either isopropyl alcohol in a process called quick washing or some plain cold water.
The cold-water method is easy. Ice-cold water knocks the trichomes out of the plant. The cold makes them brittle, and they break off. Trichomes are insoluble in water. Once filtered, they are dried off, cured, and smoked. The result is some good old aromatic cold-water hash that is free from extracts and solvents.
How to Make Cold-water Hash
This method produces the purest possible water hash. Purity here refers to the best concentration of trichome heads possible. The trichomes extracted should not contain any plant debris or dust particles. All other plant parts besides the trichomes are contaminants. For this level of accuracy, you need the following materials:
- A skimming spoon (stainless steel)
- Ice cubes
- 6 bubble bags (sizes 220-190-160-120-73-45)
- Parchment paper
- A small washing machine. The machine applies the principles of centripetal force and makes the stirring process easier. You save both time and labour. In case you don’t have a small washing machine, get a plastic bucket, and use a wooden stick to stir the mixture.
The Cannabis Plant Material
A critical component in this process is the cannabis flower buds (dried or fresh). Start with crumbling the buds to increase the surface area of their contact with the cold water. The practice increases your trichomes yield. A tip to help you get purer trichomes is to use marijuana grown indoors. Indoor plants are in a cleaner environment and less prone to insects and dust that are abundant outdoors.
An essential step in this process is to freeze the plant material very fast. The process is complicated, and amateurs would have a hard time doing it well. The only alternative is to freeze it in the conventional freezer or refrigerator. The best time to chill the plant material is when it’s fresh, but remember to avoid freezing it. Freezing causes the water inside the plant material to freeze, which pierces the plant tissues and makes the chlorophyll escape. The process damages your resins. So, ideally, chill your buds in a refrigerator. Let them be very cold, but not freeze.
If your plant material is dry, soak it in water for a while. Soaking rehydrates your weed and allows all the debris to fall off.
Start with placing all the bubble bags on one of the buckets. Arrange the bags in ascending order, starting with the smallest. Cover the bucket. You will use it later.
Get the second bucket and place your ice cubes and frozen buds in layers. If using a washing machine, place the two inside the screen bag. The bucket or screen bag should be half-filled with ice and weed, and the remaining half with some ice-cold water. Everything should be thoroughly soaked, and the water level should be up to 5 centimetres above the buds.
Once the water gets to 0 to 4 degrees Celsius, the plant material is adequately hydrated. Stir the water-weed mixture using the skimming spoon for 5-7 minutes. You can also allow the mixture to swirl inside the washing machine for an equal amount of time. Avoid beating the mixture because this can contaminate your resin. Leave the beating for the second run. Let the mixture rest for 4-5 minutes, then run it through the series of screens.
As the mixture passes through the screens, the 220-micron bag will hold the ice cubes and the buds. It helps to keep them chilled in readiness for the second run. The 190- and 160-micron bags will have some trichomes but in poor yields. It contains contaminants in the form of trichomes stalks and plant debris. The 120-micron bag carries some lovely resin, while the 73-micron bag carries the highest quality hash. The 45-micron screen carries second-grade resin.
After the first run, it’s time for the second one. Mix the buds, ice cubes, and cold water again, and this time beat it for 10 minutes. Run the mixture through the screens again.
Drying and Storage
Take a frozen stainless steel spoon or plastic card and take out the best resin from the bags. To preserve your resin’s viability, dry it in a cool, dry, and dark place. Any form of heating would harm the therapeutic elements. Ensure that the drying surface is non-stick. Once dried, chop the resin as finely as possible.
For storage, observe the guidelines you do for marijuana and its other products. Avoid temperature, light, and humidity. Place your chopped dried resin in a small container and shut its lid tightly. If you don’t have a lid, place a piece of screen on the mouth of the jar.
In four to five days, your homemade cold-water hash will be ready for consumption. Use it as is, but for a better outcome, let the resin cure for more days or weeks. See if it tastes better then.
The Benefits of the Cold-water Hash Extraction Method
- The outcome of the process is solvent-free. Extraction involves water and filtration only.
- The hash produced is full-spectrum. All essential terpenes and cannabinoids in the trichomes are preserved.
- It is a safe process with no risk of injury or self-harm. Also, no flammable materials are used.
- The hash produced is high grade, and you can smoke it by itself or add it to a joint.
Cold-water hash is a natural, unique, and highly potent full-spectrum cannabis product. Its extraction is simple, and you can make it at home. You could also buy some from a marijuana dispensary. Get some of the best quality cold-water hash from Get Kush.