ˈīs ˈhash | Noun
A concentrate made by sifting the trichomes of the cannabis plant in the presence of dry ice (a solid form of carbon dioxide). If made from hemp flower with less than 0.3% THC, it’s packed with CBD and won’t get you high. Also referred to as ice water hash, bubble hash, and wet sift, users dab this concentrate or add it to flower for increased potency. This way of hash making is a more modern one, but like traditional hash, can be crafted by hand or mechanically.
“Did you know that the main difference between bubble hash and ice hash is the method used to prepare them?”
“If ice hash doesn’t bubble when smoked, it’s considered of lower quality.”
What is it?
It’s a solventless concentrate made up of trichomes. Located on the surface of the cannabis flower, trichomes (or resin glands) are glandular appendages where the production of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids occurs. Manufacturers sift the trichomes through a series of screens using dry ice (a solid form of carbon dioxide). The main goal of making this concentrate is to separate the trichome glands from other components of the plant. This gives the user the incredible experience and benefits that only trichomes provide.
Differences between various types of hash
You may hear the terms ice hash and bubble hash, ice wax, or water sift used interchangeably, but they are all slightly different. To make bubble hash, manufacturers mix cannabis (hemp or weed) with freezing cold water. To get the good stuff, or the resin, out of the mixture, they agitate the plant material and filter the cannabis water with a sieve. The final result is kief that’s later pressurized into hash.
To make ice hash, manufacturers don’t use any water during the process. Dry ice hash is made using frozen CO2 that turns into a dry vapor when it warms. Dry ice is extremely cold, freezes the resin glands, and makes them easy to break off. The cannabis material and the dry-ice are placed in the sieve (same type used to make bubble hash) and agitated until the resin falls out into the resin collector.
How to use it?
As a fairly versatile concentrate, you can use it in several different ways, depending on your preferences. You may prefer putting it over your bowl of flower for an extra potency boost or dabbing it for a pure effect.
Mix it with flower
Sprinkle some of this concentrate over a bowl of flower and enjoy one of the simplest and most reliable methods to boost the flower’s potency. If you are new to hemp flower and want to add some CBD ice hash to it, remember that you are dealing with one of the most potent CBD concentrates. Although you are unlikely to get high from it, larger doses might make you feel an overpowering sensation and increased heartbeat. “Icing” your weed with ice hash produces a more pronounced high without making you feel overwhelmed.
Dabbing ice hash
Dabbing delivers potent effects but requires preparation and the use of the right accessories. To dab with ice hash, press the concentrate inside a piece of folded parchment paper. Use your hands to heat the concentrate and blend the trichome glands together. Once you press it within the parchment paper, separate the pressed sheet into “dab-ready” sections. It’s best to store your concentrate in a dark, dry, cool environment. Press it only when you are ready for a dab session.
Handheld vaporizers with concentrate pad options are popular dabbing tools. Using this tool to dab ice hash may not result in the purest effect, but it is a helpful option for beginners—it provides a simple, efficient method of use. To successfully vapor this concentrate, get a vaporizer that gets hot enough to melt it—between 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Titanium dab nails are highly durable, and unlike other metals, don’t release harmful components when heated over certain temperatures. They do the trick if you want to avoid potential contaminants of metal screens or dab beds.
This concentrate offers the benefits of the trichome glands isolated from the cannabis plant. Therefore, the presence of any plant material reduces the quality of the concentrate. To produce ice hash of the highest quality, manufacturers use filter screens with different micron sizes. The screens capture the trichome heads and separate them from the plant material.
Filter screens correspond with the bags of varying microsizes used to make this concentrate. Trichomes range from 20-125 microns, and the large micron sizes capture the entire capillary stalked trichomes that range from 90-120 microns. Smaller micron sizes from 20-40 microns are used to isolate the glands from the stalks because the glands hold the majority of the cannabinoids and terpenes. The concentrate that consists only of the plant’s resin glands is considered the purest form of ice hash. However, they also have a higher chance of drawing in plant contaminants.
Trichomes don’t always conform to micron screen sizes because they are cultivar-dependent. This means that some cultivars produce thicker trichomes heads and other smaller trichome heads. Their size also depends on the maturity of the plant. To produce top-shelf concentrate, manufacturers use the right combination of filter screens and micron sizes.
How to know if you are buying quality ice hash?
As a general rule of thumb, if the ice hash melts well, it’s of good quality. To make it easier for consumers, manufacturers use a “star rating” system to grade their products more accurately. The 6-star rating system is the most widely used amongst makers. Despite being subjective, this rating system guides the user to pick a high quality concentrate. The higher the rating, the better this concentrate will melt.
1-2 Star: Cooking Grade
When rated one or two stars, this concentrate is considered cooking grade because it’s highly contaminated with plant matter. It consists of low and high microns, and because it doesn’t melt well, you shouldn’t use it for dabbing. This type is typically used to make edibles, but you can also sprinkle it over flower.
3-4 Star: Halfmelt
When rated 3-4 stars, it melts halfway. Because of that, it’s considered a lower-grade hash, leaving residue and plant contaminants behind. Aside from bowls or joints, this concentrate is good for vaping. You can also heat it and press it into rosin.
5-6 Star: Fullmelt
This is the highest grade ice hash. It completely melts into oil, which makes it great for dabbing. This type is produced with 70-120 micron sieves and, when heated, turns into a golden oil that bubbles.
History of Ice Hash
In the 1980s, David Watson or Skunkman, a seed expert and industry pioneer, popularized the techniques used to make this concentrate. He learned that the resin glands sink in water and introduced a process of stirring sieved resin in water. He marketed the method in an ad in High Times Magazine in 1987, offering secret tips for extraction at home.
His method of extraction paved the way for the first automated sieving machines in the 1990s. Also, it contributed to the development of new techniques for ice water extraction. Around the same time, Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson, a Canadian entrepreneur and activist, introduced the revolutionizing Bubble Bag extraction process. He designed the first multi-bag filtration kit that filters glandular trichome heads for a purer cannabis extract.