Science

Bubble Hash Renaissance

Heather Ritchie
Written by Heather Ritchie

Bubble hash isn’t new to the cannabis industry. In fact, bubble hash is one of the oldest extracts and first became a favorite approximately 20 years ago. Since then it’s been a popular, safe extraction method for both recreational and medical products.

Made using an ice water agitation method, bubble hash is also sometimes called ice water hash.”  High-quality plants with more trichomes create hash with increased potency. Since organic solvents aren’t used in preparing the hash, it’s one of the least contaminated and best quality cannabis concentrates, favored by the health-conscious. It can be consumed by smoking it or dabbing it.

Much like many other high potency extracts, bubble hash relies on quality cannabis flowers to make the purest product. This particular process uses ice water to make the trichomes brittle, such that they fall from the plant matter and into the water. Since they are oily, they don’t mix with the water.

The name bubble hash likely refers to the plastic bubble bags or fine-mesh micron bags that the water filters through leaving the product behind. The hole sizes are essential to the filtering process and become progressively smaller. Standard 25, 45, 73, 90, 120, and 220 mesh bags are used to sift the material to progressively smaller sizes, starting with the 25 mesh bag and working down to the 220 mesh bag for the final product. After the filtration, the remaining product is air-dried generating its typical dark brown, slightly crumbled appearance.

The name may also come from the bubbles that form when the user smokes “full melt” bubble hash. “Full melt” is an extraordinarily high-quality bubble hash often called “ice wax” because of the golden puddle it melts into when heated.

Bubble Hash Revival

In recent years, dabbing and hydrocarbon extracts have attracted massive attention from the cannabis industry. As a result, extracts made from simpler techniques became less popular. Bubble hash is more refined than traditional hash containing up to approximately 60 percent THC, but less than other extracts like wax or shatter that may have up to 90 percent THC.

Rosin and rosin presses revolutionized the production of bubble hash. As more consumers demand higher-grade solventless concentrates, “full melt” hash and rosin products rise in popularity. The hash renaissance brings new products like solventless, 99 percent THC-A and rosin sauce to the market. Rosin presses, technology, and freeze dryers increase the quality of rosin today, thus highlighting solventless products’ appeal. These factors also enhance the producers’ ability to create these concentrates with ease. Crafting a genuine, “full melt” product used to be a laborious task. Introducing the freeze dryer to the process has significantly reduced the degree of difficulty making this extraction method popular.

Many users consider bubble hash safer than BHO, but in reality, BHO is evaporated during the process leaving a pure product behind. People like Serge Christov, the financial advisor for Honest Marijuana Co., say that it’s a misconception to think that because bubble hash doesn’t use organic solvents, the process provides a cleaner concentrate.

While some people use ice water extraction methods now, according to cannabis expert Chris Boudreau, owner of several cannabis businesses in California, bubble hash is expensive and relatively rare. As the market matures and the popularity of concentrates grows, perhaps we’ll see more of it, given its allure, perhaps as a delicacy savored like caviar.

About the author

Heather Ritchie

Heather Ritchie

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