What is Hash and How is it Made (Bubble Hash / Ice Hash)?
Do you know what is hash?Whether you call it ice hash, ice-o-lator, melt, or water hash, Bubble hash is a real favorite with today’s crowd. It is rich in trichomes and terpenes and will certainly get you where you want to be.
Before getting into what bubble hash/ice hash is all about and the principle behind making it let’s describe the difference between…
Bubble Hash and Kief
When talking about kief this is the dried resin glands that coat the outside of all cannabis buds. This brown crystalline power breaks off from your cannabis buds once they are placed in a grinder. An easy way to differentiate hash from kief is that the latter is the decompressed precursor of hash.
Both traditional hash and bubble hash are made from the mentioned dried resin glands. Where they differ is in preparation. Traditional hash is usually made through either a manual or a mechanical separation process and is then compressed. As will be explained, Bubble hash is produced using ice water, and agitation, and then put through a number of bags and screens.
Bubble Hash – What’s With the Name?
Bubble hash is named because when it is lit under a flame and smoked it bubbles. This is thanks to it being made with ice water. Similar to traditional hash, it has a solid concentration of trichomes (aka cannabis resin glands) and ranges in color from light blonde to dark brown.
It is often the case that when buying hash you will see it rated on a scale of 1 to 6 with 6-star being the most refined and therefore the most desirable.
For those looking at the real deal then “Full Melt” is roundly considered to be the highest quality of bubble hash. That is because this ultra-refined melt will bubble away very evenly when smoked or dabbed and leaves very little material behind or wasted.
How is Bubble Hash / Ice Hash Made?
When you learn what is hash, it’s time to learn how to make it. Top-quality bubble hash/ice hash is made using very fine mesh sieves (or screens) that are designed to prevent any plant material from passing through them. The result means that the only thing that does get through is the small trichome heads.
The process involves adding the cannabis flower to vinyl bags which are filled with ice water. These are known as bubble bags. This is then agitated to freeze and then break the resin glands from the bud.
It is the broken resin glands you are after because they contain essential compounds such as THC and CBD. These compounds pass through a series of screens in the bubble bag and, as mentioned, only the compounds you really want are allowed through the sieves to form bubble hash because the rest of the plant is left behind.
The goal when producing higher-quality bubble hash is to achieve as refined a product as possible. This involves using continually finer mesh sieves that work to further separate the hash from the plant material.
To achieve that, various sizes of bubble bags are used and layered inside a bucket. The finest (or smallest) micron screen is positioned at the bottom. In that sense, when referring to a ‘micron’ it designates the number of units that are allowed to pass through the screen. This means that the smaller the micron, the less plant material can pass through.
The process begins by sufficiently agitating the topmost bubble bag which is full of ice and cannabis. Once that is complete the bag is pulled and removed. This then leaves material that has been caught in the second screen.
That is then scraped off and set to one side. During this step, you will generally see it to be darker in color. This is because of the amount of plant material that has passed through the first (larger-micron) bag.
The second bag then needs to be carefully inverted and put into the water contained in the bag below it. This allows the trichomes to continue moving through the series of bags you have in place. From there the process of collection and filtration continues until the trichomes have been filtered through each bag.
The final step is to dry the hash. This is carried out by pressing it either under a cotton muslin cloth or a micron screen. When you first learn what is hash, you never realize how much goes into making it.
How is Bubble Hash Consumed and why is it so Popular?
Before getting into how you can enjoy bubble hash let’s give a heads-up on why it is so popular. Bubble hash is made without any solvent and this makes it a far cleaner smoke. It also enhances the flavors and terpene to give a very pleasurable, kicking-smoking experience.
When it comes to consuming bubble hash there are a variety of options such as mixing it with a bud and then rolling it into a joint. The bud helps the hash to burn evenly and gives an added, potent kick to your standard joint smoking while also adding flavor.
Far more popular is placing it in a pipe to inhale. If you are using a ‘normal’ pipe it will pay to put a tight mesh screen over the bowl. Doing so will prevent small pieces of hash from falling through the pipe. From there you heat it and then slowly inhale the vapor.
It should also be mentioned that specifically designed bubble hash pipes are now being produced. This makes your consumption of bubble hash far easier and more pleasurable.
Owning a Quality Hash Pipe Brings Benefits Galore!
After you find out what is hash, you need a good pipe. Those who own (or are willing to purchase) a quality-designed hash pipe will find it serves their purpose extremely well. This is because they are designed quite differently from normal pipes.
The difference between a good hash pipe and a normal pipe is that the latter normally has just one hole in the bottom of the bowl. A quality hash pipe will have one, usually more holes near the top of the bowl.
This design allows you to vaporize the hash at the bottom of the bowl and allows the vapor to flow upwards and into the holes located at the bowl top.
Here’s a simple step-by-step way to smoke bubble hash from your hash pipe:
- Step #1 – Cut up small pieces of bubble hash. Do not worry about being too precise but try to aim for between 1 and 2 mm square cuts.
- Step #2 – Put a few pieces of the cut bubble hash into the hash pipe bowl.
- Step #3 – Use a “glass wand” to vaporize the hash. This is done by heating the tip of your wand with a torch. Keep heating for around 45 seconds. You are aiming to get the tip of the wand just hot enough. That will be achieved when it has almost turned red hot.
- Step #4 – Press the tip of your wand gently against the hash (at the bottom of your hash pipe). The result you are after is to see the bubble hash producing vapor.
- Step #5 – Inhale the vapor through the pipe.
- Step #6 – Exhale the vapor and enjoy a hit that will take you exactly where you want to be.
Bubble Hash / Ice Hash is Here to Stay!
Learning what is hash and how to make it is an ardous process. There is no doubt that consuming bubble hash is a very pleasurable experience. It may take a little trial and error to get the temperature right but once that is achieved there is no limit to the high you receive.
Ready-to-use bubble hash can be purchased from a dispensary or you can make your own. Either way, it is more than worth giving it a go!
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