On this blog entry, I am going to discuss my personal favourite cannabis concentrate! I will also walk you through how I am able to legally produce this product for use in my medical cannabis journey. Let’s dig right in….BUBBLE HASH!
This method does require the purchase of some special equipment, but the end result will make up for the investment. Bubble hash uses ice cold water to separate the trichomes from the plant material. Compared to the methods above, this will be more efficient at reducing the amount of plant material that comes along with the trichomes, resulting in a higher potency product.
First, you must acquire a set of “bubble bags”. This uses the same concept of the “sifter box”, as described in my previous blog post, but has several bags with different micron sized screens. This will allow for the extraction artist to collect different grades of extract, separating the good stuff from the amazing stuff.
These bags are labeled with the micron size of the screen. Layer the bags within each other inside of a large bucket. It is very important to layer the bags in order. Place the largest number inside the bucket first. (Remember: The larger the number, the smaller the holes in the screen) Once your screens are inside, you place what is called the “work bag” inside all of the other bags lining the bucket. Inside of the work bag is where you put your plant material, ice and water. The colder that this concoction is, the more efficient it will be at separating the trichomes from the cannabis. Once these three ingredients are inside the work bag, you must agitate the mixture – be aggressive but not so aggressive as to damage the screens. I typically agitate by placing a wooden or plastic spoon into the chuck of an electric drill. This will spin the spoon and create a whirlpool effect within the bucket of water and cannabis. Once you have agitated the mixture long enough to turn some of the cold water into foam like bubbles (10-12 minutes), you must now begin to remove the screens from the bucket of water. Take the work bag out, let it drain into the bucket, and place it aside (you will want to do this entire process two if not three times to ensure that you are collecting all of the trichomes).
Now the real fun begins. As you remove the other bags, it may take some time for the water to drain through the screen. Left on top of the screen will be the trichomes that we want to collect. Each layer will have a different amount collected, as each layer will collect different sized trichomes, with the last bag collecting broken and shattered trichome pieces. The final bag in the bucket (usually 25 microns) will take quite some time to drain as the holes in the screen are small and often get blocked from trichome collection.
Each screen that you collect material from must be scooped off of the screen once drained. Take this spoonful and place it on the “pressing screen” that will come with your bubble bag set. Fold it over the trichomes, wrap in paper towel and press as much water out as you can, using as much force as you can. Now you can place all of the bags back into the bucket for another “wash”, which simply means that you repeat the process. This is the best way to maximize your yield.
Now comes the most important step in the process. If the following is not followed exactly, you are liable to end up with a whole batch of mouldy hash that should not be consumed. This is called the “curing” process. Hand pressing the product right out of the bag will remove the large majority of the moisture content from the collection of trichomes. However, even if The Hulk was pressing your product, there would still remain enough moisture to allow for mold to flourish. So, to eliminate this possibility, we must dry the product completely. There are two main methods that I personally use to cure my bubble hash, and they result in a different texture in the final product.
The first option for drying and curing is called “microplaining”. This is where you basically break the collected trichomes down into dust to allow for maximum surface area allowing drying to take place rapidly. Simply using your hands is not going to be efficient enough to break it down into a powder; I use either a fine cheese grater, a lemon zester or an electric coffee grinder. Once the product is nice and dusty, I then pour the powder into a thin layer on top of a piece of cardboard, and rest another piece of cardboard on top. Cardboard will work as a desiccant, meaning that it wicks moisture away. I leave this alone once set up, moving the powder around the cardboard once a day. After several days, you can now collect this powder and press it into a very solid block of hashish.
The second drying option is to place the trichome patties into a sealed container with a desiccant package (you can buy these at hardware stores, they are often used to put into a safe to keep moisture away from documents inside). This will take much longer to dry than the first option, but will result in a more malleable hash. Do not rush this process. When using this method, the longer that the product stays inside the sealed container, the lower the chance of having remaining moisture. No moisture equals no mold, and that is the goal!
There are many ways to consume your finished product, and exploring these methods is an adventure that you will enjoy. Always keep in mind that each method of extraction, drying and curing the product will result in a different end experience. And remember, whenever you are making extracts, always be safe and smart!
— Andrew Post, LP Relations