All Mesh vs Canvas Bubble Bags: The Pros and Cons

Viviane Schute        

Cannabis enthusiast and student of the art of solventless extraction


Bubble bags are specialized filtration bags that hash makers use in the ice water extraction process for collecting loose resin from cannabis material. The process involves mixing together cannabis flowers and trichome-coated trim leaves with ice-cold water, then running this mixture through a series of bubble bags to catch the trichome heads and leave everything else behind. These trichome heads, also called loose resin, form the basis of solventless concentrates like bubble hash, temple balls, and rosin. 

Each bubble bag in the series contains a different size of mesh filter, measured in microns, which acts as a sieve for the water and cannabis mixture. The mesh with the largest pore size (220-microns) catches the biggest pieces of cannabis material, while the mesh with the smallest pore size (25-microns) catches the smallest particles that have passed through the bags before it. The bags in the middle (primarily the 90 and 73-micron sizes) capture the trichome heads which hash makers collect for solventless concentrates. 

Some bubble bags are constructed with waterproof canvas side walls, and contain mesh filtering material only at the very bottom of the bag. These are canvas bubble bags, and this was the traditional, original design for bubble bags. Then, a new design emerged, with the entire construction of the bags being the mesh filter material on both the side walls and bottom of the bags. These are called all mesh bubble bags. 

Both the all mesh and canvas bubble bags have their sets of pros and cons. Knowing upsides and downsides to either type is essential to making the best decision for your ice water extraction lab. 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of all mesh vs canvas bubble bags. 

All Mesh Bubble Wash Bags


1. Quicker to Drain
The more surface area through which water can flow leads to faster draining. Since the entire bag is made with the mesh filter material, water drains out much more quickly. This savings in production time leads to more efficiency in your lab. 



2. Less Strain on the Hash Maker
It’s common for hash makers to lift up and hold bubble wash bags with both hands while allowing water to drain through the mesh filter and into a collection vessel. Repeating this action with heavy bags again and again through multiple rounds of washing puts a lot of strain on the extractors’ back. Using all mesh bags reduces draining time and the amount of time the extractor needs to hold up the bags. 

3. Less Strain on the Bubble Wash Bag
Faster draining time also minimizes the amount of stress on the seams and material of the bag itself. As the water drains out of the bag more quickly, the full weight of water plus material pulls downward on the bag for less time. Less strain on the bag increases its longevity and prevents excessive stretching. Stretching can lead to inconsistency in pore size from one side of the filter to the other. 

4. Cleaner than Canvas
Nylon sidewalls of traditional bubble wash bags are more difficult to clean than the mesh screen. Trichomes get stuck on the sidewalls and cake together if they’re not thoroughly rinsed off after each run. Even with thorough rinsing, waterproof sidewalls are more prone to catch and hold trichomes than the mesh screen material. 

5. Less Material To Potentially Flake Off Over Time
The waterproof nylon sidewalls of traditional wash bags must be of the highest quality to avoid deterioration over time. For the lesser-quality brand wash bags made with cheap nylon material, the waterproof sidewalls can break down and release tiny fibers into the water. 


1. Air Pockets While Washing
Because all-mesh bags are lighter, when draining the cannabis and ice water mixture into your bubble bags bags, air tends to accumulate on the side of the bags. This creates air pockets around the bags themselves which can be not only be a hassle, but adds to the production time. As hash makers deal with the hassle of releasing these air pockets, time and energy is wasted during the process. 

2. Easier to Puncture Holes While Hand Washing
When hand washing and using a paddle, the edge of the paddle can rub against or catch onto the side of the all mesh bags. Especially for hash makers using a metal paddle,  if the washer isn't careful, this rubbing can lead to abrasion tearing. A torn bag not only costs money to replace, but it can compromise the quality of that entire batch of hash. 

3. Side Bag Stretching
Hash makers often stretch bubble wash bags over the rounded edge of a vessel or drum, in order to pull the material tight and make it easier to scrape the loose resin off of the surface. As the bubble bags are stretched, micron accuracy can be compromised more quickly on all mesh bags than bags with canvas sides. The canvas is more durable than the all mesh material. 

4. Less Visible Color Coding
Many canvas bubble bags are made with canvas side walls dyed with a specific color to represent a specific mesh filter (micron) size. But with all mesh bags without color-specific sidewalls, it can be more difficult to tell the bags apart at first glance.

5. Flimsy Side Walls
Side walls that are made with mesh filter material are less sturdy than sidewalls made with waterproof canvas material. Sometimes this lack of sturdiness can be a disadvantage in handling the bags. All mesh bags tend not to hold their structure as easily, which can lead to more errors which washing hash. 


1. Stiffer Bag Structure
While washing hash with canvas bags, the sides of the bags tend to stick to the side of the vessel during washing. This creates better rigidity and makes it easier to handle the bag during the process. The entire bag is less likely to shift around within the vessel due to the stiffer sidewalls, thanks to more sturdy canvas material. 


2. Not As Easy To Puncture Holes While Hand Washing
Since the canvas is a more solid, hardy, and sturdy material than the mesh filter material, there's less of a chance for tearing, punctures, and abrasion during hand washing. It's still a good idea to be gentle, especially if you're using a metal paddle, but canvas side walls are a little more forgiving than all mesh. 

3. More Visible Color Coding
The side walls of each canvas bag are often a different color, with each color representing a different micron size in the bag. The color variation of the dyed canvas sidewalls make it easy to tell at first glance which bag is which. Even if the canvas is black, like The Press Club's bubble wash bags, it can be a bit easier to see the contrast in the color-coded labels.  

4. Bubble Bags on a Budget
Canvas bubble bags are often sold at lower prices than all mesh bags, making them more accessible to hash makers working on a smaller budget. But beware, the low price normally carries significant downside. We'll look at some of those downsides in a moment. 

5. Air Pockets Less Likely to Form While Washing
Since the sidewalls of canvas bubble bags are sturdier, it's not as easy for air pockets to form between the wash vessel and the bags during the extraction process. 


1. Drains Slower
Because the sidewalls of canvas bags are made with waterproof material, the cannabis and water mixture can only drain through the very bottom of the bag during ice water extraction. Only the bottom of the canvas bags contain the mesh filter material, which reduces the overall surface area through which water can drain, compared to the all mesh bubble bags. Slower drainage time increases overall production time and leads to a less efficient operation. 

2. Canvas Bags Are Heavier for Longer
The fact that the drainage process is slower for canvas bubble bags means that these bags hold more water weight for longer. This prolonged period that the bags endure the heavy load increases the likelihood of stretching of the mesh filter material at the bottom of the bag. 

3. Flaking
If you purchase bags from a cheap manufacturer, there's a chance the canvas bags are not made from high-quality canvas material. The outer waterproof coating on subpar canvas sidewalls can separate from the cloth beneath, and eventually peel off into your hash. Be sure to source high quality bags like these from The Press Club, otherwise pieces of poorly-constructed canvas sidewalls can flake into your loose resin. 

4. Dyes
If you purchase bags from a cheap manufacturer, the canvas used may not be dye-free. Dyed canvas that's not of the highest quality can end up leaching dye into your wash. Not only is this dangerous to consume, it's going to kill the aesthetic of your final product. 

5. Can Be More Difficult To Clean
Sticky resin is more difficult to scrub off of waterproof canvas than mesh material. More time, diligence, and deliberation is needed to thoroughly scrub canvas bags after each use. Once a little resin remains stuck on the canvas, it will quickly accumulate more resin during the next run, and even potentially harbor other contaminants such as mold. 


Bubble bags are essential tools in the ice water extraction process, used by hash makers to separate trichome heads from cannabis material. These specialized bags, featuring mesh filters of varying sizes measured in microns, capture the coveted resin while allowing water and other plant material to pass through. The trichome heads collected serve as the foundation for solventless concentrates like bubble hash and rosin. Two main types of bubble bags exist: canvas and all mesh. Canvas bags, with their waterproof sidewalls and mesh bottoms, offer sturdiness and visible color coding, making them easier to handle and differentiate during extraction. However, they drain slower and can be prone to flaking and difficult cleaning. 

On the other hand, all mesh bubble bags boast faster drainage and are easier to clean due to their mesh construction. They also place less strain on both the extractor and the bag itself. However, they come with their own set of drawbacks, including the formation of air pockets during washing, increased susceptibility to punctures, and less visible color coding. Understanding the trade-offs between these two types is crucial for hash makers aiming to optimize their extraction processes.

Which type of bags do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

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