Cannabis enthusiast and student of the art of solventless extraction
Bubble Hash, or Ice Water Hash as it’s also known, is a type of solventless cannabis concentrate known for its purity and potency. Bubble hash is made through a process called Ice Water Extraction, a method that uses only ice, water, and cannabis material to extract trichomes from cannabis. Extractors sieve the ice water and cannabis mixture through a series of mesh filters, called Bubble Wash Bags, in order to isolate and collect cannabis trichomes. These trichomes, also collectively referred to as “resin”, are the main object of interest when making bubble hash, while any additional plant material that remains is considered contamination.
The highest qualities of hash contain almost exclusively these full, mature trichome heads with only trace amounts of contamination present.
Learn more about trichomes in our Guide To Trichomes and Solventless Extraction.
How Is Bubble Hash Rated?
Hash is qualified in part by the amount of plant contaminant that’s present alongside trichome heads. The best hash is referred to as full melt hash, meaning that it fully vaporizes when exposed to heat. This grade of hash is so pure that it doesn’t leave any residuals behind.
Full melt hash also tends to bubble under heat, the genesis for the expression “if it doesn’t bubble, it’s not worth the trouble”. This premium grade of hash contains such small amounts of plant contaminant that it’s barely measurable. This purity enables the hash to form tiny clear domes that expand and pop like bubbles as the hash heats.
One a scale of 1 to 6-stars, full melt bubble hash is 6-star. Learn more about the rating system in How Is Bubble Hash Rated?
What Is Food Grade Bubble Hash?
Food grade hash is at the other end of the quality spectrum. Food grade hash contains significantly larger amounts of plant contamination, and it’s generally rated as 1 or 2-star hash. This quality of hash is still valuable, as it’s a concentrated version of cannabis that’s extracted without the use of solvents. Due to the excess plant material contained within, food grade hash doesn’t fully melt or bubble, and it leaves behind residue.
These qualities make 1 and 2-start hash less desirable for smoking, but perfect for use in cooking and infusions. Food grade hash is ideal as a source for edible infusions and cooking with cannabis. Food grade hash often has a green tint, which reflects the plant material contained within.
How Do You Make Food Grade Bubble Hash?
Ice Water Extraction involves the use of multiple filters used to capture trichomes from cannabis. These filters contain a variety of pore sizes, measured in microns, all the way from 220 down to 25 microns. Extractors pour the ice water and cannabis slurry through the entire series of filter bags, starting at 220 and ending at 25 microns. A different quality of hash is collected from each filter bag. The closer the pore size of the filter matches the size of full, complete trichome heads, the higher quality of hash that filter bag will yield.
Full melt bubble hash is generally collected from only certain bubble wash bags, namely the 90, 75, and 50-micron bags. These microns are the closest match with trichome heads.
Material (plant contaminants) that is larger than trichome heads is captured by the preceding filter bags, namely the 220, 190, 160, and 120-micron wash bags. Material that’s smaller than trichome heads can pass through the bags, exiting down to the smallest 25-micron bag.
Food grade hash is most commonly collected from the 160 and 25-micron filter bags. That said, any hash that contains higher levels of plant contamination, in the 1 to 2-star range, can be considered food grade hash. And since we’re not extracting with solvents, any grade of hash can be used for cooking.
Read more about the benefit of using multiple micron filter bags to wash hash in What Is the Purpose of Using Multiple Bubble Wash Bags for Ice Water Extraction.
3 and 4-star hash is perfect as source material for pressing hash rosin, and 5 and 6-star hash is often enjoyed on its own.
But even 1 and 2-star bubble hash for cooking and edible infusions packs more of a punch than flower or trim leaves.
How To Cook with Food Grade Bubble Hash
Similar to using cannabis flowers for cooking, food grade hash is normally used as the source for cannabis infusions, which are then used in various food recipes. Instead of mixing the bubble hash directly into a batch of cookies for example, the hash would be used to infuse butter, then the enriched butter is used in the cookie recipe.
Decarbing bubble hash helps to unlock its full potential for cooking, and this is the first step in preparing food grade bubble hash. Decarboxylation converts cannabinoids, the beneficial compounds in cannabis, from their acidic form into a non-acidic form (e.g. from THC-A to THC). This transformation activates the full extent of the cannabinoids’ therapeutic value, most especially in regards to psychoactivity.
The process of decarbing is similar for cannabis flowers, bubble hash, and rosin. Read more in How To Decarb Cannabis.
Infusing butter is a great way to use bubble hash for cooking. Once you have the butter infusion, you can use it in all kinds of recipes that call for butter.
If you're looking for a more direct and discreet way to enjoy hash and its effects, MCT Oil capsules are the way to go. Rather than infusing butter, you can infuse coconut oil and use it to fill capsules. Follow the same process for bubble hash as you would with rosin, and check out How To Make MCT Oil Capsules.
Hash Gummies are another great way to use your food grade bubble hash infusions. Find the recipe in How To Make Cannabis Gummies.
Finally, What Are Rosin Chips and What Can You Do with Them? includes other ways you can get creative with cannabis infusions. While the article deals specifically with using rosin for the infusions, the same process works for bubble hash.
Hash that's not quite up to par for pressing rosin or dabbing can be perfect for infusing edibles. This food grade hash is normally collected from the 160, 120 (sometimes, though the hash in this bag can be higher quality) , and 25 micron bags. This 1 and 2-star bubble hash contains significant therapeutic value, even though it's not considered a premium product. Don't let this food grade bubble hash go to waste!
What's your favorite way to use food grade bubble hash. Let us know in the comments!
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