🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
Full spectrum refers to the array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in a cannabis extract. Solventless methods like ice water extraction, which is used to make bubble hash, and pressing rosin capture all of the active ingredients within the cannabis resin. What you get is the full experience of the plant, the full spectrum of what it has to offer.
More broadly, full spectrum can refer to cannabis products that contain all the therapeutic compounds produced by the source plant. Other cannabis products that aren’t full spectrum are generally formulated through a combination of extracts made to target only specific molecules, such as THC.
What’s the Opposite of Full Spectrum?
Extraction methods that use solvents to isolate specific cannabinoids like THC, do so at the expense of the other cannabinoids present, like CBD. While products like CO2 distillate can be effectively engineered, you won’t get the full spread of therapeutic compounds found in full spectrum extracts. Any diversity of cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids present in distillate were added back in one by one post-production.
The advantages of methods like CO2 extraction is that it allows targeting of specific molecules. As the leading cannabinoid, being able to isolate and extract only the THC content from the source material is valuable in certain applications.
Is All Bubble Hash Full Spectrum?
Bubble hash is a great example of a full spectrum cannabis product. Bubble hash is made through a solventless extraction process called ice water extraction. Ice water extraction is a method that involves ice water, cannabis, and a series of mesh filter bags that are used to collect trichome heads from the cannabis plant. Rather than targeting specific cannabinoids, ice water extraction targets the full mature trichome heads, which contain the complete offering of the plant’s therapeutic compounds. Ice water extraction doesn’t rely on any chemical processes or solvents to isolate specific molecules, rather it is a natural and mechanical process of separating trichome heads from cannabis material.
In ice water extraction, various sizes of mesh filter bags capture different sizes of material that are suspended in the ice water and cannabis slurry. The filter bags that capture only full trichome heads are the most desirable. Other bags in the set are made to filter out other material, like pieces of plant matter and trichome stalks. Although trichome stalks also contain useful compounds, they aren’t as desirable as the full trichome heads.
You can learn more about trichomes in The Anatomy of a Cannabis Trichome and Why It’s Important.
The Other Meaning of Full Spectrum in Bubble Hash
We know that various sizes of filter bags capture different sizes of material, the trichome heads being the most desirable. Pure trichome heads with no other plant material included will produce the highest grades of bubble hash. Each filter bag delivers a different grade of hash. Hash makers can keep the yield from each filter bag separate, or take the different grades of hash and mix it all together at the end.
Mixing together the yield from every bag that collects a good quality of hash is what creates full spectrum bubble hash. This is in contrast to keeping hash from the 45 micron bag separate from the hash collected from the 75 micron, separate from the 90 micron bag, and so on. Sometimes you will see hash labeled as 75 micron or 45 micron, and that refers to the hash that came only from that size micron filter bag. Learn more about the benefits of using a complete series of bubble wash bags in What Is the Purpose of Using Multiple Bubble Wash Bags for Ice Water Extraction?
When trichomes from various filter bags are mixed together, that refers to full spectrum bubble hash.
But not every filter bag provides a yield worth keeping. For example, the larger bags like the 220 and 160 micron bags are meant to filter out the larger pieces of material from the ice water and cannabis mixture, and these bags don’t yield good quality hash. There’s too much contamination there. Likewise the smallest bag, the 25 micron, collects material that’s smaller than the full trichome heads, such as the trichome stalks. This also does not provide a good quality of hash.
The bubble wash bags that collect the highest quality of hash are the 120, 90, 75, and 45 micron bags. When the hash collected from these bags is mixed together, that is called full spectrum bubble hash.
Read more about the full process of washing bubble hash in How To Wash Bubble Hash.
Full Spectrum Hash Rosin
When it comes to pressing your bubble hash to make hash rosin, you can press hash that’s collected just from certain micron filter bags, or hash mixed together from a variety of bags. You can press only the highest quality hash that you get from a wash, for example the 90 micron hash. Or, you can mix the 120, 90, 75, and 45 together. While the 90 micron may be the highest quality, this would not be considered full spectrum hash rosin, because you’re pressing only a certain micron.
Full spectrum hash rosin refers to rosin that’s pressed from hash collected from a variety of micron wash bag sizes. This rosin often delivers a more robust high and complex flavor profile, but a lot depends on the strain as well.
Learn more about the process of pressing hash rosin in the article How To Press Bubble Hash Rosin.
Full spectrum bubble hash includes trichomes collected from bubble wash bags of a variety of filter micron sizes. Rather than only one size of trichome, for example the hash collected from a 45-micron bubble wash bag, full spectrum bubble hash offers a more comprehensive expression of the starting material.
That said, all bubble hash can be considered full spectrum in terms of the general characteristics of the extract, which does not isolate specific cannabinoids.
Do you like to mix all your bubble hash, or keep each micron separate? Let us know in the comments!
Thoughts? Let us know by joining our secret Facebook group. Hang out with a community of like-minded solventless heads like yourself. Ask our head extractor questions, share your latest press and learn from hobbyists and experts in the industry.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does full spectrum mean?
Full spectrum refers to the array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in a cannabis extract.
Is bubble hash full spectrum?
In respect to the fact that bubble hash captures the entire trichome head, it can be considered full spectrum. When you mix trichomes captured from each bubble wash bag, it's true full spectrum because it's a representation of all sizes of trichomes on the plant. Bubble hash that's collected from only one particular size of filter, such as the 45 micron bubble wash bag, and kept separate from the hash from other filter sizes would not be considered true full spectrum bubble hash.
What is the opposite of full spectrum?
The opposite of full spectrum is a concentrate that isolates only specific cannabinoids like THC. CO2 distillate is an example of an extract that's not full spectrum, since it targets only one cannabinoid.
Is rosin full spectrum?
Rosin is considered full spectrum because it captures the entire profile of the starting material. Hash rosin that's pressed from bubble hash that's a mix of all micron sizes of yield is considered true full spectrum.
Is full spectrum better than distillate?
Full spectrum is more inclusive of all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in the starting material, and offers a more complex experience than distillate. Distillate can be highly concentrated but often gives a one-dimensional experience.