The earliest known use of hash traces back to Persia around 1000 to 1200AD. Surprisingly, it was assassins that brought the extract to fame. Some scholars actually state “hashish” translates to “assassin” in the Persian language.
Marco Polo took the fabled tales of assassins and their hash use back to Europe, and nearly a thousand years later, you can pick up some high-quality hashish in dozens of European and American destinations. When most of us think about hash, we imagine the pressed black blocks featuring a gold seal, freshly smuggled from lands like Morocco, Nepal, and Afghanistan.
If your last crop had a decent yield, you can skip the illegal importing and attempt to make it home yourself. This guide looks at how to make hash using two of the most popular methods – Dry ice and bubble extraction.
What Is Hash?
Hash is a concentrated form of the trichomes found on the cannabis plant. Trichomes are the tiny crystal-like formations found on the calyxes (resin glands), leaves, and buds. You’ll know it’s time to harvest when 60% or more of the trichomes look milky under a microscope.
While everyone enjoys toking on some high-grade, well-cured flowers, extracts are fast becoming connoisseurs’ favorite choice. Making hash isolates the trichomes from the plant material, giving you the purest form of cannabis for vaping or smoking.
There are dozens of methods to make hash, from hand-rolled charas to live rosin press or full-melt ice-water hashish, which melts entirely in your banger. This post looks at two of the easiest, cleanest, and effective ways of making hash from your harvest – the dry ice and bubble methods.
Tips for Making Hash
- Only use the highest-grade cannabis.
- Trimmings are acceptable for making both types of concentrates.
- Using buds gets you higher-quality hash.
- Never make extracts using buds infested with insects or mold.
- It might take you one or two tries to get either method right.
Why Make Hash?
Hash is the original concentrate. Before anyone ever thought about blasting hydrocarbons through glass, people were making hash. Sure, the technology improved in the last decade, letting anyone make extracts at home. Sauce, shatter, budder, and wax are all the talk of the town down at the dispensary, but real heads know that hash is the true connoisseur’s classic choice.
It’s easy enough to make hash at home, without any advanced equipment, solvents, or a math degree. With a batch of hash, you’re getting the best out of your cannabis plant, with a full spectrum of terpenes and the best combination of resin glands.
The result is a synergistic medley of aromas and flavors without involving plant matter and chlorophyll in your experience. Real concentrate enthusiasts know this combination to produce “the ensemble,” a phenomenon otherwise known as “the entourage effect.“
What are the Popular Methods for Making Hash?
There are nearly a dozen or so methods for producing hash. However, in this post, we’re going to focus on two simple methods you can do at home. The “Dry Ice” and “Bubble Hash” methods produce epic results, with minimal equipment costs.
The general idea of making dry ice or bubble hash involves this easy formula.
- Cannabis trim or bud + Freezing temperatures + Stirring + Gravity = Hash
It’s really that simple. There are minor differences between the two methods. However, both produce fantastic results without the need for any solvents.
Let’s unpack everything you need to know about making dry ice or bubble hash right at home.
Making Hash with the Bubble Method
What Is Bubble Hash?
You’re probably wondering why people call it bubble hash? Well, it’s from the way it bubbles when you smoke it in a bowl. If you’re ever with friends and someone pulls out a ball of soft, mustard-yellow, sticky bubble hash, you know you’re all in for a good time.
To make bubble hash, you process the cannabis through ice water, with the cold stripping away the oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoid goodies away from the plant material. It’s kind of like juicing the plant to get the best parts out of it.
You’ll use “bubble bags” for the process, adding the flower/trimmings to the bag, along with ice water. You agitate the bag, freezing the resin glands away from the flower. The glands move through a series of “screens in the base, each with a different micron thickness.
Some bag models come with up to seven to nine filters, with standard mesh thicknesses measuring 75μ, 160μ, and 220μ or finer. As a result, the best-quality bubble ends up in the bottom bag. Each subsequent filter produces a lower-quality product. The first bag typically produces a light-color hash, while the final bag is much darker.
Also known as “full-melt” bubble hash, the final bag produces some of the world’s most sought-after extract. The final melt is what bubbles away when smoking. However, the other bags make some great hash, and you’ll love all of them.
Why Choose Bubble Hash Extraction?
Most modern methods of making extractions require the use of solvents in the process. The process works incredibly well, but there are a few problems with it.
The most significant issue with smoking or vaping extracts – is the processing. Over the last decade, the Californian market led the way in producing new standards for extracts. However, the black market remains a dangerous gamble for people purchasing extracts.
If the producer doesn’t gas-off all the hydrocarbons in the solvent during the final manufacturing phase, you end up with a contaminated product.
Unfortunately, many home-growers don’t take this purging phase seriously, ending in serious health problems due to the ingestion of hydrocarbons and toxic chemical agents.
Hash doesn’t use solvents for the extraction – you rely on freezing cold temperatures to do the work.
What Equipment Do I Need to Make Bubble Hash?
You’ll need to following equipment for making bubble hash. You’ll find everything at your local hardware store or big-box retailer, and you can order your bubble bags online through us.
- 1 x set 5-gallon ice-water bubble hash bags.
- 75μ, 160μ, and 220μ. Micron filters for collection and drying.
- 3x clean 5-gallon plastic buckets.
- Large wooden spoon.
- A butter knife, spoon, or stiff card.
- Absorbent paper towels
- 7-oz. cannabis flower or trim.
- A garden hose.
- Turkey-roasting oven bags.
- Wire rack or tray.
- Heat-resistant oven gloves.
- Wax paper or parchment.
- A bottle of hot water.
Ready to start?
How Do I Make Bubble Hash?
You can make your bubble hash using trim and shake or using buds. Obviously, if you want the best quality product, using buds is the best choice. However, you’ll get a small yield from this exercise, so you’ll probably regret tossing your top-shelf nugs into the bags unless you’re a real bubble enthusiast.
The day before you want to make your hash, place your cannabis in the freezer, loosely packed in a freezer bag. The freezing temperatures help separate the trichomes from the rest of the plant material, making it easy to produce your bubble hash without solvents.
When you’re ready to go, remove the bag from the freezer and go through this step-by-step process of making bubble hash.
- Step 1 – Line the first bucket with the biggest filter size.
- Step 2 – Fill the bucket with one-third ice and 7-oz of cannabis.
- Step 3 – Top it with ice and fill the rest of the bucket with water.
- Step 4 – Wait for 30 minutes for the cannabis to rehydrate and get cold, breaking off the trichomes.
- Step 5 – Stir the mixture with your wooden spoon. However, stir slowly, and don’t be aggressive.
- Step 6 – Lift the bag out of the bucket, allowing the water to drain slowly.
- Step 7 – Line the next bucket with the rest of the filter bags, starting with the smallest on the bottom.
- Step 8 – Pour the water into the bag and allow the trichomes to settle. You’ll notice the water has a golden hue. If it’s green, it means you stirred too forcefully.
- Step 9 – Lift the bag, so the water fills the bucket.
- Step 10 – You’ll see the trichomes on the filter as you lift the bag, rinse them off with the hot water.
- Step 11 – Scrape up the hash with your spoon.
- Step 12 – Repeat your process for the remaining filters.
Step 13 – Dry your bubble hash by placing it on parchment paper on a wire rack or tray. Make sure it’s in a well-ventilated room that’s dark and dry. It may take three to five days for the hash to dry, depending on local climate conditions.
>Read our “Best Bubble Hash Washing Machines” guide for the best equipment out there to help make your bubble hash journey all the easier and all the more pleasant..
Making Hash with the Dry Ice Method
What Is the Dry Ice Hash Method?
You can find dry ice suppliers online, and they’ll deliver it straight to your home in a polystyrene box. Essentially, dry ice is CO2 in solid form. It’s non-flammable but very cold. Dry ice is stable at temperatures under -109ºF, but don’t get it on your hands or skin.
If you get the ice on your skin, it causes “burning,” which feels like the ice sticks to your skin, burning you, almost as if it were something hot. Make sure you’re using leather gloves or heavy mittens when handling it.
The dry ice hash method involves the same process as making bubble hash. However, you won’t need any water. You add the ice to the bag and agitate. The cold temperature of the dry ice breaks the trichomes away from the plant material.
Why Choose Dry Ice Extraction?
Bubble hash is a well-known method for making top-quality hashish. However, it tends to get a bit messy dragging the bags and buckets around. If you’re making your extracts in your apartment, the dry ice methods eliminate the water and ice and most of the mess.
Some connoisseurs also claim the dry ice method produces better-quality hash, with fewer terpenes lost in the water required in the bubble hash process. The dry ice method’s ultra-low temperatures mean you get no loss in flavor profile in the extract.
What Equipment Do I Need to Make Dry Ice Hash?
If you want to make some dry ice hash, you’ll need the following equipment.
- Cannabis buds or shake.
- A clean 5-gallon bucket.
- A set of bubble hash bags.
- Heavy-duty gloves, goggles, and preferably long sleeve clothing.
- 2 to 3-lbs of dry ice.
- A flat, clean surface to shake out the bags.
- A plastic card for scraping.
- Always work in a well-ventilated room.
How Do I Make Dry Ice Hash?
- Step 1 – Line the first bucket with the biggest filter size.
- Step 2 – Place the cannabis in the bucket along with the dry ice.
- Step 3 – Shake the bag gently to break the trichomes free from the plant material.
- Step 4 – Tip the bucket upside down, and collect the hash in the bubble bags.
- Step 5 – Remove the hash bag.
- Step 6 – Tip the contents onto your clean work surface.
- Step 7 – Scrape up the hash.
- Step 8 – Repeat the process for the rest of the bags.
- Step 9 – Add dry ice pellets as necessary.
- Step 10 – Keep the hash loose, or compress it into a ball for storage.
Which Is the Better Method? – Bubble vs. Dry Ice Extraction
From this review, it’s easy to think that dry ice hash is the better option for your bud. The reality is that old-school hash heads will take Full-Melt bubble hash over dry ice extractions all day.
We can’t tell what the secret is, but bubble hash just feels stronger.
Additional Tips for Making and Using Hash
Choose hash bags with durable stitching, heavy-duty materials, and a polyester mesh. Buy a set of bubble hash bags with the following filter sizes.
- 25 Micron – Secondary grade
- 45 Micron – Secondary Grade
- 73 Micron – Primary Grade
- 90 Micron – Primary Grade
- 120 Micron – Primary Grade
- 160 Micron – extra fine
- 190 Micron – fine
- 220 Micron – coarse
Why smoke when you can vape? Vaporizing is just as effective, and you get a better terpene profile and cleaner taste from your experience. Hash is potent! Be careful when administering your dose. If you’re using Full-Melt bubble hash, be gentle!