Celebrate 710 With This Complete Guide to Cannabis Concentrates

For many enthusiasts, concentrates are among the most enjoyable and versatile of cannabis products. While a little concentrate goes a long way, these extracts are easily vaporized, smoked, or used to make infused topicals, edibles, and more. Not all concentrates, however, are created equal. The way that different cannabis concentrates are prepared has an impact on the end result. 

In order to delve deeper into the past, present and future of cannabis concentrates this 710, we have called in the expertise of the team from Oleum Extracts. The Washington-based, multi-award-winning processor company is considered to be one of the best in the industry, developing consistently innovative products — like their THCA crystalline Wizard Stones — and producing high-quality extracts.

Here’s what every aficionado needs to know about cannabis concentrates.

The Evolution of Cannabis Concentrates

PHOTO Oleum Extracts

Oleum Extracts believe that the evolution of cannabis concentrates has seen a shift away from the wants and needs of producers towards those of the consumers.

“As consumers become more educated, they are asking better and more meaningful questions regarding the products they are ingesting/consuming, which is a good thing,” said Team Oleum. “New topics such as cannabinoid profiles, terpene profiles, how the products made, what kind of materials are used, and knowledge of the manufacturers are making their way into the purchasing decisions of consumers.”

They also think that as consumers become savvier to which companies and products have the most stringent production policies and consistent products, “brand trust and loyalty are beginning to make their presence felt.”

When purchasing cannabis concentrates, asking for the cheapest products with the highest THC levels should not be at the forefront of consumers minds and Team Oleum believes “we’re starting to see this shift happen away from that type of thinking.”

Recent developments of isolation products demonstrate “the evolution of concentrates that can be seen in THCA, THCV (appetite suppressant), CBDCBGCBN (sleep aid) and Delta-8-THC (anti-nausea).”

“We are anxious to see what comes out of the isolation of these other cannabinoids, as these compounds are often only found in trace amounts in flower form (less than 1%). Now that we are able to isolate them, we will be able to see the implications of larger doses and combinations of these cannabinoids and/or cannabis-derived terpenes on the human vessel.”

All About Solvents

The majority of cannabis concentrates require a solvent to extract. A solvent is a substance, usually a liquid or a gas, that separates trichome resin glands from unwanted plant material. The separated essential oil is then collected and further processed to create the high-potency oils and products that are so popular today.

Many different solvents can be used to make cannabis concentrates. Of these, however, there are three solvents that dominate the market: butane, carbon dioxide, and ethanol. Each of these solvents is used to effectively remove cannabis resin from the plant and concentrate the resin into the sap-like oil aficionado’s everywhere have come to know and love.

Butane

Butane is one of the cheapest solvents to use when making cannabis concentrates. It was also the first solvent to be used to make concentrates for dabbing, and concentrates made with this solvent are often referred to as butane hash oil (BHO). In general, concentrates extracted with butane tend to preserve more aromatic qualities than those extracted with carbon dioxide. For this reason, butane is used to make live resin, a concentrate rich in aromatic molecules called terpenes. No other solvent can be used to make live resin.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is most commonly used to make syrupy extracts for vapor pens. The solvent, however, can also be used to make other forms of concentrates. Oils extracted with carbon dioxide can be dabbed, used to fill capsules, or used as oils put underneath the tongue. Unlike butane, however, carbon dioxide tends to remove much of the terpene aroma molecules found in cannabis flower. As such, CO2 oil can feature a strikingly different chemical composition than the cannabis plant from which it came.

Ethanol

Concentrates extracted with ethanol are among the most expensive around. And yet, this solvent is perhaps one of the best to use during cannabis extractions. For those hoping to maintain aromatic terpenes in their concentrate, products made with ethanol are typically the way to go. Ethanol captures more terpenes and pigment molecules called flavonoids than other concentrates. Concentrates made with ethanol are sometimes processed into full spectrum cannabis oil (FECO), while others are used to make products for dabbing.

How To Spot Quality Concentrates

PHOTO Dankshire for Oleum Extracts

Searching for truly high-quality material? There are three basic factors to keep in mind: color, consistency, and lab reports. A hallmark sign of quality in almost all cannabis concentrates is a golden-amber coloration. Most solvent-based concentrates should appear amber, although the color can range a light gold to warm rust.

Some concentrates, like FECO and RSO, may look almost black. The deep coloration in these products indicates that greater amounts of chlorophyll were extracted along with other cannabis compounds. While more chlorophyll may provide a bitter, herbal taste, the inclusion of a greater variety of plant chemicals may make these types of concentrates more appealing to medical consumers.

The introduction of alternative methods and new equipment has resulted in an improvement in cannabis concentrates — good news for the aforementioned medical patients and dabbing enthusiasts alike.

Concentrates should feature a fairly consistent constitution. No one, for example, wants to find hard chunks in their budder, nor do they want to find leaf matter or stem fragments in their hash. If a concentrate doesn’t take on the form that is advertised, chances are it is a low-quality product.

“In the beginning, good concentrates were known pretty much by aesthetics and the way they looked,” said Team Oleum. “Followed up with a sniff, the color and smell of the product were the easiest ways to spot a good concentrate back in the day. Now, a concentrate can look great, and even smell ok, but once dabbed or vaped might taste horrendous.”

Third-party lab reports are essential, proving the manufacturer and consumer with information on the chemical constituents in the concentrate, like the terpene profiles of the flower.

“While a concentrate may look attractive, low-quality flower with low terpene content may have been used during the extraction,” said Team Oleum. “Most lab reports list information on the potency and dominant cannabinoids in the product. Some reports, however, will also list the primary terpenes in the concentrate as well. In general, the more terpenes preserved in the concentrate, the greater the flavor and aroma.”

“The only individuals really doing any quality control of the products before going out to market are the producers and processors themselves. If these individuals are not cannabis consumers,  and/or are not trying their own products it is doing a great disservice to both their brand and their consumers.

“If the owners and operators of these brands do a good enough job at this, the reward is consumer trust in both the brand and its products. When people can trust where the material is being sourced, how it is being processed and the care that goes into its production from start to finish. These are the brands that are earning the most market share and seeing the most positive feedback from consumers.”

Most Common Concentrate Preparations

Walk into any cannabis shop these days and you’re sure to find a plethora of containers filled with sticky goo. The market for cannabis concentrates is growing faster than ever, with data suggesting that concentrate sales may surpass sales for dry flower within the next four years. Here are some of the most popular cannabis concentrate products.

Shatter

Cannabis ConcentratesPHOTO RuggedCoast

Shatter is easy to spot in a dispensary but relatively difficult to make for extractors. Shatter is a cannabis concentrate that takes on the consistency of an amber-colored glass shard. These shards can be broken up and dabbed, although the oil’s crystalline constitution makes it slightly more difficult to work with than other concentrate preparations.

Wax

PHOTO David

Wax and shatter are made in essentially the same way, although wax tends to be physically agitated more during processing. As a result, the preparation loses its glass-like consistency and instead develops a waxy, honeycomb-like constitution. Some individual strains may also be more inclined to “wax up” than other strains. In general, waxes tend to be softer and easier to manipulate than shatters.

Budder

Budder is whipped wax. Instead of walking on eggshells trying to create a glass-like shatter, budder is whipped automatically in order to create a smoothe yet opaque concentrate. The end result is soft, fluffy, and easy to manipulate.

Oil

PHOTO Eric Limon

Cannabis oils are concentrates that maintain a consistent liquid state. Oils are most often made with ethanol, which preserves the widest array of phytochemicals found in any cannabis extraction. Oils of this type are often referred to as full-spectrum cannabis oil (FECO) or Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). These oils are often used under the tongue or are ingested orally. Carbon dioxide, however, can also be used to make a syrupy oil, such as that found in vapor cartridges.

Live Resin

PHOTO Oleum Extracts

Live resin is a king among concentrates. Unlike all other concentrates, live resin is made using fresh cannabis flowers that have been flash-frozen in order to preserve terpene quality. These fresh flowers are then processed using butane as a solvent, creating a wet and semi-solid concentrate that features superior flavor, aroma, and overall terpene quality.

Solventless Concentrates

Using a solvent is the easiest way to extract cannabis concentrates. Solvents, however, are not required to make a concentrated cannabis product. Products like hash and rosin do not require solvents at all, which makes them preferable to many consumers. Although, solventless concentrates tend to be less potent than their solvent-based counterparts.

Rocks and Sauce

Cannabis ConcentratesPHOTO Oleum Extracts

“Rocks and Sauce is a product where THCA crystals grow in their own high terpene extraction,” said Team Oleum. “They are often made from fresh frozen material but can be made from dried/cured material, too.”

Hash

PHOTO Frenchy Cannoli

Hash is one of the oldest cannabis preparations available. It’s also one of the simplest to make. Hash is most often made by rubbing dried cannabis flower on a screen, breaking off trichomes via agitation. The broken trichomes are then collected and compressed into hash.

Bubble hash or ice water hash is another type of concentrate made using agitation. Only, this variety of hash uses ice water to freeze trichome resin glands. The cold temperature makes trichomes more brittle, which allows them to more easily break away from plant material. The end result is grainy trichome goo that is then dried and compressed into hash.

Rosin

Cannabis ConcentratesPHOTO RuggedCoast

Rosin is one of the most popular concentrates available today. Like hash, rosin is relatively easy to make. This solventless preparation uses heat and pressure to melt trichomes off of plant material. These trichomes are often melted between two solid hot plates, which compresses them into an almost shatter-like consistency. Rosin tends to be slightly translucent, although it remains mailable and soft, a stark contrast to shatter’s glass-like nature.

Exciting Advances and New Developments in the World of Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis ConcentratesPHOTO Oleum Extracts

Team Oleum believe that isolates, the separation of cannabinoids and terpenes are exciting developments and new in the field of concentrates.

“We are now starting to understand isolation and separation on a much deeper level,” said Team Oleum. “This allows us to reconfigure ratios of cannabinoids to terpenes — to alter the experience, flavors and effects of these products.

“This has never been an option before with cannabis concentrates, we believe the future will incorporate a lot of these unique and novel combinations into the cannabis consumer’s diet. For instance, our IceWalker is a product that incorporates THCA Crystalline Wizard Stones, Delta-8-AquaTek Distillate and cannabis-derived terpenes. These types of concentrate concoctions were not possible a few years ago, we are excited to see what will come available in the next five years.

“In addition to isolations, we are also starting to retain terpenes (flavors) and their respective cannabinoids in such a way as to mimic the actual taste, smell and effect of the flower it comes from. It wasn’t too long ago that material was just put into a column and blasted with solvent, hoping for the best outcome in the end product and it was often hit or miss. Now, a lot more science, better cultivation, and preparation of materials, and better understanding and innovation of equipment have allowed us to employ much more efficient methods in cannabis extraction and processing. This, in turn, allows us to produce a much higher quality product much more consistently. Something that benefits both the producers and the consumers.

“Last but not least, CRC (Color Remediation Cartridge) seems to be making an introduction by offering solutions to the removal of unwanted colors and compounds in cannabis concentrates. These colors and compounds include lipids, chlorophyll, carotene, xanthophyll, pheophytins and lycopene,” said Team Oleum. “Due to the compounds being used in this process, it should only be done by those with proper equipment/lab and training. It definitely has its place in the concentrate industry as a means of cleaning up product, but in the same breath, good concentrates should always come from good starting material. As the tried and true saying goes, “Fire In.. Fire Out”.

“These methods of remediation can often take away from the true and original character of the strain and extract. We try to stay as close to the original cultivar as we can…in most cases it’s what we and the end consumer prefers.”

TELL US, did learn anything you didn’t already know about concentrates?

Originally published on cannabisaficianado.com.

The post Celebrate 710 With This Complete Guide to Cannabis Concentrates appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Hash Rosin 101: Lessons from Experienced Solventless Extractors

Made with no more than water, heat, pressure, and a few tools, hash rosin has become one of the most prized forms of cannabis resin today. Most hash rosin is made by squishing ice water hash instead of flower at the right temperature and pressure levels for yields that fail to rival solvent extractions. It also requires high-quality and properly maintained starting material to match the flavor and melt-quality of something made with hydrocarbon solvents.

There are also varying qualities of hash rosin. But thanks to the taste of concentrate connoisseurs, products like live rosin have become the most expensive and limited cannabis products being sold today. To better understand the many forms of modern hash rosin, I sat down with four premiere solventless extractors from Michigan with varying perspectives during the last High Times event in Detroit.

Solventless Extractors

Today’s hashmakers press their hash into rosin and don the titles of solventless extractors. The extractors I spoke to have several years of experience working with rosin.

After originally outsourcing their plant material to other hashmakers for years, the founder of Superior Flowers, Kerry, started Superior Solventless to create some of the highest-grade single source hash rosin in the state. Seeing jars with his labels in the stashes of most other competing local hashmakers I’ve met speaks volumes to how much his work is respected in the community.

Tyler of Wojo Wax recently took home a second-place medal for Best Non-Solvent Concentrate with their single source Cream D’Mint at the Michigan Cannabis Cup in 2019. Tyler said he has been making hash for about 2 and a half years but feels he really found his groove after taking a hashmaking consult in Las Vegas about a year ago.

Anthony AKA the Organic Mechanic, has been growing and making traditional hash for over 15 years with a focus on pressing rosin over the last two to three years. He’s a hash veteran that I’ve seen doing live demos and pressing hash and flowers that guests bring to his booth at the Cannabis Cup over the last few years.

Mark from Covert Extracts is one of the first to introduce mechanically separated hash rosin to Michigan cannabis consumers. Using the technique, he took first place for Non-Solvent Concentrate with the mechanically separated Mother’s Milk THCA and terpenes grown by Ghostbudsters Farm at the Michigan Cannabis Cup in 2019.

Not All Hash is Made Equal

Two jars of hash rosin from the same extractor, strain and batch.

When it comes to hash rosin, terms like 90u and 120u are different parts of the trichome separated by size. The “u” or μ to be accurate is a measurement that refers to the different micron sizes of the holes in the multiple bags used to filter and separate trichomes from the rest of the plant during the “washing” process.

“Washing” is slang for making ice water hash. More specifically, it is when plant material is put into a bucket of ice water and stirred before it is strained, leaving only hash behind. However, it’s worth noting that dry sift hash can be made without water and ice but most of the live rosin on shelves today is made by turning ice water hash made with freshly frozen materials into rosin.

In fact, all four of the hashmakers I interviewed use ice
water hash over dry sift material when making their rosin.

Beyond that, different hashmakers include or exclude certain trichome sizes from their final product. As a result, certain jars of hash and rosin being sold on the market are labeled as 90u, 120u, full spectrum or some range in between.

Differences in Micron Sizes

Kerry of Superior Solventless broke down the differences
between the separate micron sizes and what they mean to consumers.

He compared washing flowers to straining pasta. Big holes
let the water out and keep all the stuff you want isolated from falling through.
However, in the case of making hash, multiple strainers with smaller and
smaller holes are needed to separate the different parts of the trichome from
the rest of the plant.

“So, when you’re looking at something like 120u [up close], you’re going to see things that are intact. Basically, a stalk and glandular head right up on top. Then, when you see a 90u or a 73u, you’re mainly going to see heads. Heads that have been knocked off the stalks. You can even see them both individually in the 73 and 90u. That generally is what melts really well. Followed down by 45u and 25u.”

The trichome head has proven to be the most prized component of the plant. The fact that they mostly end up in the 90 and 73u bags as Kerry describes is why jars of pure 90 or 73u hash rosin have become more expensive and desired than full spectrum hash by some.

To get a better idea of what goes into the rosin I’ve been
smoking, I asked the four hashmakers what sizes they include in their final
product and why.

What is Full Spectrum Hash Rosin?

Fresh Press Banana OG full spectrum live rosin from Covert Extracts

When asked if they leave the 25u or anything else out of their full spectrum rosin Kerry replied, “We do not. Our motto or our philosophy and principle is to be full spectrum from the beginning to the end of the process.”

According to Kerry, the 90u and 73u are the “meat and
potatoes of your dinner plate” and make up the majority of the weight of the
yield. In fact, he claimed 90u alone “makes up 70 percent of your wash.”

He warned consumers that if they see a product that’s
labeled 90u and you see that same strain from the same company in full spectrum
form as well, there’s a chance the 90 or 73u were left out of that full
spectrum. That means you’re only getting about 30 percent of the actual hash
spectrum despite the full spectrum label.

When asked if he prefers to smoke 90u over full spectrum
Kerry said he personally feels 90u lacks certain flavors and the “entourage
effect” from missing cannabinoids that would have been in the full spectrum.  

“We have one product. That product is all full spectrum. From there we manipulate the consistency,” he said.

The other three hashmakers I spoke to leave what they perceive as the less desirable ends of the hash spectrum like 25 and the much higher microns out of the final product.

Which Microns Make the Cut?

In response to what goes into their full spectrum, Anthony from
the Organic Mechanic responded, “45-159u is what I use for my full spectrum.”

He added that he leaves out the 25 and the 159 because “in my personal opinion, it’s all the broken stalks and little pieces of heads that fall through.”

Anthony also added that you would have to wash an extremely large
quantity for the 25u to amount to anything worthwhile.

Tyler of Wojo Wax agreed by saying, “like Anthony said, I
catch 40 to 159. I’ve done 25 before and never went above 159u. My reasoning
for it is it just makes the color a little bit darker and a lot of people base
it [the quality] on color. I didn’t notice much of a difference as far as
effect. Yields are obviously a little bit better if you are throwing in those
bags, but I’ll sacrifice that yield for the lighter color.”

Covert also found that, in his experience, the 45 to 159u
range for his full spectrum rosin was the best for maintaining the flavor of
the original plant. The remaining hash that get left out of smokable product is
still used in capsules or edibles.

I asked Kerry why he felt less inclined to leave out the 25u
and he admitted, “the 70u is going to be white, the 25u or the 159 and above is
definitely going to be on the greener, darker, less smelly side.”

But he added that he believes the ends have beneficial properties and those parts make up a much smaller portion of the weight of the wash.

Furthermore, when you make rosin, “you’re taking all the hash and you’re putting it through an entire filtration process again and you can look at that bag and you can see what’s leftover.”

Animal Mints live rosin jam processed by @greenthumbforpresident

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

Hashmakers are tasked with selecting strains of flower that
will provide a sustainable yield and desirable characteristics after being
washed and pressed into rosin.

When asked what his favorite strain to wash was, Kerry of Superior
Flowers responded, “I would say Purple Pebbles as well as TKP currently. The
TKP was very deceptive when I was running through the pheno hunt. The plant to
the naked eyes doesn’t look covered in frost like the Cookies strain.”

Despite the lack of visible frost on the plant, he assured
us the yields from washing the TKP were surprisingly high.

And vice versa, he added, “if you’re familiar with the MAC, looking at it you would think ‘wow, that thing is covered [in frost], if it gets washed it’s going to do phenomenal,’ but sometimes that’s not the case and you never want to judge a book by its cover.”

Tyler’s current favorite plant to wash is Sundae Driver
because it “checks every single box from nose to taste to yield.”

He described it as a delicious dessert dab with fruity flavors
that speak to the Grape Pie half of its lineage.

The Organic Mechanic had similar woes with MAC and Tyler
from Wojo Wax agreed that he’s washed material that was frosty in appearance
but only yielded .3% — and when you’re getting that little in return, it
becomes impossible for hashmakers to keep their lights on. To put that .3% into
perspective, yields for hash-friendly strains like GMO can be as high as 8%.

Anthony from the Organic Mechanic said his favorite strain
to wash is GG#4 because it has been consistent in every category including
yield, potency and smell.

“The color on it is beautiful, the taste, the yield, the
terp on it is just loud. Everybody that has got a hold of it likes it. Also, Cherry
Punch from Greener Thumb’s outdoor grow is another one of my favorites because
of the terps.”

Mark, the lead extractor for Covert Extracts says his
current favorite is the mountain cut of Tropicanna Cookies bred by Harry Palms
and grown by Ghostbudsters Farm because of the prominent terpene profile. He
gave GMO an honorable mention as well because “it dumps, it’s stinky and it
checks every box for me. It’s my go-to.”

Mason Jar Test Wash

Tyler admits he made the mistake of judging how well a
strain would wash based of the quality of its appearance. After putting in tons
of work processing an extremely large bulk of flower for a friend that ended up
looking far better than it yielded, he learned his lesson the hard way.

Since it is impossible to rely on looks alone to tell how
well a strain will wash after the harvest, Tyler recommends paying attention to
genetics and performing a small mason jar test before washing an entire grow
and being surprised it didn’t yield enough to break even.

Tyler said that when sourcing starting material, solventless
extractors “have to truly look for what strains are going to wash well. You
gotta look at the parents and then as you’re growing them too, you can tell by
the size of the head if you’re scoping it. A new thing that we started doing is
doing a test wash. You can put a small amount of flower in a mason jar with
water and ice then start swishing it around to see if those heads fall off because
it can be the frostiest plant ever like the MAC and not dump at all. It’s got
to want to let that head go because we’re not after the stalk.”

With the mason jar test wash method, Tyler says only about a
half ounce of flower is needed rather than using a whole plant or more when it
might not yield much.

Live Rosin vs. Cured

Cured rosin by Mammoth Melts from Rhode Island.

Most modern hashmakers exclusively work with “live” or freshly
frozen starting material. This is best illustrated by the fact that only one of
the four hashmakers I interviewed for this article currently processes dry or
cured flower.

I asked Anthony from Organic Mechanic if he preferred using fresh frozen starting material over cured and he replied, “I would do either one if the product was taken care of.”

However, he finds flavor can be lost during the curing process.

On the other hand, the other three hashmakers exclusively
work with live products for a number of reasons.

Kerry said in his experience at Superior Solventless, he observed differences in the yield, color, potency and consumer demand.

Tyler used both live and cured products before the Wojo Wax team deciding to only use freshly frozen flowers. Tyler says that in his experience, the yield was higher with cured material. Despite this, he exclusively runs live material because of the enhanced flavor and the fact that it melts better in his experience.

Mark prefers live because it “tastes better, the color is
obviously better” and that’s been enough to keep him exclusively working with
freshly frozen flowers.

Single Source vs. Outsourcing Flower for Hash Rosin

I asked a few of the hashmakers if they noticed any
differences when extracting flower they grew themselves versus outsourcing plant
material.

“This is probably my favorite question so far because this
to me is where you really get your difference [in hash quality]. We do
everything single source,” said Tyler of Wojo Wax.

He says the reason for this is, “growing for hash is different than growing for flower.”

Macro shot of the GMO strain grown by Loki Gro

Growing for Hash

“For starters, I’m not defoliating as much as I am for hash
because I’m trying to get as much surface area as much as I can. On top of
that, I crank my room down as cold I can possibly get it for the last three
weeks because that preserves the terpenes which is what we’re ultimately after.
Another reason is because I’ve taken [other] people’s materials and it doesn’t
always yield well. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news to somebody that
they’re getting .3% back on a wash.”

When asked if he also noticed a difference when washing the
same strain from his own grow compared to somebody else’s, Kerry of Superior
Solventless admits the experiences were not the same.

“For example, we washed Wedding Cake that we grew and got
5%. We washed someone else’s and got 3%.”

Mechanical Separation vs. Jar Tech

There are two additional ways for hashmakers to further process hash after it has been turned into rosin. Using these techniques, they can turn the consistency of their rosin into something closer to a live resin sauce.

Live rosin jam.

Rosin Jam

One is called “jar tech” which just about anyone should be able to do at home with a jar of fresh-pressed rosin, a source of heat, time and practice. The consistency it creates has been called jam or “caviar” by Superior Solventless and it contains small crystals with a more liquidy high-terpene layer. The layers combine to create an applesauce-like consistency that is less likely to change at room temperature than fresh-pressed rosin.

Unlike the washing and pressing phases, the hashmakers I
spoke to claim little to no weight is lost after a jar of hash rosin undergoes
the “jar tech.”

On the other hand, the other technique which involves
mechanically separating THCA out of the oil comes with a more significant yield
loss.

If you come across a jar of solventless rosin with large THCA crystals and oil in it, they were most likely mechanically separated with a press and filters. Then, the crystals are melted down and manipulated into a shape of choice. Usually, they are made to mimic the appearance of popular live resin extracts made with hydrocarbon solvents.

Mechanically Separated THCA and Terpenes from Covert Extracts and Ghostbudsters Farm.

Mechanical Separation

According to Mark of Covert Extracts to make mechanically separated THCA, “you need wax rosin in order to make mechanically separated THCA.”

From there, he says, “to separate the THCA from terpenes I usually press the rosin wax in a 25u press bag at about 135 degrees to start. With a very low pressure at first before building to almost max pressure. Then, I repeat at different temps until I feel enough terpenes are separated. From there you can take the THCA and melt it down into a glass-like consistency at around 240 to 250 degrees.”

Comparing it to the jam tech or fresh press, Mark said it is a “long process and you have about a 25% loss in yield but potency and appearance of the final product sets it apart.”

The process appears to further isolate THCA in hash rosin with Mark claiming to have “had some testing out at 92% THCA.”

There was a point in time when most hash looked the same. It was a dark brown or green in color and stretchy. Traditional hash commonly came in a brick, ball, or bullet that may have traveled inside someone’s ass before getting to you.

Fortunately, today’s hash has is far more refined and versatile. It looks more like a lighter colored oil that can take on the form of dry sift, ice wax, rosin, live rosin, jam, or mechanically separated hash rosin. Not to mention the various consistencies that rosin can be shape-shifted into, like cake batter, sugar, or applesauce.

The post Hash Rosin 101: Lessons from Experienced Solventless Extractors appeared first on High Times.

Mila the Hash Queen’s Spin Cycle Science

Mila Jansen’s story is quite the odyssey. The renowned hash maker escaped from Holland’s Home for Unwed Mothers and opened both a clothing store “for the happy and free” and an underground tea house in Amsterdam before she invented the Pollinator and earned the title of Hash Queen. The Pollinator, the first mechanical tool to separate trichomes from plant matter, was unveiled at the 1994 High Times Cup in Amsterdam and represented a revolutionary moment in the ancient practice of hash making. 

In this excerpt from her book “How I Became The Hash Queen,” Jansen describes unveiling the machine to legendary cannabis aficionados including Soma, the breeder behind the Amsterdam-based Soma’s Sacred SeedsRob Clarke, the author of several cannabis science books; and Jack Herer, cannabis activist and author of hemp bible “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.”

The Pollinator made such a splash that a judge even congratulated Jansen on her invention.

The Pollinator: Hash From Trash

By Mila Jansen

By mid-November 1994, we were preparing to present one of the first five Pollinators at KGB, in their upstairs shop. Adam from TH Seeds was having a party in their store to celebrate that year’s High Times Cup. The moment arrived when Rob Clarke was to pull away the black velvet cloth covering the machine. There was a select group of 30 or 40 people from all over the globe. While everybody was cheering and drinking a glass of something or smoking a puff of something, I filled the Pollinator with small buds. It performed its first public job and everyone was amazed. I handed out what the Pollinator had produced, and it was squeezed, smelled, rolled, burned, and smoked. Compliments galore were received! It was November 28 — the night after the High Times Cup festivities had finished.

Adam was a great host. Soma and Jack Herer were there, both of them in Amsterdam for the first time. Soma was expecting the cops to arrive at any moment and spoil the fun, but the fun was just starting. Our host from KGB set up a Trichome Challenge and everyone tried to smoke a bong filled with freshly-made hash, which was nearly impossible… for me, anyway. I exploded in a cloud of smoke. But then there was Soma. He inhaled, inhaled and inhaled some more and held his breath — 1,2,3,4, holding it all in, 5, 6, 7, 8 and still going strong. Adam called “9, 10!” and there was a great whoosh of smoke. Soma won the first Trichome Challenge and that week he decided to come live in Amsterdam.

I think Rob Clarke understood the uniqueness of my machine more than most of the other people there. After all, he had studied the production of hashish worldwide for many years and had never, ever come across a machine that could separate out the crystals — not in the 7,000-odd years that hash had been produced. It was a day that would eventually influence hash-making worldwide, even in places like Manali, Nepal, Colombia and Morocco.

We sold two or three Pollinators the first night. One went to Ben, from Sensi Seeds, and one went to Positronics, the first grow shop in Amsterdam. Wernard, its owner, made a special place for it in his Sensimilla Salon so his customers could bring in their own dried trim. While they enjoyed their coffee, their trim would be turning. Ten to 15 minutes later, it would be ready, with all the crystals separated and lying on the bottom.

“Hash from Trash” was our slogan and we had it printed on T-shirts. From our first sales, we had money to buy more materials. Another seven machines were made. So we began buying more materials from the sales of each batch. We received our first publicity in Soft Secrets magazine. It was rather funny that in the same issue, in the newspaper clippings section, there was also mention of the bust of our “football-field-sized” greenhouse. The court case connected to my making of clones for this greenhouse would be taking place only one day after Het Parool published an article about the Pollinator.

The judge started by congratulating me on my invention, and then proceeded with the case. I admitted to making the clones and getting 2,000 guilders (about $1,000) for my services. I also told them that I had taken my four children on our first holiday in four years. If he insisted on getting the money back, I would pay it back, but could he please remember that for the last 15 years, I had brought up my four children alone without asking for any money from social services.

I don’t think it made a lot of difference, but I was able to go home without even a fine and there was no mention of any greenhouses — even through the newspaper wrote I was an expert on growing marijuana.

Excerpted from “How I Became the Hash Queen,” published by Mama Editions. 

TELL US, have you ever tried ice water hash?

Originally published in Issue 39 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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What Is Bubble Hash and How Can You Make It?

As more people learn about weed, some gravitate towards what is considered “craft concentrates,” a variety of concentrate types that are often made in small batches through small-scale techniques such as rosin, hash, and live resin. Rosin, which is created when heat and pressure are applied to marijuana flower, is becoming increasingly popular with cannabis consumers. And ice-water hash, or bubble hash, is also popping up on more dispensary menus.

This is largely driven by the increased interest in concentrates. Over the past several years, cannabis concentrates have grown in popularity as their high potency and pronounced terpene profiles attract more people. Sales of cannabis concentrates in the United States already account for 27% of the regulated market and are expected to top $8.5 billion by 2022, according to data from BDS Analytics. 

One of the craft concentrates increasing in popularity is bubble hash. Weedmaps News spoke with one of the cannabis industry’s most influential makers of bubble hash to help understand what it is and how to make it. 

What is Bubble Hash?

Bubble hash, like all forms of hashish, is the glandular trichomes from the cannabis plant that have been collected through a process using ice and water. These tiny, mushroom-shaped projections found on cannabis leaves and flowers produce cannabinoids and terpenes in a sticky resin. When plant material is mixed with water and ice, they become brittle and break off when the mixture is agitated. The trichomes then sink and collected with specially designed filters. High-quality icewater hash will melt and bubble with the application of heat, hence its common sobriquet. When well-made from high-quality cannabis, bubble hash delivers a flavorful and potent cannabis experience.

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bubble hash is a type of cannabis concentrate that is made without solvents. Cannabis concentrates have grown in popularity as their high potency and pronounced terpene profiles attract more people.

Using water and ice is the preferred technique for Frenchy Cannoli, a master hashish maker who spent much of his adult life traveling the world studying regional production methods. Even though he’s now producing hash commercially for California’s adult-use cannabis market, he still generously shares his knowledge and passion via his YouTube channel and a series of workshops with live demonstrations held around the world. Making your own bubble hash at home isn’t difficult and can be accomplished with an investment of less than $100, not including the cannabis you’ll use.

Materials for Making Bubble Hash

Bubble hash can be made with cannabis trim, leaf, shake, or bud. While dried and cured cannabis is used most frequently, fresh-frozen material may also be used. As can be expected, the best-quality hash is made from equivalent-quality weed. Plant material without trichomes visible to the naked eye may not be worth the time and effort necessary to process hash. If possible, pre-chill the cannabis in the freezer overnight.

You’ll also need plenty of cold water and several bags of ice, and materials including:

  • Set of 5 gallon (19 liter) ice-water hash bags, such as Bubble Bags, Boldtbags, or the like
  • 25-micron filter cloths for collecting and drying
  • At least three clean 5 gallon (19 liter) plastic buckets
  • Large wooden spoon or pole for stirring
  • Butter knife or stiff card for collecting hash from bags
  • Absorbent towels
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of cannabis flower
  • A water hose
  • Turkey roasting bags
  • Tray or wire rack
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Parchment paper
  • Bottle filled with hot water

Collecting and handling hash will be more difficult in a warm environment because it gets sticky. If possible, working in an air-conditioned space or outdoors in cool weather will make the process easier. 

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
To some, bubble hash is seen as a type of “craft concentrate,” a variety of concentrate types that are often made in small batches through small-scale techniques. Bubble hash is comprised of countless trichomes that have been separated from the plant using ice water.

The Hash Washing Process

  1. Kits with three, four, or more bags in different filter sizes to separate hash into different grades are available. Begin by lining a bucket with the bag with the largest filter holes, i.e. the highest number of microns. Fill the bag one-third full with ice, then add up to about 200 grams of cannabis. Top off with another layer of ice and fill with cold water. Wait 15-30 minutes while the cannabis is rehydrated and chilled.
  2. Agitate the mixture to begin the process of breaking the trichomes from the plant material, using a large wooden spoon, a length of wooden dowel, or the like. Stir vigorously for 1 to 5 minutes, being careful not to damage the bag. Alternatively, an electric hand mixer or power drill with a paint-stirring attachment can be used, but be careful not to overagitate and pulverize the plant material if using a power tool.
  3. Add more ice if all of it melts, but you’ll want much of it to disappear so that the trichomes won’t be impeded as they descend to the bottom of the bag. After agitation, wait 10 minutes to give the released trichomes time to sink to the bottom of the bag. Then lift your work bag up, letting the water run out the bottom and back into the bucket. When all the water has drained out, set the work bag aside in another bucket as you proceed.
  4. Line the third bucket with the remaining filter bags, starting with the smallest filter size and layering in the next largest bags in order. Pour the water into the bags you’ve nested in the bucket, and allow the trichomes to settle. The water should have a golden hue. A greenish tint indicates too much agitation is used.
  5. Slowly lift the top bag away from the others, allowing the water to flow through the filter and back into the bucket below. As all the water drains away, you will see that a layer of trichomes resembling sand or light-colored silt will have collected on the filter. Wash the trichomes with a brisk spray from a hose for a few minutes to wash any remaining contaminants through the filter.
  6. From the outside, gather the filter around the hash with your hand and gently squeeze out any excess water. Carefully lay the filter on an absorbent towel to pull excess water through. While stretching the filter taught, scrape the collected hash with a card or butter knife and place it on a square of 25 micron filter cloth and set aside as you continue.
  7. Repeat the process for the remaining filter bags, sieving and collecting the trichomes from each. The hash from the different sized filter bags can be kept separated, or combined together for a more full-spectrum product. 
  8. Fit the work bag with the cannabis still inside back into a bucket and refill with water and ice. Complete the entire process of washing the plant material in the work bag and sieving the water through the filter bags again. The plant material can be washed and sieved again several more times with fresh water and ice. Repeat the process as long as long as the yield justifies the effort.

Drying the Hash

To prevent the growth of mold, the bubble hash must be thoroughly dried before storage. Line a tray or wire rack with a towel topped with parchment paper. Spread the hash on parchment paper in a single layer of thin hash patties. Place in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air circulation for several days until the bubble hash is completely dry. Make sure the environment is dust-free to avoid contamination.

Pressing Hash

Once dry, Frenchy Cannoli likes to take the extra step of pressing the hash with heat. This approximates the technique of pressing hash by hand that is practiced in many traditional processes. By adding gentle heat and pressure, the trichomes release their resin into the mass of hash, homogenizing it and beginning the process of decarboxylation, or transforming tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bubble hash can be used in a variety of ways, including dabbing, mixed with flower in a joint, and “topping” a bowl of buds.

To press, place small patties of hash between two layers of plastic from a turkey roasting bag. Fill a large, round glass bottle with hot water and seal tightly. Using heat-resistant gloves, press the hash with the bottle, using it as a rolling pin to flatten and spread the hash as it is heated. For maximum decarbing, press for about 20 minutes. The water in the bottle should stay hot enough to complete the process.

Storage and Aging

Once the hash has been dried completely and pressed, it can be formed into a ball and wrapped. Frenchy Cannoli eschews petroleum-derived plastics and prefers organic cellophane, but this material degrades over time, so it should be changed every few months or so if used. Like a fine wine, the hash will improve over time as it ages and matures if properly stored in a cool, dry, dark location. 

Make It Your Own

After learning the basics, hash makers will begin to tailor their efforts to their own experiences and working environments. For example, Frenchy Cannoli recommends the use of a small portable washing machine for washing instead of stirring in a bucket to automate the process. Making bubble hash can also easily be scaled up or down by using 20 gallon (75.7 liter) bags if you have a lot of material to wash or 1 gallon (3.8 liter) bags for smaller amounts. Give them a try! Before long, you’ll have the process down and will be smoking hash that rivals the best concentrates at the dispensary.

Feature image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post What Is Bubble Hash and How Can You Make It? appeared first on Weedmaps News.