How to Make Ice Water Hash at Scale
The Scoop on Hash and How to Make It Without a Solvent
Humans have been interested in the cannabis plant for a very long time for various reasons, not the least of which are its psychoactive and medicinal properties.
Over the millennia, humans began to understand that a certain part of the female plant produced the effects that they most enjoyed and used for medicinal, ritual, and recreational purposes. These early hash extractors began to devise methods of concentrating these parts of the plant, thereby increasing the potency of their sacrament and medicine.
Hash is Perhaps the Oldest Example of a Cannabis Extract.
The process of making hash goes back thousands of years and has had many different forms and varieties. In its most simple form, hashish (AKA “hash”), is a compressed and compact mixture of the resin glands—the trichomes—which are derived from the mature female cannabis plant.
The trichomes are almost exclusively the part of the plant where the chemicals humans are so keenly intrigued by; namely, cannabinoids, terpenes, and terpenoids are produced.
Surprisingly, (or maybe not such a surprise?) modern forms of this ancient extract, including ‘bubble’, ‘water’, ‘ice’, and ‘rosin’ hash, are still considered to be the highest-quality forms of cannabis extracts currently available today.
A Short History of Hash
Botanists are fairly certain that the cannabis plant evolved somewhere in Central Asia. However, there is really no clear evidence to suggest exactly when humans initially began using cannabis and its concentrated forms for medicinal and ritualized purposes. But we do know is that it has been produced for a very long time.
The first known method of creating hash—and for that matter most probably the first method of concentrating the cannabis plant of any kind—was done by hand. And hash is still produced like this in parts of the world to this very day.
Once the cannabis plants had matured and the trichomes are at their most dense, the cultivator would run their hands across the large colas and buds of the plants repeatedly. The trichomes of the plant would stick to the cultivators’ hands and be rubbed together into a ball or scraped off later to collect and store.
Charas, for example, is a form of hash that has been made by hand in the Himalayan mountains of North India and Nepal for at least a few thousand years.
The second method of making hashish involves using water to separate the trichomes. This is known as water hash.
While there is evidence that water hash has been made long in to antiquity as well, it is this method that has been recently refined and which has brought ‘hash’ back into the frontier of connoisseur cannabis extracts.
How is Water Hash Made?
Water, or actually ‘ice’ hash to be more precise, is created by using high quality, frozen cannabis, ice, and water. Performing the hash extraction process in cold temperatures has two very important advantages that help to produce a high-quality end-product:
- In colder temperatures the plant and its trichomes are more rigid. This allows for cleaner and easier separation from the plant matter.
- While frozen, the chlorophyll of the plant will not dissolve into the water as quickly. Dissolved chlorophyll could potentially discolor your hash to an undesirable color.
Modern extractors, through refining this process, have created some of the finest hash in history. And the consumer market agrees. Ice hash and hash rosin (ice hash that has been pushed through a Rosin press) are two of the most expensive and sought-after forms of cannabis extracts available today.
Besides the ability to rival taste, texture and overall quality of other modern extracts, water or ice hash has another fact has made it stand out; it being a solventless cannabis concentrate.
Ultimately, consumer demands and market trends drive business and revenues. And while solvent-based extracts definitely won the game in the past, a new market is fast emerging that demands solvent-less concentrates because they’re seen as being more “naturally” derived. Whether that is true or not remains a topic of contentious debate in the cannabis processing community.
Due to this demand, many new forms of hash have come to the market, and many experienced extractors are beginning to try their hand at refining the age-old art of hash making.
What Extraction Equipment is Required to Make Water and Ice Hash?
If you’re seeking to produce solventless hash at scale you may want to consider upping the ante on your processing capability with appropriate water-based extraction equipment. Delta Separations’ latest innovation in water hash production equipment is the Vortex Trichome Separator or VTS-50.
How Does It Work?
The Vortex Trichome Separator was engineered from our original “agitator” design because it mechanically agitates the trichomes from the biomass. The VTS system utilizes cold water in a double-vortex flow pattern to gently remove hardened trichome heads from their stalks. This ultimately yields a much cleaner, solventless hash product.
A cross-flow turbulence is produced by the bottom-driven paddle in combination with a uniquely shaped wash basin to create a powerful agitating force. The result is a maximum separation of resin heads from the plant surface with negligent to non-existent plant-particulate contamination.
To learn more about the VTS-50 please contact us.