By RQS Editorial Team

Tired of smoking the same old bud week after week? Ready to bring the potency and purity of your stash to new levels? Then you need to try bubble hash—a potent concentrate that is a little hands-on to make, but doesn’t require the use of a dangerous solvent.

Find out everything you need to know about bubble hash, including how to make it yourself!

What Is Hash?

Hash, short for hashish, is a concentrated form of cannabis. It is produced by collecting and compressing the most powerful material from the cannabis plant—the trichomes. Trichomes are the source of resin containing the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other precious phytochemicals in the plant. These tiny mushroom-like growths coat the leaves, branches, and particularly the buds, giving it a frosty white appearance.

By concentrating the trichomes into a mass, hashish contains much higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes by volume, making for a very potent and aromatic smoke. Hash is often presented as a dark brown, waxy, sticky substance. It is versatile, and can be smoked in a pipe, bong, vape pen, or "dabbed". You can also roll hash into a joint or blunt with marijuana or tobacco, or even add it to food or drink.

Hash is generally considered a crude type of cannabis concentrate, as it tends to be less pure than commercial “dabs”, such as wax and shatter. Still, depending on the product, hash can be up to four times stronger than regular bud. The concentrations do, however, vary depending upon the product. THC extraction is evolving to be more and more refined as the laws governing recreational use of cannabis have relaxed in the US.

What Is Hash?
  • Types of Hash

Some of the most ancient forms of hash-making originated in India. Here, hash (or charas) and Nepalese temple balls are made by rubbing live cannabis buds between the hands to remove the trichomes and capture the resin. This is continued until a thick, dark mass is produced, which is then scraped together to form balls or sticks of hash.

"Dry sift" encompasses varieties of hash such as red Lebanese, black Afghan, Pakistani, Turkish brick, and Moroccan pollen. These types are created by dislodging the trichomes of dried cannabis bud (aka kief) using physical agitation. The buds are rubbed over fine mesh sieves, under which a fine powder collects. This is then pressed into blocks, and typically smoked.

With rosin hash, dried cannabis buds are subjected to immense pressure and heat. What is produced is a very satisfying golden, honey-like substance. Rosin is almost 100% pure and untainted.

Modern hash—aka cannabis concentrates—dominates the legal cannabis market, specifically in the US and Canada. The industry has developed very efficient ways to extract high amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes, creating concentrates like shatter, wax, crumble, and budder. These extraction methods can produce concentrates with over 80% THC! Solvents like butane, propane, and CO₂ are used in these highly technical and potentially dangerous processes.

So, where does bubble hash stand in comparison to other forms?

What Is Bubble Hash?

Bubble hash is a solventless extract that uses no additional chemical inputs. It got its name from the tiny bubbles that form when it’s heated. As the cold temperatures used during extraction preserve most of the terpenes, bubble hash is one of the most aromatic and flavorful extracts you can make. Harnessing techniques first popularised by cannabis industry trailblazer Sam the Skunkman in the 80s, bubble hash has gone from strength to strength as more cannabis users have discovered the practice.

How Is Bubble Hash Made?

Bubble hash is made by separating trichomes from cannabis buds using only ice, water, a couple of buckets, and filter bags. Cold water and ice harden the heads of the trichomes, making them less sticky and more brittle. With some gentle agitation, the trichomes will break off the plant easily. Filter bags with varying microns are then used to sieve out the trichome heads from the water, along with any plant matter. The hash is then dried out thoroughly. Commercial manufacturers use a freezing ice washer and reverse osmosis (RO) water for the purest results.

What Is Bubble Hash?

What Is the Potency of Bubble Hash?

While the potency of bubble hash isn't as high as some commercial cannabis concentrates, it still packs a punch, containing anywhere between 30% and 60% THC. This is in addition to a high level of terpenes. However, much depends on the strain of origin, the cultivation method, the amount of material, the terpene profile, and more. Fortunately, bubble hash experts have created a 6-star rating system to help you separate the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • 1 and 2 Star

These grades are usually composed of less than 50% trichome heads and stalks. The remaining amount is other plant material. One and two-star hash works well for edibles and can make a potent addition to a bong bowl or spliff.

  • 3 and 4 Star

These grades will include small amounts of plant material. Also known as "half melt", this hash adds good potency to flower, or can be effectively pressed into rosin.

  • 5 and 6 Star

Five and six-star bubble hash should be free of practically all contaminants and residue. The finest six-star hash should effortlessly bubble and leave no residue on the banger or nail when dabbed. This is known as "full melt" hash.

Bubble Hash vs Dry Ice Sift — What Is the Difference?

Dry ice sift is similar to bubble hash; however, bubble hash uses freezing water to extract the trichomes. Dry ice sift uses… you guessed it, dry ice. The flowers are agitated with the dry ice in freezing conditions, causing the trichomes to break away and fall through the screen to be collected. Ultimately, dry ice sifting is much more efficient at removing resin from flowers than bubble hash, though this efficiency may come at a price.

It is generally accepted that bubble hash produces more potent results than dry ice sift. Using freezing-cold water allows for a more gentle extraction process, one that leaves plant material behind and preserves the quality of the trichomes through milder agitation. On the other side of the coin, there is a lot of drying required because of the water.

Dry ice hash does have its plus points. You can extract and collect the trichomes almost instantly, as no drying time is required. The process as a whole takes much less time and effort. Moreover, the yield from dry ice sift will generally be more considerable. However, more plant material will be present in the end product. The dry ice can tear open the trichomes, diminishing the quality of the final product.

Bubble Hash vs Dry Ice Sift — What Is the Difference?

How to Make Bubble Hash

So, you’re interested in making your own bubble hash. Luckily, it’s very doable. You can make it yourself using cannabis flower or trim, fine-mesh micron bags, and ice water. It’s smart to invest in an eight-bag bubble bag kit for the best, purest results. These kits come with bubble bags ranging from 25 microns to 220 microns.

What Are Bubble Bags?

Bubble bags separate the different sizes of trichome heads and surplus plant material, leaving you with pure trichomes at the end of the process. The different microns of each bag are ultimately what filter or sieve the hash into different grades. “Microns” refers to the size of the holes of the fine mesh.

Making Bubble Hash: Equipment

  • Cannabis buds or trim
  • 2x 19l buckets
  • 2x big bags of ice (or more)
  • Bubble bags (we recommend 8)
  • Big stirring spoon or electric hand mixer
  • Non-stick drying sheets

Making Bubble Hash: Step by Step

  1. Add your ice to one of the buckets, and top up with cold water. Make sure to leave enough room for your weed. Now, add your cannabis bud or trim to the ice water. Make sure all the cannabis is submerged.
  2. Agitate the plant material with a large wooden spoon or stick for 15–20 minutes. This allows the trichomes to break away from the plant. Add more ice as necessary to keep the water as cold as possible. If you have an electric hand mixer, you can try using this as well.
  3. After the allotted time has passed, it's time to prep your bubble bags. Place the bags in your second bucket in ascending order of microns, down to the 220-micron bag (the smallest size). Secure the bags over the rim of the bucket, then slowly pour in the water and plant material from the other bucket.
  4. Once the water has drained, take the first bag out of the bucket and flush it with ice water again to capture any remaining trichomes. Shake the bag, allow it to drain, and set it aside. Repeat this process for every bag. Every bag will contain its own quality of hash. The finest mesh bags at the bottom will contain the best product.
  5. Once the bags are fully drained, take each of the different hash grades and spread them out on separate non-stick drying sheets.
  6. Roll the hash into a ball or press it flat when dry.
  7. Store in an airtight, lightproof container to preserve the cannabinoids.
How to Make Bubble Hash

How to Dry Bubble Hash

Your hash will require a thorough drying process that should not be rushed. An inferior drying process can lead to mold issues, making the hash unusable.

Air Drying

This is the simplest and most cost-effective way to dry your bubble hash.

  1. After removing the filtered trichomes from the bubble bags, spread them all out on some non-stick drying sheets, and put them in the freezer for 12 hours. Put a sieve in the freezer too, as you will need this later. A regular baking sieve effectively breaks the hash apart without being too abrasive.
  2. Line the bottom of a cardboard box with some parchment paper. Make sure the paper is silicone-side facing up. A pizza box is perfect.
  3. After 12 hours, remove the hash from the freezer. Take the pieces and scrape them gently back and forth across the sieve, with the sieve positioned over the carboard box and parchment paper. Use a spoon to press the frozen chunks against the sieve and break down the hash. You are aiming for a fine, sandy consistency. Increasing the surface area helps the hash to dry more quickly and thoroughly, and allows the cardboard to absorb moisture more effectively.
  4. Move the closed box to a cool, dark, dry room or dedicated space. The ideal temperature is around 12°C with a relative humidity of 35%. Do you best to get as close to these conditions as you can.
  5. The hash can take anywhere from 48 hours to more than a week to completely dry out. When sufficiently dry, the hash should have a sandy texture that leaves zero moisture when squeezed.
How to Dry Bubble Hash
  • The Cold Room Method

This is a revised version of air drying that uses an automated system to create a space with a consistent temperature of around 4–5°C and controlled humidity.

A cold room works because it reduces the rate of terpene and cannabinoid degradation. This happens with exposure to oxygen and heat when air drying in the traditional way. An easy way to create your own mini cold room is to use a wine cooler, as they let you attain the perfect temperature and humidity levels, and are small and somewhat portable.

  • Freeze Drying

Freeze dryers are expensive, but the hash they produce is unbeatable. These devices can remove moisture quickly and evenly. Moisture may spawn mold, so removing all water is precisely what you want.

The whole freeze-drying process is finished in just 24 hours or less. Freeze dryers also reduce the amount of oxidation that occurs. Less oxidation helps to maintain the original lighter color of the hash. Air-dried bubble hash will generally have a darker color due to oxidation.

With freeze-drying, microplaning or sieving is not required as the hash does not need to be prepared for air drying. You can take the hash straight from the bubble bags and place it into the freeze dryer. This saves time and labor, and causes less structural damage to the hash.

Using a Bubble Hash Machine

There are still options if you are nervous or unsure about making bubble hash, or do not have the time. A machine like the Bubbleator B-Quick is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants a speedy, uncomplicated, and reliable method of making bubble hash.

The machine will do most of the work for you, without compromising on quality. It agitates the plant material in a similar way to a washing machine, extracting the optimal amount of trichomes and producing fantastic results. The Bubbleator is also small and easily transportable. All you need is cannabis, water, ice, and a collection bucket.

How Do I Smoke Bubble Hash?

Bubble hash is very versatile. You can break off small pieces and mix it into joints, or place it on top of bowls for a slightly more crude method. If you choose to roll a bubble hash joint, remember to add it to the outside. Otherwise, the hash will burn slower than the flower and paper, and may fall out before being combusted.

If you want a true full-melt bubble hash experience, however, dabbing is the way to go. Not only will you get some hugely powerful hits, but you’ll get to see just how pure your hash really is.

Many people also choose to turn their bubble hash into rosin, especially the less refined grades. Using a dedicated press or a couple of hair straighteners, you can create a waxy, oily substance that is even more refined.

How Do I Smoke Bubble Hash?

Is Bubble Hash for Me?

As well as involving one of the safest extraction methods, bubble hash produces one of the most refined final products. It captures the purest essence of the cannabis plant, preserving only the most potent and practical components of this natural wonder.

Hash-making is an art form, and once you get over the typical teething problems, you will undoubtedly find your signature style. The strains and bags you use, methods for agitation and drying; all these variables play a role in creating your perfect bubble hash. So what are you waiting for? Give it a go.

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