I’m a bit old-fashioned. The new age of cannabis has provided so many avenues of enjoyment when it comes to consuming THC. But me? I still like a good ol’ joint. I have no desire to spend thousands on a glass rig or tote a blow torch to the beach so I can Dab properly. I’m a simple kind of guy… and it doesn’t get much more simple than bubble hash. Some people call it Ice Wax and the popular name is Bubble-Hash.
Even the micron bags you will need to make bubble hash are called bubble bags. These are micron bags used for all kinds of herbal extractions. Some of the brand names will even use the word bubble in their name or logo… Bubble Magik, Bubble Ease etc. The term ice wax derives from washing the weed with ice to freeze the trichomes.
Trichomes are the ambassadors of THC from the cannabis plant. The trichomes grow in hairs from the flower or bud. Their tips form little round bubbles or crystals. These THC filled crystals start to solidify close to harvest. Many fall onto leaves in the last weeks of harvest. If your crop is a good one your trimmings can be frozen, then used to make bubble hash. Whether you choose to use trimmings or bud it must be “crystally”, and it must be frozen to make good bubble hash. We gather our trimmings in plastic grocery bags, tie the top and freeze them until we are ready to make some hash.
And now that we are all ready for some hash… let’s get started.
You will need.
- A set of bubble bags – 5 gal, 20 gal or 32 gal
- Trimmings or bud
- Ice = 1 8lb bag of ice for every 1/2 lb of weed
- 2 buckets or barrels depending on your bag size
- A wooden spoon or paddle
- water source
- glass pan or mirror
- razor blade
Many DIY videos on this topic show people using power drills or grout mixers to blend with and they blend the weed and ice in the bubble bags… Don’t do this. It is very damaging to the weed. In more than one video a person with the drill makes a comment like “some old school guys do this by hand but we have the technology so why not use it” while they viciously stir their weed into a useless paste. Look, I get it… electricity is easier than elbow grease and you can paint a lot more with a spray rig than a brush… but Michael Angelo still would have grabbed the brush to paint the Sistine Chapel, even if spray rigs were available. Think of yourself as an artist when making hash or any kind of cannabis concentrates… and put the power tools down.
The other half of this very common “No No” is mixing in the bags… don’t do that. A second bucket or barrel is only a few bucks and triples both the quality and quantity of your hash. Use one of the buckets for mixing, the other you will “stack” your bags in for extraction. The second bucket will need at least 8 1″ holes or just remove the bottom of the bucket. The bags in the bucket act much like a sleuth box if you were panning for gold, water needs to flow through and away from it.
Your bags most likely came in a set of 5-8 bags. You will only need 4 of them for this recipe but I encourage experimentation to see what you like best. The bags are arranged by color and number. The bags we will use for this recipe are the 45 micron, 73 micron, 160 micron and 220 micron. Use this combination of bags for your first couple runs. Some people like the 25 micron over the 45 micron for a finishing bag but the 25 is much harder to work with until you get the “feel” of it.
Whatever number combo you use always put the smallest number in first, seams out, and the label will be readable when folded over the bucket. In this recipe the 45 goes in first, then the 73 which is the high-grade hash in this and every recipe. 73 micron is the good stuff. Then the 160 and last is the 220… then set your bucket of bags aside.
Now in your functional, sealed bucket of the same size put your weed and ice, one 8lb. bag of ice to one grocery bag of trimmings is the ratio we use. Add water to the bucket just enough the ice/weed float and move. All those leaves are covered with trichomes that stuck to them before and during harvest. We are going to break off the frozen trichomes and filter them through the bags. With ice, weed and water your bucket should be a little over half full. Take your wood paddle or spoon (which should be a 1/3 the size of the container… 5 gal bucket = 4-inch spoon, 20/32 gal can = wood canoe paddle) and start mixing. A back and forth motion strong enough to create a constant flow or current in the container without overspilling is what you need to do. Do this for 2 or 3 songs on the radio or about 10 minutes. If your mixture gets too runny add ice or add water if it’s too thick but keep the mixture cold and in motion for about 10 minutes.
Gently dump the mixture into the bubble bag bucket. Water should flow through and out the bottom immediately then, if your weed is good start to back up. Rinse the weed and ice with hose then lift the top bag out letting it completely drain into the others. Dump the weed/ice back into the mix bucket as we run each batch twice. Rinse the 220 bag immediately and set it aside. Next lift out the 160, it will drain quickly and have a little bit of mediocre hash in it. Once the bag is drained rinse hash to bottom and drain again, then scoop hash out with a metal spoon, spatula or card. Rinse bag immediately and set aside. Next, pull the 73 which should be holding water. Give the bag a “drop shake” or rub the bottom. Water will flow with each shake or scrape of the bottom. Continue until the bag is drained. Rinse the hash to the bottom and drain again. Then scoop out your hash and spread it out on your mirror or glass pan to dry. Then pull your last bag which will also be holding water. Shake, rinse, drain then scoop out your hash. Remember to clean each bag as you go. Like most good things it will be a bit frustrating at first until you find your comfort zone. I literally change up something every time I do this. Learning to make good or even great hash is definitely a journey, not a destination. There is no perfect recipe or process. Just like baking cookies or making a great pasta sauce your own blend and recipe will develop over time.
Run each bag of weed through the bags twice each. Add some ice if needed for the second time. Re-load the bags, mix the weed, ice and water for 10 minutes, dump through the bags, separate and drain the bags. Collect the hash from and clean each bag as you go. When your weed has been through the bags twice dispose of it.
Spread your hash out on your glass with the tablespoon. Be careful not to mix up the different microns of hash unless you are mixing them all together. We mix the 45 & 160 together and leave the 73 on its own. Some mix them all into one but most separate them as the quality differs greatly from bag to bag.
Leave it uncovered for 30-48 hours. It will feel crispy and not leave residue on your fingers when ready. At this point scrape it all off the glass and clump it all together inside a plastic bag. Work it all into a ball and roll it around until it’s smooth and hard. At this point you can roll it into small worms or press it into a disc. We press ours into a very thin disc.
Store hash in a jar in the freezer. Take out enough to smoke for a couple of days at a time and it will keep for a long time. Leave it sealed in the freezer but put a vent hole in the top of your daily use container.
Like I said, I’m old school and I still like a good ol’ joint. However, this bubble hash stuff has grown on me like a long beard… I love it. I smoke it in a pipe with a Hakko (weed Iron, herb iron) and given a choice between rollin’ a bunch of joints or making hash… I’ll probably grab my bubble bags. Hope you enjoy.