Bubble hash consists of trichomes – the tiny hairs of the cannabis flower, which are bulb-shaped and in which most of the active chemical constituents of the flower are concentrated. Bubble hash can contain up to 60% THC, which makes it three to four times more potent than even the most potent whole cannabis flower on the market.
It’s also a bit more potent than kief because the cleaner separation process involved makes sure that there is less non-trichome material diluting the final product. It’s a truly unique and organic method of extracting natures concentrates from cannabis.
What’s the difference between bubble hash, kief, and ‘regular’ hash?
All of those products consist of trichomes, but the method used to separate those trichomes from the flower is different. This leads to a product that differs in its consistency, looks, and texture. The one-sentence answer is that the trichomes in bubble hash are whole and not crushed.
KIEF is usually produced by mechanically rubbing flower on a fine mesh screen. The trichomes fall through the screen and are then collected. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t preserve the integrity of the individual trichomes and damages some of them in the process.
It also introduces some non-trichome plant material in the finished product. Those problems led to the development of the cleaner extraction process which is used in making BUBBLE HASH, and which is still relatively easily performed at home.
HASH is just kief that has been heated and pressed into cakes, making it much more convenient to work with. During this pressing process, the trichomes break and are crushed, creating a cake of potent, waxy material with tiny trichome particles mixed in.
BUBBLE HASH on the other hand is hash, in which most of the individual trichomes are whole and unharmed. This is done by separating the trichomes from the flower underwater. The whole process is done in freezing cold water.
The low temperatures harden the waxy substances in the trichomes and make them very crumbly and easy to separate from the flower. The cold also makes each trichome hard and difficult to crush – just like a soft piece of fruit that becomes rock-hard when frozen.
Bubble hash ‘bubbles’ when heated, which is obviously where it gets its name from. The amount and duration of the bubbling determines the quality of the bubble hash and any broken trichomes or unwanted plant material will greatly reduce its ‘bubbling abilities’.
How is bubble hash made?
The process of separating the trichomes from the flower material is as simple as mixing bud with ice-cold water and stirring the whole thing for a while. After that, the trichomes are filtered through a few layers of a special micron bag.
You can use any container and stir it manually with a spoon, a mixer, or even a drill with a paint mixer attachment. Many hobbyists use tiny hash-washing machines, which are not very expensive and will set you back about $100.
The container, in which the flower and ice water are stirred, is lined with three layers of a micron bag – the trichomes pass through the first layer (which has openings around 300 microns in diameter) and most of them are stuck there because the second layer is much finer.
Some trichomes may make it to the third layer, but none of them will be able to pass through it, because it is very fine – typically 20 or 25 microns, allowing only the water to drain. This method works so well because the trichomes are heavier than water and sink to the bottom, making their way through the micron bags.
What is bubble hash used for?
Bubble hash is just a more concentrated version of cannabis flower and can be used for all the purposes that flower is typically used for, including vaping, smoking, and edibles. Because bubble hash is very fine, it can’t really be used in most vaping devices or bowls without a thin bed of regular flower, which prevents trichomes from falling through.
That said, bubble hash is almost always smoked in a pipe. Special hash pipes are usually used, but they are nothing more than regular pipes with a mesh, preventing the hash from falling through the bowl.
Even those special pipes rarely have a fine enough mesh, and may still require a thin bed of coarser flower to prevent any trichome ‘leakage’. A tiny amount of bubble hash is then sprinkled on this bed. When smoking the hash, the flame of the lighter shouldn’t touch it – the goal is to melt and evaporate the material, not to burn it