hand making a gesture over water

Ice Water Hash Extraction – How to Do It at Home

Ice water hash extraction is a simple, clean, non-volatile process for making hash from trim.

Anyone who cultivates cannabis will often have quantities of trim – trimmed plant material – which it is often difficult to know what to do with.

Ice water extraction is a process for turning that potential waste product into something very useful indeed…

What is ice water hash extraction?

Ice water extraction is the name given to a process of removing cannabis trichomes (which contain THC) from the raw plant material. It also sometimes goes by the name of full melt, water hash or bubble hash. The reason why the process is called “ice water hash extraction” is because of the fact that the only solvent used is ice cold water. The chilly water makes the resin very brittle so it can be separated from the plant nice and easily.

Because there are no chemicals involved, the resultant hash tends to be purer and more “natural” tasting than most alternatives. This is because the cannabis-derived terpenes (the organic compounds found in many plants and which give different marijuana strains their distinctive aromas and flavors) have not been exposed to heat, which can cause them to be damaged or break down.

Ice water extraction also gives you the perfect solution to the question of what to do with weed trim which would otherwise be wasted.

Making Hash from Trim – How to Make Ice Water Hash

Here is a very simple method for making ice water hash. It’s possible to do this with the kind of equipment most people will have lying around their kitchen.

Here’s how it works:

  • Gather your trimmings

When you trim your plants, gather together all of the trimmings and let them dry.
To ensure they are fully dried, before you start the ice water hash extraction process, put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

  • Gather your equipment

To make ice water hash at home, you will need:

      • Two bowls or pans large enough to contain all of your trimmings and some water
      • One strainer or colander
      • One ladle
      • One metal coffee filter (or any reusable type)
      • Some paper coffee filters
      • One electric mixer or a whisk or wooden spoon
      • Ice (approximately two trays of ice per ounce of trim you are using)

Be sure not to get your ice out of your freezer until you’re ready to get started!

  • Make soup

Now it’s time to get the process started.

Place all of your trim and all of your ice into one of the bowls. Then add a little water – just enough to turn it to a soup-like consistency.

Don’t go overboard on the water here – you are only going to have to extract it at the end – but you will need some for the process to work.

  • Hand mix

Gently swirl your trim, ice and water together so that everything is nicely mixed and no dry bits of trim remain.

Using your hands is probably best, but you might want to wear gloves…

This is ice water, remember.

  • Serious mix

If you have an electric mixer, you are going to be very happy with this stage. If not, it is going to take a little bit of work on your part!

For the next 10-15 minutes, mix your trim and ice water together.

There is a chance that some bubbling may occur. This is normal.

hand holding a glass ball over water

  • Let it set

After mixing, your trim and ice-water concoction should look more like soup than ever.

Let it set for about 40 minutes, topping up on ice if the temperature in your preparation area is too hot.

  • Strain

Take your second bowl or pan and place the strainer or colander over the top.

Now, using your ladle, slowly scoop the mixture into the strainer, allowing the liquid to flow through into the bowl beneath.

The leaves left in the strainer should be squeezed out into the strainer to ensure as much liquid as possible has been excreted.

The liquid in your bowl should be a green-yellow color. There may be the occasional bit of trim floating in it where the strainer wasn’t quite fine enough. That’s not a problem.

  • Set aside

You can now set aside those leaves in the strainer – they may be suitable for making another entire batch of ice water hash!

  • Fine strain

You should now have one bowl of green-yellow liquid and one empty bowl which used to have your ice water mixture in.

You’re now going to strain the green-yellow liquid into the other bowl again.

This time, you’re going to use your reusable coffee filter to strain more finely.

Hold your reusable coffee filter over the now empty bowl and use your ladle to strain through the liquid.

Depending on how much trim you have and how much water you used, this may take some time.

  • Final strain

The final strain involves passing the liquid back to the other bowl through another filter. This time, the finest one you have – your paper coffee filter.

Place the paper coffee filter in your reusable coffee filter and hold it over the other bowl. Again using the ladle, pour the liquid through the filter.

As you approach the end of the water in your bowl, you should see little bits of sediment start to form in the paper coffee filter.

That is your hash.

  • Gently squeeze and dry

After you have passed all of the water through, gently – very gently – squeeze out any liquid remaining in the coffee filter.

Then you can place the paper coffee filter into a dry one to help it dry out faster. This will also serve to prevent your wet filter coming apart in your hands.

After leaving your hash to dry for a while, it is ready to use.

Your ice water hash extraction process is complete.

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