Ice water hash is gaining ground in the concentrates world, celebrated for its potency and flavor. But what you get out of this process is only as good as what you put in, making it critically important that the cannabis flower used to make ice water hash is fresh and of top quality. Read on to learn more about how ice water hash is made, how it’s different from other concentrates and extracts, and how Cryo Cure can help you get the most out of your biomass.

What is ice water hash?

Ice water hash is a cannabis concentrate made by combining cannabis flower (like Cryo Cure’s Live Cured Flower) and trim with ice water and agitating the mixture. Ice water hash is made by a mechanical separation process that captures a high amount of cannabinoids and terpenes, making for a potent and flavorful final product. Ice water hash is rated on a scale of six stars, with one star being the lowest grade product and six stars being the highest grade. Ice water hash can also be used to produce a solventless extract known as rosin.

How is this product made?

The production process behind ice water hash is relatively simple when compared to solvent-based extracts that require highly technical processes. It can be made in four easy steps.

  • Combine cannabis flower and trim with ice water: Fresh cannabis and ice water are combined in a bucket or wash machine. Buckets are used in relatively simple DIY methods of making ice water hash, while wash machines are better for commercial production at scale. The near-freezing temperatures of the ice water freeze the resin glands of the plants, known as trichomes, making them very brittle and easy to break apart from the plant material.
  • Agitate the mixture: Agitating the ice water and cannabis causes the trichomes densely packed with cannabinoids and terpenes away from the biomass. The cold temperatures also ensure cannabinoid and terpene potency is preserved during this process.
  • Strain mixture to separate water and trichomes: The resulting solution of water and trichomes is then strained through a series of fine mesh bags, typically in descending order from 160 microns, 120 microns, and 25 microns in size. This separates the trichomes from the water, leaving them behind on the sieves.

    The 25 micron bag typically contains the purest ice water hash, which tends to be lighter in color than its lower-grade counterparts. The product collected from the larger diameter bags tends to be darker in color and slightly less potent due to the presence of fine particulates of plant material.
  • Collect trichomes and dry: Once strained, the trichomes can be scraped from the bag and collected. At this point, the trichomes are still moist and need to be dried. Removing the moisture from the trichomes results in a dried brick of ice water hash.

Rosin and ice water hash

Once you have bricks of ice water hash, they can be used to produce a solventless extract called rosin. To produce rosin, dried ice water hash is placed into a rosin press, a machine that consists of two metal plates arranged in a vice grip. The plates are heated and the bricks are pressed at between 300psi and 1,000psi, melting and squeezing the trichomes and terpenes into a viscous, potent cannabis oil. 

Rosin, like other extracts, is highly potent in cannabinoids like THC and CBD. It also tends to have a heightened level of terpenes compared with other extracts thanks to the low temperatures at which it can be produced — after all, there is no need to evaporate residual solvents like there is in ethanol or hydrocarbon extraction

Where does Cryo Cure come in?

When producing ice water hash, Cryo Cure comes in after the wash is complete. During the ice water hash production process, manufacturers aren’t able to capture all the terpenes and cannabinoids from the biomass. Soaking wet biomass is at risk of microbial contamination, so leaving it to air dry is off the table. Unfortunately, without an effective alternative and despite knowing there are valuable compounds still locked inside the biomass following the wash, most manufacturers simply discard the wet plant material and cut their losses.

However, Cryo Cure makes it easy to quickly dry the wet biomass in a matter of hours while eliminating the risk of microbial contamination. This allows manufacturers to save the wet biomass and capture the remaining cannabinoids and terpenes via hydrocarbon, ethanol, or CO₂ extraction. The result is less waste, allowing manufacturers to squeeze every dollar out of material they were simply throwing away beforehand. 

In this way, a Cryo Cure machine is an investment that quickly generates a return. The amount of additional cannabis oil manufacturers can capture with Cryo Cure adds up to a significant revenue stream, easily covering the costs of acquiring and running Cryo Cure’s freeze drying machines. That’s not to mention the sustainability benefits that come from reducing massive waste that is currently the norm in the industry.

Eliminate ice water hash waste with Cryo Cure

Ice water hash and rosin are immensely popular with consumers who prefer solventless concentrates and extracts packed with flavorful terpenes, so manufacturers are increasingly adopting ice water hash as part of their process. Unfortunately, the process of producing ice water hash leads to significant waste, as manufacturers are discarding wet biomass that still contains precious cannabinoids and terpenes. If you’re ready to get the most out of your cannabis flower and stop leaving money on the table, it’s time to try ice water hash the Cryo Cure way.