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Monday September 25, 2017

Updated on 8/2/2021

By Michael Walters

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420 Culture

With the rapid uptick in concentrate sales across several states, it’s safe to say that marijuana extracts are here to stay. Cannabis concentrates have taken the industry by storm for their potent cannabinoid content and flavorful terpene profiles, creating a wine-like level of evaluative and descriptive qualities.

The age of the concentrate connoisseur has brought fame to many great types of cannabis concentrates such as live resin, sauce and distillates. However, many of the most seasoned cannabis sommeliers will tell you that it’s not a hydrocarbon extract topping their list of favorites.

The elusive appeal of marijuana aficionados holds a special place for one of the purest forms of concentrated cannabis, ice water hash. Specifically, fresh-frozen, freeze-dried, full-melt bubble hash.

The Revival of Solventless Hash and Ice Water Extraction

In case you’re unfamiliar, ice water hash, or its common nickname, bubble hash, is a solventless cannabis concentrate made using an ice water agitation method. Essentially, ice, cannabis and cold water are placed within a bucket and stirred, or washed, to agitate the resin glands from the plant. The frigid temperatures make the trichomes brittle, while washing gently snaps them off of the plant matter. The severed trichomes and heads are filtered through various micron screens within the bucket and then collected for drying and curing,

This is the basic process used for years to process marijuana into bubble hash. Before the age of hydrocarbon extracts and dabbing, bubble hash used to be king. With all of the consistencies that solvent-based extractions have to offer, their hype overshadowed more traditional hash for quite some time.

A patty of bubble hash is collected before freeze-drying
A patty of bubble hash is collected before freeze-drying. photo credit

As with many trends and styles though, a cyclical pattern usually emerges at some point. And that is exactly what the cannabis industry is currently experiencing. Bubble hash is seeing a strong revival due to several technological advancements, with the most notable being the increase in consumer demand for the solventless product, rosin.

As more high-quality solventless products hit the market, more and more consumers are beginning to seek out products like rosin and full-melt hash. Several new products have even emerged during this “hash renaissance,” such as rosin sauce and solventless, 99% THC-A. These products rival, if not exceed, the potency and overall effects found within the most renowned hydrocarbon extracts.

How Rosin Presses and Freeze Dryers are Revolutionizing Bubble Hash Production

Because of the spike in quality made possible by rosin presses, freeze dryers and overall better technology, there is a heightened consumer appeal for solventless products. Gone are the days where solventless and full-melt products were tough to find. Now, dispensaries are scrambling to find ways to expand their solventless offerings.

With advancements in technology, the process of producing solventless product lines has never been easier. Sophisticated rosin presses, in combination with freeze dryers, are allowing producers and dispensaries to make top-notch, full-melt products with ease.

Creating a true, full-melt product used to be an arduous task for some, which is why the introduction of a freeze dryer into the process has been so critical in reducing the degree of difficulty, making for a more widely available extraction method.

This is the reason we are seeing more solventless products on the shelves of our favorite dispensaries.

There are several companies behind these innovations, most prominently PurePressure and Harvest Right. PurePressure has proven to be an industry leader in the rosin press sector, selling their top-rated Pike’s Peak rosin press to many dispensaries and producers across the market. The Pike’s Peak rosin press is responsible for a plethora of awards in 2017 alone, and will undoubtedly continue to set high marks in upcoming competitions.

Example of bubble hash being pressed into rosin.
Example of bubble hash being pressed into rosin. photo credit

In combination with an award-winning rosin press, making quality rosin from bubble hash is a breeze. And, with the help of a Harvest Right freeze dryer, virtually anyone can produce connoisseur-level hash. From a business standpoint, this is quite exciting, as practically any dispensary is able to purchase a full-stack solventless operation for minimal cost.

Integrating a cost-effective solventless production line is an extremely easy way for a business to grow their product lines and capture an entire segment of the market they might currently be missing out on. PurePressure even offers bundled, hash rosin packages that have everything you need to get started right off the bat. Plus, their team of knowledgeable staff can help guide you toward the best option for your personal or business needs.

Why Freeze Dryers Help Make the Best Solventless Hash

Now, if you haven’t heard of freeze drying before, or are simply unsure how it can help make the bubble hash process easier, consider this. Without a freeze dryer, the average drying time for a batch of bubble hash is several days. During that time, the bubble hash is exposed to air, promoting a natural oxidization process. Over time, this can slightly change or degrade several factors such as color, flavor and aroma.

Of course, drying bubble hash in a traditional manner can still result in some pretty awesome melts, but using a freeze dryer can take your hash to the next level.

Don’t take it from us though. We asked Manny, CEO of The Proper Extracts and award-winner for highest terpenes, highest THC and best overall sativa at the Chalice Festival 2017, what a freeze dryer means for solventless producers. He told us, "Freeze dryers are a game changer, you can decrease dry time and processing from days to hours, while preserving the peak trichome and terpene profile of the hash."

Example of bubble hash patties after freeze-drying.
Example of bubble hash patties after freeze-drying. photo credit

Did you hear that? From days to hours. That’s a big difference when it comes to hash production. Incorporating a freeze dryer into the hash-making process can cut down thousands of hours of waiting and allow for more hash to be produced in a given day, resulting in increased profits. No wonder more and more companies are starting to use this approach.


It’s no question that there is an increased awareness and demand for solventless products. And it’s rather refreshing to see bubble hash be such an integral factor in the cannabis industry again. Bubble hash and solventless products like rosin are some of the truest concentrates out there, providing a full-spectrum and wholesome experience when consumed.

Rosin presses and freeze dryers are changing the game as we know it. A collective of great companies producing innovative products are progressing the hash market to new heights, making it a delightful time to be a consumer. Pretty much every award-winning solventless product is made with fresh-frozen, freeze-dried, full-melt bubble hash pressed on a rosin press. As the market continues to develop and consumer demand increases for quality solventless products, it’s inevitable that we’ll see more great concentrates on the market. All we can say is we’re excited for this hash renaissance to continue!

If you haven’t tried solventless products yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a gram or two. If you’re used to wax, shatter or live resin, try to compare the differences in effects. We think you may be pleasantly surprised. But be sure to ask the dispensary if the product was made on a PurePressure rosin press, then there’ll be no question regarding the quality!

Photo Credit: PurePressure


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

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