What is the Ice-O-Lator Technique
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What is the Ice-O-Lator Technique

We're always looking for new and exciting ways to consume our favourite plant. Processing cannabis has come a long way from the old methods. Vaporising it in a wooden brazier with some hot rocks is a thing of the past.

Not only do these newer methods provide a potent smoking experience, but they also get everything out of the plant. The ice-o-lator method is one of these techniques that will ensure you get the best out of your bud. This creates "ice water hash," otherwise known as "bubble hash."

If you want to process large amounts of CBD, the ice-o-lator may be of great benefit to you. Keep reading to find out how this process can boost your bud business.

What does the ice-o-lator do?

Making your own hash can be a lengthy, messy process. There are many ways to go about it. Dry-sifting is one of them, but most of these methods leave you wasting precious product and time.

Creating hash is a matter of separating the icky, sticky hairs from the rest of the cannabis plant. These tiny hairs, known as trichomes, contain all the goodness you want to extract. They are the resinous glands in the plant that produce valuable cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. Extraction of the most desirable parts of the plant leaves you with a purer, stronger product.

Ice water hash is fresher and maintains a strong terpene and flavonoid profile (the stuff that makes it smell and taste good). This is due to the trichomes freezing. Freezing something keeps it in its original state, so there is not as much breakdown of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. For this reason it is better to start with cannabis frozen straight after harvesting.

The ice-o-lator is an easy way of extracting these trichomes and turning it into ice water hash. The idea behind this is to freeze the trichomes so that they gently fall off the bud. This ensures they don’t get too damaged in the process.

Once these trichomes are frozen and separated from the plant, it’s a simple matter of filtering them out with the help of filter bags. We will delve into a step-by-step guide to show you exactly how this works.

Why go through the effort of making ice water hash? I'm glad you asked. Unlike other extraction techniques, making ice water hash does not use any chemical solvents.

Ice water hash is the most potent form of chemical free hash.

This means there is no propane, butane, or CO2 that can contaminate the final product. If you want hash that is safe, strong, and free from chemicals, the ice-o-lator is the way to go.

History of the ice-o-lator Technique

Before we delve into making your own ice water hash, it is important to understand where it comes from.

The idea for ice water hash originated in the 1980s with cannabis industry pioneer OG Skunkman. The seed expert realised that trichomes sink when cannabis flowers are submerged in water.

Skunkman Sams’ first design was a rudimentary one at best. It involved shaking a jar filled with water and your selected cannabis bud. While this worked, it was nowhere near the technology we have today. In 1988, he placed an advertisement in the magazine High Times. Sadu Sam offered a new method of easily separating trichomes from plant material.

It was Mila Jansen, otherwise known as "The Hash Queen" that took this idea to the next level. She took Skunkman's method and perfected it with the help of filtration bags. This was a basic design consisting of a nylon bag with a sieve attached to the bottom. Jansen and Skunkman Sam found that all the unwanted plant material rose to the top, while the desirable trichomes sank to the bottom. Mila also realised that freezing the material could help separate it from the bud without much damage.

With the help of Marcus ‘Bubbleman’ Richardson, this group of hash-savvy individuals pushed this method to new boundaries. Bubbleman added more filtration bags to trap every last micron of ice water hash. This eventually led to the development of the Bubbleator washing machine. This device is pretty much a small ice washing machine that separates trichomes from the rest of the flower.

The combination of the Bubbleator and the Ice-o-lator blew up the cannabis industry. Not only was this a cleaner, healthier alternative to chemically processed hash, it was also very potent.

Before 1998, few people had seen glandular trichomes isolated to a 99.99% purity ratio. Thanks to the genius and pioneering minds of the people above, this became a possibility.

How does the ice-o-lator process work?

While you can process ice water hash in many different ways, using the ice-o-lator and Bubbleator together is the best way to get the most out of your harvest. The Bubbleator is a wonderful addition that will make this task clean, quick, and hassle-free (almost; there is always some hassle with hash making).

It’s best to start with a product that is frozen fresh. Freezing it straight from harvest will ensure little to no breakdown of the cannabinoids you want to preserve.

Step 1

Harvest your plant of choice and freeze it immediately. This can be something specifically grown to make hash or the offcuts of your marijuana plant. Flowers and leaves can remain, but all stems must go.

Step 2

Place your fresh frozen produce in a hash washing machine. This will either be something complex like a Bubbleator ice-washing machine or a bucket of ice. The temperature must be less than 4 degrees Celsius to freeze the trichomes, so use plenty of ice. Stir the icey marijuana mixture for 15 to 20 minutes in an infinity pattern. This separates the trichomes from the rest of the plant matter. If you have a hash washing machine, it will do the stirring for you and release the mixture that is needed.

Step 3

Next up is to pour this solution through your hash washing bag, or ice-o-lator bag. There will usually be three or four of these stacked on top of the next. Each will have a different micron filter to get every last grain. 73 to 120 micrometres make for the best micron filter bags. As the ice water hash mixture passes through each filter, the quality and grade will improve. Make sure the bucket at the bottom of these filter bags catches everything. You can then filter it again to ensure you have everything.

Step 4

Scrape the bubble hash from the filter bags onto a tray. You don't want moisture in your hash, so it needs to be dry. It is best to freeze-dry it. You now have your very own ice-o-lator hash! This can be sold as is or pressed into hash rosin (the top-shelf stuff).

As you can see, this process is pretty simple, but be warned, it is a messy one.

Benefits of making ice water hash/Bubble hash

If you have ever tried to make hash with chemical solvents, you will know there is a bit of a learning curve. Beyond this learning curve, many do not like the idea of making their hash with harmful chemicals.

Ice water hash is a clean way of doing it that leaves no pollutants in your final product. Many prefer this natural method as you can distil most of the cannabinoid-rich trichomes without any excess.

Making ice water hash is also a great way to get the most out of your harvest. We frequently discard old leaves and offcuts or add them to the compost heap. With the ice-o-lator method, you can utilise almost every part of your plant.

As we mentioned before, bubble hash is usually frozen fresh. This is the best way to preserve the cannabinoids as well as maintain the terpene and flavonoid profile.

Master Of CBD is now stocking ice-o-lator hash. Take a look at our products to try some out for yourself!

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