It can sometimes be confusing navigating the world of cannabis concentrates. With concentrates coming in so many different forms, and with a number of different ways to make them, it can be a lot to remember. One question you may have encountered is: What is solvent-less hash oil? This guide will answer all your questions.
Solvent-Less Concentrates: An Introduction
Before you can answer the question, what is solvent-less hash oil, you need to understand some basics about cannabis concentrates more generally.
Concentrates are made when you separate out cannabinoids and terpenes from the rest of the plant matter. When you do this, you’re basically harvesting all of the most important parts of weed and getting rid of the rest. The result is a super-potent form of cannabis with tons of THC.
One of the defining features of cannabis concentrates is how they’re made. There are concentrates made using a solvent, and there are solvent-less concentrates.
To make concentrates with a solvent, you basically soak weed in a chemical. Things like butane, isopropyl alcohol, ether, and CO2 are commonly used as solvents. The chemical strips out cannabinoids and terpenes. From there, the plant matter is separated out. Finally, the solvent is evaporated away, leaving behind the concentrate.
On the other hand, solvent-less concentrates are made without the use of any chemical. Instead, they’re made by agitating plant material or by using a combination of heat and pressure.
What Is Solvent-Less Hash Oil?
Solvent-less hash oil (SHO) is made without chemicals. The specific type of SHO you have depends on what material you made it out of, and what process you used to make it. The final product of these different types of SHO can have a variety of consistencies, but it’s often closer to the glasslike consistency of shatter.
This is probably the most well-known type of SHO. It’s made by applying heat and pressure to squeeze out all the cannabinoid- and terpene-rich oils from cannabis flower.
If you’re doing it at home, you can use a hair straightener and some wax paper. Fold the wax paper over some bud. Then, when the hair straightener is hot, squeeze the bud. As you do, an oily substance will start collecting on the paper. Keep going until you can’t get anything else out of the bud. That oily stuff is your solvent-less SHO.
Dry sifting is a process that uses a series of screens to separate the trichomes from the flower. Since trichomes hold all the good stuff you’re looking for, the idea is to isolate as many of them as you can.
In the dry sift process, weed is agitated so that all the trichomes fall off. After filtering through a series of increasingly-fine screens, you’re left with a super pure powder free of almost all plant material. This can then pressed into a dab using heat and pressure. In fact, you can buy a specialized rosin press to get perfect dabs every time.
Ice Water Hash
This method is a lot like dry sifting, except it uses ice water. For this method, you line a big bucket with a series of bags called “bubble bags.” The bottom of each bubble bag is a filter, and each one gets smaller and smaller. Then, add a bunch of plant material and some ice water.
After that, stir it all up. The ice will knock all the trichomes off the plant matter. From there, you basically filter the ice water through each bag, harvesting whatever’s left behind on the screen. Each bag produces increasingly pure and potent material. After filtering through all the screens, let the hash dry. You can use it as-is, or use a rosin press to press it into dabs.
Dry Ice Hash
This method works much the same way as ice water hash. But instead of using ice water, you use dry ice. Put all your plant material in a bucket with some dry ice. Shake it up so that the dry ice knocks all the trichomes off the flower.
Now put your biggest bubble bag over the bucket and tilt it upside down. Trichomes fall through the screen, leaving the plant matter behind. They can now be pressed into a usable form of SHO.
Final Hit: What Is Solvent-Less Hash Oil?
For many consumers, one of the best things about solvent-less concentrates is that they never came into contact with chemicals. Some fans of concentrates are worried that it could be unsafe to consume concentrates if there is even a trace amount of residual solvent in the final product. Solvent-less hash oil solves all that. Since the original cannabis never comes into contact with any chemical, you know for sure that the final product is clean, pure, and potent.