Post Harvest Extractions: What Does it Mean and How Does it Work?

Plant extractions and concentrates have become mainstream in the marketplace today. With many different ways to create a concentrated product, it can leave consumers wondering, "how can I make this at home?"

Cannabis extracts have been around for a long time, but the processes used to make these extracts has been in constant development. Nowadays, any size grower can turn their flower harvest into a concentrated form.

Cannabis concentrates can take many forms, but the most popular ones today are Bubble Hash, Dry Sift, Rosin, Distillate, and Butane Hash Oil (BHO). Make the most out of your harvest and see which extraction processes interest you!

Read on to learn how to extract plant oil with all of these methods.

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Post Harvest Extractions: What Does it Mean and How Does it Work?


Plant extractions and concentrates have become mainstream in the marketplace today. With many different ways to create a concentrated product, it can leave consumers wondering, "how can I make this at home?"

Cannabis extracts have been around for a long time, but the processes used to make these extracts has been in constant development. Nowadays, any size grower can turn their flower harvest into a concentrated form.

Cannabis concentrates can take many forms, but the most popular ones today are Bubble Hash, Dry Sift, Rosin, Distillate, and Butane Hash Oil (BHO). Make the most out of your harvest and see which extraction processes interest you!

Read on to learn how to extract plant oil with all of these methods.

Bubble Hash Extraction

Bubble Hash is the method for making hash that utilizes water and ice as a carrier for the trichomes by freezing them off of the plant material. The water is then put through an assortment of filter bags or screens that will separate out the different sizes of resin glands.

This process is fairly straight-forward for the person doing the extraction, but the secrets to making full melt bubble hash are as follows:

First, make sure you are starting with fresh flowers. The fresher the material, the better the extract is going to be.

Second, temperatures matter! You are trying to freeze off the resin glands with freezing cold water and ice cubes to maintain temperatures. The ice cubes themselves should be big, chunky cubes to keep them from melting.

Remember that the amount of agitation will make or break your product. It is customary to do a short gentle first wash on the material to be filtered out before repeating the process with a heavier agitation cycle. The first gentle wash will be the best product.

The second wash is just to get the remaining resin off the plant matter, and will not be as high of a grade as the first wash.

How to extract bubble hash

There are many ways to wash bubble hash, from gently hand stirring, to utilizing a washing machine such as the Bubble Magic. We have even seen people use a drill and a paint mixer.

It really comes down to personal preference, and the quality of hash you are trying to make. Hand stirring will give you the best, most full melt product.

Washing machines work very well, but if the user does not watch what he or she is doing, it can cause over extraction. This results in your full melt not really melting well. By far our least favorite way would be with the paint mixer…...but we’ve seen it work.

Once the resin is separated into the filter bags, each bag will be removed and the hash scooped out and place on a drying screen to dry. After the hash has begun to wick the water out of itself, it is suggested to sieve or micro-plane the hash out onto parchment paper sitting on cardboard.

This process will turn the balls of hash into sand size particles, and allow for complete 360 degree drying of your product. The best way to do this is freezing your hash and the tool you are going to use to break up the hash.

This will prevent hash from sticking to your tool as you grate the frozen hash through it.

Once your hash is broken down, you will want to leave it in a cool dark area to finish drying. Then, store in jars to allow it to cure. If you have mastered this hash making process, your end product should be free from contaminants. Watch for it to melt when vaporized instead of burning.

Shop our selection of Dry Ice Bubble Extractions.

Dry Sift Extraction

Dry sift hash is made by using the same style of filtering screens as bubble hash. The setup, however, will be different depending on how you plan to get the job done.

Some people will use bubble bags, but more experienced users will use screens wrapped around a frame that sit on a table top. Commercial operations will usually use a Dry Sift Tumbler to get the the process done in a timely manner.

How to extract the best dry sift

The secret to dry sift is to be as gentle as possible. By taking care of our starting material, we are able to minimize the amount of plant matter contamination in our end product. Because we are not using any sort of a carrier to move the resin, it is usually done with manual agitation.

When using bubble bags to accomplish this, a lot of people use dry ice to freeze the material and the inside of the bags. This will help with the agitation of the product. This method is very useful for trying to get the most out of your product quickly.

However, it is necessary to keep an eye on the hash coming out of the bag. Watch for a color change from blonde to green. If you start seeing green, you are beginning to break down plant matter and not just resin.

Using screens on a table is the most effective way to produce top notch full melt hash. This is usually done in small batches, with the user placing a small amount of plant matter onto his stack of screens. Then, gently use a credit card or something similar to push broken down flower material across the screen back and forth.

This will gently agitate the material as it moves across the screen, allowing resin to drop through. The user will then separate out the different grades of hash and jar them up to cure.

Dry sift tumblers

Dry sift tumblers, such as the Rosin Industries Pollenex, are a great way to get a lot of dry sift work done fast. They allow the user to load up a large amount of material into their tumbler at one time to produce a large amount of dry sift.

These machines are usually utilized in a commercial rosin operation due to the ability of the users to speed up production. These tumblers require trial and error to find the right speed and agitation requirements, depending on the strain being processed.

There is no better way to get a lot of sifting done than a Dry Sift Tumbler.

Shop our Dry Sift Tumblers.

Rosin Extraction

Rosin is a newer extraction type to the marketplace. This method uses heat and pressure to melt and force the resin out of the plant matter. The concentrate is squeezed onto parchment paper to be collected.

Rosin can be made from wet or dry flowers, but we have seen the most success when starting with either dry sift or bubble hash. This will produce the largest yields per press when making rosin, while also giving you a product that does not contain any contamination.

Using a rosin press

Success while making Rosin comes down to a few key things.

First, how much pressure can you apply with your press? More pressure will allow you to lower temperatures on your plates. This will give you more product than a weaker press with higher temps.

Temperatures are everything when it comes to rosin. If your press is too hot, you are going to start to decarboxylate your oil. This will start the chemical process of transferring THC-A into THC before you even try to vape it.

This will result in a poor tasting product, and usually will have a darker color.

The time you spend pressing will drastically affect the end result of your product. Pressing too long is almost as bad as pressing too hot, as it runs the risk of decarboxylating your oil and even burning it.

Shop all Rosin Presses.

Distillates

Ethanol extraction is new to the marketplace in the form of THC and CBD distillate.

Distillate is made with scientific glass lab equipment. The process includes extraction, then a dewax to clean up the product. The ethanol mix is then put into a Rotary Evaporator, or Roto-Vap as called in the industry.

This allows the ethanol to be boiled off in a thin film as the Roto-Vap rotates in a warm water bath. The ethanol is condensed and reclaimed for later use in other extractions.

After the ethanol is reclaimed, a highly potent and activated form of THC remains. At this point, there are no terpenes, because these were boiled off with the ethanol. This form of distillate is basically a tasteless product.

The next step would be to put the ethanol extraction onto a short path distillation set up. This allows the user to boil off the rest of the THC, leaving behind any impurities. The short path will then re-condense the THC and the user is able to separate different fractions of quality.

Once the product has been separated, the final product will have no taste. This is when food grade or cannabis derived terpenes are reintroduced to the extract to produce a certain flavor profile.

Is distillate decarboxylated?

High quality THC or CBD distillate will be up to 99% decarboxylated. It is important to know the source of distillate, though.

Distillate is the most easily concealable form of cannabis concentrate, but it is also usually made from some of the worst BHO and starting material. With cartridges and distillate, it is important to know who made it and how they made it.

This is not something that anyone can just do. Distillation requires a lot of training and specific lab equipment to be done right. In short, you get what you pay for with these. Only purchase through reputable sources.

Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

Hydrocarbon extraction, also known as Butane hash oil (BHO), is another extraction method seen today. Butane is a hydrocarbon, and when passed over flowers, it has the ability to grab onto the hydrocarbon chains that make up the cannabis plant resin. Because of this, it works as a great carrier for extracting THC.

As with all types of extraction, the best processes of BHO revolve around temperature control. The colder you can get the butane, the cleaner your hash is going to be. This procedure takes time to master, and there are many different ways extract BHO.

You want to pass butane through as fast and as cold as possible, before cold boiling off the butane. Make sure you boil off the butane to the point where it is sappy and sticky.

From here, the extract should be placed into a vacuum oven and heated slightly. Using a vacuum pump, butane can be purged from the oil.

The vacuum oven will allow you to heat the slab of oil up evenly. This will pull the residual ppm of butane out of the oil, and the process will be complete.

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Safely extract oil from the comfort of your home

BHO has been the most common form of hash in the 2000s. With the development of safer practices like rosin, however, we can bring safe extractions into the home of the consumer.

These days, you make your own concentrates without the risks of processing with butane or the need for licensing. We recommend only licensed professionals use butane, due to its volatility.

Bubble hash, dry sift, and rosin are much safer alternatives when it comes to making extracts at home.

Times are changing, and there is a much higher consumer demand outside of just flower. Whether you are a home hobbyist or a commercial cultivator, Hydrobuilder has the right equipment to turn your flower into gold... or honey.. shatter.. whatever you want to refer to it as.

Make the most of your harvested product and have fun experimenting. Don't be intimidated by the process and find the extraction equipment that is best for you!