Updated: Sep 1
Time to talk hash. I’ve had a bunch of people hit me up lately asking how to store ice water hash and hash rosins. While I can offer some quick guidelines, the topic of storing solventless cannabis concentrates is situational, and requires a longer explanation than I care to give more than once. I decided to share my experience with solventless cannabis extracts over the past three years for anyone who cares to read. The simple storage answer is to freeze your water hash, refrigerate hash rosin, and leave B.H.O. like live-resin sugar at room temperature. They didn’t used to recommend leaving BHO at room temp., but B.H.O badders are on another level after warming-up and getting all jiggly and moist. But for solventless extracts of all sorts, its an imperative that you keep them cold, while remembering not to open a frozen jar. Always let hash warm up before opening the jar to prevent condensation from forming and destroying the hash. These are the basics that will adequately protect and preserve your hash, however there are far more intricate aspects of storage that I will discuss below.
WARNING: NEVER open a frozen jar of hash or rosin. Always allow your water hash and rosin to warm-up before opening to prevent condensation from forming that can damage the hash.
Forking over a significant amount of money for some of the world’s finest cannabis concentrates, its nice to know you are getting all you can out of them. These solventless extracts require more attention as storage tech plays a key part in enjoying the solventless side of life. Unlike B.H.O. and other chemical-solvent extractions of cannabis that are shelf-stable at room temperature, solventless hash and hash rosin begin losing volatile terpenes right away. This is why they require freezing or refrigeration, to preserve as many terpenes as possible. As the volatile terpenes naturally deteriorate the hash or hash rosin will transform in appearance, texture, and consistency. It will also significantly increase the aroma and the taste, making the hash more aesthetically pleasing and often easier to work with up until a certain point. Once an extract has surpassed this point, it will harden and remain that way until consumed. It's a natural process of working with undisturbed resin glands that are ruptured by chemical solvents, causing many terpenes to evaporate long before B.H.O. is put in the jar. This is often the reason that many hydrocarbon extraction techniques require the infusion of "food-grade terpenes," rather than terpenes which are cannabis derived. Furthermore, BHO takes a wild guess at the correct ratios and profiles of cannabinoids while re-infusing terpenes at the end. Only with solventless extractions can you get a true expression of that phenotype or cannabis varietal. Honestly, there's absolutely no better way to experience and explore different cannabis varieties, as hash rosins contain a superior spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavanoids in profiles mother nature intended. Welcome to the new and improved world of solventless extractions.
When it comes to hash rosins the process explained above is called "buddering-up," or "ripening" as I like to call it (despite actually losing terpenes). If the hash rosin has been well cared-for, meaning it remained below 47 degrees consistently throughout transportation and dispensary storage, it will usually be a translucent shade of yellow or white. Once the hash rosin begins to warm in temperature it can budder-up quickly, which is why it's important to properly store hash rosin after each use. Some strains will budder far quicker than others, with some buddering before it ever reaches the consumer. For certain strains this is normal as every cannabis variety reacts differently. Sometimes a pre-buddered hash rosin is a sign that someone failed to properly store the hash, as most dispensaries in California are still unfamiliar with solventless extractions and underestimate the need for refrigeration.
For hash rosin that is completely translucent like the photo to the left, its a good idea to let it warm up some before storing it in the refrigerator rather than the freezer. Freezing hash rosin works to stall the buddering process, while refrigeration will allow the translucent hash to budder-up slowly, developing an opaque crust and a gooey center. Most hash rosin enthusiasts agree the ideal time to consume hash rosin is midway through the buddering process. The challenge is to balance the process using refrigeration to help dictate the rate at which buddering occurs. Below is another example of the same rosin, after 24 hours at room temperature.
You can see how after 24 hours at room temperature the rosin above begins to develop a haziness as it turns from a gooey oil into a solidified state. Its perfectly O.K. to dab hash rosin in any state of appearance, but its much more flavorful and enjoyable while undergoing the buddering transformation. Allowing the extract to sit at room temperature, it took about four days before completely solidifying known as caking-up. The product is still incredible, but is missing some of the most volatile terpenes that can evaporate when your hash is exposed. This is a reason to always put the lids back on your solventless extracts during and after each use. The photo below is a fully buddered hash rosin in a caked-up consistency that some people really enjoy.
For those disappointed to spend big bucks only to find out your hash is already buddered, remember that certain varieties of cannabis act and react different than others. If your hash rosin appears to be caked-up, allow it to reach room temp and try some agitation using your dab tool to release some moisture. Many companies are electing to whip or stir their hash rosin into a stable rosin badder, which can occur naturally with rosin and agitation. Below are pictures of what appeared to be a caked-up hash rosin, that was largely just a strain dependent effect. You can see the moisture that is released by making it into a rosin badder.
You can see above how this Wedding Cake hash rosin from 710 Labs turned right into a gooey, wet, delicious badder that was incredibly easy to dab and one of the most satisfying textures to work with. By simply allowing the hash rosin to reach room temperature, sometimes, you can turn caked-up rosin into such a perfect consistency as is shown below.
If the hash rosin crumbles with agitation, I'll carefully use my finger to compress the hash rosin down in the bottom of the jar, as the heat from my finger helps it to stick back together. After popping it back in the fridge for an hour or so, I'm able to use a thin metal dab tool to lightly scrape the top layer off for each dab. Just as a reminder, no matter what I've said, you should always allow all solventless concentrates to warm up before you dab them to prevent sizzling and burning from condensation. Sometimes with caked-rosin scraping the top layer off after compressing it will surprisingly cause some moisture to appear. Either way it is much easier to work with, especially to gauge the amount of each dab once its compressed. Below are examples of hash rosin I compressed in the jar.
Below is a shot of some hash rosin that appeared to be buddered, but showed its soft center as I scraped a few dabs off the solidified shell that was forming. It had buttered up on me, but was a joy to play with as I formed and shaped it back into something of a hash rosin badder coin. Fast, light-tapping with my dab tool loosens the rosin up, especially Persys, and will often transform into a perfectly moist rosin badder.
If my hash rosin reaches this 50/50 point of translucency like the papaya hash rosin below, I'll usually freeze that jar of hash rather than refrigerating it between uses to maintain this perfect consistency.
When purchasing multiple grams of hash rosin its a good idea to freeze all but a gram or two and put them in the refrigerator instead. Hash rosin will slowly begin to budder-up in the refrigerator, often at a perfect rate to be consumed within the week. You will get to know companies and their strains that will effect your storage plans. 710 Labs kimbo-kush hash rosin for example, is super stable and usually takes several days at room temperature before buddering becomes visibly noticeable. Papas Selects premium hash rosins have earned a lofty reputation for their surefire clarity and consistent translucency across strains and batches. You should also freeze any bulk purchases of hash or rosin and it never hurts to seal them in a zip-lock or air-sealed bag before freezing to be certain that moisture cannot seep in. The buddering process in rosin continues to amaze and makes dabbing solventless hash rosin more enjoyable and more involved than any other extract form.
Ice Water Hash
For ice water hash, the same process unfolds as thousands of individual trichome heads containing a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavanoids combine as water hash "greases-down". Once it has "greased down" err..." -up?", the thousands of pristine individual trichome heads meld together into a natural cannabis oil. Only high grade 5 and 6 star ice water hash will undergo this greasing process. Lesser bubble hashes contain too many contaminants like plant material and trichome stalks to ever "grease down" into a dabbable form of oil. It is recommended that you keep ice water hash frozen between uses to prevent it from completely "caking-up" or drying-out. It is still perfectly good hash for consumption, it just loses some of the terpenes that naturally evaporate from all forms of cannabis after harvest. With six star hash and hash rosin made from freshly frozen, rather than dried cannabis, most of the terpenes that are included would already be long gone by the time cannabis flowers are dried. This is what makes solventless concentrates so incredible so don't let caked up hash or rosin prevent you from thoroughly enjoying this huge advance for cannabis and the culture of hashish. Below are some examples of ice-water hash and the greasing process that ensues. Note how the thousands of tiny heads coagulate turning from a sand-like appearance into a unified oil. This sand like appearance is the ideal consistency of a well preserved hash that has remained frozen or close to it.
After warming up and starting to grease down, ice water hash will turn from a sand-like appearance into an oil. The picture below is a perfect example of water hash greasing down after the agitation of pulling out a dab
And the unfortunate scenario of having your ice water hash go beyond the greasing process and completely caking-up.
EDIT- The picture above is from Santa Cruz Naturals who store their solventless Hash and Hash Rosin from 710 Labs in a warm dry storage area. This is what happens even if the jar is never opened from sitting at room temperature.
It is equally as important to allow frozen jars of hash to defrost and thaw out a bit before removing the lid as this will cause condensation that can potentially damage the hash. The same is true for hash rosin, but with hash being in a more natural state, it is recommended that you keep ice-hash frozen when not in use. If after several uses your water hash hasn't greased-down into an oil, try leaving it out for a bit to kick-start the grease-down at room temp. The ideal consistency for water hash only occurs with the best of the best, as the water hash forms a natural rosin without the need for the pneumatic rosin press. Papas Selects water hashes are unlike any others, and have become the paramount example of 6 star, perfection in water hash extractions. Here's an example of my last gram that was incredibly consistent and held up as an oil even after a couple days at room temp:
Personal preference varies, but most hash heads are in agreement that the pristine time to dab hash rosin is halfway through the buddering phase, similar to hash heads who are looking for a partial grease down before dabbing water hash. For the other varieties of solventless hash such as 710 Labs Persy Sauce, the concept is that it no longer requires refrigeration and is a stable product the way B.H.O. extracts are. This makes it much easier to handle, being able to take it with you without concern for refrigeration. The same is relatively true for hash rosin badders that should be refrigerated when possible to help preserve terpenes, but really will not change noticeably in texture or appearance at room temperature.
The evolution that hash and hash rosin undergoes is a part of the enjoyment of smoking only the best. There really is no wrong or right way to do things, but the general consensus appears in agreement that these valuable terpenes contribute not only to the taste and smell but also to the effects or "the high". As terpenes and cannabinoids interact to create the "Entourage Effect", proper storage and care will help unlock the full potential of solventless dabs.
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