How to Make Solventless Wax: Dry Ice Extraction Method

solventless waxWhen most people think of hash these days, the first thing that comes to mind is the BHO shatter and wax that has become so popular within the last few years. The development of closed-loop extraction systems and vacuum ovens built specifically for concentrates have caused many high-end producers to shift away from traditional hash-making methods in favor of more modern, solvent-based techniques. Recently, however, a few concentrate artists have shared some extraordinary “solvent-less waxes” rivaling the flavor and potency of many solvent-extracted waxes and the technique to making this hash is both simple and incredibly safe—no explosive or potentially toxic chemicals required.

Solvent-less concentrate is made by collecting stalked trichomes from raw plant material. These trichomes are dense with THC and other psychoactive compounds, some of which may not be present in BHO due to their varying structures and solubility properties. While there are several specific methods, trichomes are most easily Trichomes-are-milky-white-collected by sifting—passing the plant matter through a series of screens that separate particles by size. As the heads of the trichomes fall through the smallest screen, they are collected to form the finest grade of “blonde hash” (because the milky heads of the trichomes typically produce an off-white color) or what we’re calling “solvent-less hash” now.

In order to optimize this process, the Pollinator Company in the Netherlands developed the Iceolator Bags (later spun off in the states as Bubble Bags) which allow for an efficient ice-water separation to be carried out. The bags each contain various-sized mesh-screen bottoms (ranging from 200µ to 25µ) which are then stacked within one another so ice, water and plant material can be added and mixed. The ice water helps lower the temperature of the plant material making the trichomes brittle and more readily separated from the plant (and thus, collected).

Unfortunately, the addition of water also requires about 48 hours of drying time and can potentially pick up some unwanted, water-soluble compounds during the separation. That’s why I’ve become very interested in dry-ice extraction. Instead of using water and ice, solid CO2 aka dry ice is used to cool down the plant matter for sifting. Dry ice is both cheap and much colder than regular ice and the way in which it sublimates (goes from solid to gas) rapidly cools down more of the area around it which eliminates the need to use water or some other insulator (water would freeze in contact with dry ice!). The dry ice also serves as an agitator so all you have to do is shake the sifting container/ bag, no need to sit there stirring. Dispensaries seem to carry product listed as “Solvent-less wax” from no larger a screen than 70µ but you will undoubtedly obtain better product (albeit smaller yields) from an even finer screen size.

So the next time you’re thinking about blasting that extra bag of trim/bud you have lying around, consider busting out the bubble bags instead of the butane and turkey baster— your lungs and neighbors will thank you!

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12 thoughts on “How to Make Solventless Wax: Dry Ice Extraction Method

    • Well sort of, its (bubble hash/solventless wax/ ice wax) which is basically kief that has been put through different sized screens to get different and higher quality grades using cold dry ice and or water to make the trichs brittle. Kief generally is just any or all sifted off material and can have lots of plant matter. Putting it through the smaller micron screens leaves only the trich heads which will act completly different than regular old kief and if done correctly will almost fully melt like wax

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      • How do you do it correctly brawskii. I till this day have yet to see some full melt straight for dabbin bubble hash. But then again I only process just trim for these occasions. But it is bomb popcorn no stem trim. If this process done correctly of what yu speak of has to do with extracting the straight flowers and that’s why I’m only getting kief. Then maybe that’s my flaw.. Idk

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      • You take the kief and put it in parchment paper and turn on the revlon hair straightner and put kief inside the parchment and fold over the parchment and press the hair straightner on the kief for like half a second then do it again and open the paper. Should be nice full melt that you can dab. tastes so goooooood

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  1. Are there any like issues with using dry ice? Like does dry ice add anything that can be harmful to the human body? I seen some people on YouTube saying that the product could be contaminated with something but I wanted to make sure first.

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  2. Okay, so I’m about to buy the set of eight bubble bags and do this myself, I just put the dry ice and and herb straight in the bags and shake it, or should I shake it in a bucket first, then transfer it like you did?

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    • you can use it for sent in candles lotions things like that other then that it is relativly useless not use taken any medical use out of it already u will get a head ache befor u smoke it

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  3. I have buds instead of trim. How do I go about preparing the buds to be used in the proper form? For example do I grind the buds up or break up the bud? Please help.

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  4. you put waaaaay too much dry ice bro all you need is a lb per gallon of material you end up stripping way too much plant material and it stops becoming full melt

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