With the rise of the DIY mentality and the apparent simplicity of some cannabis extraction methods, at least by scientific standards, many people believe they can extract their own cannabis at home. However, such DIY cannabis enthusiasts are often in for a rude awakening, just like fight sports fans who confuse watching fighting for actual fighting. There are so many little details that go into both fighting and extraction science.
With that being said, cold extraction really is that simple, and more importantly, safe, on virtually all levels. There’s nothing volatile about the process and there’s nothing toxic about the end product, with the exception of potential mold, which you can eliminate singlehandedly. The biggest risk involved is wasting some cannabis in the process of trial and error.
What you need is a washing machine – a mini-washer or a household, some filter bags – preferably of varying sizes (190-micron, 160-micron, and 45-micron), a bucket and lots of water and ice. And last but certainly not least, a drier or frozen cannabis source material – flower or trim.
Alternatively, you can use a salad spinner, as it employs a similar principle, or a pair of cake mixers, be it less than ideal. The goal is agitation of the cannabis material via its forceful contact with the ice, causing the trichomes to break off and mix into the water, creating a perfect example for the expression “There must be something in the water.” However, the reason why cake mixers aren’t ideal is that they are too forceful and can damage fragile trichomes. In other words, the tricky part is using the right amount of force.
The steps are simple:
- disinfect washer
- fill washer with cold water and ice at a ratio of between 2:1 and 3:2
- place cannabis material
- top up with ice in order to surround the cannabis with ice and water
- let everything cool for 5 minutes
- start washer
- Prepare your drainage setup – a bucket with the filter bags, starting with the smallest micron at the bottom
- place the washer drain tube in the bucket
- once the wash cycle is done, pour the trichome water in the bucket and let it drain through the bags
- collect the filtered kief
- (optional) repeat the process with he filtered water to glean maximum yield
- dry the end product well – this is crucial in order to eliminate mold, which is the only potential health hazard
Cold water extraction is the perfect way to dabble safely into cannabis extraction and get some quality, safe hash out of it.