Hashish has been around for thousands of years, and modern hash is consumed on great levels. As the cannabis industry grows, so does the need to modernize hashmaking for both scalability and sanitary purposes.
Ice water extraction first appeared in the industry in the 1980s, and the term ‘bubble hash’ was born. After many years of traditional ‘hand-stirring’ techniques, automatic agitators of different calibers were developed. This allowed for a less labour-intensive process which yielded more consistent outcomes, as it eliminated user error and fatigue. As batches became larger, bigger vessels were needed to process these larger quantities. As the demand for bubble hash increased, processing technology failed to keep up with the rising demand. Once again, it became labour intensive to meet market demand.
It soon became apparent that automating the dewatering and collection process for hash operations was necessary. Not only does this effectively scale the ice water extraction process, but it also drastically decreases the physical labour involved. The health and safety risks associated with lifting heavy bags and buckets many times a day are eliminated. As a result, employee satisfaction increases.
Automating the dewatering and collection processes increases throughputs, but it also plays a significant role in reducing user error. When user error is eliminated, it improves batch consistency and allows for accurate data collection. For this reason, the quality of the final product can be improved.
Whistler Technologies was the first to engineer and release a continuous flowof agitation, separation, and collection for ice water extraction.
This brought the possibility of scaling up to greater capacities, without hindering the quality of the separation. Since Whistler Technologies ice water extraction systems continuously collect hash and separate at the same time, it means the hash can effectively be evacuated away from the plant material and end up in the collection bags quicker than with any other method. This ensures the quality of the hash can stay consistent with the craft of small batches.
Long gone are the wash and empty or run and dump days, as the industry says. With automated systems, you simply collect your hash while still agitating.
As these automations develop, advanced features such as trichome sensors, cannabinoid detection, and improved filter systems, further improve the capabilities and technologies of ice water extraction systems.
The automation of ice water extraction has progressed the solventless industry. Formerly, the premium price-point of solventless products was a competitive disadvantage when compared to their solvent product counterparts. Now with the automation of ice water extraction, solventless products can closely compete with their solvent-based counterparts.
The automation of ice water extraction has been proven to produce higher throughputs, create more consistency in product, improve processing efficiency, decrease health and safety risks, and increase employee satisfaction.
These factors contribute to higher margins and yield a better product. When combined, these factors directly build the foundation for a successful brand.