You might already know that bubble hash and rosin are products of ice water extraction, but did you know that the cannabis being used in the process can skip drying and come almost directly from the garden

By making bubble hash from whole plant fresh frozen starting material, a processor can offer a unique and higher quality product.

Additionally, there are benefits for the cultivator as well. This includes reduced labour, smaller space requirements, and eliminating the risk associated with drying crops.

Fresh frozen whole plant cannabis being poured into the WT-Craft agitator

What is live hash and rosin?

Earthwolf farm's Tundra live rosin in a glass jar
Tundra live rosin from EarthWolf Farms.

The term live when talking about cannabis concentrates, refers to a processor performing their extraction on whole plant fresh frozen (WPFF) starting material.

Live cannabis products are highly sought after, as they offer a unique experience to the user. This is because fresh frozen flower boasts a much different terpene and cannabinoid profile than dry flower does.

With regards to rosin, live rosin can only be labelled as ‘live’, if it is produced by pressing hash made from fresh frozen flower.

How is WPFF Material Prepared?

Whistler Technologies' founder surrounded by cannabis plants in a farm in Lillooet
Whistler Technologies' founder at a cannabis farm in Lillooet.

When preparing material to be processed as WPFF, the cultivator will harvest their crop and begin preparing it for freezer storage right away. This process requires attention and care. Strong attention to detail ensures the trichomes are preserved as much as possible, and are not knocked off the capitate stalks

For ideal extraction material, the cultivator should also skip any trimming processes. Instead, the cultivator can perform a slight defoliation. This process removes fan leaves, but retains trichome-covered sugar leaves that will be removed during ice water extraction process!

Finally, the cultivator will want to ensure not to overpack their storage vessels (bags, totes, etc.). This ensures the flowers are not squished together, which could affect trichome integrity.

Product Quality

Macro shot of trichomes on cannabis plant
Trichomes on a cannabis plant.

The processor is going to be able to capture a unique spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids in their bubble hash when processing WPFF materials.

Throughout the cannabis drying process, terpenes and cannabinoids can be lost or transformed in the cannabis. As a result, these terpenes and cannabinoids cannot be captured in the extracted product. Once the product is ready for consumption, it will lack those valuable terpenes and cannabinoids, resulting in an inferior product that is not true to the plant.

Evidence suggests that cannabis flowers can lose up to 95% of their terpenes during the drying process. Save those terps!

Typically, an ice water extraction on WPFF materials will also result in a meltier bubble hash. This can be attributed to the length of flowering time, and the drying process. The drying process affects a trichome’s cell wall, as it can make the walls thicker and harder. These thick walls act as a contaminant.

For this reason, 6-star bubble hash is incredibly difficult to produce. To achieve true 6-star, genetics and the grower are integral. They ensure that the trichome can fully melt and vaporize into virtually nothing.

Production Efficiency

Whistler Technologies team member using the touchscreen on a freeze dryer

Eliminating the drying process reduces labour and the risk of potential bacteria contamination, that can occur during the drying process.

The drying process is a carefully controlled process, which requires skilled environmental control. To freeze the WPFF material, the cultivator must ensure adequate cold storage volume, for the amount of cannabis they intend to freeze.

Additionally, this also allows the cultivator to have product ready for processing much sooner. This reduces the time it takes to have a finished product, that is ready to sell. After all, who doesn’t love getting products to shelf sooner?

Earthwolf Farms' Tundra live rosin on a dab tool, with a flame in the background

Fresh frozen is the foundation of a live product.

Live products are high in demand, as they preserve the living essence of the plant. Processing with WPFF also increases production efficiency. If you’re interested in learning more about whether fresh frozen is right for your solventless extraction needs, please reach out to the Whistler Technologies team.