There is no one on our team more fitting to recount the evolution of bubble hash, than our very own Chief Trichome Officer, Marcus ‘Bubbleman’ Richardson. Marcus continues to pioneer the hash industry, but here he shares, firsthand, his early insights into the world of hash making.

The Bubbleman scooping bubble hash in a lab
Marcus Bubbleman Richardson

Water Extraction

I will be honest; this is my account of bubble hash, from the last 30 or so years of being involved. My mentor ‘Skunk Man Sam’ had taken out the earliest advertisement I had ever seen about water extraction, in an issue of High Times Magazine – back in November 1988!

Sam was offering to teach people the wonders of water extraction, for just $10. The instructions were simple, yet effective. It involved shaking a jar with water and cannabis, leaving it to settle, before filtering the contents through a coffee filter. No ice was mentioned here.

The Origin

I was more than intrigued.

I asked Sam where he had heard about this method. Sam recounted a discussion with Neville Haze, commonly known as ‘Neville the Breeder’. He explained that an unknown American had spoken, many years before, about how cannabis resin glands were much denser than water. As a result, when agitated in water the cannabis resin glands sunk to the bottom.

That was the first time I encountered anyone using water to isolate resin glands from cannabis. Genius!

Neville Haze holding hash
Neville the Breeder

Development

Fast forward to 1997, and a Swiss American named Reinhard Delph, invents the Ice-Cold Extractor. This was basically a five-gallon conical stainless-steel vessel. Not unlike the Whistler Technologies agitation tank, only on a much smaller scale. His novel idea was to add ice!

Reinhard signed a deal in 1998 at the Cannabis Cup with Mila Jansen, the ‘Pollinator Lady’.

Mila Jansen sitting with a cannabis joint in her hand
Mila Jansen

While the machine was sitting in Mila’s living room, Eldon (an old hash smuggler and friend of mine), along with Mark Rose (who would later manufacture my Bubble Bags), watched the machine churn out a batch.

Afterwards, Eldon suggested adding two five-gallon bags in five-gallon buckets. Mark Rose called it the Ice-O-Lator! And so, Mark Rose and Eldon created the first Ice-O-Lator bags.

Mark Rose went on to manufacture the Ice-O-Lator, whilst Mila would market and sell them.

Ice-O-Later bubble bags
Ice-O-Later Bags

In 1999, I tried to make a deal to sell their products into Canada. Frankly, my meeting did not go super well, and I left dismayed about what I would do next. When I returned home to Canada, my wife suggested – “why don’t we make our own bags?”

Bubble Bags

In March of 1999, the ‘Bubble Bags’ brand was born.

We created additional micron sized bags to save hash from going down the drain, as well as a pressing screen to wick moisture from the freshly made bubble hash.

Bubble bags from the Bubbleman brand
Bubble Bags, from the Bubbleman

Whistler Technologies

Fast forward another 17 years, and Whistler Technologies starts producing a fully automated, stainless steel extraction system for the Canadian Regulatory Framework. This was a game changer!

Now, there are multiple companies producing ice water extraction equipment, and hundreds selling the bag systems.

Thanks to water extraction, more is known today about hash and glandular trichomes.

Prior to 1998, very few people in the cannabis community had ever seen glandular trichomes isolated into purity ratios of 99.99%.

The Whistler Technologies team is excited to see the developments in hashmaking over the next 20 years. We aspire to remain at the forefront of the industry, innovating new equipment today to provide solutions for tomorrow!

Whistler Technologies ice water extraction equipment WT-Craft at the Verdant Leaf in Oregon
Whistler Technologies' WT-Craft, at The Verdant Leaf's lab in Portland, Oregon.
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