ice water extraction

This extraction technique is based on traditional techniques that have evolved over the years to become a modern efficient extraction method. With the cannabis industry expected to grow to $30 billion by 2025, cannabis has combined those traditional techniques with the latest innovative production processes to deliver better results.  

In this article, we’ll focus on the overall process of using ice water/baths to extract and produce tetrahydrocannabinol (THD) and cannabidiol (CBD) distillate. We’ll explore what this technique is, how the process is done, and what the benefits are for this extraction process. Ultimately, we’d love to help you learn how you can make your production process faster and easier with a little assistance from our proven tools and technology.

What is Ice Water Extraction?

This extraction is a special type of cannabis production. Ice water extraction gives you a more powerful and pure result, with less chance of contamination, compared to carbon dioxide extraction and butane extraction. You use ice water to remove the trichomes and leaves from the cannabis.  

This process involves ice, water, and fermentation. It’s an effective way to preserve your terpenes and cannabinoids without risking contamination by adding additional ingredients.

Understanding Ice Water Extraction

It’s first important to understand that the trichomes are the part of the plant that contains the largest concentration of CBD and THC. You’ll notice that the trichomes appear to be sparkly bits when you look up close at the sticky substance on the bud.  

Trichomes are denser than water, so they separate from the plant matter and water. Instead of dissolving or floating in the ice water, they sink during the fermentation process. You use ice water because hot water just makes the cannabinoids activate or even dissolve instead of separating from the plant matter and sinking.

Ice Water Extraction Benefits

This extraction technique ensures that you produce the purest, high-quality product without added ingredients. You’re just using ice water and cannabis plants to achieve the desired results.

  • Potency & Purity: Ice water extraction gets you the best potency and purity compared with all the extraction methods, but you can get the most out of the process if you use the appropriate equipment, including micron filtering. Your goal is to prevent contamination.  
  • Flavor & Aroma: Trichomes are delicate, which means that you must use ice water to capture the most aromatic and flavorful hash. With an increase in the retention of terpenes. Warm or hot water would damage or contaminate the trichomes. 
  • Yields: Dry sifting doesn’t offer the same level of yields compared with ice water extraction. With this extraction method, you’re less wasteful because the method more efficiently collects your trichomes.

Tips for Ensuring Success with Ice Water Extraction

While the process of ice water extraction is fairly easy and straightforward, you can optimize the process by keeping in mind a few important tips. You should take these precautions seriously if you’re really looking to avoid contaminating your extraction process. Your gentle handling and care with the ice water extraction process will help you to avoid otherwise adversely (and unintentionally) affecting your end product.

Here are a few tips to consider for your ice water extraction.  

  • Avoid using cannabis (plant material) that has started to dry out too much. It will break apart more, which will contaminate your product.  
  • Make sure that your cannabis (plant material) is completely frozen before beginning the process. If it’s not completely frozen, you’ll be drying the material without the degree of separation that you need. This can also result in contamination.   
  • Take care when mixing or agitating the material in the ice water. You could cause excessive breakage, which could cause contamination.  
  • While you’re working to filter the plant material, avoid squeezing the micron filter bag. Carefully remove the extracted material and let it dry to get the purity and potency that you need.  
  • Even with a small operation, you should be sure that you have a plentiful supply of clean potable water to use for your Ice water extraction.  

You’ll get the best results from your ice water extraction process with the finest meshes for your strainer or micron filter bags. You should take your time, not be in a rush, and be gentle with the filtration process to avoid contamination risks through your processing. 

Next Step: Find Out Precision Extractions Can Help

Our team can help you with your ice water extraction process, making sure that you’re able to achieve the level of purity and potency you need. When you reach out to our team, you’ll also learn more about the products we offer that will best meet your needs no matter what the size or scope of your operation might be now or in the future. Give us a call to learn more about how we can assist you with your ice water extraction process today!

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