If you’re making dry sift hash, a full-melt product is the Holy Grail. It’s the highest-quality sift you can get, with pure trichomes that melt to perfection—and no unwanted plant matter left behind. When people hear the term “full-melt hash,” they automatically assume you’re talking about bubble hash, as full-melt quality is typically associated with ice water extraction. Is full-melt sift really even a thing?
Make no mistake: It’s difficult to achieve a 5- or 6-star full-melt sift. And even if you do everything correctly, your final product can still end up in the half-melt category.
With that said, it is certainlypossible—especially if you have the right product, the right tools, and the right techniques. If you’re willing to follow a few best practices and engage in plenty of trial and error, you just might stumble upon a new, connoisseur-grade SKU that only a select few processors have achieved.
1. Start With High-Quality Material
If you want a shot at making full-melt sift, you have to start with a high-quality material. Quality in equates to quality out. Not every strain will produce the right-sized trichomes to make a full-melt dry sift. It’s not just about trichome quantity, but trichome size.
Plants with different genetics make different-sized trichomes, and the growing conditions (e.g. outdoor vs. indoor) can also influence trichome size even when you’re working with the same strain. When it comes to premium sift, the ideal range is roughly 72µm to 120µm. Trichome heads of this size can be captured with relative ease.
In addition, you have to consider how detachable the trichomes are. This is heavily influenced by the growing conditions and the breeding. Strains grown indoors or in greenhouses are better candidates for full-melt sift because they tend to detach more easily than strains grown outdoors. That’s because trichome shells and stalks tend to thicken up when grown outside as a result of the harsher environmental conditions. Thicker shells are harder to detach, to the point where mechanical detachment is sometimes required. This is how it commonly goes, but every strain can be different, and even some top-tier outdoor grown material can yield a full-melt dry sift.
Finally, there’s the strain itself. You can’t make every strain—even every great strain—fit into a full-melt box. If you want to achieve true full-melt sift, you’ll probably have to do some trial and error with a few recommended strains. So be patient and flexible.
Recommended Strains for High-Quality Sift
Certain genetics do lend themselves to higher-quality (if not always full-melt) sift. For instance, indica strains and indica-dominant hybrids tend to do much better than sativa strains. There aren’t a lot of pure sativas that have the bud structure or trichome type for high-quality sifting. There are some notable exceptions to this rule, but in general, indicas or hybrids are your best bets. In addition, hemp strains tend to be poor candidates for full-melt sift on account of their smaller trichomes, which are harder to capture.
Certain cannabis lineages are known for producing large, sift-friendly trichomes. The following are some examples of lineages that commonly do well:
- Pie strains
- Cake strains
- Chem strains
- Cookie strains*
- Punch strains
- GMO strains
Again, it’s going to come down to trial and error. So experiment with different strains, and see what works best for you.
*Note that cookie strains tend to have excellent resin glands but also lower yields, so you might not get as much bang for your buck. Still, keep in mind that quantity over quantity is the primary consideration when attempting to make 5/6 star hash
2. Complete Your Initial Sift
Once you have your starting material (preferably a high-quality, trichome-rich flower), you have to complete your initial sift. There are a lot of cost-effective ways to get this done, from single-screen pollen boxes to multi-screen sifter boxes (the top screen has the largest mesh openings, while each subsequent screen has smaller openings to trap debris).
While these manual tools have their benefits, they’re extremely limited in their capabilities. Without the proper precision, you can sacrifice a lot of quality during this step, so you’ll want to avoid the basic pollen boxes and instead opt for a high-quality sifter.
Pro Tip: In order to make live sift, which only the unique use of liquid co2 would allow, you would also need a freeze dryer for this type of solventless application.
How The Original Resinator Can Help
The Original Resinator is the gold standard of sifting equipment. This all-in-one trimming and wet-dry extraction product allows you to make premium-quality sift in minutes. This state-of-the-art kief extraction tool is available in three sizes to suit different needs: The Original Resinator OG, The Original Resinator XL, and the Original Resinator XLS Pro (coming soon). The OG can process up to 3 pounds of trim, and the XL can process up to 14 pounds per cycle.
To make the highest-quality sift in The Original Resinator, just load your starting material into the 75µm to 150µm drum screen and complete a full cycle. You won’t have a full-melt sift right out of the gate, but you’ll be off to an excellent start.
3. Use Static Tech
Once you’ve collected your sift, you’ll need to do some further cleaning to separate the cannabis plant matter from the full-melt material. This is where the magic happens. “Full-melt” simply means that your product contains only melt-friendly trichomes, with no residual plant matter left behind. So the obvious final step is to eliminate that leftover cannabis material. Static electricity makes this possible.
How Static Tech Works
Most people use paint rollers or DVD cases wrapped in parchment paper to generate the necessary static electricity. In a nutshell, the process involves spreading the extract over a flat screen gently and gliding the paint roller over the material. Many people wear rubber gloves while rubbing over the screen to enact the static collection.
There’s a lot of precision required here. You don’t want to press down on or squeeze the material, as this can ruin your extract. In fact, the roller shouldn’t actually touch the material at all. It should just gently glide over it until all of the residual debris has been removed.
You might need to complete more than a dozen passes before all of the plant material is removed. It’s a timely process, but it can substantially improve the quality of your product. Some professionals use microscopes to confirm that they’ve successfully removed all traces of plant matter, but this isn’t generally necessary. With a careful examination, you should be able to tell when all of the stems, flakes, and pieces have been removed.
You can also use the lighter test, sometimes referred to as the bubble test. Just take a sample of sift and light it using a match or lighter. Premium sift should noticeably boil. If the flame leaves behind any black soot, you likely still have contaminants in the product.
Full-Melt Sift Takes Practice
As previously noted, it’s not easy to make full-melt sift. And even if you follow all of the steps here, you might not always get the results you’re hoping for. You’ll need to experiment with different strains and dry sifting techniques, and you’ll need to practice the static tech until you master it.
If you’re serious about making full-melt dry sift, though, it absolutely is possible. And it’s absolutely worth it! We can help. If you want professional equipment, training, or both to make full melt dry sift, contact us today.