The question how to make hash from dry sift may sound redundant. After all, dry sift is hash. However, most professional extractors distinguish dry sift from the premium full-melt hash that typically results from ice water extraction (i.e. bubble hash).
What if you could make ice-water-quality hash using a dry sifting technique? Yes, it is possible. Making clean, full-melt hash from unrefined dry sift (or kief from your cannabis grinder) is just a matter of having the right tools and techniques at your disposal.
Full-melt hash—according to the hash grading system, this is hash without the unwanted plant material, lipids, and waxes—vaporizes completely and without leaving any residue. It can be sprinkled on bowls, used for making infused joints, decarboxylated and added to edibles, dabbed, further extracted into rosin, or sold to dispensaries as-is.
Creating high-quality hash from excess plant material like trim allows you to get more out of your cannabis. It’s a great way to take your supply further and increase your revenue. It may even open lucrative new SKUs for your business.
Traditional Methods for Making Dry Sift Hash from Flower
Simple to make and solvent-free, dry sift hash is one of the oldest cannabis concentrates available. But its traditional production methods come with certain limitations—which is why it’s so difficult to achieve a full-melt product.
Dry sifting the resin from a small number of cannabis buds can be done pretty easily at home using a pollen box with a mesh screen or a graduated series of mesh bags. Screens with smaller holes create a finer grade of dry sift than screens with larger holes, but the amount collected is lower.
Some hobbyists start with the finest screen to collect the pure, full-melt hash, moving to larger screens to catch mid-grade (half-melt) and low-grade sift. Others start with the largest-micron screen to collect all of the unrefined dry sift, placing finer screens below to filter out the unwanted plant matter until only pure hash is left.
Most if not all true full-melt trichomes, whether ice water hash or dry sift, are found between 70μm and 120μm. The smaller ones in the 45μm range and below tend to be lower-quality, with the same going for ones 140μm and above.
A sifter box or pollen box consists of a collection chamber, a graduated series of mesh screens, and a lid. To make dry sift hash, buds or kief are placed on top of the top screen, covered with the lid, and shaken manually to separate the trichome heads (the most important part of the anatomy of the trichome) from the cannabis plant material so that the cannabinoid and terpene-rich cannabis resin can fall through the screens to the collection chamber. For a pure dry-sift hash, the final mesh screen should be between 70μm and 120μm.In addition, further refinement using static sifting is usually necessary to make a true dry-sift full-melt. It’s tricky, but it can be done with the right equipment.
An alternative method to refine dry sift into full-melt hash is with mesh resin collection bags. This system works much like a sifter box except that you put the cannabis buds, kief, or unrefined dry sift into a clean bucket, cover the top of the bucket with a mesh bag, and shake the refined sift onto a flat, clean surface (tables work well). Many people add dry ice to help the trichomes separate from the plant, but this won’t get you anywhere near full-melt. It’s too cold, and the trichomes are too delicate. It will make low-quality green dry sift, which is okay for tinctures or edibles in some cases because you get a higher yield, but it’s not going to make rosin-grade sift.
DIY dry sifting techniques work great for small amounts of kief or flower but wouldn’t be practical for processing commercial quantities of hash. To extract pure trichomes from 5-14 lbs of starting material in one go, many concentrate and extraction companies use industrial trichome sifters.
How Industrial Trichome Sifters Work
Industrial trichome extraction machines consist of a tumbling box or drum with mesh screens to filter the material. 180-micron screens are often used to maximize the yield of sift from cannabis trim.
To separate the resin glands from the starting material, you simply add dry cannabis material to the machine, set the timer, and start the cycle. Once the process is complete, you collect the sift from the chamber and scrape down the mesh screens to collect the remaining resin.
Why Mechanized Sift Separation is Superior to Hand Sifting
If you’re making your own cannabis hash for fun, it usually doesn’t matter all that much if a little plant material creeps in or you don’t get all the sift off the plant. However, for commercial extractors, there are several benefits to machine separation:
- You can process much higher volumes of cannabis without increasing labor costs.
- The use of industrial-grade materials helps to prevent contamination.
- The automated tumble process leads to a much more consistent result.
- Commercial trichome separators can be used as-is or with carbon dioxide for extraction and separation without any risk of burns to your hands.
- Longer tumble times lead to higher yields.
- All of the sift collected is contained within the machine for zero waste.
- Best of all… You can go off and do something else while you wait!
The Original Resinator: The Best All-in-One Solution
If you want to make premium-grade hash from dry sift or from terpene-rich live sift, the key is precision. You need a machine that’s capable of eliminating the maximum amount of plant material with minimal contamination. That’s where The Original Resinator excels.
Instant Results with Liquid CO2
The Original Resinator uses liquid CO2 as a freezing agent for an instant result, allowing you to work with live material that’s freshly harvested for the highest possible concentration of terpenes. It doesn’t bruise trichome heads or put excess green plant material in your sift like dry ice does. If you’re looking to rise above the limitations of dry sift and create a truly live product, The Original Resinator makes live sift easier than ever. You get richer aromas, a better terpene profile, and the kind of connoisseur-grade product that people pay top-dollar for.
Interchangeable Micron Screens for Premium Dry Sift Hash
With The Original Resinator, you can use different screen sizes, temperatures, and run times to achieve precise results for a full range of extraction applications. We generally recommend the 75- to 100-micron drum screen for the highest-quality sift. The Original Resinator OG can process up to 3 lbs of premium-quality trim, and The Original Resinator XL can process 14 lbs.
Three Functions in One
The Original Resinator is superior to other trichome sifters on the market because it can also be used to trim the buds and make ice water hash. With three functions—trimming, sifting, and washing bubble hash—and the ability to process and extract dried-and-cured cannabis or fresh/live buds with flash-freezing, you can save time and money compared to using separate machines.
A Better Starting Product for Your Hydrocarbon System
Are you hoping to transform your sift into a hydrocarbon, CO2, ethanol, or solventless extract? The Original Resinator can make an excellent complement to your system. Running sift can easily double the yield on an extraction run or more. Imagine increasing the potency of your input material from flower/trim potency levels to the potency of sift. That ratio could be more than 3x. If you are on the cusp of needing an additional extraction unit, you can instead opt to purchase a Resinator to dial up your throughput. Rather than spending 200k on a new extraction system, you can increase your yields by packing sift columns. This is super helpful especially when running fresh frozen material, since it is such low potency compared to dried/cured.
The Resinator reliably leaves behind about 3-5% residual cannabinoid content off a 30-minute Cryo-Sieve® when you use a 200 μm screen, but that can be a benefit because you can use that spent material on a food-grade SKU. You also end up removing a lot of plant waxes and chlorophyll in the sieving process, so the material you are packing is cleaner. This can result in increased potencies and clarity in the final extract.
It only takes a few minutes to load the Resinator up, and you can walk away while it’s running, so it’s hardly an added burden in terms of labor and by far the cheapest way to add additional throughput to a lab. You’re also going to save money on solvent costs by cutting down the mass of the material you are putting into extraction. In this way, the Resinator basically pays for itself in a matter of a few months. Factor in reduction of trim labor as well, and its ROI is even quicker.
Best of all, you’re going to have a better finished product. Since most of the plant material has been eliminated already, your final extract will have a better color and taste than it would if you just inserted your plant material straight into the closed-loop system or rosin press.
How to Store Dry Sift Hash
After purifying your dry sift using a sifter box, mesh bags, or The Original Resinator, you can simply store your pure dry sift hash in airtight containers out of direct sunlight. When made properly, hash isn’t as prone to mold as fresh or dried cannabis plants.
It’s not uncommon for extractors to press their sift into coins using a pollen press (to reduce the exposed surface area) and then store it in airtight containers in the fridge. However, it’s important to note that compressing dry sift causes it to amalgamate, which makes it more difficult to press into rosin.
Make Connoisseur-Grade Hash with The Original Resinator
If you want to make the purest hash from dry sift, don’t settle for less—use the Original Resinator. There are a lot of sifting products on the market but none produce the quality and volume of hash—hands-free—as The Original Resinator.
Furthermore, it is the only extraction machine that can flash-freeze to separate resin from trim/flower in live or dried applications and can also wet-trim—removing the live sugar leaf and then lyophilizing the flower with freeze-dry technology for a smokable flower in 24 hours from harvest, which we call Crop-to-Cure®. As long as you’re working with high-quality buds, you’ll produce a high-quality extract that you’ll be proud to call your own.