drī sift | Noun
A concentrate crafted through the accumulation of trichome glands from cured cannabis (both hemp and marijuana). Commonly known as kief, dry sift is the least expensive type of concentrate to prepare but one of the most potent and challenging to make. As the name implies, this concentrate is made by sifting cannabis through dry sift screens of different sizes. The screens vary depending on how large or small the trichomes are. This concentrate can be used on its own or mixed with tobacco or hemp flower for extra potency.
“Dry sift is my favorite type of hemp concentrate.”
“Did you know that you can use pressure and heat to turn dry sift into hash and dab it?”
What is it?
Dry sift is a hemp concentrate made up of trichome glands — the glandular hairs found on the surface of the hemp flower, responsible for the production of terpenes and cannabinoids. Characterized by a soft-sand texture and appearance, this concentrate contains pure cannabinoids and terpenes, without the plant matter. It’s not considered an extract because the removal of the trichome glands is performed without the use of solvents.
This concentrate is inexpensive to make and doesn’t require fancy equipment, so many people prepare it at home. At-home preparation includes sifting and sieving plant material over a screen. Manufacturers process the commercial product using vibratory sieves, which allows faster and more efficient production.
How is it made?
To better understand hemp trichomes’ sieving process on cured hemp plant material, think of them as ripe apples on trees. The easiest way to remove apples from trees is to apply mechanical energy to shake the tree and have the fruits fall off. But, by shaking the tree hard enough, you will get most of the apples down, together with some branches. To ensure that only the apples were filtered through and not any plant matter, you’d use a screen with a size of the apples to catch them when falling.
The same goes for dry sift. Manufactures agitate the plant matter over a screen with sizes that correspond with the size of trichome glands. This allows only the trichomes to fall through the sift, holding back other plant matter that would reduce its purity. The three types of trichomes are:
- Bulbous trichomes: undetectable by the human eye; smaller than the thickness of human hair.
- Capitate Sessile trichomes: they have longer stalks than bulbous trichomes.
- Capitate Stalked trichomes: most common ones; contain a basal cell stalk and gland head.
The diameter of the trichome glands — 20 to 120 microns — corresponds with the most commonly used screens. The larger micron sizes of 90 to 120 microns fully capture the capillary-stalked trichomes. On the other hand, smaller micron sizes of 20 to 40 microns isolate the glands from the stalks.
The purity of this concentrate depends on three factors: the size of the drifting screens, the employed technique, and the moisture content of the plant material. Its further refinement is done by “carding,” or gently rubbing the final product over smaller screens. The lower-melt product can be pressed into rosin.
Advantages and disadvantages of this concentrate
Like any hemp concentrate, it has its pros and cons. One of the most significant advantages of dry sift is that it’s made without using a solvent. This process keeps the trichome glands intact and creates a pure full spectrum concentrate. While this concentrate is relatively cheap to produce, it’s labor and time-intensive. There is also the possibility that it contains larger amounts of plant contaminant as opposed to solvent-based extracts. The presence of contaminants in this concentrate is not harmful but reduces the likelihood of making a dabbable concentrate.
How to use it?
As a fairly versatile concentrate, dry sift can be used in many different ways. You can sprinkle it on a bowl of flower or inside your hemp flower pre-roll or pre-roll blunts. It can be added to other concentrates like wax. Many use it to prepare edibles and butter or press it into small bars that can be dabbed. When pressed and heated (even with your hands), dry sift is easily turned into hash.
How to store it?
Like other concentrates, dry sift should be stored in a dark, dry, and cool place. You can store it as it is, keeping the powder in sterilized, airtight jars that are either glass or silicone. It’s important to avoid exposure to heat, humidity, and oxygen to preserve it fresh for a decent amount of time.
You can also use parchment paper for storage. Pressing the concentrate before storing it for further use in a bowl helps you deal with its powdery texture. Press the dry sift by folding it into a parchment paper and then heating the outside of the package. You can heat the package using a hair iron. This method liquefies your sift into hash that melts beautifully when smoked. In the long run, you should keep this concentrate in a vacuum-sealed glass container in the freezer.
What is full melt dry sift?
Like other solventless concentrates, its quality is measured by how well it melts. In general, the quality of hash is graded based on a star rating system, typically a six-star rating system. This rating system is useful for separating this concentrate into different grades of quality or purity.
A one- to two-star melt is dry sift with relatively high amounts of plant matter, also known as cooking-grade concentrate. Half-melt or three- to four-star melt is, as the name implies, hash that mels halfway. Full-melt, or five- to six-star melt, is the purest form of dry sift that can be dabbed on its own. The higher the rating, the better this concentrate will melt. A lower rating means the concentrate contains more plant contaminants.
Difference between dry sift, kief, and bubble hash?
Dry sift is another term to describe kief. The difference between the two is that dry sift indicates the process of collecting large amounts of kief, typically on a commercial level. In terms of dry sift versus bubble hash, the difference is in the process of making the concentrate. Dry sifting is easier than producing bubble hash because of the use of water, ice, and bubble bags. On the other hand, bubble hash has a richer flavor because the terpenes and flavonoids are of increased quality.