Perhaps the cheapest, simplest way to concentrate cannabinoids is also one of the newest. Since 2009, hash makers have been turning to dry ice—which is frozen carbon dioxide—to yield an impressive amount of kief. Dry ice is the fastest way to turn trash into gold. Manual dry ice sieving is very inexpensive to set up, results in very little mess or cleanup, and doesn’t involve explosive chemicals like BHO, or require expensive machinery.
One-Minute Dry Ice Kief is my favorite concentrate. It is very smooth and contains a lot of terpenes because it is made cold and not mixed with anything, even water, preserving the terpenes. It has very little vegetation so you are inhaling only gland products.
Making hash is a wonderful method of preserving resin long after cannabis has been harvested. Whether in the kitchen or in the lab, hash making is a process that is available to everyone. Using old school methods or new-school techniques, the process is relatively straightforward — agitate to remove trichomes, collect the resin, sort the resin by size, dry the resin, smoke, and enjoy!
Dry Ice Kief—The Manual Method
First, you’ll need bubble bags or hash bags, a pollen press, dry ice, isopropyl alcohol for sanitation, a clean collection bin, and a clean 5-gallon bucket. (I used a large cooler for my collection bin) You can order the hash bags on Amazon and they are inexpensive. I’d ordered a set of bags that came with the press.
Dry ice is kinda hard to ﬁnd I got it from a medical supply store. You’ll need to research where to ﬁnd it locally for you or have it shipped to you.
Warning! Always wear gloves when handling dry ice and do this in a well-ventilated area. Dry ice is made by liquefying carbon dioxide and injecting it into a holding tank, where it’s frozen at a temperature of -109° F and compressed into solid ice.
Direct contact with your skin will cause frostbite! Inhaling the evaporated gas can cause asphyxiation.
First, wipe the inside of your collection bin and bucket with alcohol to sanitize them. Let the alcohol dry, then add the dry ice to your bucket. Pick a hash bag you want to use. I suggest using one under 120 microns. (The smaller the micron counts the better quality keif you’ll get.) I used a 73-micron bag.
Now place the bag inside the bucket with dry ice on the bottom. Add your material whether it be trimmings or bud only do a couple of ounces of material at a time. Let that sit in the bucket for a minute or two to bring the temperature down.
Pull the bag out of the bucket and put one handful of dry ice in the bag with the material. This is to help agitate the material and break it down.
Hold your bag over your collection bin. You’ll want to use something plastic like a storage tote or a cooler that can be easily scraped with a card. Something with sidewalls or this stuff is going to be everywhere.
Shake the material for 20 to 30 seconds or so then dump the remaining material on some newspaper or something so you can dispose of it later. Don’t over shake or you’ll break down the plant material and it’ll mix in with the keif you’re trying to separate.
Now scrape the collection bin with a plastic card collecting the keif into a pile and put it in a Mason jar or some kind of air-tight container. Now it’s ready to be smoked, you can sprinkle the kief on a bowl of ﬂower or into a joint. If you are going to use the kief for edibles do not press it yet. You want the material to be loose so it decarboxylates evenly.
- Dry ice sieving kief sends weed dust everywhere unless the bucket bottom, where the screen is, is kept close to the table surface.
- Avoid working in areas with breezes.
- Use thinner chunks of dry ice and less agitation for purer kief.
- Use quality nylon mesh bubble bags. Plastic mesh bags degrade under the brutal cold of the dry ice.
- If you are making your own device, use stainless steel mesh rather than nylon. The nylon wears and chips when it’s frozen by the dry ice. Stainless steel lasts indefinitely.
- You can use either dried or fresh-frozen trim. Both kief out nicely, and the fresh-frozen contains more terpenes.