Definition and general appearance
Dry sift is a cannabis concentrate produced by sifting the trichome glands through screens of different size. It belongs to the group of solvent-free, or kinetic concentrates as well as rosin and ice hash, which get removed mechanically without any chemical substances.
Dry sift has a powdery appearance and soft texture. Its color may vary from bright white to the greeny shades. Green color reveals chlorophyll so the concentrate of this shade has too much plant matter in it. It is usually the characteristic of a low grade dry sift. If you prefer buying dry sift instead of making it on your own, keep in mind: the whiter and the softer the concentrate is, the better.
Star grades of dry sift
The quality of dry sift is determined by its star rating, from 1 to 6. The final mark depends on how well the product melts. This differentiation is necessary because it helps to identify the proper way of consumption. The crudest dry sift, from 1 to 2 stars, is usually used in edibles, 3-4-star product might be enjoyed by adding it to the bowl, blunt or joint to smoke, and the highest-ranked dry sift with 5-6 stars is recommended for dabbing.
The concentrate with the lowest grade has the greatest amount of plant contaminants so it will not melt easily. Instead, it is a popular ingredient for various recipes. Alternatively, you might add it to tea or coffee to activate the cannabinoid by transforming THCA into the toxic THC with the help of hot liquid.
Types of trichomes in dry sift production
Trichome is where exactly all the flower cannabinoids and terpenes are located. When manufacturing a dry sift, it is necessary to understand the differences between different trichome types to get the best possible quality. There are three kinds of trichomes each of which consists of a gland (the part that contain cannabinoids and terpenes), a stalk, and a combination of cells that join the gland with the stalk. The trichome types are the following:
bulbous — the smallest (height is about 30 microns). Gland consists of just a few cells.
capitate-sessile — up to 100 microns in height. Gland is formed by 10-16 cells. A stalk is the size of a cell so it is sometimes not visible.
glandular — the biggest and the most widely used marijuana trichomes with height up to 500 microns. This kind has a visible range of cells between a trichome gland and a stalk.
For dry sift production, glandular trichomes are used. They are the only ones where the gland can be fluently disengaged from the stalk by breaking cells in between. This way, it becomes easy to separate the unnecessary plant contaminants from the more valuable components.
Making dry sift at home
The market currently offers simple solutions for commercial needs in dry sift production. Electric powered machines with vibratory sieves produce the desired quantities of the concentrate within the minimal time. However, this equipment is definitely a costly one, so most consumers prefer making dry sift at home spending time rather than money.
Dry sift production is a time-consuming process that requires considerable preparation. First, it is necessary to prepare the starting material: ideally, it must be well cured frozen marijuana buds. Next step is getting the equipment: a clean glass table for working on it (alternatively, you can use a mirror), screens for sieving, gloves and tools for scraping the sift together (plastic card is suitable). When you are ready, perform the following actions:
Clean the glass or mirror from any undesirable material.
Put a screen on the glass and cover its whole surface with a thin layer of buds.
Agitate the trichomes lightly for 1-2 minutes to get the dry sift.
Collect the material with a card and repeat the procedure with the remaining flower.
It is best if you have a number of screens with different density. This way, you might get most of your marijuana by producing a different grade dry sift.
Start with the minimal micron screen size and apply the light agitation. You get the highest quality dry sift that is dabbable. Make a series of subsequent runs rising the screen size and agitation level every new time; for the few last times you might use hands to gently push the trichomes through the screens. Create separate heaps for each time because they require different ways of consumption.
There are a few tips that can help you make the sifting process easier and the outcome greater. Check the recommendations:
work in the cold environment. The temperature in the room must be 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The secret is that in warm environment dry sift is getting sticky and oily, which certainly does not make the process easier.
freeze the trichomes. Frozen trichomes are more brittle so they break off easily.
use the cured flower. It is not only more potent and flavorful but also it is pressed much more easily.
do not push the trichomes if you are aimed at producing 5-6 star dry sift. The reason is that by pushing, you let the plant impurities come through the screen. The result is always green-colored low grade dry sift.
How to store dry sift to make it last longer? The answer depends on whether you need a short-term or a long-term storage. For the first, you can use either parchment paper or glass / silicone container to keep the product. It is recommended to keep it in the fridge to prolong the shelf life. If you have big amounts, pack portions separately not to let oxygen in too often when you open it.
For the long-term storage, it is recommended to use airtight container and keep the concentrate in the freezer. This way, it would be easier to fight the dry sift worst enemies: heat and oxygen.
How to smoke and dab dry sift
Solventless extracts are raising in popularity on a daily basis. Excellent purity, unique flavor in combination with high potency make dry sift a desirable treat. The only question that worries many unexperienced consumers is how to smoke and dab dry sift. It is far from being a dabbable sheet-like concentrate, so it is necessary to prepare it beforehand. The process is as follows:
Prepare the parchment paper.
Make a rectangle of it and fold it in half.
Wrap the dry sift.
Open the folded paper and add a necessary amount of concentrate to the fold line. Press the folded parchment paper with your fingers to make a shape.
Select the pressing tool and heat it.
You can use a dabber for this purpose. The key idea is not to heat it too much to save cannabinoids and terpenes. You can check the temperature with your hand: if you do not burn yourself, it is okay.
Apply the heated tool to the dry sift.
Press dry sift through the paper. The tighter you press, the denser final concentrate will be.
Cool before unfolding.
Either let it stay for some time in a cool place or put the paper to the fridge for a few seconds. When the pre-heated dry sift cools, it disconnects from the parchment.
Cut the ready substance.
Use a knife or a dabbing tool to cut the melted substance into the pieces of required size according to your preference.
The concentrate is now ready for dabbing! You can just drop it on the heated nail the same way you do with solvent-based extracts.
For smoking, you can use any shape that suits your purpose. For example, for vaporizing, it will be best to take the sheet-like portions, while the original dry sift will be a good addition to a joint or a blunt roll.
Do I get addicted by consuming dry sift?
In comparison with solvent-based extracts, pure marijuana concentrates like dry sift look safe and reliable. Self-made products, no harmful residuals, natural flavor — all these factors make solventless concentrates a favorable choice. The only problem that worries researchers that work in the field is addiction.
There are two proven kinds of problems that accompany dabbing of potent concentrates: toxicity and addiction. Toxicity is what most users are for: it is responsible for the high effect of potent concentrates. The danger of this factor is only in the risk of self-harm behavior.
The addiction question is a more complicated one. Researches prove that long-term use of marijuana is addictive in itself, and when flower smoking is replaced by consuming potent concentrates, addiction risk also increases greatly. Consuming THC-high concentrates on the regular basis, no matter solvent-based or pure, lead to the same result — addiction becomes a health problem rather than a lack of willpower.
Traditions and innovations in dry sift manufacturing
Dry sift is far from being a novelty, it is a product with a long history. The only things that change are the way of production and consumption methods.
In Nepal and Afghanistan, the old traditions of dry sift production are still alive. Cannabis gets cured for a minimum of half a year before the sieving. Makers stretch a silk scarf over a bowl and rub the cured buds over the cloth to separate the smallest glands from the other plant material.
In Hindu Kush mountains, it was considered that the main condition of success was the appropriate weather, so the dry sift production only began when it was getting cold and dry. This idea is still used in homemade production: freezing the buds to make the cells more brittle.
Modern dry sift manufacturing integrate the traditions and innovations by using the old-age technics together with modern equipment to make the production process easy and effective.
Dry sift: main strength and limitations
Dry sift being much different from the other marijuana concentrates, it is interesting to know its strong and weak sides in comparison with similar market products. Check them all:
full spectrum. This natural concentrate keeps balance between terpene and cannabinoid content undisturbed, so it is considered full spectrum.
pure. Consumers do not need to worry about the doubtful quality of the concentrate — they can make it themselves. Forget the risk of inhaling harmful solvent residuals and enjoy the pure potency.
potent. Dry sift is as potent as most BHO are with THC level up to 80%.
inexpensive. If you do not wish to spend your time producing a dry sift on your own, just buy it — it is much cheaper than the other popular extracts.
hard to produceIn comparison with rosin, dry sift production is certainly more complicated and time-consuming.
may contain plant impurities. Though the manufacturing technology guarantees you get no harmful chemicals in your concentrate, you still have to deal with residual plant matter. The lower grade your dry sift is, the greater the chance.