The diversity of cannabis products ensures smoking and consuming concentrates never gets boring or repetitive. Modern technology has unleashed a new class of concentrates, including eye-catching products such as wax and shatter.

However, old-school concentrates like hash are just as popular as ever. Hash is ultimately a homogeneous mass of trichomes—structures that produce cannabinoids and terpenes. Traditionally, hash is made by hand-rolling dried and trimmed cannabis flowers. The resin collects on the surface of the hands and gradually forms a sphere. This type of hash provides a euphoric and intense high. You'll commonly find it in dispensaries, coffeeshops, and cannabis clubs alike.

Dry sift hash is another form of this timeless product. It's just as potent, but the process is much different. Below, we'll explore the nature of dry sift hash, what trichomes are, and how to make this potent concentrate.

WHAT IS DRY SIFT HASH?

Dry sift hash is similar to traditional hash. The main difference is the preparation behind the product. As its name suggests, it's made using a technique called dry sifting.

Dry sift hash is extremely similar to kief. Most smokers will be familiar with this substance as the powder that builds up in the bottom of their grinder. The fine layer of dust—which can quickly become a thick coating—is made up of trichomes. These structures become dislodged during grinding and are separated from the plant matter as they pass through a mesh screen.

The process of making dry sift hash is almost identical. However, hash-makers usually conduct it on a much larger scale to produce significant quantities.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRY SIFT HASH?

Dry sift hash is a flexible cannabis concentrate. Smokers can sprinkle it into joints, spliffs, and blunts for an added kick of potency. It can also be layered into a bong bowl or vaporizer chamber.

You can incorporate dry sift hash into almost any means of inhaling or ingesting cannabis. Budding cannabis chefs can also decarboxylate the concentrate and use it when cooking up a batch of super-strong edibles. It's fun to get creative with dry sift hash and explore all the ways you can incorporate it into your preferred consumption methods. Just know it'll dramatically increase the potency of anything you introduce it to.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRY SIFT HASH?

UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRICHOMES

As we've discussed, dry sift hash is a mass of trichomes. These mushroom-shaped structures are miniature chemical factories that occupy the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants. To the naked eye, they appear as a dusting of sugar over the buds; however, macro-photography and microscopy have unveiled their beautiful, jewel-like properties up close.

Trichomes produce a viscous resin loaded with secondary metabolites such as cannabinoids and terpenes. In nature, this resin plays a protective role against predatory insects and heat stress. After plants have been harvested and dried, the trichomes become susceptible to dislodging. Once you've detached enough trichomes, you effectively have dry sift hash. However, dry sift hash isn't merely made up of "trichomes". It's more of an umbrella term that incorporates different types of glands.

Advanced microscopic imaging techniques offer a fascinating peek into the landscape of cannabis flowers. Using these tools, researchers have identified three types of glandular trichomes: bulbous, sessile, and stalked.

Bulbous trichomes are the smallest of the three types and produce a limited amount of metabolites.

Sessile trichomes feature a spherical head that sits on a short stalk. The head features a disk of secretory cells and storage cavities that hold metabolites.

Finally, stalked trichomes feature a spherical head that sits on a longer stalk. They sit higher above the tissue surface than their sessile counterparts. Stalked trichomes develop on flowers from sessile-like precursors as buds begin to emerge.

Science hasn't yet discovered if one type of trichome churns out different types of metabolites than the others.

Now you know the biological complexity of dry sift hash. Next, let's learn how to make it!

HOW TO MAKE DRY SIFT HASH

Remember when we talked about collecting dry sift hash in the kief compartment of a grinder? Well, this is a perfectly reasonable way to make your own supply, and doesn't require any extra investment. The downside is quantity. You'll have to grind up a lot of buds, and even then, the yield will be enough for maybe one or two joints.

If you want to scale up the operation, it's worth investing in—or making—a pollen box.

A pollen box acts like the mesh grid and kief chamber in a grinder. It's just much bigger. A pollen box is a wooden or plastic tray with a large, 100-micron mesh sealed to the top.

HOW TO MAKE DRY SIFT HASH

Hash-makers can also opt to use a series of pollen boxes that feature smaller and smaller mesh sizes. This will help to separate the metabolite-rich trichome heads from the stalks and other small pieces of plant matter for an even higher-grade end product.

Making dry sift hash isn't a complicated process. Simply place a few handfuls of properly dried cannabis flowers onto the mesh surface of the pollen box. It also helps to cure your flower for around four months beforehand. Curing is essentially a drawn-out drying process that helps to achieve an optimal moisture balance. Too much moisture will cause mould to form, and too little will cause your dry sift to smoke harshShake the box vigorously from side to side and backwards and forwards. You'll start to see a fine layer of trichomes building at the bottom of the catch tray. Repeat this process with the rest of your material until you've gathered a substantial quantity.

Hash-makers report more success when processing their plant material in a colder environment. This encourages the flowers and trichomes to stay firm and dry, and prevents them from sticking together. Switch on the air conditioning before sifting your weed.

Filter the collected trichomes through smaller micron screens if you want the purest hash possible. Try passing it through a 70-micron screen next.

Now that you've got some dry sift hash to play with, it's time to prepare it for storage. But don't forget to sample it first!

PRESSING AND STORING DRY SIFT HASH

Now that you've collected your dry sift hash, it's time to store it. Some hash-makers choose to store theirs in its powder form. This makes it easy to sprinkle into blunts and bong bowls.

Others choose to press their dry sift into coins or blocks. Pressing is a better option if you're planning on storing your product for a long time. Only the outer layer will be exposed to oxygen, whereas the interior will stay protected and fresh. The easiest way to press hash is to use a pollen press. Load the press with hash and tightly screw down the head.

Regardless of what form you choose, your dry sift hash needs to be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge. This will keep it at the ideal consistency and slow down the degradation process.

FINAL CHECKS AND TOP TIPS

Every time you dip into your supply, check up on the state of it. The cold conditions of the fridge should keep it in good shape. The main factor that will affect the quality of your stash is poor flower preparation. Make sure your buds are dry, free from mould, and adequately cured.

And remember, sift your buds in the cold! It's not uncommon for hash-makers to take their pollen box and plant material outside after it snowed. This will keep your trichomes in top quality and stop everything from caking and getting overly gooey.

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