Getting the Most Out of Your Harvest
For those of us who grow cannabis at home, there is nothing like the feeling of just finishing a harvest! You have stacks of mason jars full of curing bud in your room, and it feels as if you have a lifetime supply of weed.
The only issue is you have a garbage bag full off frosty trim and you’re not sure what to do with it exactly. It’s obviously covered with trichomes as you can see in plain site, but you don't want to pack a bowl of trim and smoke it!
So how can you really get the most out of your harvest by putting that trim to good work? The most common use for trim is extracting the THC and mixing it into butter for cooking, but if edibles aren't your thing, there is another option.
Concentrates such as dry sift hash can be made from trim using very simple techniques, and the end result is a very high-quality cannabis concentrate. Using excess bud and trim to make extracts should be a tool in every cannabis growers arsenal, as it is fun making them and highly rewarding.
Dry Sift Hash
Dry sift or dry sift hash, is essentially the same thing as what most people refer to as kief. It is a dense concentration of the trichomes and trichome heads in a sand-like form. It is called dry sift because that is exactly the process, you’re sifting bud over a fine micron screen without using any ice water or solvents so it’s deemed dry.
There are several different methods for extracting dry sift, but for the home grower, a pollen box is a great option. It works just like grinders with a kief catch, where there are two compartments separated by a 100-micron screen.
As the bud in the top compartment rubs against the screen, it breaks off the trichomes and they fall down below into the bottom compartment. With a pollen box however, the compartments are much larger and you can collect much more kief in the bottom.
When making dry sift from trim, all you need to do is take a handful or two of dry trim and place it into the top compartment of the pollen box. Place two quarters in there as well, as they will help knock off the trichomes.
Read also: Six Ways to Make Hash: From Hand Rolling to Mechanical Drums
Next, shake the box for 10-15 minutes, allowing all of that THC goodness to fall through to the bottom compartment. Be sure to check on your results after each run as you will be shocked at how much yield you get!
After your first run, the trim can be put through the pollen box for two more 10-minute shakes, but after that it is pretty much useless.
You can also make dry sift out of bud if you so desire. Most growers like to save their top-shelf bud for smoking and their popcorn buds for extract, which is where dry sift comes in. The process is very similar as with the trim, except you want to lightly grind the bud up before putting it into the pollen shaker.
Once in, shake for 10 minutes and switch out for new product. The results from bud are much larger than trim, since trichomes are much more present on that part of the plant. Always use a sturdy card when scraping your dry sift together, otherwise it can cause it to go flying everywhere.
Now that you know how to make dry sift hash from your trim, I would like to cover how to press rosin. Unfortunately you cant really use trim to press rosin but you can press the buds that didn't come out so well from your harvest. I’m talking about the larf and popcorn buds from the bottom of the plant that didn't really develop fully. When pressed, they can make some top-notch rosin.
When it comes to pressing rosin at home, I recommend starting out with a manual press. These are much more affordable and are great for someone who is just learning the process. Once you have a press in your possession, all you need is some parchment paper and your are ready to get squishing!
Some people use a filter bag for the press to prevent plant material from going into the rosin, but that is optional. If you do use a filter bag, I recommend 90 micron for flower. You also want to really pack the bud into the filter before pressing, making sure there are no air pockets as those can cause a blow out.
Once you have your supplies ready, turn the press on to 105°C, and wait for it to heat up. In the meantime, you can begin weighing out the weed you will be pressing and you can also give it what is called a pre-press to help maximize yields.
Read also: An In-Depth Look at Cannabis Rosin
I recommend starting off with 2 to 3 grams per press, and I use a pollen press to compact the weed ahead of time. After using the pollen press, all your nugs should be in one piece in the shape of a cylinder.
Also, when you are weighing it out be sure to pick out any big stems as they will puncture the parchment paper. Once the machine has fully heated, take a piece of parchment paper folded in half and place the weed in between.
It is best to pull the lever down slowly, letting the bud heat up gradually before putting full pressure on. Be sure to lock out the lever completely and then wait 30-45 seconds before lifting. Once you lift up there should be a puck of weed flattened out on your parchment paper, with globs of liquid gold all around it.
That’s the rosin, and after you let it cool it is ready for dabbing. You can also press the puck a second time to get the rest of the rosin out. While the yield won’t be nearly as much as the first press, it is still well worth it.
Dry Sift Rosin
So far I have explained how to make dry sift hash as well as rosin from your homegrown supply. But I haven't yet shown you how to make dry sift rosin! Dry sift rosin is pretty hard to come by and is one of the tastiest ways to consume cannabis. The process is exactly the same as pressing flower in a filter bag, except you will need to use a 25 micron filter.
Since the dry sift is a much finer material, you will need a finer filter. Again, I recommend doing 2 to 3 grams at a time and to really pack it in to the filter so there is no space around the edges.
Clip the excess, fold the top over, and put into a piece of parchment paper. Slowly press down until fully locked out and then raise the lever after 30-45 seconds. You can re-press what is left, but the yields will be very minimal. After your dry sift rosin has cooled for 10-15 minutes, it is ready for use!
There you have it – some great ways to really maximize the use of your cannabis harvest! Now instead of throwing away that perfectly good trim or popcorn bud, you can turn it into some top-shelf rosin and dry sift hash.
What is great about these two forms of concentrates is they’re solvent free and much healthier to smoke than other types of extract.
Be sure to watch the how-to videos on making these extracts all the way through, as they will show you exactly how to make the best-quality concentrates possible.