Dry sieve, also known as dry sift or kief, is a type of hash which is prized for both its potency and its flavor profile. Dry sieve also happens to be one of the simplest methods of hash making, meaning that professionals and novices alike can get stuck in and have a go.
If you feel like trying your hand at making your own hash, dry sieve is a great place to start. And to make things even more straightforward, we have put together this detailed guide to help you on your way.
But first, let’s talk about what dry sieve is and why it is steadily becoming one of the most sought-after types of hash out there.
What is Dry Sieve?
Dry sieve is aptly named, since it is made by rubbing dry marijuana through a fine mesh screen which is similar to a sieve. This process causes friction which separates the precious trichome heads from your plant material. Trichomes are the tiny, white glands which give high-quality bud its frosty coating. They also contain the highest levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Because dry sieve removes excess plant matter and leaves you with only trichomes, this form of hash has a soft, powdery consistency and is loaded with all the good stuff. It is arguably the purest and one of the most potent ways to consume cannabis, since dry sift has a much higher THC content than regular weed. Dry sieve also has a coveted flavor profile since it undergoes minimal processing, keeping more aromatic terpenes intact than other methods of making hash.
Depending on which strain you choose to make your dry sieve with, you should end up with a product that is rich in cannabinoids and a has a subtle yet complex taste. Moreover, the flavor will be unadulterated by solvents and other contaminants.
How to Make Dry Sieve
If you like the sound of dry sieve, then you’ll be happy to know that making it at home is really simple. Best of all, you’ll only need a few things to get started on your hash-making adventure.
- Cannabis buds, sugar leaves, or trim (you can choose any strain you like, but the more trichomes it has, the better the end product will be)
- A set of dry sieve screens
- A plastic card (an old credit card or similar will do, but make sure it’s clean before you start)
- Disposable gloves
First, set up your dry sieve screens. These screens comprise a solid frame with a fine mesh base, and they stack neatly on top of one another. Each screen has tiny holes of varying diameters, which are measured in microns. The higher the micron number, the larger the hole, so a 160-micron screen has larger holes than a 120-micron screen and so on. The exact micron count of your screens will depend on which brand you choose.
Stack your screens so that the one with the finest mesh (lowest micron count) is on the bottom, followed by the next finest, and so on. You should end up with your highest micron screen on top of the stack, and this is known as your work screen.
Place your buds or trim on the work screen and put your gloves on to avoid getting your hands covered in sticky resin. You might want to break any large buds up into smaller pieces to make them more manageable.
Gently rub your herb back and forth across the screen for several minutes. You don’t need to use excessive pressure here, just enough to create some friction and break off all those valuable trichomes.
Once you have finished, lift off the top screen. You should see a generous layer of powdery kief on the next screen down. You could use this as it is, but this grade of dry sieve is still likely to be mixed with small particles of plant material or other contaminants. So, to get an even higher-quality hash, you need to keep sieving!
Use your plastic card to rub the powder back and forth across the screen for a few minutes. Again, you don’t need to use much pressure, just enough to cause a little friction.
When you’re done, lift the screen, and below you should have another collection of powder. This time the sift will be purer and of better quality. Keep repeating the process with each screen. By the time you reach the bottom screen of your stack, you will have a product that consists of pure trichomes and will be very potent.
Scrape the powder from each screen into clean jars for storage. You can keep the different grades of sift from each screen separate or mix them together if you prefer. Although, if you combine the different grades your dry sieve will not be as pure, you might find that you get a wider variety of terpenes, giving your hash a better depth of flavor.
Tips for the Best Quality Dry Sieve
The best quality dry sieve is known as ‘full melt dry sieve’ as it disappears completely when burned. This indicates a complete lack of contaminants and a delicious and potent end product. Here are a few basic tips to ensure your dry sieve is as good as it gets.
Use Dried and Cured Buds
Making dry sieve is much easier when your herb is completely dry. In fact, cannabis that has been stored for 4–6 months is considered best for making this hash. It is preferable to use buds which have been appropriately cured and stored after harvesting.
The easiest way to cure marijuana is by keeping it in a sealed wide-mouth mason jar and opening the lid for a few minutes, several times a day for the first week, then once every two days after that. You can repeat this process for anywhere between two weeks and six months, it all depends on your weed.
For more details, see our complete guide to drying and curing cannabis buds.
Keep it Clean
Ensure that all of your equipment and your working environment are clean. This will prevent your hash from being contaminated by dust, hairs, or other particles.
Choose a Cold Environment
Making dry sieve in the cold not only makes your weed less sticky and easier to work with, but it also likely to increase your overall yield. Cold temperatures make trichomes more brittle, meaning that they break away from the plant material much more easily.
Know Your Microns
The best quality dry sieve hash usually comes from screens between 120 and 70 microns. This grade of hash will be relatively pure but retain a high proportion of trichome heads. Once your sifting screen gets much finer than this, a lot of the larger trichome heads will be lost.
How to Store Dry Sieve
Dry sieve can be stored as it is, by scooping your powder into sterilized, airtight jars and storing them in a dark, dry, and cool place. Avoid exposure to heat, humidity, and oxygen, and your dry sieve hash should keep for a decent amount of time.
Some people prefer to press their dry sieve into slabs or balls for storage. Depending on how you want to use your hash, this method could also make your life much easier later on.
Since dry sieve has a powdery texture, it can easily fall through the holes of metal screens. Therefore, if you want to use your dry sift in a bowl, pressing it first will really help!
You can press your dry sift by folding it inside a piece of parchment paper and heating the outside of the package. There are numerous heating methods, but using a hair iron is a popular choice. This heating process will melt your dry sieve powder into solid hash that melts beautifully when smoked.
How to Use Dry Sieve
Another great thing about dry sieve is how versatile it is. If you have decided to keep your hash in its natural, powdery form, you can try adding it to joints, pipes, or bongs, sprinkling it on top of your bud for an extra kick. Or if you are feeling especially creative, why not try making your own moon rocks?
Pressed dry sieve can be smoked in any way that regular hash can; in a bong, chillum, or pipe – the choice is yours! Dry sieve hash is also very suitable for dabbing because of the way it melts.
Dry Sieve Hash: Final Thoughts
Dry sift is one of the simplest types of hash to make at home, and since it does not rely on solvents to extract its cannabinoids, it is also one of the safest and purest there is.
If we have inspired you to try your hand at making dry sieve, or if you have successfully done so in the past, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.