Author: Guy Greene
Published: December 13, 2016

Kief is a great base component to make edibles, oils, tinctures, hash, and more. Dry ice allows you to efficiently and cleanly extract THC trichomes (Read: Kief) from the extra trim clippings you have laying around after harvest without the use of a chemical solvent (That’s our favorite part). The flavor and potency of the resulting kief can be turned into rosin, rivaling solvent-based closed-loop extraction systems. In other words, it will knock your socks off.

Why it works:

The dry ice rapidly lowers the temperature of the plant matter making it brittle. This allows the trichomes to be more easily separated and harvested. The dry ice also works as an agitator in the bag/bucket so there is no need for stirring. The fine micron screen in the bubble bag filters out the THC trichomes (AKA: solventless hash or blonde hash).

Things to look out for:

  • Dust… E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! Even with a large working surface (like our big picture frame we picked up at a local thrift store), your vigorous shaking of the bubble bag/bucket will likely get “dust” everywhere. Know that this will happen and plan accordingly. Work in a clean space, and even consider placing a plastic paint drop cloth under your working surface to speed up cleaning.
  • If you touch the “dust” with your fingers, you’re going to get sticky. The THC trichomes melt when in contact with body heat. Unless you want every door knob in your house covered in odorous green goo, use your plastic scrapers wisely. Disposable nitrile gloves will also be your new best friend.
  • Safety Warning: Prolonged skin contact with dry ice will cause injury. Always use personal safety equipment when handling dry ice. Leather gloves or an oven mit should do the trick. For more information on handling, safety, and storage; check out http://dryiceinfo.com/.
  • The color of your kief will vary depending on the ratio of plant material (green) vs. trichomes (light honey or amber). The lighter the color, the more premium your product. Using a fine micron bubble bag will filter out the most plant material. This will leave you with a better quality product, albeit a smaller yield. We wouldn’t recommend using a filter smaller than 150 microns.

Equipment:

  • 220 Micron Bubble Bag (Also called Iceolator Bags)
  • Straight-walled Bucket Sized Appropriately for Bubble Bag
  • Large, Clean Working Surface (Like a mirror or picture frame)
  • Dry Ice (2+ Pounds)
  • Trim/Clippings
  • Plastic Card(s) (for Scraping)
  • Gloves/Goggles – Safety First!
  • Hammer

How-to Harvest:

Cleanliness check: Have you sanitized your large work surface? Did you put down a plastic drop cloth to catch stray dust? Good, you’re ready then. dry-ice-kief-extraction-bucket-and-dry-ice

After donning your safety goggles and gloves, break dry ice into small chunks (approximately 2 inch cubes) using a hammer. We mashed up the ice in our kitchen sink so that it didn’t go flying everywhere.dry-ice-kief-extraction-bucket-and-dry-ice-2

Put trim and dry ice into your bucket. Place bubble bag over your bucket. It’s going to be a tight fit. Let sit for approximately two minutes, lightly tossing on occasion to ensure your trim and dry ice are fully integrated and all plant material has been brought down to desirable temperature. At this time the micron screen should be facing upwards. dry-ice-kief-extraction-bucket-and-dry-ice-3

Flip that bucket over and shake what your mamma gave ya! And keep shaking… Still shaking… You’ll want to shake your bubble bag/bucket for 3-5 minutes over your clean surface. Keep shaking until the kief stops filtering out. dry-ice-kief-extraction-shaking-out-kief-alt

Eventually delightful powder will cover your work surface. If you plan on consuming this kief without secondary processing (like rosin creation) you’ll want to stop shaking when you notice the powder becoming a darker green – this is plant matter which is now breaking into finer bits. We will be turning this kief into rosin, so a little plant material is ok as it will be filtered out in a subsequent process.dry-ice-kief-extraction-scraping-1

Using a clean, plastic card, scrape powder off of your working surface into mounds. dry-ice-kief-extraction-scraping-2

Remember; do not let your body heat come in contact with the powder. If you have kief that’s sticking on your plastic scraper, use a second scraper to encourage it off.