Education & Wellness

Dry Sift Hash Made From Kief: History and Evolution

August 2, 2022

Dry sift is a classic type of hash that’s been made in one form or another for over a thousand years. Travelers to Morocco and Lebanon in the 1950s and 1960s brought back a love of this potent, flavorful, and pure type of cannabis concentrate. Now a new generation of cannabis consumers are discovering the benefits of this all-natural hash. 

But what is dry sift hash? Where did it come from? How do you smoke it, and how is it made today?  

What is Dry Sift Hash?

As cannabis plants mature, mushroom-shaped crystals grow on the surface of the flowers called trichomes. These resinous crystals contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD as well as terpenes like lavender-scented Linalool and earthy-smelling Myrcene. When separated from the plant, these trichomes can be collected as a white or gold powder called kief (Arabic for “intoxication”). Kief can then be pressed into hash, which is much more concentrated and potent than smoking the flower alone. 

Cannabis hash slabs that are brown and stacked upon each other with a pot leaf lying beside them
Dry sift hash is much more potent than smoking flower. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Dry sift hash is one of the most natural and purest forms of hash you can buy, as well as one of the tastiest and full-bodied since it hasn’t been processed with solvents. It’s made by shaking or rubbing dry cannabis flower across a screen so that the kief filters through the holes and collects at the bottom. The kief is then collected and melted together into blocks, circles, or balls of thick resin. The outside of these bricks and coils will turn brown due to oxidation, but the inside should still be golden.


History and Evolution of Dry Sift Hash

Hash originally spread from the Hindu Kush region of Central Asia into India, China, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean coast. There were two basic methods of making hashish: hand-rubbing and dry sifting.  

Hand Rubbing

Central Asian hashish, known as “charas” is made by rubbing the flowers of a mature cannabis plant between your palms until the flower crumbles apart. What’s left on your hands and fingers is the trichome resin melted by friction and body heat. This is then scraped or rubbed off your hands onto a cloth or plate and pressed together.  

Dry Sifting

Two piece of brown Moroccan hash with a blurry red and green Moroccan flag in the background
Moroccan hash is highly desired because of its traditional process of being created.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Mediterranean countries like Lebanon and Morocco are known for making dry sift hash by rubbing the plants across a coarse metal grate to separate out the plant matter, then using a rough mesh fabric followed by a silk fabric sifter to filter through only the finest kief crystals. 

Hash Today   

Today, this type of hash is made in much the same way, although the fabric mesh is now a fine metal or nylon/polyester sifter screen. The most common and inexpensive method is to use sifter boxes. These are dry sift screens with varying widths of holes in the mesh stretched across a rectangular frame. 

A pile of light yellow white trichome powder that is gathered on top of a black fabric
Sifter boxes collect extremely fine trichomes to be prepped for the hash pressing. Photo credit: Shutterstock

These boxes stack on top of each other, with the highest diameter mesh at the top, usually around 140 microns wide. Below that is a 107 micron screen, and at the bottom a 70 micron sifter screen that filters out any remaining plant matter while letting the trichomes fall through. A faster but more expensive option is to use a rotating mesh drum (think front loading dryer) that tumbles the dry plant matter around as the trichomes fall through. 

How to Smoke Dry Sift Hash

There are several ways to consume your hash. If you haven’t yet pressed it, you can sprinkle it on top of a bowl or in a joint to give your weed an extra potent kick. If you have a brick or a coil, cut off a small piece and flatten it between your fingers into a disc or roll it into a small ball. Then place it on a screen in your chillum, bowl, or bong, then apply flame and inhale as usual. 

You can put small amounts of dry sift hash into your joint. Photo credit: Shutterstock

High quality dry sift hash is full melt, so you can also vaporize or dab it in the same way that you would other concentrates. However, it’s best to enjoy it at a lower temperature so that you can savor the pure, full flavor of the terpenes and cannabinoids.  

How to Make Dry Sift at Home 

Dry sift is one of the easiest methods of making hash at home. It doesn’t require any special knowledge and can be done with minimal equipment. 

You’ll need: 

  • Latex gloves
  • An old credit card (make sure it’s been cleaned and wiped down)
  • Dry cured flower
  • Sifter boxes

Step 1: Stack your sifter boxes with the largest micron sifter screen on top and the smallest on the bottom, with a collection pan below that. Make sure the room is at the lowest temperature possible so that your trichomes don’t melt on the screen. 

Step 2: Put on your latex gloves and spread out your dry cannabis flower on the top sifter screen. Break up any larger buds into smaller pieces. 

Step 3: Gently rub your dry cannabis flower back and forth across the top screen for a couple of minutes. No need to press hard. You’re just looking to create enough friction to break off the trichomes. 

Step 4: Remove the top screen and place it to the side. Take your clean credit card and rub the kief gently back and forth across the screen to sift the trichomes through. 

Step 5: Once the kief has sifted through, remove the screen and repeat. The kief that collects below the bottom screen will be pure, full-melt hash. 

Step 6: Place the powder in an airtight jar for storage. You can also press it into hash by placing it between two strips of parchment paper and heating it with a curling iron or other heating source. 

Dry sifted hash is a tasty, potent, and pure form of hashish that’s been around for over a thousand years. If you haven’t tried it yet, pick some up at Friendly Stranger, or wherever you shop for cannabis. You can also dry sift at home with your favorite strain. 

Available Dry Sift Hash at Dispensaries

If you don’t have the time or the patience to make your own dry sift hash, have no fear, Friendly Stranger is here. Check out the current available hash products below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Better: Dry Sift or Bubble Hash?

In terms of quality, bubble hash is generally better than dry sift. It’s harder to make, but bubble hash contains more resinous trichomes which means a more potent product. The flavor is a toss-up, with some saying that dry sift hash tastes better since you’re not losing terpenes to the water. 

Can You Dab Dry Sift?

Yes, you can dab dry sift. It’s best to take a sliver from a brick or coil, and dab it on lower heat. 

How Do You Dry Sift at Home?

To dry sift at home, put on latex gloves and rub dry cannabis flower across a sifter screen. Collect the trichomes that fall through the screen and either smoke them or press them into hash for storage.   

Can You Dry Sift With Bubble Bags?

Sort of, but bubble bags are specifically made for creating ice water hash. You’re much better off buying a dry sifter screen.