Cannabis enthusiast and student of the art of solventless extraction
Solventless extraction methods provide hash makers and extractors with natural, unadulterated, and time-tested processes to isolate cannabis trichomes and the therapeutic resin contained within. Unlike other extraction methods that rely on chemicals like butane or alcohol, solventless extraction methods like ice water extraction for making hash, or heated pressing plates for making rosin, don’t require any hazardous solvents during production.
Solventless concentrates are the cleanest, purest, and most potent forms of cannabis available.
So that brings us to kief. Kief refers to a collection of trichomes that naturally falls away from the cannabis flowers during various stages of post-harvest production. Traditionally, kief was most often thought of as the dusting of trichome particles that collected at the bottom of a dry-herb grinder, used for preparing cannabis for smoking. We’re talking about a solvnetless extraction in its most raw, unprocessed form, literally trichomes falling from the plant without much intention.
But Kryo Kief? That’s a different story.
The term “kryo” is a play on “cryogenic”, which is physical treatment of the body through the effect of cold temperatures. Think of cold shock therapy. Now the idea behind “Kryo Kief” is starting to emerge. It’s the method of producing kief through shocking cannabis flowers with extremely cold temperatures.
Sprung from new research by Portland-based Director of Production Science for Prūf Cultivar, Jeremy Plumb, in collaboration with the legendary neurologist, author, and researcher, Dr. Ethan Russo, MD, Kryo Kief is the newest solventless innovation to take center stage.
This solventless process is thought to not only preserve terpenes within the cannabis trichomes, but also an array of terpenoids plus the full spectrum of major and minor cannabinoids present in the resin. Preservation is key to any type of extraction process, and Kryo looks like it could be the pinnacle.
How Does It Get So Cold?
The trick to achieving the frigid temperatures needed to produce Kryo Kief is using dry ice. Fresh-cut cannabis flowers in the presence of dry ice will quickly freeze to extreme sub-zero temperatures, and stay that way.
Recent testing by Russo and Plumb, along with fellow researcher Venetia L. Whiteley, involved several different cultivars of cannabis exposed to dry ice for two full days. The results were stunning.
The team then placed the frozen flower inside a rotating cylindrical screen, to effectively sieve the material. The trichomes that had remained attached to the flowers during the freezing process were coaxed into separating away and passing through the sieving screen. The entire sifting apparatus was kept at 0° F for the full 20 minute cycle.
Blending the trichomes collected from both phases of production, the team created Kyro-Kief. And a new subcategory of solventless extracts was born.
Using gas and liquid chromatography, analysis by Lightscale Labs revealed that this extract contained unusually high levels of both cannabinoids and terpenes. Furthermore, the Kryo Kief contained the same profile, and ratios, of terpenes and cannabinoids as the original fresh flower.
Included in the mix were delicate and hard to capture monoterpenoids, as well as acidic cannabinoids, like THCA. With other extraction methods, these compounds would be easily lost and likely never make it into the final product. It seems that the low-oxygen environment created by the dry ice plays a key role in this preservation.
Testing by Lightscale Labs revealed that Kryo Kief tests significantly higher in both terpenes and cannabinoids than traditional dry kief.
If There’s CO2, Is This Still Solventless?
A process called Supercritical CO2 Extraction has been around for quite some time. This is actually one of the most common methods of solvent-based processing. In supercritical extraction, both heat and pressure are used in combination with CO2. In this compromising environment, much of the good stuff is lost, like terpenes, CBD-A and THC-A.
Furthermore, the CO2 is fused with the cannabis material and the resin itself in the supercritical method, to such an extent that it needs to be purged away post-production, before it’s ready for consumers.
Kryo Kief doesn’t require any purging, because the CO2 doesn’t contaminate the resin as it does with the supercritical process.
Using dry ice to produce Kryo Kief is similar to using dry ice in order to flash freeze cannabis in preparation for washing ice water hash. We still consider both applications to be aligned with solventless principles.
Kryo Kief takes the preservation of terpenes, terpenoids, and cannabinoids to new heights by using extremely cold temperatures achieved through the use of dry ice. The freezing process, combined with a low-oxygen environment, allows trichomes to separate from the flowers and retain their original profiles and ratios of terpenes and cannabinoids.
Unlike supercritical CO2 extraction, Kryo Kief does not require purging, as the resin does not absorb the CO2. Testing has shown that Kryo Kief contains significantly higher levels of terpenes and cannabinoids compared to traditional dry kief, making it a promising advancement in solventless extraction techniques.
What do you think about Kryo Kief? Let us know in the comments!
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Kryo Kief?
Kryo Kief is a form of solventless cannabis concentrate made by shocking cannabis flowers with extremely cold temperatures, causing the terpenes to fall away from the plant.
What does Kryo mean?
The term “kryo” is a play on “cryogenic”, which is physical treatment of the body through the effect of cold temperatures. Think of cold shock therapy.
What is kief?
Kief refers to a collection of trichomes that naturally falls away from the cannabis flowers during various stages of post-harvest production. Traditionally, kief was most often thought of as the dusting of trichome particles that collected at the bottom of a dry-herb grinder.
How do you make Kryo Kief?
Producing Kyro Kief happens in two phases 1) exposing fresh-cut cannabis flowers to dry ice for 2 days, then 2) spinning the flowers in a cylindrical sieve.
Is Kryo Kief Solventless?
Yes, Kryo Kief is considered solventless because the resin does not absorb CO2 during production. No purging required!