what is kyro kief
What is Kryo Kief by Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co.

What is Kryo Kief?

The hash game is constantly moving forward as we learn more and more about the makeup of the cannabis plant, how cannabinoids and terpenes interact and affect us, and the best methods to extract and preserve cannabinoids and terpenes. Solventless extracts are considered the cleanest and best quality concentrates out there. There are several popular solventless production techniques including good old fashioned hashish, water hash (also called ice hash or bubble hash), and dry sift.

The most basic solventless extract is something you may have been doing for a while without knowing you were an extract artist! You know the ‘dust’ that collects at the bottom of your grinder? That is called “kief” and it is a solventless extract. Kief is a collection of trichomes that naturally falls off of cannabis buds post harvest. The trichomes contain cannabinoids and terpenes just like any other solventless extraction. If you have ever topped a bowl with kief then you already know the extra strength it provides; similar to taking a dab. 

Kryo Kief is a solventless technique that has recently made a name for itself as the new kid on the solventless block. The term ‘kryo’ is a play on ‘cryogenic’ which means the cannabis was exposed to extreme cold. The extreme cold causes trichomes (kief) to freeze and preserve their cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Once those trichomes are collected, the Kryo Kief extract rivals some of the best hash on the planet in terms of cannabinoid and terpene content.

You may be wondering is this is actually a solventless process even though dry ice produces CO2. Unlike supercritical CO2 processing, the Kryo Kief process does not require purging because the CO2 is not absorbed by the resin. Therefore, it is a solventless process.

Is Kryo Kief Good?

Tangie Biscotti Type I chemovar cannabinoid assay results (all figures are %) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8468333/
Tangie Biscotti Type I chemovar terpenoid assay results (all figures are %) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8468333/

Legendary scientist Ethan Russo and Director of Production Science for Prūf Cultivar, Jeremy Plumb, recently released a paper outlining the process used to create Kryo Kief (read the paper here). In the paper they also detail the cannabinoid and terpene content of the extract. The results were quite astonishing.

The paper states that “(t)he dry ice process successfully concentrated cannabinoid content as high as 60.7%, with corresponding concentration and preservation of monoterpenoids encountered in fresh flower that are usually lost during the conventional cannabis drying and curing process.” It seems that Kryo Kief is able to retain cannabinoids like THCa and monoterpenes that would otherwise be lost using other solventless production techniques. This can be seen in the graphs above. The terpenes limonene and myrcene in particular are better preserved using this method. Limonene has been linked to anxiety reduction when used with THC and myrcene has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Not only does this technique preserve terpenes and produce high cannabinoid levels, but it also seems that this process produces an extract with “little to no chlorophyll or extraneous lipid components.” All regular kief has a good amount of chlorophyll and other plant matter. Even some bubble hash has plant matter.

So, in short, yes Kryo Kief is very good quality. Levels of cannabinoids and terpenes rival bubble hash and provide users with a fantastic experience.

(a) Sample of Kryo Kief from Doug Fir Type I chemovar; (b) sample of dried kief from Doug Fir Type I chemovar; (c) sample of Kryo-Kief™ from Astral Works Type II chemovar; (d) sample of dried kief from Astral Works Type II chemovar; (e) sample of Kryo-Kief™ from Tangie Biscotti Type I chemovar; (f) sample of dried kief from Tangie Biscotti Type I chemovar; (g) sample of Kryo-Kief™ from Ursa Major Type I chemovar; (h) sample of dried kief from Ursa Major Type I chemovar

What is Kryo Kief? How to Make Kryo Kief

Work flow of the how to make Kryo Kief production process (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8468333/)

The process to create Kryo Kief is pretty straightforward, but it does require the use of a rotating cylinder device that essentially sieves the flower to collect the extract. This device called The Pollinator can be found here: https://pollinator.nl/. Not only do you need this device, but you a chest freezer to keep the Pollinator cold (0℉). Dry ice is also essential to properly conduct this technique. 

The Russo paper (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8468333/) that outlines the procedure and sample analysis, states that fresh flower is the best to use. The dry ice will freeze the trichomes on the plant so that the original cannabinoid and terpene profiles are retained. Drying your cannabis plants after harvest can result in the loss of some valuable terpenes. 

Once you have harvested your plant, first they must be trimmed (manicured)  to remove sugar leaves and stems. Next, the fresh flower is placed into a metal casserole dish and laid on a bed of dry ice inside a polyethylene cooler. (Note: the cooler’s drainage plug was left open during this process to “maximize penetration”). This setup was left in place for 48 hours.

Next, the flower should quickly be placed inside the spinning cylindrical sieving device (Pollinator) and placed into a freezer chest to maintain a temperature of 0℉. The Pollinator has 150 µ perforations to allow the larger trichomes to be collected. Let the Pollinator spin at 33 RPM for 20 minutes then collect your Kryo Kief. Viola!

The by-product (the frozen flower left after spinning in the Pollinator) can even be used for further processing. The flower “still retains significant phytocannabinoid and terpenoid concentrations in material that is not tainted by water (as in water hash extraction) nor solvents. Thus, it may be useful feedstock for subsequent secondary extraction via other techniques.”

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