Curious about Cannabis Processing? Learn How Fine Mesh Screening Improves Your Operation

Jeff Hochadel and Mason Hochadel // 2/16/2021 12:00:00 PM

Over the past 25 years, I have run across many strange and interesting sieving/screening applications...Bat Guano, mealworm sizing, rotten cheese curds, and many other smelly applications. In 2013, a customer called me with an application that not too long ago was illegal...well, it still is in some parts of the country. My potential customer inquired about fine mesh sieving of milled marijuana which is known in the cannabis world as kief. After about a 20-minute telephone conversation discussing the production of kief and the uses in baking, I determined I could most likely help him with a sieving solution. 

This blog will cover cannabis processing with a focus on marijuana. However, there are many different uses for cannabis, including hemp processing. We will be covering these applications more in detail in upcoming blogs, so keep an eye out! 

Prior to legalization, kief was produced in small quantities for personal baking use. With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, my customer’s desire was to be at the forefront of high-quantity production of kief for more commercial use. I explained that I could not do any testing here in Ohio since Marijuana was still illegal – I don’t think having our name in the local police report is the publicity our company is looking for. We decided sending a demo to his location would be best! 

Production of kief involves grinding and milling of the most resinous part of the marijuana plant. The substance is then either wet sieved and then dried, or sieved dry. Wet sieving allows for a finer particle size than dry sieving. I explained to the customer he could attempt both wet and dry sieving on our Model HK-8. The Model HK-8 utilizes an 8” diameter sieve with a continuous discharge for the fines. From here, we could scale up to a larger screener after initial trials. The initial testing proved successful on very fine mesh sizes – down to 25 micron on both a wet sieve and dry. 

Now since this initial inquiry, we have had a wide range of cannabis applications besides baking. 

We have had inquiries regarding the production of solventless hash. Up until recently, people have been using solvents such as Butane, Carbon Dioxide, Alcohol, Propane, and a few other chemicals. 

With our sieving application applied with ice, water, and pressure we have been working alongside some companies to make a specific type of hash. This is a more desirable product for a consumer because there are no solvents/chemicals involved. 

In this process, the marijuana is mixed in a very ice-cold agitation bin full of water. The marijuana is stirred around in this bin for a designated time interval, which knocks the trichomes off the plant. The trichomes are the part of the material that includes the THC and some of the “terpenes” which are the flavors of the marijuana strain. This is where we come in, the material is then placed onto our screener and the water is separated off the trichomes, and you are left with a product that will then be freeze-dried to remove any moisture, and then with the help of a low-temperature press, it is pressed into a solventless oil. This solventless oil is then used for a wide range of cannabis forms for consumption. 

Some other applications we have been involved in are sifting the trichomes (kief) off dry products. This can be used in numerous types of medicine. Another more recent inquiry we have had is after the production of sugar-coated edibles,  our equipment has been used to shake the excess sugar off.  

Currently, we are in the process of working with a customer that would like to include our screens alongside a full lab setup for this solventless hash oil. This project is still in the beginning stages, but once implemented, this customer will experience an increase in the overall quality of their solventless hash oil as well as improved throughput rates during production.  

The future of cannabis is moving towards these very pure forms of marijuana, whether it is actual flower, capsules, hash, edibles, etc. With our equipment, we can help these companies become more productive and increase how much material they can process in a day.  

Reach out to our team today to learn how we can help increase the efficiency and quality of your cannabis application:  


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