How to Make Dry Ice Kief: Easy Dry Ice THC Extraction 

By Cheri Sicard
May 3, 2018

Dry ice kief, also known as dry ice hash, is a potent all-natural cannabis concentrate.

Sure you can buy kief in a dispensary.  But you'll be amazed at just how quick and easy it is to make dry ice kief at home!

Don't get intimidated.  Dry ice THC extraction is simple to do with just a kief bag for filtering your cannabis.  Once you have this bag, you'll be able to make kief with it over and over again.

The video above will show you how to make dry ice kief, in under 2 minutes!  Detailed written instructions follow.

Once you have kief, you can smoke it, vape, cook with it, or use in cannabis topicals.

To make Dry Ice Kief AKA Dry Ice Hash you will need:

You don't actually need a full ounce of marijuana, you can use more or less as you see fit.  You can even use trimmings, although the quality will generally not be as good and you will need more plant material to get a comparable yield to kiefing flowers.

Different cannabis strains will yield different results with making Dry Ice Kief.  For a point of reference, in the batch we made on the video above we used 1 ounce of average quality buds in a 120 micron filter bag.  We shook with dry ice twice, for two minutes each time.  In theory the first shaking will be of a higher quality.  We find the difference to be minimal so we usually end up mixing it all together.  When it was all said and done we ended up with 4.8 grams of raw kief from our single ounce of medium quality marijuana flowers.

You will lose some weight in the decarboxylation process (see below).  Our 4.8 grams turned into 4.5 grams to be used for cooking and/or smoking after it had been baked at 250 degrees F for 20 minutes.

How to Make Dry Ice Kief

About Dry Ice Kief Bags

Filter bags (sometimes known as Bubble Bags, so named because they are typically used to make bubble hash via a process of adding cannabis, ice, and water and then filtering out the trichomes that are later pressed into hash), can also be used to filter dry ice kief.  

The bags are usually made of canvas and they have a fabric filter screen on the bottom.  

We used a 120 micron filter which will yield a decent quality of dry ice kief that's perfect for cooking.  To get a higher quality dry ice kief suitable for smoking, use a 90 micron bag, but know this will yield a slightly smaller volume.

Shop for filter bags at Amazon.

How to Make Dry Ice Kief

Making Dry Ice Kief: Add dry ice and marijuana to the bubble bag and shake, shake shake!

Before Beginning:

Making Dry Ice Kief Step 1:
Break up your dry ice piece into small chunks.  To do this put a larger piece of dry ice in a plastic bag and tap with a hammer until it breaks into smaller pieces.  Always wear gloves when handling dry ice.

Crumble the marijuana with your fingers.  

Do not use a grinder!  All grinding will accomplish is to mix more plant material in with the concentrate, which is not what we are looking for.  

What we want to do is separate the resinous trichomes that are on the buds and leaves from the plant material.  As these trichomes are ON the plant not IN it, there is no need for fine grinding.  Just coarsely break up the plant material so it has more surfaces exposed.

Making Dry Ice Kief Step 2

Place the crumbled marijuana in the filter bag with some dry ice chunks.  

Making Dry Ice Kief Step 3

Shake the bag over a baking sheet that has been covered in parchment paper for two minutes.  Scrape up the kief and shake for another 2 minutes.

If you don't plan on keeping the two batches separate you can just shake for 4 minutes total.

Shake & Bake -- The Importance of Decarbing Dry Ice Kief

Dry Ice Kief before decarboxylation.

Now that you've shaken, it's time to bake - not metaphorically, literally!

Use the credit card to scrape up the kief and put it into a ramekin or other small ovenproof dish.  Before using in cooking you will want to decarboxylate the kief in order to activate the plant's THC.

Many people don't realize that raw marijuana plants do not contain THC but only THC-A (or acid).  The process of baking the kief, or decarboxylation to use the scientific term, turns the THC-acid into psychoactive THC.

Even if you plan on using the kief in a recipe that will be cooked, decarbing it first can up its potency.  A friend lab-tested a batch of brownies that had plain kief stirred into the batter, as opposed to kief that had been first decarboxylated, and found the latter to be about 30% more potent!

Dry Ice Kief after decarboxylation

Decarboxylation is easy to do, just put your kief or hash in an ovenproof dish and heat for about 60 minutes at 240 degrees F.  Remove from oven, cool and you are ready to use for cooking.

Check out our Cooking with Kief and Hash Tutorial for more information about cooking with dry ice kief and hash.

dry ice kief

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

    • Not a dumb question at all. Most of the good stuff will be removed after making dry ice kief. Yes there will be some trichomes left, but not much. I usually just toss it. You could, in theory, use a lot of it to make butter or oil to make edibles, much like you can with already been vaped weed. But I find I get a headache every time I eat edibles from these kinds of plant material, and not much else. You could also infuse and use for topicals. But again, most of what you want is already extracted, so I do not usually bother. It makes great compost though!

      • Does make good compost. Warning though: animals and pets may want to eat it. My friends dog did root through the compost pile to get to that stinky butter compost and ate a bunch, and they thought the poor guy wasn’t going to make it… took the vet… I guess all they did was let time wear it off. It was pretty scary for the dog and my friends watching their pet in an overdosed state. He is fine today years later though.

        • Yes, you have to be extremely careful around pets. Dogs especially, as they have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than any other species and likewise they are extremely sensitive to THC. As your friend found out it is not toxic or harmful, but very scary to watch as they drool and go into a state of “static ataxia.” While it can be therapeutic, best to stick with CBD for pets or only extremely low doses of THC.

  • I am curious as to what the purpose is for the dry ice? Like what does it do to the plant that the Kief comes off..

  • Hi Cheri, how do you determine the THC percentage of homemade dry ice kief (so I can calculate edible potency)? Thank you!

  • Thank you! I’m new to this, so took both the dosing and your Cannabis Cooking classes and loved them! Changed the whole way I approach cooking, thanks so much.

  • You mention decarbing in ovenvat 240. Lots of ads for decarbing machines. Do you see any additional benefits to using these $200 apparatus?

    • As I mention in the article, the decarbing gadget is not necessary, you can do it in the oven and I give directions. How well the oven does depends on its quality and even heating. The oven in my current house is not very good, so I get much more potent edibles using the Ardent decarboxylator. Other readers have had similar experiences.

      If you are just going to make a batch of brownies every now and then, you don’t need the gadget. However, if edibles are a regular part of your life, you will probably find it worthwhile.

  • Hi Cheri, in all the articles I have read no one tells the amount of Dry Ice you might need for a good batch. How much did you use in this recipe?

    • I guess you could do that. I usually put it in a small ramekin, cover it and decarb that way. Or at least I used to until I got the Ardent Decarboxylator. But I don’t see why parchment on a baking sheet would not work.

    • How should decarbed kief be stored? At room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen?

      Same question for non-decarbed kief.
      I have quite a bit of trim that I want to use for making kief. I don’t really want to make it as needed.

  • Quick question, I decarboxylated about 1 gram of kief in the oven at 200 F for 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I read this off another website. While the kief browned up and smelled potent, I don’t think it activated it enough. I melted it some butter and while it tastes very marijuana like, it doesn’t have any potency. Is there a way to reheat the butter to make it stronger?

    • You can try, not sure how well that will work, but there is not much to lose at this point. You could always add more decarbed kief to it though, which is what I would probably do if it were me.

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