Agitation is the process of breaking and shaking the cannabis plant through physical contact to collect trichomes. The agitation process not only isolates the trichomes, but also helps to retain the terpenes of the plant.
Agitation is widely used in the processing of good-quality kief and other cannabis concentrates used in dabbing. Cannabis plant matter is subjected to dry ice to help break away trichome stalks. The plant material is then treated through the screens using agitation to lightly remove the trichomes. A lot of care must be taken in this process, because too much pressure will split the plant material into small pieces, and it will fall through the screens along with the trichomes, making the product less pure.
Water hash, bubble hash, and full melt are developed using agitation methods that include ice, water, and filtration. While making these concentrates, agitation by a gentle hand-stirring is recommended. A massive agitation machine can end up harming trichomes and sensitive terpenes. Hand-stirring agitation produces a purer and more natural substance, compared with the so-called “washing machine” methods of agitation.
In addition to alcohol extraction, there is a wide range of ways to perform the extraction process. Two common methods are hydrocarbon extraction, which typically uses butane or propane, and supercritical CO2 extraction.
Hydrocarbon extraction can extract a much greater amount of terpenes from cannabis than alcohol extraction can. Preserving the terpenes means that the user will be able to enjoy much better flavour and aroma. While supercritical CO2 extraction is considered to be newer than the other two, it is quite popular.
Use of Term
I shake up my grinder to create agitation and collect more trichomes through the screen.