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An Introduction To Kief And Six Ways To Put It To Good Use

While admiring your cannabis, you’ve probably noticed those beautiful, tiny little crystals that cover it. But did you know that what you’re seeing is kief? In this blog, you will discover what kief is, how to collect it and its many uses.

Smoking cannabis flower is an age-old and highly effective way to experience the psychoactive effects of THC. However, some smokers like to step things up a notch and opt for concentrates, refined versions of the active constituents of cannabis that make for a fast-acting and hard-hitting high.

KIEF: Questions & Answers

WHAT IS KIEF?

One such concentrated form of cannabis is known as kief, which is essentially trichome dust. Trichomes are tiny glands that occupy the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants, excreting a thick and sticky resin that houses molecules we know and love, such as THC, CBD, and many other cannabinoids and terpenes. Trichomes aren’t just there to provide humans with a psychoactive experience; they play an important role in the survival of plants. These small glands produce secondary metabolites that help protect plants against potential threats such as insects and high temperatures.

Creating kief involves detaching these small chemical factories from cannabis flowers and saving them up until a large quantity has been collected. This pile of trichomes can then be used in a multitude of ways to provide a potent high. Because the trichomes contain cannabinoids, kief offers a much more intense high than smoking cannabis flowers, where the smoke would normally contain combusted plant material and other less desirable molecules.

HOW TO COLLECT KIEF

Kief is a simple cannabis concentrate and doesn’t involve much preparation or work at all. The easiest way to harvest kief is from bone dry buds that have been properly dried and cured. Wet and incorrectly dried flowers will not grind up as well, meaning the trichomes will be harder to remove.

The typical way to start building a collection of kief is to use a grinder with multiple chambers, with three layers being ideal. These grinders feature an upper chamber, where the cannabis flowers are placed between metal or plastic teeth and ground up to a powder. The ground up particles then fall through small holes into the second layer where they are collected on top of a metal mesh. This ground plant matter is too big to pass through the mesh, however, the miniscule trichomes easily fall through to a kief chamber that resides below.

Over time, this bottom chamber will fill up with trichomes. Before long, you’ll have a mountain of trichomes ready to be used in whatever ways you wish.

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THIS KIEF?

Once you have built up a decent supply of kief, it’s time to decide how to use it. This trichome powder can be used in many different ways to provide a potent psychoactive high.

1. LOAD IT INTO A JOINT

Kief can be used as a THC supplement when it comes to rolling joints. If you and your smoking buddies feel like it’s time to blast off, then reach for the kief jar and sprinkle a few pinches inside the joint before rolling. This will add some serious kick, and will be of particular assistance when the flower you’re smoking isn’t as potent as you’d hoped. Alternatively, the more creative joint engineers out there may wish to coat the outside of the joint in kief for an extreme aesthetic appeal. Douse the outside of the joint in wax, or simply lick it and roll it around on a plate full of kief.

5. MAKE A SIFT-HASH STASH

Hash made from kief is also known as dry-sift hash. This substance has a different consistency than normal hash and is more powdery and crumbly. The key to making hash is compressive force. This force can be applied via the use of a pressing machine or with bare hands. You’ll need a fair amount kief to get started on this project, but once you have enough it’s very easy to make. Fill a small plastic bag with your kief, roll it up tight, and tape shut. Next, wrap the package up tightly in 3 layers of newspaper and wet the newspaper once it’s wrapped. Now, use a hair straightener and apply pressure to the package for a few seconds at a time until it’s properly compressed. Unwrap the package to unveil a compressed, clean block of kief hash.

In case you've never heard, kief is a concentrated form of cannabis. As a result of removing the trichomes from the cannabis flower, you wind up with kief.

8 Uses For Your Kief Stash

If you’ve ever closely examined your bud or used a grinder, you’ve seen and stored kief, whether intentionally or not. The fine, white crystals that coat cannabis flower are called trichomes and their highly potent bulbous tips form kief. In addition to serving a protective evolutionary purpose for the cannabis plant, kief has an array of recreational uses too.

What’s a Trichome?

Trichomes are present on the buds and leaves of mature cannabis plants, and their potency comes from the high concentration of cannabinoids they house.

The hairy white coat covering your bud is the accumulation of these resin glands

Trichomes serve a protective purpose for the cannabis plant. The mushroom-shaped appendages create a physical barrier between insects and the plant’s flower and leaves, and they also produce a powerful psychoactive effect that leaves predatory animals too dazed to finish their meal.

How to Collect Kief

If you want high-quality kief, you need high-quality cannabis. You also need to make sure that as little plant matter as possible is mixed in with the kief. Kief with a green hue has a lot of plant matter, but blonde or light tan kief is a purer variety. Because the resin glands contain so many cannabinoids, kief is more potent than flower, but less potent than concentrates.

If you’re looking for something a little stronger than bud, kief is a great place to start

If you use a grinder, you already collect kief. If your grinder only has two chambers, that kief is wasted. However, a three-piece grinder has a specific chamber that collects the kief through a mesh screen filter. You can also create your own kief collector with a series of layered screens with even finer filters the closer the screens get to the bottom collection chamber.

8 Ways to Use Kief

Kief can be used much like flower or concentrate. It’s more potent than flower, but not quite as strong as concentrates, so it provides a great balance for a variety of uses.

Add it to your bowl

Though you can smoke your kief straight up, this can be a bit messy and intense because of kief’s powdery texture and potency. Give your bowl an extra punch by coating the sides with a layer of kief and sprinkling some on the top of your bud. Kief burns quickly and until it’s all gone, so lining the sides will help you stretch your supply. Remember, kief is powerful stuff, so you don’t need a lot of it to get a big effect.

Roll it in a joint

This is the same concept as adding it to a bowl. Since kief is so powdery, trying to smoke it by itself isn’t as efficient as interspersing it with flower. The bud will hold the kief, and the kief will give the smoke an extra kick.

Mocha kief latte

Adding kief to your hot coffee is one of the most popular ways of kief consumption. The coffee’s heat will decarboxylate, or activate, the cannabinoids present in the kief. Since kief is loaded with cannabinoids, it doesn’t take much to get a buzz. Just add about half a gram to a full gram of kief to a 6 oz drink. There isn’t much research on the effect of mixing cannabis with caffeine, but a 2011 study on squirrels concluded that the caffeine actually enhanced the high. Also, both caffeine and cannabis stimulate dopamine secretion, causing users to feel pleasure.

Cooking with kief

Kief has a much subtler taste than cannabis flower, but all and more of the cannabinoids. This makes it an excellent addition to a meal. Make some kief butter to add to any meal or just add kief directly into your cooking. Remember to decarboxylate the kief before cooking with it to ensure that the cannabinoids are activated.

Chai Kief

This is the same concept as infusing your coffee with kief. Much like an edible, you will experience a long-lasting body high that begins 15 to 30 minutes after consumption. Infusing the kief with milk may increase the potency since fat helps to extract the THC, but you can also decarboxylate the flower and mix it with other tea leaves.

Hash it up

Hash, or hashish, refers to the separation of the trichomes, or resin glands, from the cannabis plant material. Sound familiar? It should. While kief is dust-like in texture, hash is kief pressed into a dense mass for easier consumption. You can make hash from kief following this very simple recipe.

Vaporize it

You can vape kief by pouring it into a vaporizer the same way that you would flower. You can also sprinkle it in along with your flower. If you want the convenience of vaporizing oil over bud (easier to clean, more potent because of THC’s fat solubility), you can follow this recipe to make kief oil.

Store it

The more flower you smoke, the more kief your bound to naturally collect. Since kief is so potent, you probably don’t want to use all of it at once, but throwing such a versatile and powerful part of the cannabis plant away would be a waste.

To store kief, make sure that you keep it in a dark, cool place

You can store kief in a container as it is, or you can compress it with pollen presser to form tightly packed kief disks.

If you’ve ever closely examined your bud or used a grinder, you’ve seen and stored kief, the sparkly white crystals on your flower. ]]>