Cannabis Kief 101: What You Need to Know
Nothing needs to go to waste. Considering the price on cannabis — legal or otherwise, you want to get as much out of it as you can. So, you’ll want to make the most of the crumbs and dust left over when you use your product.
When you grind flower, the grinding will cast off some dust or powder. It will gather on your fingers or cast off into trays of grinders. This residue includes the debris from trichomes, those bulbous glands found on every surface of a cannabis plant. It’s those wispy white hairs loaded with THC.
Those trichomes are the plant’s defense mechanism keeping herbivores from attacking the plant. They emit odors that attract pollinators but discourage predators with a disorienting high.
Where can you get some?
Kief will stick to your fingers, rubber gloves, and tools while you handle living and dried cannabis plants and flowers. It will appear blonde or tan and smell strongly of the strain. If it’s green or greenish, it may contain other plant matter that reduces its “purity.”
Kief is an extra you can gather from the plants you grow on your own. If you want it, you can rub or shake off the plant leaves. If you are farming larger lots, you might buy special processing machines to handle large numbers of leaves.
But, if you want it fresh, you use an herb grinder with a compartment in the bottom. You don’t want to toss this potent concentrate because it has potent value. You don’t have to use it right away because you can store it with other kief in secure containers.
How do you smoke it?
Kief makes a fine joint material or packed into a bowl or used in a bong. But veteran smokers mix the powder with their smoking leaves or add it to tobacco. You should remember kief has potency, so you should hold your breath with each draw and space out your puffs. Rather than fill a pipe, you’ll want to line the inner surface of a pipe bowl. Kief burns very quickly, so topping the pipe off will use up the kief and other contents very fast.
What’s kief got to do with hash?
The legendary cannabis Hash is really a brick of kief. You can find hundreds of recipes online. Some people make their bricks using heat, cold, and dry ice to rupture a plant’s resin glands. If you choose a grinder with a strained, filter your trash through 65 to 125-micron holes. You can also use small blenders, coffee grinders, or hash bags. With enough kief, you can shape it and press it into bricks being careful to store it, so it doesn’t dry out.
What else can you do with it?
- With a little kief in your morning coffee, your morning “joe” will jack you up. Or, you can add a pinch to a hot cup of tea. You can also set aside a kief stash for baking cakes, cookies, and brownies. With some trial and error, you can add it to just about any recipe in your kitchen. However, you must remember to take it easy because it doesn’t hit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- While you’re in the kitchen, you can experiment with kief. You might start with by melting butter in a crockpot set to medium. Adding the kief slowly, you stir the combination every 15 minutes for up to five hours. You can, then, pour the liquid into containers or molds to cover and refrigerate for late use.
- With bud, kief, and oil, you can prepare your moonrocks, a potent form of cannabis. Using chopsticks or tweezers, you turn a nug over in a thin layer of oil before sprinkling it with kief dust. Once it has dried, you bowl it, light up, and enjoy the ride.
- Real veteran users might prepare what they used to call a “Time Bomb.” You stand a rolled joint horizontally in your bowl and pack it in place with kief. That way you smoke the joint down until the flame hits the kief where it delivers a memorable finish to your smoke.
- If you know what you’re doing, you can prepare your own concentrate for vaping. It takes a double boiler in which you mix your kief into food grade vegetable glycerin and food grade propylene glycol over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer while you stir with a rubber spatula. You keep up a pattern where you cover the contents for 20 minutes at a time and uncover to stir occasionally for a few hours until the kief has infused the liquids. When the infusion is complete and most of the plant dissolver, you squeeze the mixture through cheesecloth repeatedly until you have a clear vaping juice.
What you need to know about kief!
Kief is every bit as valuable as the plant from which it came. So, you’ll want to care for it and store it well. It makes good butter and potent concentrate. You can leave it sit at the bottom of your grinder, but the best option is to store it in tightly sealed, dark glass, UV-protected containers in a cool dark place.
Kief may be reefer debris, but it is worth saving and using at your convenience for an added punch to your hit or upping the ante on your inhale.