If you have ever gotten hold of a premium cannabis bud in your life, you couldn’t have missed the crystal-like coating on its outer layer. In everyday life, it’s the stuff that makes you need a grinder because it makes your fingers sticky when manually breaking the bud. However, these fragile, tiny white crystals (also called “kief,” “pollen,” or “dry sift” pack way more punch that you could ever imagine. Let’s dive into this microscopic world and learn all about kief and its uses.
What is kief
Simply put, kief is the dried up collection of the trichomes developing on top of the cannabis flower. The trichomes are tiny bulbous resin glands that secrete cannabinoids like THC to protect the plant from predators.
These mushroom-like offshoots create a sticky defense line between the sensitive flower and insects. Any unfortunate animal that will try to dine on cannabis flower will get knocked out instantaneously. Also, the strong scent of the resin attracts pollinating insects that keep predators at bay.
As you might have suspected by now, the kief is where most of the THC is! What’s even better, you can collect it and use it to enhance your cannabis experience by making your own potent THC concentrates by using the kief of your cannabis buds.
How to collect kief from your buds
Extracting kief from your cannabis buds is a straightforward process. To do it, you will need a robust three-chamber herb grinder that will filter the crystals through a mesh and into a small compartment. Having great quality weed certainly helps, because you will extract more usable product from less plant matter. Top-shelf kief is golden brown in color, while green-ish resin probably contains too much chlorophyll.
DIY geeks will be happy to know they can make their own sifters by using several layers of mesh screens one on top of the other. Besides, a standard-issue herb grinder might not be enough for separating the resin from the plant matter (a trichome is about 0.0075 cm large). For best results, use mesh screens of varying sizes and stack them from largest to smallest. The measure of thin-ness in this industry is the LPI, or lines per inch. The smaller the screen, the larger the LPI number. Meshes with a measure from 100 to 300 LPI are ideal for kief collection.
After you have collected your kief, proper handling is key. Dry resin is very light and can easily vanish at the slightest air current. Our very own Keefer Scraper will help you …well, scrape your kief from the compartment with minimal waste. See how you can use Keefer Scraper to store and handle your dry resin.
What to do with kief
By now, you should have a pretty good picture of what kief is and how to collect it from your cannabis buds. However, all this information is kinda useless without a practical plan on how to use it!
Kief is stronger than a regular cannabis flower, but not as strong as cannabis concentrates. That’s understandable, given it undergoes a minimal refinement process. Nevertheless, kief achieves a perfect balance in potency and can be used in a variety of applications.
Pack it into your bowl
You can certainly smoke your kief directly, but in practice, this is much more likely to end in a dusty mess. What you can do, however, is sprinkle some kief over a generously packed bowl (you can use the spoon edge of your Keefer Scraper or any other tool for that). Remember not to overdo it, unless you want that “flying high” effect from your experience.
This practice is more commonly known as “crowning a bowl,” and it works best by applying more kief to the four quadrants of your bowl. Then, you can spread your hits in four equal strong doses that will send you on a one-way trip to Neverland. Dry pollen burns instantly, so you only get one shot each time!
Sprinkle it over your joint
This tip follows the same principle as the above, only this time, you sprinkle a moderate amount kief evenly across your blunt or joint. Mix it up and roll. The freshly ground bud should be sticky enough to keep the dry pollen in its place, and the resulting experience will be much more potent.
If you want to enhance the experience, spread a lick of your favorite extract on the final third of your joint and sprinkle kief all over it. This is what seasoned stoners call a “twax” joint, and it is guaranteed to send you for a ride!
There’s a rosin revolution rocking the dabbing community. Indeed, as the years pass, more dabbers are shattering their shatter and rebelling with rosin. The reasons for rosin’s success are quite obvious. First off, rosin is an easy, cheap, and (relatively) safe way to make hash oil at home. Secondly, rosin oil is 100 percent solvent-free, which can’t be said of shatter or other dabbing oils.
All “rosin” means is using heat and pressure to extract resinous sap from cannabis, bubble hash, or kief. So, how exactly can you do this at home? Simple. Grab your kief, a hair straightener, and a few pieces of parchment paper. Once you’ve got everything organized, place your kief in-between a folded piece of food-grade parchment paper and heat up your hair straightener to around 300°F. Now, place your hair straightener over the kief and wait till you hear crackling (usually after a few seconds). Lastly, remove your kief from the heat, open up your parchment paper, and collect that sensationally sticky oil.
People who want a super-strong & super-long high should consider making a moonrock with their kief. First developed in California, moonrocks only have three ingredients: a cannabis bud of your choice, concentrate oil, and kief. To make a moonrock, just grab your bud, drizzle it with concentrate, and then coat it with plenty of kief. Once your moonrock is dried, tear off a tiny piece, load it in your bong, and light up. It’s that simple!
While the amount of THC in a moonrock varies depending on what strain you’re using, expect it to fall between 40 – 60 percent THC. The high from moonrocks resembles the intensity of a dab, but it lasts way longer. Since moonrocks provide such a long lasting high, you’d better use this product when you know you ain’t got nowhere to go! Also, be sure to have plenty of water nearby, because you’re going to get real thirsty after taking that first hit.
Mocha kief latte
Not a morning person? Is coffee just not doing it for you? Here’s a simple solution: sneak a little kief into your mocha latte. The natural heat from the latte activates all the healing cannabinoids in kief, which supplies you with a refreshing high. Remember, a little sprinkle of kief goes a long way in your latte. Oh yeah, and don’t tell Starbucks about our little secret, OK?
Cook with kief
Anyone who’s into making cannabis edibles will have a fun time working with kief in the kitchen. As opposed to other cannabis products, kief has a more subdued flavor that won’t overpower your baked goods. In addition to its subtle flavor, cannabis chefs prefer kief because they don’t need much to provide an intense high. Just be sure to figure out the conversion for how much THC is in your kief before dumping it into your brownies. It’s very easy to underestimate the power of kief.
Brew a Kief Chai
Since cannabis is an herb, it’s no surprise tea lovers are getting interested in mixing a little kief into their favorite herbal blends. One tea that pairs nicely with kief is Indian chai. Although there are many “authentic” chai recipes out there, most blends use milk and black tea as their base with spices such as ginger, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. For a little extra sweetness, you could also add some honey or maple syrup. Not only is chai delicious, but it’s also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Speaking of anti-inflammation, one of the most distinctive terpenes in chai tea is beta-caryophyllene. This peppery terpene is doubly fascinating for cannabis lovers because it’s found in many strains and has been shown to interact with the human endocannabinoid system directly. Scientists are still learning about this spicy terpene’s potential as a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Although more research is needed, it’s possible adding a bit of kief to your chai could enhance this terpene’s healing benefits.
Hash it up
People who are interested in entering the long legacy of cannabis production and consumption should make some historic hashish from their kief. Basically, all you need to do is add pressure and heat to your kief in order to separate out the resinous glands and, voilà, you have hash on your hands! To help you on your hashing quest, you might want to consider investing in a pollen press.
With just a bit of work from your end, you’ll end up with a dark and wonderfully aromatic block of hash to use in joints or bongs. While not everyone is keen on hash’s taste, you won’t know what you’re missing until you give it a go!
Strains with a thick coating of kief
Due to the increased demand for high-quality kief, many breeders have developed cannabis strains able to produce thick, resinous trichomes. Undoubtedly, one of the easiest strains to remember in this category is Hash Plant. As the name suggests, this indica-dominant strain is ideal for…well, making hashish (duh)!
Another obvious strain good for hashish production is known as Hashberry. Unlike the spicier Hash Plant, Hashberry delights users with its pronounced fruity and earthy aromatics. If you’re looking for something slightly more “chocolatey,” then give Chocolate Hashberry a go.