7 Ideas for When You Don’t Know What to Do With Kief
See all that fine powder at the bottom of your grinder? Well that my friends is Kief, and it is a THC goldmine! Also known as ‘dry sift’ or ‘pollen,’ this crystallized treasure is actually the most important, and potent, of the marijuana plant. So now that you know what it is, here are 7 ways to get the most out of this potent little treat.
- Kief, Trichomes, and Cannabis
- How to Collect Your Kief
- What to Do With Kief
- 1. Top off bowls and joints
- 2. Press Your Own Hash
- 3. Use a Pollen Presser For Easy Storage
- 4. Vaporize it
- 5. Have a Powerful Morning Drink
- 6. Make E-Cig Juice
- 7. Make Edibles
- Your Favorite Way to Use Kief
If you’re a regular smoker, it’s safe to say that you’re used to using whatever you can and don’t waste anything. Stems will promptly be thrown into whatever you’re using for cannabutter, and seeds are made into oil for cooking and moisturizers.
Whenever you grind a new batch, you may notice that crystals slowly accumulate at the bottom. Aside from having it sit there, you don’t know what to do with kief. You don’t really know what it is or what can be done with it, so you don’t pay much attention to it.
If you don’t know what to do with kief, you’re missing out on a THC goldmine. Kief can do a lot more than make your grindings dustier, and once you learn about what it is and what you can do you’ll be eager to spread the word to your friends.
Kief, Trichomes, and Cannabis
Take a look at your grinder (or the bits and pieces of things at the bottom of where you store your weed). The fine powder you notice is probably a little sticky to touch, smells potent, and is what is known as “kief”.
Kief (also known as pollen or dry sift) is actually the most important part of the marijuana plants you smoke. Essentially kief is a concentrated part of the best thing about cannabis: the THC (not to be confused with CBD).
The term “kief” specifically refers to the resin glands that have the terpenes and cannabinoids that help you feel high. Kief is made up of trichomes. They’re those small hairs you see on buds that occasionally look crystallized.
The term “trichomes” isn’t unique to cannabis plants. Trichome can appear on plants, algae, lichen, and even protists. The crystals and “hairs” you see coating your weed are trichomes, and they contain a good amount of THC. The cannabis plant will always contain a concentration of THC, but the trichomes happen to contain much more of it.
We clearly know the benefits of trichomes on cannabis for humans, but you may be a little curious about what these small hairs and crystals can do for the plants. Marijuana plants aren’t using the trichomes the way we use them. In fact, they’re a way for the plants to defend themselves against pests and the environment.
The trichomes taste bitter and produce a strong aroma that makes them nearly unpalatable to animals. They also help shield some sensitive parts of the plant from the sun and can help protect it against harsh winds.
When you don't know what to do with kief, you can get pretty creative. Here are 7 of our best ideas for when you have a full kief catcher.
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.
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.
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.
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.