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Kief: Everything You Need To Know

Last updated: 3 October 2023

kief weed

Every cannabis lover can probably recollect a similar memory of a happy revelation – the stash is over, there’s no more weed for the night, but they open the bottom chamber of the grinder thinking, “Maybe, just maybe, some stuff has fallen through? Miracles happen, right?” And they do! They can’t believe their eyes as they’re blessed by the sight of airy green powder that smells like fun times. What is it? That’s kief!

So What Exactly Is Kief?

what is kief

If you’ve ever laid your eyes upon a developing cannabis plant and it’s maturing buds, you’ve probably noticed that the flowers are covered in a shiny resinous coating. That’s future marijuana kief. It’s produced by special glands called trichomes. The main biological function of this organ is protection of the plant’s most valuable asset – its buds. Trichomes produce high amounts of psychoactive THC to confuse the herbivores that decide to treat themselves with some cannabis flowers – altered state of mind is not something sought after in the animal kingdom, and it makes the plant-eaters quickly turn to something else to eat and leave cannabis alone. Because of this, however, trichomes are where the biggest concentration of cannabinoids in a weed bud can be found, and this stays the same even after drying and curing. That’s when these resinous glands finally become kief – green, sticky and velvety powder crystals extremely high in THC.

high thc cannabis seedsOpen collection

Now, What's So Good About Kief?

marijuana kief

There’s honestly nothing but benefits to kief, as it’s basically an enhanced form of weed. While cannabis generally contains 12-25% THC, kief THC levels are way higher, as it’s comprised solely of cannabinoid-rich trichomes, the tiny yellowish-green crystals that often test at over 50% THC. Additionally, smoking kief is a highly pleasant experience, since it doesn’t involve ingesting any harsh smoke from burning the rest of the bud. High THC and CBD content, together with the ease of collection (as we mentioned earlier, many users often find kief in their stash by pure chance), makes it the most basic and cleanest form of cannabis concentrate out there. As it doesn’t require any complicated gear to collect, kief has become truly widespread, allowing cannabis-heads from all over the world to come up with multiple ways of using kief. Stay tuned to find out what these are a little later in this article.

How To Collect Kief

Collecting kief is easy and doesn’t require much time or many expensive appliances, unlike with other cannabis concentrates. In fact, chances are you already have everything you need to start collecting that precious kief yourself.

With A Three-Chamber Grinder

kief grinder

By far the easiest way of collecting kief is using a three-chamber grinder. Take a look at your appliance and count the number of parts it consists of. Is it three? Does the bottom include a stainless steel filter? Then you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what you’re looking for in a grinder to start collecting kief. The best part of this method is that it’s absolutely passive and doesn’t require any extra actions on your side. Every time you grind your bud, the final weed mix will fall onto the thin steel filter. The holes in this are so narrow that only kief particles are small enough to get through and collect at the bottom of the grinder. To facilitate the process, give your grinder an extra shake every time you use it. Check the bottom chamber of your grinder every once in a while, and you’ll see how kief gradually builds up.  

Dry Sift With A Silk Screen

To collect more kief from your cannabis, you’ll need nothing but a bigger screen. Experiments of many marijuana users have shown that silk screens used for printing DIY clothing are just as perfect for sifting through kief particles. Screens like this can be easily found in arts and crafts stores. To collect weed, you’re going to need a screen with holes big enough to let the dry resin crystals through but leave all the green on top. For this purpose, ask for a screen that’s 80 to 270 LPI (lines per inch). As you can guess, the bigger the number of lines is, the more refined your kief will be and the more green stuff will be left in the final product. 

how to use kief

Collecting kief with a silk screen is a pretty straightforward process. Simply put ground weed on top and start moving it around with a plastic card or a spatula. Of course, don’t forget to place a catching container under it – you don’t want your precious THC concentrate to freely fall to the floor or spread around the room.

Since the trichomes of which kief is comprised carry the biggest concentration of THC and CBD in your weed, you should expect the green that you move around the screen to become less and less potent with every move made. You’ll still get high from it, of course, but be prepared to feel the difference. However, the loss will pay off when you finally try the extra-kicking kief.

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Kief Vs. Hash: What’s The Difference?

kief meaning

Even though they look pretty different, there’s still surprisingly many people, especially among novice users, who confuse kief and hash. Let’s set the record straight once and for all and explain the difference between kief and hash. Kief, as we previously discussed, is a light green powder that’s collected from the top layer of cannabis buds and is therefore highly potent. Hash, on the other hand, depending on the preference of whoever made it, can be a thick paste as well as a hard, tightly pressed and rock-hard THC concentrate. Its color also varies from green to brown and almost black. Nevertheless, the source of confusion is pretty clear, as kief is essentially the source material for making hash. Continue reading to discover how to press kief and turn it into hash.

You Have Kief. Now How Do You Use It?

Kief is a wonderful product for many reasons, one of these being how diverse it can be in terms of use. Now that you know everything you need to about how to collect kief and how to get more of it, you’re finally ready to learn exactly how to use everything you’ve sifted and extracted. So what are some of the ways in which kief can be used?

Crowning A Bowl

kief thc

Smoking kief is one of the easiest ways to put the green treasure from the bottom of your grinder to use. Simply “crown” your bowl by sprinkling kief on top of it for the immediate rise in THC. Use it for when the day has been extra hard or when you just don’t feel like filling the bowl twice.

Adding To Joints

how much thc is in kief

You can also just add kief to your weed mix and roll a regular joint. You know what to expect – a higher THC level that can break any tolerance. For when you want to treat yourself and friends with something extra, put kief on the outside of the joint! For a wowzers-worthy look, simply dampen the joint and roll it around in kief. In just a couple of easy steps, you get an extra potent and insanely pretty joint that looks like it’s covered in moss.

Vaping Kief

does kief get you high

If you want to get the most out of the abundant cannabinoids present in kief, you might consider making potent kief oil and vaping it. Modern vaping devices use relatively low temperatures, so you can be sure none of that THC will burn away in the process. To make your own kief infused e-liquid, you’re going to need vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, a double boiler and a coffee filter. Simply mix your kief into 1-to-1 glycerin/glycol solution, then gently heat this over a double boiler until a smooth liquid with even consistency is achieved. Strain the mixture through the coffee filter, cool it down and pour it into your vape pen’s tank. 

Making Hash

kief thc percentage

It might be surprising for some, but making hash from kief is quite simple even at home. The key ingredients to the successful transition are heat and pressure, both of which are easily obtainable with the help of a hair straightener or a simple clothes iron. Just put the desirable amount of kief inside a piece of parchment paper, fold it in half and run it through one of the two appliances. These simple home gadgets both operate around best temperatures to press kief. Don’t raise the temperature too high – the iron should be just hot enough to melt the kief without burning the paper. After you unfold the parchment, you’ll see a darker, more uniform mass. The more pressure and heat you apply to kief, the darker and harder hash you will receive at the end.

Coating Moonrocks

kief thc percentage

Moonrocks might be the most exciting cannabis product every kief stash has the potential to become. This recent invention in the cannabis world is a triple threat to any level of THC tolerance. First, in the very heart of it, there’s a tight nug of marijuana. The second layer is a sticky weed concentrate, for example oil, that covers the nug. Finally, the outer coating is fresh kief that sticks to the oil and turns the bud into a moonrock with a mouthwatering matte finish. In short, moonrocks are some of the most potent cannabis creations known to the world. A few handy tips and tricks about these:

  • Remember to use the highest quality ingredients available to you for the best moonrocks.
  • Make the different layers out of different strains for combined effects of your favorite cannabis varieties.
  • To use moonrocks, gently pull them apart with your fingers and never use grinders – sticky filling tends to stick to their inside.    

Cooking With Kief

kief effects

You can use kief in cooking the same way as weed buds and trimmings, with by far the most popular method being to infuse butter with THC. Melt the butter in a pot with a thick bottom over medium heat, add the desired amount of kief to it and keep cooking, occasionally stirring over low heat for about 5 hours. After the cannabutter is ready, you can use it right away for kief edibles or cool it down to store in the fridge or freezer. Cannabutter can replace butter in any recipe, so the possibilities are limitless! Try making classic brownies or simply pouring it over popcorn or trail mix! However, always keep in mind that kief can be twice as potent as buds, so it’s better to start slow when trying your cannabutter meals. Remember that the effect might take up to two hours to kick in.

Make Your Coffee Better With Kief

kief vs weed

One of the greatest advantages of kief over other cannabis products is that its thin structure allows THC to be activated even with the heat of nearly-boiling liquids. Whether you prefer, tea, coffee or cocoa, you can add half a teaspoon of kief to your hot drink – a quick stir will instantly activate the cannabinoids in the product and add an extra kick to the beverage. Once you start your day with a cup of canna-coffee, the effects of which will gradually develop over the following hours, you’ll never want to do it any other way!

Kief, Kief, Kief…

what exactly is kief

Even though the effects of kief might not be that different from those of weed, its potency is where this concentrate shines. Since kief powder can be twice as potent as weed itself and is extremely easy to obtain, it opens a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to experimentation and consumption. Now you know that getting a THC boost can be as easy as sprinkling kief on top of the bowl or adding it to your hot beverage. However, it’s always rewarding to put a little more effort and treat yourself with a moonrock or a delicious kief edible. Just don’t forget to check the bottom chamber of your grinder once in a while – now you know it hides a real treasure!

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