What is kief?
If you’ve been smoking weed for long enough you may have heard the term kief being tossed around a few times.
By now, most people have probably tried weed at least once in their lives, but few are actually familiar with the anatomy of cannabis and all the parts that get you feeling that euphoric high. Kief on its own can probably get you higher than any flower you’ve ever smoked before, especially if you’ve collected a lot of it.
So what is kief and how do you use it? Stick around and we’ll break it down.
Getting to Know Kief
When looking at fresh cannabis, you’ll probably notice that the surface of the bud is covered in small golden crystals that are sticky to the touch. Those powdery crystals are what we call Kief. Funny enough, the word Kief was actually derived from the words “pleasure” or “delight” from the Arabic language and here’s why:
When it comes to getting the best possible high, you’ll want to look for cannabis strains that are highest in THC as it’s this particular compound that’s known for producing marijuana’s psychoactive effects. What Kief is, is the THC packed bulbous resin glands found all over the surface of cannabis plants. These resin glands carry to most potent punch of all the parts in your bud, being mostly responsible for that huge surge of cannabinoids rushing through your system.
Make no mistake about it, Kief is definitely a potent substance and its cannabinoid content will be reflected on the quality of bud it came from. In terms of strength, it’ll clock in miles ahead of whatever high-quality bud you may find yourself with, but will fall short of the many cannabis extracted concentrates like shatter, oil, and wax.
How to Collect Kief
The most popular and easy way to do this is to grind your weed in a three-chamber grinder.
Three-chamber grinders have a specialized compartment with a Kief screen designed specifically for collecting and storing kief without the clutter of any excess plant matter.
Even better, most of these three-chamber grinders come with a scooping tool to help you efficiently get your Kief out without losing much in the process.
Simply grind your weed as you normally would and any excess Kief lost in the grinding will filter to the bottom of your grinder, piling up on the Kief screen.
Over the period of a few months, weeks or even days depending on how much weed you grind up and smoke, you should have an impressive collection of fine, powdery green crystals at the bottom of your kief screen. At this point, you can use a spoon or the included scooping tool to collect and store your kief.
What to Do With Kief
Once you’ve collected enough Kief, it can be used in a variety of different ways. That said, knowing how to smoke Kief and use it in creative ways is what will set you apart from the crowd. Here are a few interesting ways to use Kief:
Making a Kief Joint
The most popular and easiest way to enjoy your Kief, and for good reason: It’s easy, fast, and effective! When rolling a joint, you can simply sprinkle or add kief over the ground bud and then roll it as you normally would.
If you want to take it a step further, you can create a twax joint by rolling a regular joint, coating the outside of it in hash oil, and then dipping the joint in kief until it’s fully covered.
Crowning Your Bowls
A go-to method for many people who have their own pipes and bongs. This method involves sprinkling your kief over a packed bowl. This is called “crowning” your bowls, however, it doesn’t quite stop there.
Feel free to layer it with the bud in your bowl if you want something even stronger. A great way to do this is by making a sandwich which is made of a thick bottom layer of ground bud, followed by a generous spread of these fine, cannabis crystals all to be closed off by another thick layer of weed to prevent the kief from burning off.
Make Infused Coffee or Tea
This one is a little bit off the beaten path, but nonetheless still effective. When added to freshly brewed coffee or tea, the heat from the fresh brew will decarboxylate your kief and activate several cannabinoids allowing them to be fully absorbed by your body.
Keep in mind, consuming kief this way will likely give off strong psychoactive and sometimes psychedelic effects akin to the effects of many cannabis edibles. You’ll likely feel it in your system anywhere between 30 to 120 minutes after consumption.
Make Some Hash With Your Kief
The use of Hash dates all the way back to ancient times. In fact, it’s thought to be one of the oldest types of refined cannabis. With hash, you can make almost anything from cannabis concentrates, hash oil, or even shatter. The best part is, to make Hash, all that’s involved is pressing Kief and exposing it to some heat, transforming it into a soft brownish substance. When heat and pressure are applied to the Kief, the pressure will rupture the resin glands, resulting in the darkening of the kief and a minor change in taste and effect.
You can also make great use of your Kief in any cannabis edibles recipe, just make sure that you remember to decarboxylate your Kief first.
In short, decarboxylation is the chemical process that activates several of the cannabinoids in your cannabis, making them available to the body for absorption. Without decarboxylation, you can’t get high.
Be sure to heat your Kief at approximately 220 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes to fully decarboxylate it before adding it to your edibles.
It’s also important to note that this substance is much stronger than your typical cannabis flower due to its concentration. To give you a bit of insight, a high-quality bud of cannabis usually contains around 20% THC, while these crystals can range from anywhere between 20-60% THC, up to three times the strength.
If you’re planning on exclusively using it for your edibles, it’s probably a good idea to be conservative with your measurements.
So there you have it, a simple guide on the basics of these THC packed crystals and a few fun ways to use it.
Remember, kief is incredibly strong, so you may have to give yourself some time to find your sweet spot, especially with edibles.