An Introduction to Kief
Kief is the tiny little crystals that cover the cannabis plants. The word Kief is derived from an Arabic word “kayf” which means well-being. Kief is sometimes called trichomes within the cannabis community and it is also known as dry sift or pollen. While the terms Kief and trichomes are often used synonymously, the trichomes are the hairs that can be found on the plant. Kief refers specifically to the crystals. Trichomes on the marijuana plant keep away hungry herbivores by producing an intense psychoactive experience, theoretically disorienting the animal and preventing it from eating the rest of the plant.
Kief contains large amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that is associated with many of the benefits of THC. Kief also contains a large number of cannabinoids compared to marijuana without the trichomes, which loses much of its potency. Due to the high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids in resin glands, separating Kief crystals from plant matter is a great way to consume cannabis while reducing the amount of charred material you take into your body. There are a number of ways to separate Kief from Marijuana and it has quite a few specific applications on its own.
How to separate Kief from Marijuana?
There are numerous ways to collect Kief. You cannot collect Kief by breaking up marijuana with your hands, as the Kief will stick to your palms. If larger amounts of Kief are required, then it can be collected by rubbing the cannabis leaves over a stainless-steel mesh screen and shaking the branches. There are also special machines available for processing large amounts of cannabis leaves, which usually involved a rotating silk drum. Kief is usually measured between 70 and 130 microns so if you are using a sifter make sure the mesh allows that range though.
But most people do not need such large amounts of Kief, and for personal use, there are other options which require less effort. You can simply use a grinder with a special compartment on the bottom to collect the crystals. This is called a Kief catcher and is essentially a grinder with a fine mesh that only lets the crystals/Kief through instead of the larger parts of marijuana. Shaking the grinder will allow more of the Kief to collect in the Kief compartment. Three Chamber grinders will help to finely grind the cannabis and will allow the crystals to fall into the third compartment. Two chamber grinders often let the Kief go to waste as it just sticks to the inside of the grinder.
Kief can also be purchased from reputable vendors online. When buying Kief online or at a retail outlet, always remember that the purer the Kief, the lighter the color will be.
What to do with your Kief?
There are many ways to put your precious collection of Kief to good use. One way is to simply sprinkle it on any cannabis edibles that you are consuming, whether they are weed firecrackers, hash brownies or cannabis cookies. Putting Kief on your edibles or will vastly increase the potency of the recipe so be careful not to overdo it. You can put some Kief into your cannabis butter or medicated oil which will increase the purity and potency of both. These can then be applied to your favorite marijuana recipes.
Of course, it is also possible to put Kief where it is really meant to be – inside a joint. But this kind of defeats the purpose of separating the Kief from the marijuana in the first place, as you would be separating it from cannabis and then putting it back in. For those of you who want a more advanced experience, dampen the outside of your joint with a lick or your preferred wax and then roll the top third of the joint in Kief. This Kief-coated joint is often called a “twaxed” joint.
One of the most popular Kief applications is to smoke Hash. Hash is actually one of the oldest forms of refined cannabis. The first step involved in making Hash is to separate the Kief from the marijuana. Hash is essentially Kief that has been heated and pressurized. The heat and the pressure mean that the effects of the Kief are of a very different quality than usual. It also means that the Kief is darker in color, mainly due to the increased pressure.
Kief can also be used to make moonrocks. Moonrocks are top-quality nugs covered in oil and rolled in Kief. The cannabis specimens are of an extremely high potency and can be considered a quick DIY concentrate. They are also relatively easy to make if you have the supplies. Gently heat your oil of choice and liberally coat your buds. Sprinkle Kief over the still-warm buds, or dredge buds in a Kief bath using tongs. Let harden and then break up them up by hand. Do not use a grinder as this will defeat the purpose.
The Best Strains
If you are considering making some Kief concentrates, then try to obtain Kief heavy strains such as White Widow and Chemdawg. These strains are renowned for their white sticky crystals on the buds (i.e Kief) which are of the highest quality. But if you can’t get your hands on these strains then others should suffice, just be on the lookout for frosty crystals on the bud.