What is kief? How do you get it?
There are many different parts of a cannabis plant, each with its own unique set of uses. One part of the plant that many marijuana users are familiar with is the flower. As some may be aware, there is more to it than meets the eye, and the bud also contains kief. Now, you might ask yourself: what is kief?
Kief is a powdery substance that can be extracted from the cannabis bud using a grinder that has a mesh screen or a kief box. It’s rich in trichomes that are responsible for producing the cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. These cannabinoids are the active ingredients in the plant such as cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabinol (CBN).
Simply put, trace amounts of kief are found in all the buds that you smoke (higher quality cannabis can contain more kief), and by collecting it as you consume your flower you can use it to create highly concentrated cannabis products if you are patient enough (and/or if you just smoke a lot!).
How to Use Kief? – 5 Easy Ways
Since kief is from the cannabis flower, it can be consumed much like any typical bud. Its potent properties also make it a unique experience that offers a pleasant, and intense high like no other.
Smoke on its own
Kief can be easily smoked on its own in a bowl, joint, or any of your smoking devices. It’s important to note that its powdery nature and texture mean that the kief can easily pass through the bowl when it is filled in a pipe.
What you can do to prevent this from happening, make sure you do not inhale too aggressively and be cautious as you do so or to put a light foundation of regular flower down before topping it off with your kief.
In a bowl/joint
A more commonly used method to consume kief is to make a concoction with your flower and kief. This is done much the same as you would smoke with a joint or bowl, except that you top it off with some kief to make it extra special. How you can achieve this is to grind up your herbs as normal, and mix the kief to the collection before you pack your joint or bowl.
You may have heard to sprinkle kief on top of your ground flower, but since it is a finer particle, it will burn much faster than the flower and cause an uneven burn. If you don’t want to mix kief with your flower, an alternative way is to lightly coat the outside of your joint with hash oil and coat it with the kief powder. This mimics the effects of moon rocks without having to make moon rocks yourself.
Although the potency of an average marijuana plant today is stronger than it ever has been, you can minimize your smoke consumption by adding kief to your flower. This can help achieve the same level of high without smoking more flowers since the overall concentration of cannabinoids is higher in the mixture. You’re inhaling more substances from the same hit, so why not?
If smoking isn’t your thing, you can also put kief into your hot drinks. Typically, kief is added to coffee and tea because the heat from these beverages helps with the decarboxylation process. This is important because it “activates” the unstable chemicals in the plant such as THC. Consuming it this way can offer a pleasant high and a nice accompaniment to your morning routine.
Most people are aware that you can make edibles from marijuana buds, but what’s less commonly known is that kief can also be a great substitute, or as an additive if you have some leftovers at the bottom of your grinder and you want to get rid of it.
For this method, you will need a cookie sheet (or any oven-safe container), a saucepan, a jar, some kief, and some butter.
As mentioned earlier, in order to activate the chemicals in the kief, you will need to decarboxylate it by heating it up with a cookie sheet in the oven at 150°C for seven minutes. This will ensure that most of the psychoactive ingredients from your kief have been converted from its inactive state and maximizes the potency.
Next, heat up 250g of the butter over medium heat in your saucepan until it is completely melted through and there are no more solids. Add your kief to the pan of butter and stir until it is completely dissolved in the butter and shut your stove off. While the butter is still liquid, pour it into your jar for storage and then let it cool. Congratulations! You now have kief butter.
Hash butter can replace regular butter in any traditional baking recipe, but be mindful of how much you add because it is made of kief. Depending on how much kief you decarboxylated, the concentrations may vary.
The best way to balance flavour and your cannabis is to use half of what the recipe calls for butter with your cannabis butter and half with just regular butter. If unsure, it’s always best to use less kief butter and add more for next time. Otherwise, what could happen is you may accidentally consume too much at once and have an unpleasant high.
For a more in-depth guide, check out our full tutorial here!
Another way you can utilize your kief is to make it into blocks of hash. The easiest way to make hash from your stash is with a kief press. Most of the time, these are found online through a variety of different retailers and can be expensive, depending on where you find them. The advantage of the press is that you will form nice, even pucks every time you use it. However, if you are strapped for cash, what you will need is a hair straightener, parchment paper, your kief, and possibly some oven mitts.
- To start off, you will need to cut your parchment paper so that it is a 10cm in length and width. Then fold it in half. Add some of the kief from your container to the middle of the fold and close all the openings so that you create a small pouch.
- Heat up the hair straightener on low heat for a couple of minutes, or until it is up to the desired temperature.
- Once the hair straightener is ready, place the pouch of kief in between the irons and press together for about 10 seconds. Be sure to squeeze together very tightly to ensure that you are applying even pressure and heat to the entire pouch (if you have your oven mitts, now’s the time to use them).
- Remove the parchment paper from the iron and the substance that appears on the edges of the parchment paper is no longer kief, but now your ready-to-smoke hash oil.
- Remove the expended kief and extract the oil to the desired storage container of your choice
Are Kief and Hash the Same Thing?
Kief is a substance collected from the buds of the marijuana plant and has a specific definition that reflects this origin. On the other hand, hash comes from kief but is a form that is achieved by pressing and heating the kief. Though in essence, they are the same, they are completely different products with differing qualities.
Because it’s pressed, hash is more concentrated in terms of potency and taste but offers a lighter, and cleaner smoke. Of the two, kief generally offers sweeter notes and less earthy tones.
Hash (aside from smoking it) contains the properties to make all sorts of extracts since it’s been processed. However, in terms of versatility, kief still reigns supreme since it is still in its natural state and allows for it to be consumed in many more ways.
Final Thoughts on Kief
As you can see, kief is a versatile substance that can be used in a variety of ways. While the most popular way is to simply smoke it on its own or include it in a bowl/joint, you can get pretty inventive with the ways in which you can apply it. With that being said, remember that it tends to be more potent than regular flower and that if you’re not careful, you could end up greening out if you become overzealous.
Start by including a little bit of kief into your smoking rituals and seeing how it feels before you bite off more than you can chew.