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.
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How to Collect Your Kief
Now that you know how powerful kief can be, it’s time to start putting it to good use. If you want to get the most our of your kief you need to learn how to properly collect it.
After you’ve been grinding weed for a while, you’ll notice that kief will start to appear in your grinder. If you just have a regular grinder you could be missing out on harvesting a lot of kief.
The classic three-chamber grinder is the preferred way to harvest kief, and using it is very easy. All you have to do is grind your buds like usual, and the kief will fall to the bottom. After a while you’ll collect a considerable amount of kief.
There’s also something else simple you can do to maximize the amount of kief you can get. All you’ll need to utilize it are a coin, access to a fridge, and a little bit of time.
First, you need to empty out the kief that’s there. Find a coin that can fit easily inside of the middle chamber and move around. Something as small as a dime or as big as a silver dollar can work depending on the size of your grinder.
After you’ve done that it’s time to reassemble your grinder and put it in the fridge. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to let a lot of moisture in, but you do want it to be nice and cold.
Once you’ve placed it in the fridge wait 20 or so minutes. You want to give everything enough time to chill evenly. One you feel like everything is nice and cold, you can take it out.
The cold temperatures will have greatly reduced the stickiness of the kief, and the coin will help easily dislodge what’s in there. Now all you have to do is shake it up and let the kief come free. When you empty the chamber you should see a considerable amount of kief ready for you.
What to Do With Kief
Now that you have some kief to experiment with, let’s start to have some fun with it. There are many answers to the question what to do with kief, and the right one depends on your style.
Are you more of a smoker, or do you like to vape? Would you rather eat an edible than load up anything to smoke? We have answers that can fit every cannabis consumption style!
1. Top off bowls and joints
This may seem obvious, but after you learn the sheer amount of things you can do with kief you may feel like sprinkling it on top of a bowl or joint is wasting it. There’s nothing wrong with the classics, and the simplest way to use kief is to utilize it is to just add it to what you’re already smoking.
If you haven’t been collecting kief, you’ve already probably had some kief gently sprinkled in what you already smoke. Using it on top of ground bud lets you utilize THC, and also gives the kief something to grip onto.
This method lets you use a little bit of kief, and doesn’t necessarily have to pack a big punch. If you just want a little kick, just sprinkle a bit on top of your bowl or joint buds and you’ll be set.
If you want to get really fancy, make a layer of pure kief in the middle of your bowl or towards the end of your joint. Once you hit that layer you’ll have a little treat!
This way is simple and effective and can be done pretty fast. If you want a no fuss answer to the question of what to do with kief, this is it.
2. Press Your Own Hash
If you’ve ever wanted a simple way to make hash, all you need is kief and a few things you probably already have around your house. This is a popular way to make hash because it can be done relatively quickly if you have kief on hand.
Nothing can beat brewed hash oil, but this method will still give you enough usable hash. To utilize this method all you need is kief, parchment paper, and a hair straightener or an iron.
Simply fold your parchment paper and put the kief inside. When you’re ready, use your straightener or your iron. Don’t use it for so long that it burns the paper, only long enough to let the kief heat a little and compress.
After that, you should have a little hash brick you can use. If you’d like you can smoke it like usual, but if you want to do something different you could always cook with the hash.
3. Use a Pollen Presser For Easy Storage
You don’t know what to do with kief now, but you still want to have kief for later. You could always put it in its own little container, but there are tools you can use to make storage more efficient.
A pollen presser container is two small metal containers that screw on both sides and are designed to create a lot of pressure. If you use one you’ll be able to pack your kief into tight round disks that you can easily store.
You can use this method on a small amount of kief or several grams of it. This is ideal for people that accumulate kief fast and a simple way to store it and keep it fresh.
4. Vaporize it
Do you have a vaporizer you use for flowers? Have you been looking for a vaporizer and want to find different ways to use it? If you want to know what to do with kief, simply put some in a vape.
It’s important to remember that kief is much more powerful than regular buds, so you may want to use just a small amount. Pack it how you would any other vaporizer, then just sit back, relax, and enjoy your harvested kief!
5. Have a Powerful Morning Drink
Do you not know what to do with kief, but love coffee? If you have some kief you want to use and want to have an especially good morning, you can use your kief to spice up your favorite beverage.
This will only work on hot beverages, so don’t waste good kief in a cold brew or iced coffee. The heat will help activate the highly concentrated cannabinoids and can start working in as little as 15 or 30 minutes.
Think of it as a simple way to eat to edibles, but not as strong as your average brownie or cake. This is a simple way to figure out what to do with your kief, and it’s a great way to share with friends for a special cup of coffee.
6. Make E-Cig Juice
Want to know what to do with kief and also need a way to spice up your e-cig? If you like to vaporize there’s a way you can make kief infused juice you can fill empty cartridges with. This method is simple, and all you need to use it are a few supplies.
First off you’ll need propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. You should be able to find this easily on Amazon or a different online retailer. A double-boiler and a few syringes are also needed, and if you’d like you can even add something for flavor.
Add your glycerin and glycol (a 1:1 to ratio is usually best) to the double boiler, then add your kief. Let it cook until the kief melts away and your liquid is at an even consistency. If you want to add flavoring, put it in the mixture once it evens out and let it cook for a few more seconds.
Now that it’s ready you’ll want to pour the mixture into a coffee filter over a mug or pot so you can sift out any remaining plant material. Once it cools you’ll have kief infused vape juice!
7. Make Edibles
If you love to cook, the answer to the question of what to do with kief is to add it to your favorite recipes. Kief will have more of a subtle flavor than buds, and you may find that you prefer to cook with it.
Edibles have become a popular way to consume marijuana. And almost every recipe you’d use with buds you can use with kief.
The easiest way to use kief is to make cannabutter, then use the cannabutter whenever you’d us regular butter. You could have simple cannabutter and toast, or you could add it to pasta.
Your Favorite Way to Use Kief
You should know what to do with kief after reading this post. We mentioned a lot here, but we haven’t mentioned everything you can do with kief.
Did we miss your favorite way to use kief? Tell us about it in the comments! If you have any questions about kief or our products, contact us so we can start a conversation.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.
The 5 Best Methods for Collecting Kief
Saturday August 24, 2019
H ere at PotGuide, we recently covered some of the ways to put your kief collection to good use, and we figured that it might be a good time to go over some of the ways to collect that kief in the first place. In general, there are three ways of collecting kief without the use of solvents: shake it off, freeze it off, or force through a screen to be caught in some form of reservoir. The best collection methods combine these methods to capture as many trichomes as possible. Take a look below to learn more and start collecting that precious kief!
The standard and by far most popular method of collecting kief is to use a four-piece grinder. The distinction from a two- or three-piece grinder is that it will have a “kief catcher,” a chamber in the bottom beneath a fine screen to catch the kief that falls off of your buds when shredded.
Want to upgrade your herb grinder? Check out PotGuide’s list of the 9 Best Weed Grinders on the Market.
A quality grinder need not be expensive, budtenders and head shop workers will usually have a good tip on which work best.
Many utilize the “coin trick” to get better efficiency out of their grinders’ kief catchers. Putting a coin in the middle chamber helps to knock trichomes off of the flower as well as push them through the screen to the collection chamber below. It’s important to wash the coin well before putting it in with your flower to avoid contaminants and ridge-less coins tend to work best (better surface contact).
Small pollen boxes, can be slightly time consuming for getting large yields, but are easy and tidy for small personal batches. Simply put some buds in the top and shake. The biggest benefit of pollen boxes are that they keep everything nicely contained, so you don’t have to worry about a gust of wind or clumsy roommate coming by and scattering your work to the wind. However for larger yields, you’ll want to scale up.
Silk screens can help you collect a pretty decent amount of kief in a short amount of time. To do so, you’ll need to take a trip to your local art store to grab a silk screen, the very same you might buy to DIY a few band t-shirts. For this method, a basin or clean surface is set to catch the kief underneath (a pane of glass or mirror works well) and then ground or shredded cannabis plant material is gently run over the screen to separate out the kief.
This method is ideal for medium-sized batches of plant matter. One downside to using silk screens is that they can tear easily from stems. It’s best to be gentle and work slowly, picking out any jagged pieces that might tear. Metal screens are available in this size as well, but can be harder to come by.
The oldest kief method is to create a drum with a silk screen. The screen is stretched over the whole drum basin (often just a plastic bucket), and then covered with a selection of bud or trimmings. Next, a tarp is secured over the top with a rubber band or tight rope, locking the plant material in between the tarp and the silk screen. This is then beaten with sticks and the kief falls through the silk screen. With the right micron-gage silk (the unit of measurement for small particles), one could easily make a traditional Moroccan kief drum at home. This is an ideal setup for larger amounts of plant matter, but also easy to scale in size.
For the ultimate kief collection method, we start introducing a little science. THC is not water soluble, meaning it won’t dissolve in water, and colder trichomes become more brittle and fall off with greater ease. This means that any method of freezing won’t disturb the THC, while making the kief easier to agitate and collect. Dry ice alone, or (or even your trusty freezer) can be used to cool the buds to a point where the kief can be shaken off in a jar or container. Freezing prior to using the coin and grinder trick will also improve yields.
However, submerging the plant in an ice bath with get the most out of it, one just needs to be able to collect the kief back out. To do so, hash producers use a dry ice bath and what’s known as a “bubble bag,” a type of sieve sleeve (say that five times fast) traditionally used for making bubble hash. Plant matter is put in the middle of the bag then stirred in the ice bath forcing the bud against the screen. The resulting kief is collected underneath the screen.
This is essentially the freezing method with a screen and collector attached to it and is ideal for collecting some of the highest quality kief, as the process can be repeated with finer and finer screens bags to get only the head of the trichome (ensuring the least possible amount of plant matter). It works well for large batches, a it’s possible to get quality hash out of things like trim and clippings this way as well.
Naturally, a large factor in how much kief accumulates is the quality of the cannabis plant to begin with. Buds with heavy trichome coverage will yield more kief and produce a higher quality smoke.
Ask your budtender to help select well-sugared strains in order to maximize yield. Also, wearing gloves, or using an object to manipulate the plant matter is ideal to minimize oil residue from your hands (which will also make the kief clump up). Happy kief collecting!
Do you have any experience collecting kief? Let us know some of your favorite methods in the comments below!
Matt Mongelia holds an MFA in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked in the cannabis industry in various roles for 4 years, from dispensaries, production and retail to events, content and marketing. He is a writer for the comic Dark Beach, and has previously covered music and cultural content for SOL REPUBLIC.In general, there are three ways of collecting kief without the use of solvents: shake it off, freeze it off, or force through a screen to be caught in some form of reservoir. Take a look below to learn more and start collecting that precious kief! ]]>