You have probably heard the term “kief” before, but maybe when you heard it you wondered, “what is kief?” If you have ever used a marijuana grinder to grind down marijuana before, you have probably seen the powder that sits at the bottom of the weed grinder. That, my friend, is kief.
The word “kief” (sometimes spelled keef) is connected to the Arabic word kayf, which fittingly refers to pleasure or well-being. Given its higher THC content, this makes perfect sense.
Weed kief and its uses
This powder is actually made up of tiny crystals that form the exterior of marijuana buds. It is surprisingly potent, and is therefore often used as a top sprinkling of sorts, dusted onto marijuana in bongs, blunts, joints, and bowls to amp up the THC content. You might be wondering why people don’t always use kief then. The fact is, kief can only be collected when you are using a grinder. So, if you never use a grinder, then you’ll never get kief.
How to collect kief
Because some grinders have a bottom section where the kief is able to build up over time, it will collect nicely and come out more easily when you are ready to collect the kief. Often this part of the grinder (given the fact that it is a marijuana grinder and is therefore built specifically to collect kief as part of its essential functions) is removable. In fact, there are two storage sections of the grinder: the first one that collects the ground marijuana, and the second one that collects the resulting kief.
When you break up marijuana into little pieces just by using your hands, you won’t end up with this valuable kief. Any possible kief will be stuck to your finger and will be useless. The grinder allows for this kief to be collected and stored, and removed when you want it.
Kief also can be acquired from the marijuana plant itself. If you simply take the leaves and buds and rub them over a mesh screen of some sort, the kief will come right off, and you can use it. However, collecting kief from the bottom of a grinder is far easier than using a mesh screen every time you want some more.
How to use kief
Now that you know what kief is and how to collect it, what should you do with it? There are many ways to make good use of your stockpile of unrefined cannabis concentrate from smoking kief to making hash. Here are a few suggestions that can amplify potency and refine consistency.
Sprinkle it onto your packed bowl of cannabis
Also known as “crowning a bowl,” this is the first and most obvious use for kief. Overall potency can increase dramatically with a generous dusting of kief on top of your bowl. Corner your hits to get the most out of a kief-crowned bowl, corner your hits, which entails burning a quadrant of the bowl at a time so that you can enjoy multiple hits.
Sprinkle kief into a joint or roll a twax koint
Freshly ground cannabis is just sticky enough to make rolling a joint fairly easy. Pepper your ground cannabis with a healthy pinch of kief and mix well. The extra trichomes should more or less stick to the ground leaves, adding potency to the interior of your joint.
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 1/3 of the joint in kief. This kief-coated joint is often call a “twaxed” joint.
Make hash from kief
Hash is one of the oldest forms of refined cannabis. One of the first steps of making hash is extracting kief, as hash is basically just kief that has been heated and pressurized to form a soft, green ball. Applying heat and pressure to kief changes its composition by rupturing the resin glands. Once the kief ruptured, the overall taste and effects of the product are slightly different. Pressurizing kief also darkens its color; the more pressure you apply, the darker the hash becomes.
Moonrocks are top-quality nugs covered in oil and rolled in kief. These glorious glitter cannabis specimens are very high potency and can be considered a quick DIY concentrate. Moonrocks are relatively easy to make if you have the materials. Gently heat your oil of choice and liberally coat your buds. Sprinkle kief over still-warm buds, or dredge buds in a kief bath using tongs. Let harden, then enjoy them by breaking them up by hand and sprinkling them into your bowl (avoid using a grinder if possible, as a grinder will break them up too finely and defeat the purpose of creating your lovely moonrock).
Some people, especially those who are concerned about the health effects of smoking, and therefore would like to minimize how much smoking they actually do, prefer to smoke kief instead of the “normal” marijuana product. This is because kief is essentially a concentrated marijuana product (at least in terms of THC), and therefore will go a long way compared to regular marijuana.
So, if you prefer to smoke your kief, you can smoke it in a joint mixed with buds (to make the consistency more smokable and less powdery). You can also smoke it in a pipe. The most important thing to remember here is how potent the kief is — don’t overdo it simply because you put way too much kief in it. Put way less kief in the bowl than you normally would with regular marijuana.
You can also make hash from kief. This is done through a pressing process. Although kief will get the job done in making hash bricks, it won’t be the highest quality hash you’ll ever see. To make it, simply fold a piece of parchment paper, put the kief inside, and use a hair straightener to squish both sides of the paper with the hot metal parts. Otherwise use an iron to press down on one side. Don’t let the paper burn, but allow the kief to heat up a decent amount. The resulting hash has been decarboxylated and therefore can work well for weed tea, seasoning for pizza, or a variety of other edibles. Many people prefer to add it to their morning coffee (the heat of the coffee activates the THC in the kief), and you will be buzzed for a long time afterward.
Using your kief for cooking a more in-depth way is also an excellent use for it. Take any recipe for marijuana edibles (whether it uses marijuana butter or oil) and reduce the quantity of kief in half or a third to substitute for regular marijuana.
If you have an e-cigarette or are interested in getting one, you can turn your kief into vape juice. You will just need to get vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol (at a 1:1 ratio, easy to find online). Put the vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol into a double boiler and then put in the kief until it is melted and consistent in texture. You can add some flavor and continue heating for a bit longer. Then pour the liquid through a coffee filter and into a cup or bowl in order to get any of the plant matter out. Now you have made yourself some vape juice!