Where can I find kief?
Guess what? Kief’s a product collected from cannabis flowers and leaves… so if you’ve got weed, you’ve got kief. Instead of smoking the whole flower, the tiny trichomes covering the plant’s surface are broken away and separated out, leaving behind what looks like a beige powdery substance — and there’s your kief!
OK, so how do I collect it?
Separating kief is easy. You can purchase a standard grinder with a filtration screen built-in, which allows you to collect the kief in the grinder’s lower chamber and then sprinkle it onto pipes or joints at your leisure.
Another more professional method of refining kief is a series of microscreens, often built into wooden boxes (normally called “kief boxes”). These allow you to filter out various grades of product and get to the goal, which is a pure kief made up of nothing but tiny trichome heads rather than the original mix of trichome heads, plant matter, trichome stalks, and various particulate. This super-pure kief is highly-regarded in the cannabis community and is often referred to as “99% sift,” indicating that it is close to 99% pure trichome heads. You won’t get there your first time, but a determined kief-sifter will tend to make a better product with each batch.
HOW TO MAKE AND USE KIEF
Kief extraction is one of the most low-tech, organic ways to capture the strongest parts of a cannabis plant. The most important thing is to start with high-quality flower. To extract kief at home, you can use one of two tools:
- A “kief box,” which filters out various grades of flower to get to the pure stuff (known as dry sift)
- A three-chamber grinder and built-in filtration screen (You might find you’ve already collected kief inadvertently, of course. Over time, as you handle your flower, it’ll break off and collect at the bottom of your container.)
Alternatively, you can simply buy premium kief ready-made from Sira Naturals dispensary.
When it comes to consumption, you have several options:
- Smoke it on its own: There’s nothing wrong with packing a bowl or rolling a joint of kief alone, but keep in mind that this so-called “hashish” is significantly more potent than flower. Remember to start small. The best way to release kief’s goodness without burning or inhaling particles is by heating gently with an indirect flame (held an inch or two above) and smoking through a titanium or stainless-steel pipe screen.
- Sprinkle it onto flower: Known as “crowning a bowl,” this is the most common (and to our patients, recommended) method. Sprinkling kief on top of your bowl adds a little kick to the potency or flavor of your flower and stretches its effects a little further. If you prefer joints, mix well and roll as normal.
- Bake it into edibles: Due to its potency, you’ll only need about half or a third of the flower you would normally use to make cannabutter.
Note that homemade kief generally isn’t dabble- or vape-worthy. Since it melts only partially, it leaves behind residue that will clog up a vaporizer and leave an unpleasant taste on the nail of a dab rig.
There are many more creative ways to consume kief – in twax joints or moon rocks, for example – but the above methods should get you started. For more ideas, chat with your dispensary’s staff.
One last but important note: While kief packs a notable punch, its potency may be unnecessarily high for some medical patients. Some conditions benefit more from lower doses (or microdoses) of cannabis. If you’re unsure what’s best for you, again, talk to a Patient Advocate at one of our dispensaries.
What’s the best way to consume kief?
As previously stated, most people just end up sprinkling a little bit (or a lot) of kief on top of the weed in their pipes or joints; though this is a great method that adds a punch of potency and/or flavor to normal flowers, it doesn’t allow you to experience the kief on its own. Our recommended method for smoking kief is to use a screen on top of a glass pipe. You can purchase durable specialty titanium screens for smoking hash at well-stocked head shops, but you can even use a standard stainless steel pipe screen with no issues.
Gently heating the kief using indirect flame (held an inch or two above the kief) is the best way to release the essential oils and prevent burning it — good kief will begin to bubble and melt like you see with high-grade water hash, leaving behind very little residue and giving a full-flavored hit. On the flip side, poorly refined kief can taste harsh and woody due to the presence of remnant plant matter, so if you care about flavor, it’s important to try and get your kief as clean as possible before smoking. If you have access to any kind of microscope, look for flecks of green and trichome stalks in your kief — this will indicate that your kief isn’t totally pure and may need more refining.
How strong is it?
Simply put, smoking kief gives a much stronger effect than regular cannabis flowers. Rather than sitting somewhere between 12% and 25% THC, kief (depending on purity) can be up to 70% THC — this means that you get a much stronger effect from less material smoked. Kief also tends to be strong since it’s usually made from a wide range of different strains over time, giving you a varied mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in the mix. Many veteran smokers report kief giving them a strong, almost narcotic effect that’s perfect for bedtime.
Final Thoughts & the Best Strains for Kief
Kief is potent, and as you can see, extracting it from cannabis isn’t all that difficult. You may have to invest a few dollars to get the right equipment, but once you’ve experienced a proper kief high, you’ll realize that it was worth the extra money.
One last thing we want to point out is that kief burns very quickly. As a result, we recommend spacing it over the outer lining of your bowl to ensure it burns longer between hits. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting it, which would be a terrible shame.
Also, since kief is so potent, a little is enough to do an awful lot. It is more than double – often triple or even quadruple – the strength of flower, so use sparingly!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that some marijuana strains are better than others for producing kief. We recommend trying Chemdawg, Hash Plant, and White Widow. All three contain significant amounts of resin, which will result in loads of kief if you’re patient and have the right equipment to collect it properly.