Top 5 Things to Do With Kief
Published on 6/28/21
One of the great joys of grinding a big nugget of cannabis is knowing that there's a treat waiting at the bottom of our grinders, a fine powder called kief. What is kief? Simply put, it's part of the trichomes that form on cannabis that provide much of the THC that we enjoy when smoking a joint. These trichomes are part of the resin glands on the plant itself and will accumulate in the bottom of a grinder (called the kief screen or kief catcher) as they are shaken off of a bud. Interestingly, kief may be an evolutionary defense by cannabis plants to prevent predators from eating them: although we humans find their substance quite fun, it can be overwhelming for a smaller plant-eater. That's because kief has a much higher concentration of THC than a typical nugget of cannabis: kief can reach up to 70% THC, making it several times stronger than cannabis alone.
Some cannabis enthusiasts have a kief grinder that specifically removes this powder from their buds, but most regular grinders have a kief catcher at the bottom that collecting kief. Most grinders also have a small metal or plastic scoop to help collect and distribute kief, but good luck finding it when you lose it. If you are wondering how to store kief, keeping it in the trap until you want to use it is usually best since it's very easy for it to spill. A mason jar may help if you want your kief separate from your bud or build up too much for the grinder. You may also be able to buy it directly from a dispensary - no bud required.
Specific strains of cannabis have higher ratios of trichomes, and thus kief, than others. Kush in particular is famous for its potent trichomes. Other high-kief strains include Sour Maui and Cookie Monster.
Once you've collected it, the question now is what to do with kief. The strength of this little bit of powder means that it is a great way to accentuate your typical marijuana routine. Whether you want to get just a little more stoned on a single toke or whether you want to go all the way to Mars, kief will spruce up an ordinary bit of bud. It's safe to use in every way that you would for typical cannabis and there's a lot of different ways to enjoy kief. What is the best way to use kief?
Top 5 Ways to Use Kief
Sprinkle Sprinkle Little Bud
By far the most common method of using kief is to sprinkle some on top of a fully-packed bowl of weed. Called "crowning", this requires nothing more than a scoop or a tap of the grinder to top a bowl of cannabis. Since this substance is quite strong, moderate how much kief to use your first time around, since you may be surprised how hard it kicks. You also don't want to waste it on the burning process itself: we recommend crowning the outside rim of the bowl instead of the middle, reducing the amount lost to a burn.
Like so many other aspects of cannabis life, it's always fun to bake treats that get you baked in turn. Kief is a perfect ingredient for cannabutter, and in turn for kief cookies or kief brownies, or other edibles. Due to its potency, you don't need nearly as much kief for cannabutter as you do cannabis bud; only about a third the ratio will do just fine.
Oh The Irony
At the apex of stoner engineering is homemade wax, a substance that will get you far higher than any bud possibly could. If you know how to press kief using parchment paper and a hot iron, you too can create your own kief wax. If you've never done it before, be careful and be patient: put the kief within the parchment paper, fold over, and apply the hot iron with heavy pressure, but only for a short period of time. You should be able to open the paper and see a brown goo; put this in a bowl or a bong and leave all your senses at the door. Similarly, you can make your own hash using kief.
To the Moon
No cannabis experience can compare with smoking moon rocks, nuggets of cannabis that are covered in hash oil and rolled in kief. If this sounds like an overkill, well, you're not wrong. But just like ice cream covered in chocolate sauce and cookie crumbs is great for a special treat, moon rocks are a treat for when you want to find out just what happens when your body absorbs enough THC to get an entire neighborhood block stoned. Be careful inserting the nuggets into a bowl once you are through: the oil and kief can easily be wiped off. Don't use a grinder, or you'll likely lose both oil and kief to the process.
If you have enough kief, a full kief joint is an experience unlike any other in the cannabis world. Be very careful about rolling a joint because any kief you spill on the floor can't be recovered. You won't need anything like a full-length joint to enjoy the kief since a puff or two might deliver more THC than an entire bowl or bong hit. Of course this isn't an economical means of how to use kief, so we recommend sharing a kief joint with friends. Not only do you want to have a great time with your people when you get as high as a kite, but a joint of pure kief is enough for several people, so it's worth it to share the wealth.
What is your favorite way to enjoy kief? Do you have any particular rituals about using or saving that delightful gift at the bottom of a grinder? Let us know in the comments below how you enjoy kief!