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What is Kief?

Education Posted Apr 10 2020

While many think of kief as that green powder that collects at the bottom of your grinder, not many know what kief actually is, or what it contains. Technically, kief is the term used to refer to the resinous glands produced on the cannabis plant that contain the lion's share of the plant's cannabinoids and terpenes.

Where Does Kief Come From?

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Kief is the round crystal formation on the tip of every resin gland, a single part of the larger trichome (the hair-like features on marijuana). The cannabis plant generates these hair-like protrusions as a defensive mechanism to ward off herbivores that might be looking for a midday snack. Due to the high THC and terpene content within these hairs, cannabis cultivators have genetically bred variations of the cannabis plant (strains) that produce large amounts of trichomes. As such, the amount of kief found on a marijuana plant is far greater than what was originally produced on the cannabis plant.

How to Separate Kief from Marijuana

Separating kief from marijuana is a simple and quick way to make your own cannabis concentrates. Along with hash, kief is a great way to get some high-THC concentrates without buying any expensive equipment or doing too much work.

One way to extract kief from your weed is as simple as using a grinder! Simply use a 3-chamber grinder (one with a seperate storage compartment for the kief) to grind your marijuana and after a few uses you will have a small supply of kief!

However, if you are looking to obtain a large quantity of kief, there are other options available to do so. One way to harvest your kief is known as the 'screen' method. This process involves the use of several fine mesh screens stretched tightly across a frame to sift your plant matter. Simply place your plant material on top of the screens and shake. Ensure that you have a catch below the screens so you do not lose any precious kief! When purchasing screens to sift for kief, we recommend screens with an LPI (lines per inch) of 100-250. You want the screen to be tight enough that it does not allow any excess plant matter through, but also loose enough that it allows the kief to sift through. 

What Do I Do With Kief?

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Now that you have harvested this THC and terpene rich powder, what do you do with it? Kief is a precious commodity that can enhance any flower or make other forms of concentrates. Here are a few of the available options for your kief:

1. Add Kief to Your Next Joint!

Kief can pack a punch with a relatively small amount, so a fingerful can enhance any joint to potent levels. If spliffs are more your jam, kief is a great topper to any tobacco-weed combo.

2. Use the Kief to Make Moonrocks

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Moonrocks are maniaccle little THC powerhouses that pack a huge punch. Moonrocks are made by spraying or dipping marijuana into hash oil and then rolling them in kief. You can easily make this powerful combination at home if you have: weed, hash oil and kief. First lightly heat your oil to a warm temperature (but not hot). Drizzle the oil onto your weed and then simply sprinkle a generous helping of kief onto the sticky buds.

3. Use Kief to Make Hash

Perhaps the most common and well know concentrate, hash is one of the oldest known forms of THC concentrates. The first step in the hash making process is the collection of kief, so once you have acquired a good amount of the green powder, you are ready to press it into hash. There are several different methods to make hash which you can learn more about here.

4. Use Kief to Make Rosin

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While rosin is traditionally made using flower, a higher quality rosin can be obtained by pressing kief. This method has been popularized because of its solventless technique and high THC content yields. Rosin is made by exerting extreme pressure on the plant material to squeeze the THC and other cannabinoids out of the marijuana.

5. Use Kief to Make a More Potent Cannabutter

The process of decarboxylating your marijuana and infusing it into butter to make 'cannabutter' is a necessary step in any edible making procedure. Cannabutter can be made to be extremely potent by combining a little kief with your marijuana during the decarboxylation process.

6. Sprinkle Your Kief on Your Bowl

Of course the simplest way to use kief is by sprinkling it onto any bowl. A dash or two onto your favorite strain will make any bowl into a potent, flavorful concoction.

What is your favorite way to use kief? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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