The trichomes on a cannabis plant are loaded with THC, and the punch they pack depends on the plant strain. Grind up those trichomes, and you have a powder popularly called “kief.”
Those trichomes are rich bulbous glands on the surface of all parts of the cannabis plant. They often look like wispy white hairs. The resin they ooze if the cannabis’ motherlode. According to Merryjane.com, trichomes “deter hungry herbivores from devouring the plant. You see foraging animals don’t appreciate the disorienting high. At the same time, the odors emitted do attract pollinators to feed on the flowering plant.
When working with your own product, kief will rub off and stick to your hands. Every time you wash it away, you are flushing away the best of the psychoactive experience. But, here are five things you never knew about cannabis kief:
1. Where do you get it?
Kief is sort of a left over. It comes off on your hands while handling your own buds. You can shake or rub the plant leaves. If you are harvesting big time, you invest in processing machines that handle large numbers of leaves. But, if you are looking for a fresh and small supply, you use an herb grinder with a catcher in the bottom. Too many users throw the kief away as dust or debris even though it has mucho value.
2. How to smoke it?
Kief has the texture of pollen and can be rolled into a joint or smoked in a bowl or bong. Some smokers mix it with their marijuana, and others add it is rolled tobacco. According to Nanette Porter, “To avoid wasting product while you catch your breath between each draw, it is recommended that you space the kief out by lining just the outside of a bowl (as opposed to covering the entire top layer).” That’s because it burns so quickly and will stay lit until it burns itself out.
3. How to make hash?
Hash is a kief brick. Some use heat, some use cold, and others use dry ice - and the pressure to rupture the resin glands. You’ll find hundreds of recipes on the internet. But, you might start with storage containers that have screens at the bottom to catch the powder or a sieve with 65 to 125-micron holes to filter your “trash.” You can also use blenders, grinder drums, or hash bags. Just be sure the product is dry but not too dry.
4. Suppose you want coffee or tea?
Add a bit to your morning coffee, and the joe will jack you up. Or, put a pinch in your hot cup of tea. If you want to go bigger, it makes a great addition to cakes, cookies, and other bake goods. In fact, depending on your taste, you can sprinkle it in just about any recipe in your kitchen. However, you want to go light here with just a touch because you won’t feel it for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. What else can I do?
- You can experiment with kief. There’s butter, of course, that takes nothing more than adding real butter to a crockpot under medium heat. Add the kief with a stir every 15 minutes for as long as five hours. Remove the mixture to a bowl with a cover, and once it has cooled, refrigerate the end-product until it has firmed like butter.
- Moonrocks are a potent form of marijuana. With bud, kief, and has oil, you can prepare your own moonrocks. You simply use tweezers or chopsticks to turn over a nug in a thin layer of oil. You can pop it in your bowl once it has dried. Light it up, and enjoy the trip.
- A Time Bomb takes a rolled joint that you stand horizontally in your bowl. Once you pack it into place with kief, you have a potent trip waiting you towards the end of your usual smoke. One the light hits the kief, you up the ante on the typical hit.
- With a little more work, you can make your own vaping concentrate. You heat food grade vegetable glycerin and food grade propylene glycol along with your kief over a medium heat in a double boiler. Regulate the heat to a gentle simmer while stirring with a rubber spatula. Cover for 20 minutes at a time stirring occasionally for a few hours until the kief has infused the liquids. Once you squeeze the mixture through cheesecloth, you have your vaping juice.
- Al Olson, writing for Fresh Toast, suggests putting a small coin in grinder when preparing your kief. The coin will keep the powder broken up.
Kief is certainly as valuable at the plant from which you gathered it. So, it deserves care and storage. You can leave it sit at the bottom of your grinder, you can convert it to butter or concentrate, but your best option is to store it in tightly-sealed dark glass containers in a cook dark place. Or, you can invest in very reasonably priced storage containers readily available online.
Kief may be a “left over,” but it is one worth saving and using at your convenience for an added punch to your hit or notching up your intake.