What Is Kief? | Marijuana

What Is Kief?


Kief is the gold at the end of a rainbow, the proverbial icing on the cake. Though it’s usually thought of as a byproduct of your weed, it’s actually the strongest part of the plant in terms of cannabinoids. The little bubbly crystals you see sprinkled all over your buds, along with the longer hairs, are called trichomes. These trichomes contain a very high concentration of THC and fall off the bud when it’s ground up or shaken. Because of its microscopic size, kief is usually collected using a sieve or screen to separate the trichomes from the rest of the less concentrated plant matter. You will typically see it accumulate at the bottom of your stash jar, in the kief collector section of your grinder or, hopefully, both.

Smoking Kief

Kief is extremely versatile and can be utilized in a variety of ways. Depending on how much you have collected, kief can be smoked, made into hash or wax or even used for cooking. Because of its raw strength, Kief more efficient than using traditional flower, meaning you can use less of it to reach your desired destination.

The most common use for kief is smoking, and you can do so in whatever manner you usually toke up. Kief can be sprinkled on top of a bowl or bong as a topper or rolled in with your joint or blunt for an extra punch. Whether you’re hitting it out of glass or rolled up, remember that it burns a little differently than traditional flower. You’ll notice it burns a little bit slower and all the way through because of its powdery consistency. In a bowl, you’ll be able to light it once and slow rip until it’s kicked. If you’re rolling it up, be careful to spread it around evenly since it burns at a different speed and can cause a little canoe action if you’re not careful.

Kief Hash

If you want to get a tad bit more crafty with your kief, you can transform it into hash oil or wax fairly easily. To extract the potent oil from your kief, you can put your powder in between some folded parchment paper and heat from both sides with a hair straightener. I know this sounds a little crazy, but it’s actually quite effective. The heat and pressure squeeze the oil extract from the powder, leaving you with a robust rosin that can be dabbed or infused into food or beverages. Fair warning, there’s a zero percent chance your girlfriend doesn’t get mad at you using her hair tools for weed purposes. Let’s face it, you’re going to be very baked and forget to clean the straightening iron, and she’s going to get wax in her hair. Keeping a positive outlook, at least you’ll be really baked for your evening banishment to the couch.

Cooking with Kief

In the event you’re simultaneously hungry and trying to get high, using your kief to cook with can be a delicious solution. Because you’ll need far less kief than the traditional flower for the same desired effect, you’ll also maintain much of the food’s natural flavor rather than it being overpowered by the weed. First, you’ll want to make your kief-infused butter, simmering the powder into your unsalted butter of choice on low heat and occasionally stirring. Kerrygold grass fed butter works great because the healthy fats absorb the cannabinoids really well, and there’s less water in high-end butter so you’ll have a larger yield after the simmering process. Once you start seeing small pockets of air bubbles rising to the top, your kief is decarboxylated (the THC has been heated and activated) and ready to be used right away or cooled and stored for next time. You can use your cannabutter in the same way you’d use your butter normally when cooking, whether in your pasta, on toast, or to bake cookies and brownies.

Now that you’re the resident Chief Kief among your group (bang bang) make sure to spread the wealth of information. It’s irresponsible to let your friends waste their kief, so go forth and show them the light. If you have a go-to method for using your kief I may have missed, leave it in the comments and put yerboi on.


Cover photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

About Author

Used to write about music for XXL, Elevator, Complex, Genius, and a few other outlets. Follow @LongLiveTheDuke on Twitter if you'd like to read way fewer words by me.

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