As well as being the way in which Rolling Stones member Keith Richards pronounces his first name, kief is a hidden treasure that relatively few marijuana consumers know about. There are some that believe kief is a separate entity to cannabis but, in reality, you already have kief in your hands when holding weed – you just don’t know it!
The next time you have some marijuana in your hands, perform a close examination of those tiny hairs that look like crystals. These trichomes are the biggest producers of cannabinoids, including the psychoactive-effect causing THC, and terpenes which are responsible for the scent and taste of your Mary Jane.
Marijuana plants contain trichomes as a means of keeping herbivorous predators away. If one of these animals has a nibble of the plant, it becomes disoriented as the psychoactive high kicks in. While they wander away to listen to greatest hits of The Doors, the cannabis plant stays safe. The extra strong odor of resin attracts pollinating insects, which could also force herbivores to steer clear.
In any case, when these trichomes are dried, they become a resin known as kief. The question you’re dying to hear the answer to is: “Is kief stronger than regular marijuana?” Keep reading to find out.
How Potent is Kief?
Put it this way; if you are primarily seeking a potent as hell high, you’ll wish the entire plant was kief! Known as the ‘original THC concentrate,’ kief is substantially stronger than regular weed. While the strongest strains on Earth may touch 30% THC, they are no match for turbocharged kief.
Typically, kief tests at a whopping 50% THC! However, it is possible to come across 80% THC kief. The most coveted form of this substance is known as 99% sift because it contains close to 99% pure trichome heads.
Why is it so strong? Remember, kief is made from the marijuana plant’s trichomes, which feature by far the highest concentration of cannabinoids. Once these trichomes are isolated, you’re naturally left with a stronger form of cannabis. Due to its massive potency, kief is becoming popular amongst those looking to be medicated quickly. If you have chronic pain and are in dire need of sleep, for example, a nice dose of kief could be just what you need.
How to Collect Kief
We’re pretty sure that as soon as we mentioned 50% THC, you sat there eagerly hoping we would show you how to collect it; and we certainly don’t like to disappoint our readers! Kief offers a similar potency to concentrates, and best of all, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to acquire it because kief is already in your possession if you have weed.
There are several ways to separate kief from cannabis, but a three-piece grinder chamber is arguably the best. All you have to do is slowly grind your herb and allow it to fall through a screen; it will be collected in a tiny compartment. You can use a two-chamber grinder, but some crystals will fall off and stick to the outside of the chamber.
If you’re hoping to collect a large amount of kief, invest in silk screening materials.Why not create your own sifter using layered screens? Please bear in mind that kief can be as small as 75 microns, which makes it tough to remove all of the resin from the herb. We recommend stacking up to four mesh screens on top of each other.
By the way, when purchasing screens, it is important to note that they are measured in Lines Per Inch (LPI). The more lines a screen has, the finer the grind. As a consequence, look for mesh screens with up to 270 LPI. When layering your screens, make sure your order them in a way that has the largest screen first, and the smallest screen (more LPI) last.
By the way, there are several shades of kief. The lighter the color, the purer (and more potent) the kief. For example, if you find dark green kief, it won’t be as strong as you hope because there is plenty of plant matter in it. Once you clean kief correctly, it has an off-white color. When it is extracted properly, the trichome crystals are professionally separated from the plant matter, which means only the purest and strongest parts of the herb remain.
6 Ways to Consume Kief
Once you have kief in your hand, it is up to you to decide how to consume it. However, we would like to offer six great ideas, ranging from the obvious to ‘WTF?’
1 – Create a ‘Twax’ joint
Add a little bit of kief to your ground weed and mix it. The additional trichomes stick to the leaves, making your joint stronger. You can also dampen the outside of the joint with wax and roll the top third in kief, otherwise known as a ‘twax’ joint.
2 – Add it to your bowl
The majority of marijuana users like to ‘crown’ their bowl with kief to boost the potency of their session. You can burn a quarter of the bowl at a time to benefit from several hits; a process known as ‘cornering your hits’.
3 – Create hash
Extracting kief is one of the first steps towards making hash. Remember, hash is nothing more than heated kief which is crushed into a soft, green ball. When you apply heat and pressure to kief, you rupture the resin glands and alter its composition. The taste, color, and effects also change. If you want darker hash, apply more pressure.
4 – Make moonrocks
You should check out our article on moonrocks to learn more about these nugs, which are coated in marijuana oil and rolled in kief. This is a cheaper way to get stoned than concentrate, and it isn’t hard to make moonrocks once you have the right materials. Heat your oil and coat the buds with it. Add kief over the buds while they are still warm. Wait until they harden, and sprinkle into a bowl or use your hands to break them up.
5 – Cannabutter
Kief is a great way to add a little extra ‘kick’ to your edibles. The same rules apply as when creating regular cannabutter; make sure you decarboxylate your kief in an oven to activate the THC. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the kief slowly and stir into the butter. It should take up to 15 minutes to fully dissolve the kief. Once you are finished, store the kief butter in an airtight freezer container for up to six months.
6 – Create your own ‘bulletproof’ coffee
There is a recipe for ‘bulletproof’ coffee doing the rounds on the internet. It involves coffee, Brain Octane Oil, and ghee or grass-fed butter. Proponents say it gives them the energy they need to get through the morning; opponents say it is nothing but a marketing gimmick and that the brew contains empty calories.
With kief, you can make another version of coffee that makes you feel invincible, and contains very few calories! Although you can decarb the kief first, if you add it to the coffee while it is still boiling hot, the heat is enough to activate the THC and other cannabinoids in the kief. As it works its way through the digestive tract, the effects of kief should last longer. In many ways, it is akin to eating an infused edible. For best effects, use just 1 mg of kief per six ounces of coffee.
Final Thoughts & The Best Strains for Kief
Kief is VERY potent and extracting it from your cannabis isn’t that difficult. Although you may have to invest a few dollars to get the right equipment, once you’ve experienced a proper kief high, you’ll realize that it was worth the extra money.
We would like to point out that kief burns very quickly when heated. 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. As 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!
Some marijuana strains are better than others for kief, we recommend trying Chemdawg, Hash Plant, and White Widow, as all three contains significant amounts of resin from which you can collect your kief.