If you’ve ever seen a cannabis plant up close, one thing that is sure to catch your attention is the tiny, sticky crystals. These crystal-like formations are mostly concentrated on the flowers, but you can also see them on the leaves and the stalks. These are called trichomes. And once you break the trichomes off, you get the kief.
So, What are Kiefs and How to Make Kiefs?
Kiefs are composed of unpressed resin glands that contain cannabinoids that make cannabis plants unique. The most common cannabinoids include THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol), and CBN (Cannabinol). This makes kief twice as potent as the mature plant material it comes from. Many cannabis lovers prefer to collect their kief and separate them from the herb in order to enjoy pure concentrate and reduce the amount of charred material taken by the body when consuming cannabis.
So, How do you Separate and take Advantage of the Full Benefits that Kiefs have to Offer?
The easiest way is to use a three or four-chamber herb grinder with varying mesh proportions. While a two-chamber grinder can also do the job, a lot of the fluffy, light crystals can go to waste since they will simply stick to the inside of the grinder.
On the other hand, the three to four-chamber contraption will make sifting and collecting kiefs, that are measured anywhere between 75 and 125 microns, more effective, easier, and, at the same time, less expensive. Gently rub the plant material over the fine mesh screens to remove the trichome glands from the organic plant matter, let the powdered crystals fall through the screen, and collect into the bottom compartment of the grinder. The grainy and soft substance that you’ll find will be made up of pure cannabinoids and can pack quite a punch in terms of potency.
The size of the gaps between the screen will determine how much residual plant matter will make it through with your kiefs. When buying your screens, always look at the LPI (lines per inch) number, which determines the number of wires per inch. When it comes to sifting kiefs, a screen between 80 to 270 LPI will produce the best results as this is enough for the trichome heads to get through. Make sure to stack your screens in consecutive sizes – from largest to smallest – before extracting your kiefs. Additionally, the vigor and pressure used while rubbing over the screen will also affect the quality of the final product. Some skilled sifters also prefer to perform the entire sieving process in colder temperatures as they believe it facilitates the trichome separation. The entire process is quite labor-intensive, but you will be assured of a high-quality concentrate at the end of the day.
Alternatively, you can always skip the entire grinding process and choose to buy a piece of extraction equipment. These, however, might cost a fortune. Lastly, if you want to avoid the effort to know how to make kiefs manually, you can purchase extracted kief from your local cannabis dispensary. Just keep in mind that the lighter the color, the purer the kief and the lesser the plant material will be.
So, How Do We Used the Kiefs after Extraction?
Kiefs are very versatile, and you can use them in just about any way you would with dried cannabis buds.
The simplest way to make good use of them is to smoke them in a joint. Unlike smoking your buds, this might easily become messy because of the powdery state of kiefs. Many experienced users mix their kiefs with buds or sandwich the kiefs between buds to keep the powder snug and secured inside.
Make homemade Kief Edibles
You can also introduce kief into oils and butter to make your own homemade edibles. In order to prep kief for cooking, it needs to go through decarboxylation, which means applying heat to the substance for at least ten minutes to activate their psychoactive compounds and produce that feeling commonly described as being “high.” Chocolate kief cookies are a great and easy way to use your kiefs, but remember that orally ingesting these substances will produce much stronger and long-lasting effects as compared to smoking them. You can take any recipe that uses cannabis buds and replace them with your decarboxylated kiefs, and you are good to go. The amount of kief you add to your cookies will obviously determine the strength of your cookies, so always opt for an amount that is within your tolerance level. Always start low if it is your first time.
Another popular kief edible is the cannabutter – that is, cannabis and butter. All you need is a pound of unsalted butter and your decarboxylated kief, measured to the right dosage. Melt your butter, add the kief, stir until dissolved, pour the mixture into a silicone liner, and freeze them for fresh storage. The butter will stay fresh for up to six months in the freezer. This is perhaps one of the easiest and best ways to enjoy the benefits of kief.
Sprinkle them onto your Packed Bowl
Another popular way to use kief is known as “crowning a bowl.” This basically means to sprinkle a pinch of fresh kief over a packed bowl, like a bong, pipe, or other smoking devices. This is a great way to increase the potency of your bowl without going overboard. Similarly, you can do the same with your joints. Enhance your joint’s potency a little by rolling your finished joint in some weed oil or wax and then sprinkling some kief into it. This is commonly known as a twax joint. Just like cooking with kief, always start less, especially if it is your first time adding kief to your joint.
Knowing how to make kief is a great way to explore and enjoy concentrates without having to break the bank for fancy equipment. Dry-sifting kief is an ancient process that is still being used today by many cannabis lovers. All you need are a series of progressively fine mesh screens and patience, and you’ll be able to enjoy the goodness of these little gifts from nature.