What Is Kief And How Can You Use It?

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The concentrated residue from cannabis, kief is the highly sought after and potent byproduct of broken down marijuana buds and plant matter. Using multiple methods of extraction from dry ice, varying screens, and filters, or simply the kief catcher on your grinder, the end result is the finely ground and extremely potent material that can be used in a plethora of ways.

Below we’ll talk about how you can extract kief from your cannabis buds and plant materials, as well as how you can make use of the kief once you have collected it.

What Is Kief?

A somewhat “concentrated” version of ground-up weed, kief is the byproduct of broken down buds and their loose trichomes becoming dislodged and collected at the bottom of your grinder. As you may be aware, the trichomes on cannabis are the hair-like spikes that contain the psychoactive properties that are associated with weed.

Marijuana Joint with Wax, Oil, and Kief

Containing cannabinoid such as THC and CBD, the trichomes also contain the terpenes which result in the flavor and smells associated with different strains of cannabis. Evolved to ward off predators, trichomes have obviously become the most desirable aspect of the plant for cannabis users.

While trichomes will be most heavily concentrated on the buds and sugar leaves, they can be extracted from nearly the entire cannabis plant. This will give you the opportunity to harvest THC from the less desirable parts of the plant, ensuring that nothing goes to waste after your hard work of growing and harvesting your plants.

How Do You Extract Kief From Your Cannabis?

There are a number of different methods to extract kief from your cannabis, which will mostly depend on which parts of the plant you are attempting to remove the trichomes. You will have the most success attempting to harvest kief from your buds, which obviously contain the highest density of trichomes on the cannabis plant.

Below are a few of the most popular methods to extract kief:

Using The Kief Catcher On Your Grinder

Depending on which grinder you own, there is a chance you will have multiple compartments on the device. On all grinders, you will have the typical top and bottom half, the top for grinding up your weed and the bottom for collecting it.

However, many will contain a third and bottom-most layer which will act to collect any kief that dislodges from your weed. This will have a screen filter to prevent larger pieces of bud from reaching the bottom layer, only collecting the finely ground kief.

Grinder and cannabis weed bud

In addition to using this kief catcher in the standard way, you can also grind up your weed and place it in the freezer for up to 30 minutes. Afterward, gently tap the side of your grinder to allow the kief to dislodge and fall into the bottom layer.

The freezing allows for the trichomes to fall off easier, allowing for increased collection of kief.

Using A Bubble Bag And Dry Ice

A common cannabis accessory, bubble bags are a great way of extracting kief from often unused parts of the cannabis plant. Fitted with a micron filter at the base of the bag, this will act as a screen to filter the trichomes from stems, leaves, and other areas of the plant that may have less concentrated levels of trichomes.

You will need a few items to complete this:

  • Micron filter bubble bag (around 150 in size)
  • Leaves, stems, or other parts of the cannabis plant
  • Dry ice
  • Container to hold the plant materials and ice
  • A large piece of glass or mirror

First, start by placing your plant material inside your large container (such as a cooking pot) alongside a few pieces of dried ice. Afterward, place the container face down in the bubble bag, with the open end facing the micron filter.

Dry Ice on Metal Spoon

You can begin shaking the bag and container over the large mirror until you begin to see the trichomes filter through the micron screen. Shake for a few minutes until the plant material has broken down and warmed to room temperature, at which you will no longer be producing kief from the bag.

You can then take a small brush or business card and scrape the kief off of the large mirror. The resulting kief can be immediately used in cooking, created into hash, or smoked after collection.

How Can You Use Kief?

The great part about kief is its ability to be used in number of different facets. Because it is essentially pure THC in a plant concentration, it allows you to supplement it into different edibles, add it into normal weed for joints or bowls, and many other methods.

Below are a few of the most popular ways to make use of your kief:

Smoking The Kief By Itself

Potentially one of the most intense and potent smoking experiences, smoking kief by itself will provide an extreme dose of THC in a small and relatively less harsh smoking experience. While this may not be the most efficient method for using your kief, it will definitely be the most intense.

Adding To A Bowl Or Joint

By sprinkling kief into a joint or covering the top of the weed in a bowl, you can drastically increase the intensity of smoking. Because this has the effect of adding a THC concentrate into your weed, it will greatly improve the potency of average or below average weed.

Adding Kief Into Your Morning Coffee

If you aren’t a fan of smoking a bowl or joint in the morning, adding kief into your coffee can be an effortless way of adding THC into your morning routine.

Woman drinking coffee happy thumbs up

The heat of the coffee will act to decarb the kief, letting you reap the benefits of the THC without any previous baking or heating.

Making Cannabutter

A popular method for introducing THC into a number of different food items, cannabutter can replace your average butter in many everyday recipes. As long as there is some sort of decarbing method while cooking with your cannabutter, it can transform a number of food items into customized edibles.

Making Hash

A THC concentrate, hash is the condensed and melted down product of kief. Heated and then pressurized into a soft and sticky clay-like material, it takes the already highly potent nature of kief and proceeds to condense and concentrate that even further.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for kief to lose potency?

As long as you are keeping proper storage conditions for your kief, it will have a tremendous shelf life lasting many years. While the maximum life span isn’t known, there should be no realistic concerns about your kief losing potency.

Is kief more potent than regular bud?

Yes, kief is significantly stronger than normal cannabis buds. Because kief is essentially the isolation of trichomes which normally cover cannabis buds, it is taking the most potent aspect of normal cannabis and condensing it down into a powder-like substance.