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Marijuana Basics: What Is Kief And What To Do With It

If you are a new cannabis consumer, you may have heard the term kief and may even know what it is. But you may not know the many benefits of the trichome-rich powder you’ll find at the bottom of your grinder.

Here is a primer for the canna-curious out there who are interested in giving your session some added punch.

What Is Kief?

The word keif comes from the Arabic word kayf, meaning pleasure or intoxication. Basically, it is the resinous trichomes that collects after cannabis buds are sifted either through a grinder or sieve.

Kief is a powder loaded with THC, the psychoactive property in cannabis. Traditionally, kief is the basis of hashish. The fine powder is often pressed into cakes of hash and can then be smoked or vaporized. If you tried hashish in your younger days, you’ve had kief.

How Do I Get Kief?

Most marijuana retail stores sell kief in small containers. Since it is so highly concentrated, very little goes a long way.

But you don’t have to buy it; most of you already have it without knowing it. If you use a grinder (if you don’t have a grinder, put it on your shopping list), look at the bottom of the small compartment. See all that fine powder? That’s kief. If you don’t use a grinder, you’re missing out on kief collecting.

Most experienced consumers allow the kief to collect there until you have enough to scrap out and use. As I mentioned above, these little crystals are packed with psychoactive goodness.

Pro Tip: Put A Coin In Your Grinder

Want more kief? Drop a coin in your grinder and your yield will grow. It doesn’t matter if it’s a penny, nickel or dime. (A quarter is too large.) The coin will slide across the screen, allowing the kief to shift through to the bottom chamber.

How Do I Use Kief?

There are a myriad of ways to use kief. It really depends on how you usually consume marijuana and how much effort you want to use. For beginners, here are the most common uses:

  • Add to a joint: If you are rolling a joint, sprinkle some kief on top of the leaf before rolling. Remember, you don’t need a lot. Think of it as psychoactive seasoning. Just a little layer will make your joint just that much more potent.
  • Add to a bowl: You can also sprinkle it on top of the bowl if you are using a pipe or bong. It also works in a vaporizer. Add some to the ground bud before vaping.
  • Cook with it: Since there is less plant matter in kief, many cannabis chefs find it better to use in infused recipes. Since it more potent that bud, chefs need less of it for the desired effect. Whether you are infusing butter or oil, using kief will give your meal a kick. Often when I grill a fatty piece of salmon, I sprinkle some kief directly on the flesh side of the fish for a mild high.
  • Press it: Want to make homemade hash? Using pressure and heat, you can press kief into hashish. This is a little more advanced than sprinkling it, but it’s not that difficult. All you need is kief, parchment paper and a hair iron (yes, a hair iron). Place the kief inside folded parchment paper. Apply pressure and heat with the iron. The kief will compress into a more solid form. Break off small pieces and smoke it or add to tea.

Final Thoughts

A grinder is an essential tool for cannabis consumers. And if you are grinding your weed, you’re wasting the best part if you don’t collect the kief.

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