The term kief comes from the Arabic word “kayf,” meaning well-being or pleasure. Kief is known as the caviar of the herbal world. Kief is comprised of the crystal-like formations that form on the tip of the resin glands of the trichomes. These are the sticky, white, hair-like strands you see covering the herb. Kief has a potent concentration of terpenes that enhance and moderate the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol and produce an intense but well balanced herbal experience.
Kief is the easiest and least expensive way to experience the intensity of concentrates without the expense of special products or equipment. If you are looking to take full advantage of this powerhouse part of the plant, all you need is a simple kief catcher. Here, we will show you how to properly use your kief catcher, maximize the amount of kief retained from your flower, and put your kief to good use.
A kief catcher does exactly that- catches kief. It is the bottom chamber of a multi-chamber herb grinder. Essentially, a grinder with a kief catcher has the standard top chamber which will grind the herb, shaking lose the delicate sticky particles we refer to as kief. These particles will then filter down through another chamber or chambers with one or more screens which can vary in size to filter down to the smallest and most fragile pieces of kief. Without a kief catcher, these particles get lost in the shuffle and never get a chance to live up to their full potential. The kief catcher collects these particles, forming a concentrated powdery batch of highly effective herb that can be used to add a punch to your next bowl or roll, create potent edible treats, or even produce a top-shelf vape pen experience.
While a kief catcher will always serve its purpose and catch the kief, there are several ways to improve its efficiency and increase your yield.
Always tap the sides of your grinder after grinding to shake lose the smallest particles from the teeth and screens and ensure they filter down to the kief catcher. This is a quick gesture, but can greatly increase your harvest.
Take time to brush off the teeth and scrape the screens of each chamber in your grinder after every couple uses to ensure the screens remain clear for future herb traffic to move through quickly and efficiently. Simply keeping your grinder clean will exponentially increase the amount of kief you collect.
Be careful about leaving your grinder out where it can be knocked over or leaving the top off. You do not want to lose weeks or months worth of collected kief to one clumsy moment.
Put a clean coin in the second chamber (and third chamber if yours is a four part grinder). Clean the coin with alcohol before placing it in the grinder to ensure it is free from germs and oils from being handled. The coin will help ensure the herb does not stick to the screens and facilitate flow through the entire system. Just give your grinder a little shake once you have inserted the coin(s).
Place your grinder in the freezer. The cold metal is more effective at shaking the kief loose and ensuring it does not stick to the internal pieces of the grinder. You can tap the grinder a few times after it is frozen to shake all the particles loose. Note that it is not recommended to store your grinder in the freezer though as it will increase moisture in your herb.
Grind your herb in small batches. Trying to grind too much herb at once actually results in less kief collected because there is less room and the grinder will not be able to sift all the particles as well.
While large amounts of kief can be collected by shaking branches with large collection mats underneath, using specialized machines that tumble the entire herb against a rotating silk drum, or by rubbing leaves on large mesh screens, for the everyday consumer, a grinder with a kief catcher is the best option for collecting this precious appendage of the plant. Using your hands to break up the plant will only result in the kief sticking to your fingers and being lost in the process. The kief collected from a grinder is also perfectly suited to a smooth vaping experience as it is a finer texture and burns more evenly.
Once you have collected your kief, there are a multitude of ways to put your newfound treasure to good use but here are a few of the best ways:
Roll a joint. This one may seem obvious, but remember that kief is far more potent than your typical flower, so go slowly and start with a small amount! You can always smoke more but you cannot take it back!
Crown your bowl! If you are looking for a little extra but do not want to smoke a whole bowl of straight kief, just sprinkle a little kief on the top. You can also mix a little kief into your normal joint as well. This approach will give you a slightly amplified experience that is perfect for beginners.
Have you ever tried a twax joint? If you have some experience with concentrates and really want to experience a next level session, try rubbing the outside of your joint with wax and then rolling it in kief. Not only will you create a beautiful joint with a unique aesthetic, but you will enjoy an exceptionally intense experience. If you are not quite ready to double up on the concentrated effects, you can also simply dampen the outside of your joint with a very small amount of water or cooking oil and roll it in kief as well.
Hash it out. Hash is one of the oldest forms of refined cannabis and it is created by simply heating kief slightly and pressurizing it into a tightly packed block. You can do this from the comfort of your home with tools you likely already have. Simply place your kief into a piece of folded parchment paper and run it through a hair straightening iron or under a household clothes iron. Just make sure to hold it long enough to compress and pressurize the kief but not so long the paper burns. You will notice hash has a darker color than the kief you started with. This is because the pressure ruptures the resin glands. You will find hash has a different flavor profile as well. However, because hash has already been heated and decarboxylated, the psychoactive effects have already been activated, meaning you can consume it simply by sprinkling it on food! Of course, you can always smoke it too.
Take a trip to the moon and make some moonrocks. Moonrocks are flower buds that have been covered in oil and then rolled in kief. Simply heat the oil of your choice on low. A popular choice of oil to use here is coconut oil since it is highly effective at increasing the bioavailability of the tetrahydrocannabinol. Coat the flower buds in the oil and then dip them into the kief to cover the entire flower in the powder. Now set them aside and allow them to dry and harden. After your moonrocks have set, break them gently using your fingers and pack your next bowl with their spacey goodness.
Kick your edible experience up a notch. Kief has a far more subtle flavor profile than flower, making it perfect for cooking a variety of herb infused foods, both sweet and savory! Because it is so much more potent than flower, it also only requires from a half to a third of the flower normally required in your recipe. Simply make the substitution in your favorite recipe. It is recommended you start by substituting one third the measurement of kief as you would normally use for flower and increase to your desired potency each time.
Make your own vape juice! This method requires a bit more prep and tools but is totally worth it and can save you a lot of money if you regularly buy pre-filled vape cartridges or vape concentrates! (You can also use kief directly in a dry herb vaporizer.)
You will need:
Place a 1:1 ratio of vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol into the double boiler along with your kief.
Heat it until it has all melted and mixed together to a smooth consistency.
Strain through a coffee filter to get your final product.
There you go. Your simple and effective guide to effectively using a kief catcher and enjoying the spoils of your labor! Now that you have all the tips and tools to pursue a truly rewarding kief experience, remember to approach this concentrated herb with caution and start slow for the best results. Have fun experimenting with the caviar of herb!
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