There are a lot of terms that get thrown around when it comes to cannabis, and it can be tricky to understand what all of them mean. One such term is kief, also often spelled keef, this blog is going to explain what kief is and cover some basic information about what it can be used for. Read on to learn more about kief!
What is Kief?
Kief refers to the loose cannabis trichomes that are collected from cannabis flowers and buds. This can happen naturally as buds move around in a bag or storage container, look at the bits of green dust left behind on the sides, this is kief. Kief can be collected by sifting buds and flowers through a mesh screen. This lends to kief also being called pollen, or dry sift.
Technically kief is referencing the resin glands found on cannabis flower buds that contain the terpenes and cannabinoids that give cannabis its potency. Terpenes refers to naturally occurring chemicals that are found in plants. In cannabis terpenes are what give it a rich aroma and unique taste. Terpenes are what makes certain cannabis strains taste differently and smell differently than others. Terpenes do not themselves make one feel high or have strong psychoactive effects. Instead, they work alongside THC and CBD.
THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical compound referred to as a cannabinoid responsible for euphoric and psychoactive effects from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another cannabinoid that does not have psychoactive effects.
Kief refers specifically to the crystal-like formations that can be found on the leaves and flowers of cannabis plants. Both plants that contain THC and CBD have kief. Kief is a very potent powder that anyone who has cannabis can collect. Lighter colored is purer kief, greener colored kief has more plant matter in it.
Kief is quite potent because it contains an extremely high concentration of cannabinoids. It can be added to ground flowers to pack an extra wallop, or added to foods, beverages, or even ingested itself to experience stronger effects.
Is Kief Illegal?
The legality of kief depends on one’s geographical location. It is legal anywhere recreational cannabis is legal, as well as is legal 4 medical marijuana patients in states that have medical marijuana laws in place. If it is legal to have cannabis products in your state it is legal to have kief. Check with the cannabis laws where you are or where you may be visiting to learn more.
How To Collect Kief
Collecting, or sifting kief is a fairly simple process. Many flower grinders come with a built-in wire screen and collection chamber, and some include a kief catcher. If you want something more there are micro screening techniques that can be used. This can involve a series of screens built into a box, called a “kief box.” This can allow for a finer, more pure, very concentrated powder. This is sometimes called 99% sift and is a highly coveted product. With practice, this can be collected at home and enjoyed.
What Is Kief Used For?
Kief can be used for many things. It can be simply sprinkled on top of a bowl or mixed in with a joint and well immediately up the intensity of effects felt. It can be mixed in with tobacco products, for those that like to smoke out of hookahs or use other tobacco products along with cannabis. Kief can burn faster than cannabis flower so it should be evenly sprinkled in, or it can catch fire fast. Kief can extend both the potency and amount of time a bowl or joint will last. Be mindful of overheating kief.
Smoked Alone or With flower
Kief can be smoked alone or with flowers. It can also be heated up to make a concentrate, similar to hash. Homemade kief hash can be made for kief by collecting it all into parchment paper, then folding the paper over and heating it up with an iron. Be mindful here and do not overheat. When you make Hash made from kief, it will be dark and sticky.
Make Moon Rocks or Caviar
One use of kief is to like something called moon rocks, or in some markets called caviar. Moon rocks R a bud of top-quality cannabis that has been dipped in hot oil and then rolled in kief. After cooling and hardening moon rocks are then broken up and smoked, resulting in a very strong reaction. Technically caviar refers to buds that have been dipped in a cannabis concentrate and then hardened, without the addition of kief. However, the two terms have become interchangeable. If you are purchasing a moonrock or caviar product from a dispensary, ask if it includes kief to be sure. Moon rocks can have as much as 50% or higher THC, these are an extremely potent way to enjoy kief.
Cannabutter can be expensive to buy, however, it is quite easy to make and will not cost anything extra if one collects their own kief. Cannabutter is simply butter that has been infused with kief. Simply add kief to butter and mix will not work, the cannabinoids must be decarboxylated. This means it needs to be heated up to activate the THC. This can be done at low heat over an extended period of time.
- The oven should be preheated between 200 and 230 degrees.
- The kief needs to be spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- The powder should bake for half an hour to about 45 minutes. You will want to watch this occasionally stir it and if it starts to turn to brown, please remove it from heat.
- Once this process has been completed the kief is ready to be infused into butter.
- The infusion process will involve melting the butter, add kief and mix, steeping, and then filtering the cannabutter.
There are a variety of different recipes out there if you are interested in making your own cannabis-infused butter. Cannabis-infused butter will vary in strength depending on the potency of the cannabinoid and the amount used.
Homemade Cannabis-Infused Edibles
Because cannabinoids are activated when they are heated up, kief can also be added to a variety of hot beverages, producing a very similar effect to consuming a cannabis edible. These effects will be a little bit stronger and may last a little longer than smoking. Kief can also be added to the batter of baked goods and then baked or added to hot meals to create an edible effect.
Is it Keef or Kief?
Kief is often also spelled keef, and while that may not be the “correct” spelling of the term, it means the same thing. In popular culture, keef is often used rather than Kief. It has also been referred to as kif. Kief comes from the Arabic language and means “pleasure” or “intoxication.” Regardless of spelling, the words mean the same thing, and when someone refers to keef or kief it is a highly potent powder of cannabinoids collected from cannabis flowers and leaves.
Kief is a substance that comes from the cannabis plant and is quite potent. Tiny crystals form on cannabis buds and leaves and are brushed off naturally or through a sifting process. Once removed from the flower they can be added to many things and heated up to activate the cannabinoids. Kief has a much higher concentration of THC than flower and results in a more intense high. Kief can be made into kief hash, as well as added to foods and hot beverages. Remember that kief causes a stronger high, so use it in moderation until you know how it will affect you.
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