Aside from mechanically or chemically extracted concentrates, kief is the most potent cannabis concentrate in its natural form – it can contain up to 55% THC. Kief is just a more concentrated version of the flower bud and is produced by separating and collecting the tiny bulbous hairs, called trichomes.
This is a simple mechanical procedure and as you probably already know, it happens naturally while you grind your herb in a grinder, or even while you handle it over a clean surface. The name comes from the Arabic word pronounced keif, which means ‘pleasure’.
In a bit, we’ll go over the best and most efficient ways to produce kief from flower. But let’s first explore the advantages of kief and how it can be used.
What can you do with kief?
Kief is a very versatile product. You can think of it as a very potent flower bud. However, due to it being a fine powder, it’s not really well-suited for being packed in a bowl on its own, although this can be done and kief does burn successfully once you light it.
Generally speaking, every method of smoking, vaping, or eating cannabis flower can also be used for consuming kief. Kief can also be dabbed in a dab rig, although the pleasantness of such experience might vary depending on how pure the kief is and the quality of the flower it has been produced from.
Kief can be vaped in a dry herb vaporizer, but just like using it in a bowl, this does involve some additional steps. The fine kief powder can easily pass through the mesh screen of most vaporizers and collect in your mouth, so it’s a bad idea to use kief powder on its own.
Mixing it with some dry bud or stacking it between two pieces of bud can work nicely. After kief has been pressed into hash, with some experimentation, you can put it in a vaporizer and vape it on its own.
Making Edibles With Keif and Adding It to Various Foods or Drinks
Because kief is very concentrated, it can be very easily added to all sorts of beverages and foods – something which is not always practically doable with whole flower. You can experiment with adding it to your coffee, tea, sprinkling it on cookies, and so on.
Making Hash or Rosin
Hash is almost the same as kief – the only step involved in making hash is heating the kief and pressing it into a cake. Rosin, which is a waxy concentrate of very high potency (80% or even higher) can be extracted from the kief by using the popular hair straightener or hair press method.
This separates the potent oil from the trichomes and further increases the potency. This is usually done to produce concentrates for dabbing. You can also dab whole hash or kief, but the vapor may be a bit harsher and there will be some hard to clean the residue left behind.
How to Make Kief
Kief is a very popular product and is sold in most places that sell cannabis products. However, you may want to make your own. Making kief is very easy and even happens accidentally as you handle bud. In order to efficiently make kief, we use mechanical friction, which breaks off the trichomes – remember, kief is just separated trichomes. The trichomes then need to be separated from the leftover flower material.
Fortunately, both the breaking off of the trichomes and their separation from the rest of the plant material is easily achieved by gently sifting the material over a screen and collecting the finished product on the bottom.
What Screen Should I Use To Collect Keif?
There are many types of screen and any screen that is fine enough will work. Silkscreens are commonly used. They are sold in art stores for screen printing use. Silkscreens have an assigned LPI (lines per inch) value, which directly determines the mesh size.
For our purposes, we want to use a screen of about 200 LPI, although you can go lower than 100 and as high as 300. Silkscreens are not very sturdy and you can easily tear them if your flower material contains large, sharp stems.
The actual procedure comes down to gently running the material over the screen and collecting the kief underneath on a clean surface that will enable you to easily see the trichomes – a mirror is an excellent choice. The leftover material will have some good potency left, so don’t throw it out!
Freezing Bud To Collect Keif
Freezing the flower material makes the trichomes very brittle and they can be easily separated from the rest of the material simply by shaking. There are many variations of this method, and some involve submerging the material in ice-cold water.
This submersion process is involved in the production of bubble hash, or ‘ice water hash’ and we won’t get into it right now The submersion process and the freezing process are more advanced and can sometimes result in ruined material if they are performed incorrectly.
It’s recommended that beginners first try the screen method, which doesn’t really pose any risk to the flower.