What is Kief?
Over the next few months I’ll be bringing it back to the basics with some of the most frequent questions we've received. The one in particular that caught my eye was "What the heck is Kief, and why does everybody want so much of it?". By the end of this post you will know what Kief is, where it comes from, what to do with it, and how to acquire it. Along with a few tips, tricks, and useful tools (Like the Hakuna Grinder!).
What is Kief?
When looking at the Cannabis Flower you will see a few important things.
1. The Flower Itself. It’s important that you know if the flower is Male or Female. Male Plants have No Buds and produce pollen while Female Plants Grow Buds which have Trichomes which is where the Kief is found, and Different strains produce different amounts of Kief. Some have more than others. It’s an ongoing debate of whether Male Plants produce Kief or not. I’ll make it easy on yah and we’ll go ahead and pretend like they don’t just for this one post. So, when I talk about Cannabis flowers, go ahead and assume I’m talking about the Female Plants.
2. The Stems. The stem is the stalk of the plant. The center of everything, it’s where the plant grows from the roots above ground, and where the buds sprout from. The stems keep the leaves/buds in the light and provide a place for the plant to keep its flowers during growth. When they are dried, and you find them in the center of your nugs you’ll likely wonder what to do with them. Luckily, we already covered that in another article, Don't Smoke your Stems, Use Them!
3. The Kief! Kief (also spelled “kif” or “keef”) is the term for trichomes that have been removed from the bud generally using a tool like a grinder. The Kief is a fine powder made from the dried resin glands found on the buds/leaves of the cannabis plant. These look like tiny little crystals which are usually shiny and sticky. Depending on the type of grinder you have you’ll find them stuck to the bottom, or at the very base, in the Kief catcher. A Kief catcher is for the smokers who like to save up their Kief stash. They save it because it contains a high concentration of the psychoactive chemical or THC which causes the ‘high’ feelings.
How to acquire Kief?
Kief can be gathered with a few different techniques based from the amount you are looking to get. If smaller amounts are needed, you could invest in one of our Grinders, which all have Kief Catchers with little shovels. A Kief Catcher is a small compartment at the bottom of the grinder where all the Kief is sort of strained through a fine screen and falls to the very bottom. If you break up the cannabis with your bare hands you are much more likely to lose the Kief, as it usually sticks to your hands and falls off going un-noticed because of the small size. Often smokers will place a coin in the grinded section, before shaking it or tapping it on a table, to get as much Kief to fall to the bottom as possible. Larger amounts are usually gathered by growers by rubbing the leaves over stainless-steel mesh screens or by shaking the branches and holding something to catch it as it falls beneath it. There is also a special machine which is for the bigger amounts of plants which is like a rock tumbler. They put the leaves in and then tumble them against a rotating silk drum, and the glands gradually fall off.
What to do with Kief?
A lot of people know that Kief exists and that it should be collected, but not many know what it is or what to do with it once they have it. You are one of the few who took the time to figure it out, and I’ll give you these few tips as a sort of congratulations present. Most stoners use it almost as a spice and just sprinkle it right back onto the top or use it as an emergency bowl once they run out, but there’s so much more you can do with it. I personally like to bake it into cookies and brownies, but it can also be used for hash, cannaoil, cannabutter, moonrocks, and rosin. Leafly has an awesome article about this here.
Written by Author Torrey Thomas who works alongside Hakuna Supply as their Photographer and Creative Director.