Kief: What It Is And How To Make It
4 min

Kief: What It Is And How To Make It

4 min

Kief is easy to collect and great to smoke. Perhaps the simplest of all cannabis concentrates, all you need to collect it is the right grinder! Read on to find out how to secure a steady supply of your very own kief.

Cannabis comes in many different forms, not just raw flower. However you consume the herb, most of the goodness comes from the plant’s trichomes, where cannabinoids and terpenes are produced. Perhaps the simplest cannabis product (after flower) is kief—which is essentially a concentrated collection of trichomes.

In this article, we look at what kief is and how to make it (or collect it) yourself.

What is kief?

What Is Kief?

To put it plainly, kief is an accumulation of trichomes—those frosty crystals that cover the buds and contain the plant's resin, which is full of cannabinoids and terpenes.

As it is the trichomes that are responsible for the high you feel when you use cannabis, collecting them in the form of kief can be an excellent way to cut right to the heart of the cannabis experience. Kief is especially suited to those who love concentrates but don’t want to break the bank purchasing the equipment required to make complicated extracts, like BHO.

Related article

What Is BHO And How To Make BHO From Cannabis

Kief vs hash

Kief Vs Hash

Kief is the raw form of hash. Hash is made by collecting a large amount of kief and subjecting it to both pressure and heat to form a soft, compact ball or brick. The heat and pressure cause the trichomes to break up and meld, changing their appearance, flavour, and effect slightly—offering users a different, more refined experience.

Where to find kief

Kief can be found anywhere there’s weed. However, it has a long history of use in North Africa and India. In these places, different forms of hash are made.

In Morocco, kief is traditionally collected and then pressed into blocks of hash, much like the type most people know today. In India, on the other hand, it is made by pressing cannabis flowers between the hands until they collect a lot of resin, and then the hands are rubbed together to roll this resin into a ball. This form of hash is known as charas.

These days though, anywhere there’s a grinder, there’s kief to be collected!

How to collect kief

How To Collect Kief

There are two simple and practical ways to collect kief, each offering a different degree of utility. The first is an easily accessible option that allows you to gradually and passively collect kief as you smoke over time—it’s a byproduct.

The second method is for those who want to quickly produce a lot of kief in order to make hash. But if you’re only buying a little flower at a time, the first method will probably work perfectly well for you.

The grinder method

The Grinder Method

The easiest way to amass a stash of kief is to collect it in your grinder. Grinding your bud is an excellent way to break it up for use. While most of the trichomes remain intact and attached to your bud during the grinding process, some are knocked off, causing them to cling to your grinder. Over time, this allows you to build up a stock of kief as you scrape up more and more. It is a nice little bonus for those not expecting it, and ensures you get the most out of your weed.

There are grinders out there that are specially designed to make kief collection a breeze. These often contain 3–4 chambers in total, with a screen in the main collection chamber that sifts kief into the bottommost chamber while keeping out larger plant material—making the process of accumulating and scraping it up much easier.

The only drawback to the grinder method is that it can take a while to build up a worthwhile amount. If you have no rush to harvest kief and are happy to allow it to accumulate over time as a bonus to your smoke, then this is unlikely to be a problem. However, if you have set out to specifically gather kief, you will need to employ a somewhat quicker method of collection. This brings us to our next method: a sifter box.

The sifter box method

The Sifter Box Method

The sifter box is a simple yet effective method of collecting kief that is specifically designed for the job. It is a three-part box that contains a fine metal screen and a removable base. Depending on the sifter box, these bases can be made of different materials, from wood to dark glass. Dark, smooth bases allow you to see and handle the kief with the most ease.

The process of putting cannabis in the top section of the box and gently shaking it causes trichomes to break from the plant matter and fall through the screen onto the base, which can then be removed for easy scraping. It is a process that can also be performed using a silk screen over a dark, clean surface. What you want to achieve is a sieving mechanism that allows trichomes to detach from the cannabis and fall through to your clean surface. Again, that surface is usually dark so you can more easily see your harvest of light-coloured hairs.

If you consider yourself a concentrate connoisseur, then you can take things to a whole new level with bubble hash. Bubble hash involves collecting kief using ice water and a series of progressively finer sieves. Though somewhat complex, the end product is particularly refined and makes for a high-quality smoke or vape.

Try adding a coin to your grinder

Try Adding A Coin To Your Grinder

At Zamnesia, we’re big fans of small hacks that can improve the smoking experience. A penny (or cent) can’t buy much these days; it can, however, help you collect miniature mountains of kief! Follow the steps below to be smoking kief blunts in no time.

As outlined above, three-chamber grinders allow you to collect a supply of kief in the bottom compartment. While most grinders do a good job of collecting kief on their own, we have a simple trick that will help you gather a whole lot more. All you need is a good three-chamber grinder, a freezer, and a penny (or cent).

How to use a coin to get extra kief

Place some of your finest flowers into your grinder. Turn your device until the processed material falls into the second chamber. Open your grinder and place a coin in with the milled weed. Close your grinder with the coin inside. Make some room in between the frozen peas and ice cream, and leave it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Freezing cannabis causes the trichomes to harden, making them much easier to dislodge from the plant material.

Remove your chilled grinder from the freezer. Now, shake your grinder vigorously for several seconds. You should hear the frozen coin ricocheting off the inside of the grinder. Shake your device for several seconds at a time, over five different rounds.

Unscrew the collection tray in the third chamber of the grinder. Tell us you’re not impressed! You’ll notice a significant increase in kief collection compared to orthodox grinding techniques!

Enjoy this cheap and simple trick. It only costs you a penny, after all.

Related article

To Freeze Or Not To Freeze Your Weed?

How to use kief

How To Use Kief

Once you have some kief collected, there is practically no limit to what you can do with it. Just remember that heat is required to activate the THC and other cannabinoids within—a process known as decarboxylation—so eating it raw is unlikely to achieve anything.

Most people will use kief to add a kick to their joints and bowls, sprinkling it onto their bud. It can also be used as an addition to cannabis cooking or for making other concentrates, such as hash. Many people press their kief into pellets, for easier storage and use.

All kief, no grief!

All Kief, No Grief!

Kief can either be an enjoyable little treat that you smoke from time to time, or a whole new world in its own right—it all depends on how you want to use it. But the good news is, collecting it is really easy! If you want to make kief, head over the Zamnesia store, where we have everything you need to build up a good supply of sparkling trichomes.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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