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What Is Kief And Is It For You?

What Is Kief and Is It for You?

Kief is generally considered the original cannabis concentrate. Kief has been consumed for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, and the recent growth of recreational cannabis and its expanding role in the culture has thrust kief back into the collective consciousness. Kief is used for everything from spicing up a classic joint to adding extra potency to a cup of coffee. 

What is Kief?

Most seasoned stoners will likely recognize kief, even if they’re unfamiliar with what it’s called. Kief is made from the sticky, crystal-like coating on cannabis and, when accumulated, is the fine, sticky brown, yellow, green powder at the bottom of a grinder. Kief is made by separating the terpene- and cannabinoid-packed trichomes—what gives cannabis its flavor, aroma, and effect—from plant material. 

Why Consume Kief?

Kief is commonly thought of as the original cannabis concentrate because of the relative simplicity in which it’s made. Most modern cannabis concentrates are made using solvents and high-tech processes that often require a lab. Conversely, making kief is straightforward, natural, and results in a final product that is rich-smelling, clean-tasting, and potent. 

Is kief more potent than flower? Yes. Flower is packed with terpene- and cannabinoid-rich trichomes, but it also contains other plant material like bracts, calyxes, and sugar leaves, 9which in the end makes it a less concentrated product. Kief is made of just trichomes, which makes it inherently more potent than cannabis flower. In general, flower ranges from 25% to 35% THC, while kief typically contains between 50% and 80% THC.

How to Collect Kief 

There are two primary ways kief is collected: with a grinder and with screens.

Collecting Kief by Grinding

The easiest way to collect kief is by using a three-chamber grinder. Three-chamber grinders feature a screen to filter out plant material and a special compartment for kief collection. Three-chamber grinders aren’t great for accumulating large quantities of kief and it’s common for some plant material to sneak through (making it less concentrated), but they provide an approachable way to collect kief at home.

Collecting kief in a grinder often results in a product made from a wide range of strains and a unique mix of terpenes and cannabinoids, which many users enjoy. 

Collecting Kief by Screening  

The use of screens is a more involved method for collecting kief, but it’s a better option for those looking to acquire a large amount of very pure kief. Kief boxes—a series of microscreens built into a box—are a more scientific and effective way to separate kief and ultimately allow you to both process more flower and get a purer product. 

Purchase Kief:

If collecting your own kief sounds like too much effort, you can purchase it at your local dispensary, such as Lowkey Dispensary in Boston’s Codman Square. Keep in mind, the kief you find at the dispensary is probably purer than what you collected at home—which means it’s stronger and likely a lighter color (because it contains less plant material). You can also order online and pick up in store.

How to Consume Kief 

Unlike many cannabis products, like flower and edibles, it’s common to consume kief with another cannabis product, rather than on its own. Some popular methods for consuming kief include:

  • Add to a bowl: The addition of kief to a bowl is so popular there’s even a term for it, “crowning the bowl.” Sprinkling kief on top of a bowl is a tried-and-true way to add a little punch to your next smoke session.  
  • Roll into a joint: Much like adding kief to a bowl can give it an extra kick, so can putting a pinch of kief in a joint. Another popular method for consuming kief with a joint is to roll a “twax joint.” That is a joint that has cannabis oil on its outside and has been rolled in kief. Beware, twax joints are super-strong and not for the uninitiated.  
  • Homemade hash: Hash is one of the oldest forms of cannabis concentrates and is simply kief that has been heated and pressurized. The easiest way to make hash is to simply rub kief in your hand until it makes a ball. A more involved method uses a hair iron and parchment paper to press the kief into hash.  
  • Coat flower: Covering cannabis flower in kief to create “moon rocks” is another popular use for the concentrate. Moon rocks are made by coating bud with cannabis oil and rolling it in kief. Don’t grind moon rocks—the kief and oil will stick to your grinder—before smoking, rather, break them up by hand before smoking. Like twax joints, moon rocks are super-potent and not for rookies.
  • Cook up cannabutter: You can use kief to make your own cannabutter, which you can then turn into your favorite edibles. Unlike flower, kief doesn’t require straining—and thanks to its potency, a little goes a long way. Remember you need to decarboxylate (heat) kief to activate the THC. 
  • Brew coffee with a kick: Looking for a really strong cup of coffee? Mix decarbed kief into your coffee when you need more than a pick-me-up and for a cup that packs more than a caffeine high. 

Caution to New Cannabis Consumers 

Like other cannabis concentrates, new users should proceed with caution when trying kief—it’s incredibly potent, which makes it easy to go overboard. Keep in mind the “low and slow” mantra when beginning with cannabis. That is, start with low doses and slowly increase the strength of doses over time. 

Lowkey Dispensary  

Whether you want to purchase some high-quality flower to make your own kief or buy some pre-made kief, Lowkey has all your cannabis needs covered. At Lowkey, you’ll find everything from Boston’s best flower to some of the city’s strongest kief. You’ll also find expert advice. Our budtenders can guide you through processes like how to best crown a bowl or how to roll a twax joint.

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