There’s nothing better than opening the bottom chamber of your grinder and finding a small mountain of dust — otherwise known as kief.
While it may not look like much, kief is actually the most potent part of the cannabis plant. It’s made by separating the trichomes, which contain the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes, from the rest of your flower. Kief is often dubbed “nature’s concentrate,” but unlike other types of concentrates, it is both inexpensive and easy to make at home.
Collecting kief on a budget
Depending on your location, the price of a gram of flower fluctuates between under $7 and nearly $20. As my fellow dab lovers know, concentrated forms of cannabis offer a more intense and longer-lasting high than flower at a higher price point. According to WM News data, a gram of crumble has a median price of $37 and a gram of shatter has a median price of $40 Alternatively, kief is much cheaper with a median price of $15 per gram.
Collecting kief requires essentially no effort on your part if you have the right tools. The easiest way to collect kief on your own is to invest in a quality grinder with a kief catcher. A 4-piece or 5-piece metal grinder is ideal as the teeth tend to be sharper and more durable than plastic grinders, which helps produce a finer grind and thus, more kief.
Once there is enough fallout in your kief catcher, you can scrape the contents out and use it to add an extra kick to bowls, joints, or vapes. Because it is much more potent than flower alone, you only need a small amount to notice the benefits of kief.
Should you invest in a kief box?
If you’re looking to score larger quantities of kief, a kief box may be a useful accessory for you to maximize the yield. A kief box is literally a box that contains two compartments situated on top of each other and separated by a series of metal screens and filters. To use it, all you have to do is put your buds in the top compartment, close the box, and shake. The shaking motion sifts the trichome crystals on the outside of the buds through the metal screens and filters it into the bottom compartment.
You won’t see serious kief collecting right away, but through repeated use you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of a kief box.
How kief enhances your smoking experience
You may be wondering how much kief it really takes to enhance your next smoke sesh. The short answer is: it depends.
If you don’t typically use concentrates or you haven’t tried kief before, your best bet is to sprinkle a very, very little in your joint or blunt as you’re rolling. After you smoke it, you can see how you feel and add more kief to the mix if needed.
Another option is the ever-popular twax joint, in which the outside of a joint is rolled in kief. You can do this by dipping it in a sticky concentrate first, such as budder or sauce, or just by licking the joint then dipping it in your kief. It should be noted that some believe adding so much concentrate onto one joint to be somewhat of a waste and expensive — the opposite of what we’re going for in this guide.
Keep in mind that a little goes a long way and start by dipping only the top third or fourth of the joint in kief before trying to coat it entirely. The same logic applies when adding kief to a bowl or vape — less is more until proven otherwise.
If you’ve graduated from sprinkling kief on top of your weed, you can also use it to cut down on the amount of weed you’re smoking. Next time you pack your bowl or bong, try filling the bottom two-thirds of the bowl with regular bud and the top third with a nice dusting of kief. This ratio is subject to change, though we recommend always using bud as a vehicle for kief since it has such a fine and powdery consistency. No one wants to waste a precious kief bowl when it all falls into your piece on the first inhale.
What About Vaping?
You can also boost your vaping experience with a layer of kief on top of your bud or you can vape kief on its own. Vaping it on its own will offer a similar effect to vaping other concentrates, meaning you’ll experience a flavorful hit and a euphoric high. Just measure out your desired bud-to-kief ratio (or kief-to-kief ratio), load it into your vape’s chamber or oven, and you’re good to go. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, kief can also be used to make rosin, hash or edibles at home.
No matter how you use it, kief was put on the planet to prove that an out-of-this-world high doesn’t have to come with an outrageous price tag.
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Ashlee Nolan is an NYC-based freelance journalist who enjoys writing about cannabis, culture, and politics. When not writing, you can probably find her curled up on the couch with coffee, a book, and her cat, Wednesday.