Kief is to the cannabis plant what espresso is to the coffee bean: a specialized and more potent version of an already-adored, sophisticated niche product.
Referred to as “pollen” throughout the community, it’s the result of your plant’s trichomes drying out and breaking off the cannabis bud—an elegant and natural dry sift that allows the consumer to access a stronger entourage effect without having to waste any of the fruits of their purchase in the process.
If you’ve ever wondered to yourself, “What is kief?”, you’ll soon be able to answer your own question; we’ve done all of the research for you. Luckily it’s straightforward to learn about, simple to make, and a hell of an experience to consume.
How to make kief
Before we talk about how to make kief, let’s figure out what it is and where it comes from.
Crystally, fine, and ready to knock you on your ass, kief or “shake” is often considered a sort of cannabis crème de la crème. You’ll see it rolled in joints for amplified effects, sprinkled atop already-potent bowls of flower, or added to edibles for that extra onset oomph.
Shake has been oxidized over time, which means it’s less fresh, darker in color, and powdery and/or sticky in texture.
But although kief is regarded as a luxurious delicacy, the micro plant matter is really easy to come by. As long as you’re buying flower, you’re buying its pollen. You just have to be patient—and invest in a grinder with a kief catcher.
Most grinders come with one built in: a small chamber at the bottom where the shake collects as it falls off your ground up cannabis flower. The result—after a considerable amount of time and smoke sessions—is a delightful mountain of weed pollen ready to be collected, tossed into your favorite product, and consumed for maximum desirable effects.
Simple ways to use your kief
What does kief do in weed?
These concentrated, highly-potent forms of cannabis flower are intense to consume. Think about it: unless you stick strictly to the same strain, your grinder is probably collecting a varied smorgasbord of shake, resulting in a super diverse profile of cannabinoids and terpenes to add to your next bowl.
For a more full-spectrum experience and a very intense entourage effect, try one of the methods below for consuming kief successfully.
One of the best ways to enjoy nature’s best pollen? Throw that kief on top of your next bowl for maximized effects.
Another quick and easy way to put your kief collection to use? Create a kief joint for an even more psychoactive experience.
Guess what? You can even add shake to your cannabis concentrates. Throw it on top of your next dab and watch yourself blast off into space.
You can also use shake to create your very own moon rocks, a simple process that results in one of the most potent cannabis products known to a stoner.
You can also use kief to learn how to make kief hash, which we’re about to explain.
How to make hash from kief
As long as you have a grinder with a collector, you can easily make hash at home. First, you’ll need to collect a lot of kief—especially if you’re looking to make a large amount of hash.
- A ton of shake
- Large mason jar
- Oven mitt
- Boiling water
- Parchment paper
- Empty your shake onto a piece of parchment paper, keeping it in a neat square if possible.
- Fold the paper around the shake, making sure to keep the square shape. Then, cut off any excess paper, leaving the square covered with no overlap.
- Fill your mason jar with boiling water, and fasten the lid tightly. Use an oven mitt to protect your hands from the heat.
- Roll the jar across the square, pressing kief gently as you roll for about 10 minutes.
- Take your hash square and stick it in the freezer for about an hour. This will render it easier to handle and remove from the paper once cool.
- Remove from the paper and enjoy.
Now, let’s learn how to make an even more specialized version of hash oil: Frenchy Cannoli’s famous bubble hash.
- A boiling glass bottle of water, heated to about 190-220 F
- Slow cooker to keep the bottle warm
- Turkey oven bags
- Oven mitt
- Hand press your hash.
- Cut one turkey oven bag in half—or smaller, if your hash patties are on the smaller side.
- With gloved hands, work the hash patty into a ball.
- Fill your slow cooker and glass bottle with boiling water, then set the slow cooker on high.
- After putting on your oven mit, fold your turkey bag over the hash, using the hot bottle to gently apply pressure. Make sure to flip your hash over frequently as you’re working it in.
- Keep rolling the hash until it starts to darken. Hash made from high-quality kief will appear to melt around the edges, which is a great sign.
- Once the patty has flattened out, fold it over itself a few times to get it into a thick bar. Then, roll it out again.
- Repeat that process at least 3-4 times, keeping in mind that it can take 10-20 re-rolls to fully achieve homogenization and desired decarboxylation levels.
- Once your hash becomes melty and you don’t see any streaks or marbling, it’s time to form the “temple ball”—a.k.a., rolling your hash into a perfect ball, working quickly so it doesn’t stick to your gloves.
- Eventually, you’ll get a perfect sphere, which is ready to be cured. Use a square of your turkey bag to tightly wrap the ball, which prevents oxygen exposure. Use a rubber band or tape to secure the bag’s environment.
- Now, it’s time to store your hash—preferably in a dark place for about 3-6 months max.
How to make a kief joint
Finally, let’s discuss one of the most pleasurable ways to enjoy your bottom-of-the-grinder shake: add kief to your next joint.
A tradition as old as the discovery of cannabis flower and its trichomes, infused joints remain popular among today’s consumers, who are often looking to up the ante when it comes to pre-roll potency. Thankfully, they’re really easy to create; you can even do so at home.
All you have to do is play the waiting game and collect the kief at the bottom of your grinder. Then, take a small amount of kief and sprinkle it on your next joint before you seal her up. Bonus points if you add some concentrate to sweeten the deal even further, like oil, wax, sauce, or budder.
Don’t be afraid to pimp your joints out with shake, whenever or however you feel like. Just keep in mind that the effects will be way more potent when your joint is slathered in oil and pollen. If you’re ready to take on the intensity, this is the perfect product for you. If you’re a little nervous, just proceed with caution. Start low and slow, build from there and enjoy this cannabis delicacy on your own terms.