Updated on August 26, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The tiny, sticky crystals that cover the cannabis flower are called Kief. They are also known as dry sift or pollen. They are the resin gland, which has terpenes and cannabinoids that make the cannabis plant so unique.
For those who love the experience of concentrates but find buying wax or extraction equipment expensive, sifting it could be an excellent alternative. Because of the high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids in resin glands, separating the crystals can allow you to use it in some pretty creative ways.
Extracting Kief the Easy Way: It’s Already in Your Grinder
When extracting kief, you will need a three-chamber herb grinder that will be effective in fine-grinding your cannabis while allowing the crystals to fall through a screen and collect it into a small compartment.
Two-chamber grinders are great, but the problem is they let potent product go to waste since the crystals fall off the dried herb and stick on the inside of the grinder. Many higher-end grinders have a mesh screen that helps sift the kief, allowing it to fall through to a special chamber below for collection.
Three Ways to Use Your Crystals
After successfully collecting your kief, there are various ways that you can make great use of this fantastic stockpile of unrefined cannabis concentrate.
1. Sprinkle it on Your Packed Bowl Of Marijuana
Make sure you dust the kief on top of your bowl for a significant increase in overall potency. You do not want to mix the kief in with your whole flower or shake. It needs to be inhaled with the first puff to optimize the effects.
With your kief crowned bowl, make sure you burn a quadrant of the bowl at a time to allow you to enjoy multiple hits. This will give you the best cannabis experience. Be careful the first time you try this though. Some potent strains have kief that packs an even more powerful punch. Try a little bit at a time for safety.
2. Sprinkle Kief into A Joint
Rolling a joint is easy considering freshly ground cannabis is sticky enough. This is where your kief comes in if you want a better experience. Pepper your ground cannabis with a healthy pinch of kief and mix it well. Distribute the kief for the full length of your marijuana joint.
If you want a next-level experience with your joint, you can dampen the outside of your joint with a lick of your preferred wax and roll the top 1/3 of the joint in kief. This kief-coated joint is commonly known as a “twaxed” joint. That option is for a “stay home” kind of evening.
3. Make Hash from Kief
The oldest form of refined cannabis is hash. One of the steps of making hash is extracting kief. Hash is simply crystals that has been heated and pressurized to create this soft, green ball. When you apply heat and pressure to it, the composition changes due to the resin glands rupturing.
After it is raptured, the overall taste and effects of the products are a bit different. Pressurizing it also darkens its color. The more pressure you apply, the darker the hash becomes. Hash will give you a great experience too.
Be advised, however that many states prohibit manufacturing or processing by medical marijuana cardholders. You can consume the state of the cannabis that you purchased in the dispensary, but trying to formulate it into something else (unless it’s brownies) could be breaking the law. Check with your state medical marijuana program website for more information. When buying it from a cannabis dispensary, keep in mind that the purer the product, the lighter it’s color. If that still looks green means there is a mix of plant matter in there. But, a well-cleaned kief will have this off-white color.