What is kief? And how to extract it?

Kief is the concentrate obtained from dried cannabis flowers, and is one of the most widely used extractions worldwide. Thanks to its easy production, as it is not necessary to have an industrial system to obtain this cannabis nectar in quantity and quality.

The use of Kief dates back to the very moment mankind began to smoke cannabis, as this extraction occurs naturally when dried flowers are stored and release a little of what looks like “dust” but is actually dry pollen that falls naturally from the buds.

Kief is also obtained when we use a grinder to grind the flowers, if we have a 2-part grinder, the Kief will be stuck inside the grinder and it will be a bit difficult to remove it, with a 3- or 4-part grinder, the Kief will be released from the flowers and filtered through a mesh that they have, thus finally being stored in the lower compartment of these grinders.

How to use kief?

Kief can be used as is in a pipe, or mixed with cannabis, tobacco or any smokable herb you fancy. Being a concentrate, it has a large amount of all the cannabinoids and terpenes in it, hence the name “concentrates” because they have all the properties of the cannabis flower, but concentrated in a potent, tasty and medicinal paste/powder.

Now if what you want is supreme Kief, you’d better extract it the right way before waiting forever to gather pollen in your storage jars or grinders. The big question is how to extract kief from marijuana buds?

What are the benefits of kief?

The benefits of using Kief are numerous, being a cannabis concentrate it brings you all the benefits of the sacred plant. From stress reduction to muscle pain relief, plus with this type of cannabis pollen you can more accurately isolate the cannabinoids without the need to inhale burnt plant matter, which is even more beneficial to your health, as smoking is bad for your body.

One of the healthiest ways to reap the benefits of kief is to add it to your coffee or tea, but to do this you must first undergo a process of decarboxylation, a low heat and slow cooking process, which activates cannabinoids such as THC to their full potential. Decarboxylation takes place at a temperature of between 100 to 120 degrees Celsius for about 20 to 40 minutes. Then simply add it to your latte, and enjoy this wonderful concentrate.

What is the difference between kief and hash ?

The simple answer is, there is none. Kief is the trichomes that have been separated from the cannabis plant and the appearance of the end result is a sandy style material that varies from a dark green to a dark brown. On the other hand, hash or hashish is kief that has been compressed into a mass for ease of use and storage.

The appearance of hash can vary between blocks or pliable spheres and its levels of cannabinoids and terpenes vary depending on the method that was used to extract the kief from the plant, which we will see below.

How to extract kief?

Marijuana has several types of trichomes, with glandular trichomes (also called capitate-entangled trichomes) giving the best quality kief. Typically, the size of these trichomes ranges from 50 to 150 microns, depending on the strain of cannabis and environmental factors. This will give us an idea about the microns we should use in the sieves with which we will sieve the plant matter and filter out only the trichomes.

The perfect environmental conditions are very low humidity and cold, which will help the resin glands to release easily from the plant material. Obviously the final quality of your Kief will depend directly on the initial quality of your flowers… QUALITY FLOWER = SUPREME KIEF.

What you will want to do is to place your cannabis material on a sieve and sift it shaking it without much fury but not in snail mode, you can also place a non-stick cloth or plastic on the plant material leaving it enclosed between this and the filtering mesh, this way you can shake without anything escaping into the air, so you make sure to collect every milligram of this divine powder.

A mesh or sieve of 150-160 microns is usually used for the first sieving, which will give you a “raw” product. If you want to obtain a supreme quality, you should use well dried and frozen buds, use them without crushing them and sieve them for a few minutes, observing that the colour of the pollen that filters through the sieve is a light brown to golden blond, although it is also possible to obtain good Kief and that it has a darker colour, as it also depends on the colour of the flowers and the trichomes used. But the colour that you should never ever have in the Kief is greenish, as this means that you are straining plant material and that is not what you want under any circumstances.

Always sieve on a clean, non-stick surface such as glass or mirror if possible, or a silicone or Teflon pad. This will make it much easier to collect the precious resin.

Remember that the working area should be as aseptic as possible, as you don’t want dust particles, hair or animal hair to mix with your kief.

you can do a single sieving and thus remove all the pollen that your plant material has, but this will cause the first quality Kief to end up mixed first with unwanted plant material and then with the last quality Kief that remains in smaller quantities as we sieve the flowers. For this reason it is advisable to sieve for a few minutes and when you see that the colour starts to change, stop and sieve the material in another container or remove your first Kief from the current container and proceed to sieve again with the clean receptacle. With each sieving, the quality of the Kief decreases in all organoleptic respects.

The secret of supreme kief

To separate the best glandular trichomes from the rest of the trichomes and unwanted plant matter and obtain the creme de la creme, use a sieve of about 50 microns and if possible about 70 microns for an excellent quality.

Once this sieving is done, repeat it using the same sieve, passing through it again the particles that have been filtered out in the first re-sieving. (To make things clear, the more you filter and re-filter the same Kief, the more you will lose quantity but increase quality… so it’s up to you to find your ideal balance…).

In this way, we manage to isolate the heads of the glandular trichomes (which is where the cannabinoids and terpenes of marijuana are hidden) from other trichomes, contaminants, intrusive plant material, trichome feet, pistils, etc … which spoil the quality of our Kief.

That’s how simple it is to obtain the best quality of this marvellous resin.


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