Ever wondered what the sticky resin is that falls to the bottom of your grinder after each use?
These small, sticky crystals that collect in your grinder are called kief, which are glands that sit on the tip of the cannabis flower leaf. To put it even simpler, kief is hash in unpressed form.
Before you discard the bits that are left behind, learn why these are the most potent parts of the cannabis plant -- and how to avoid wasting them.
First, let’s discuss what makes kief such an important part of the flower as it contains two important compounds:
Terpenes are the compounds that give the strain its unique aromatic and flavour profile. Terpenes are not unique to cannabis; almost every plant has its own strong-smelling terpene profile which helps to protect it against predators. Kief is full of terpenes, and is one part of the cannabis flower’s trichome that help to protect it from herbivorous animals, insects, and even UV rays. The unique terpenes and cannabinoids that are produced in the trichome are hugely thanks to the photosynthesis process that occurs when trichomes take in nutrients from light, soil, and water. Whether a trichome absorbs artificial light or sunlight can also create differing results in the manifestation of terpenes and cannabinoids.
Kief contains cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds such as CBD and THC that interact with cannabinoid receptors in the body to produce their potential healing effects. These receptors are found in different parts of the central nervous system. Cannabinoids can influence appetite, memory, cognitive function, and even mood as they mimic endocannabinoids -- the body’s naturally occurring compounds.
Why use kief?
If you like the potency of concentrates but don’t have the budget for it, kief is a great option. Since the resin glands are packed with terpenes and cannabinoids, you can get the potency you’re looking for alongside a price that won’t break the bank.
How to collect kief
To take advantage of kief’s potency, simply use a three-chamber herb grinder to grind your flower. Then, gather the kief crystals that have fallen through the screen into the small compartment below. You can also extract kief using water extraction, which is the process in which you use ice cold water to separate the trichomes at the bottom of an irritation tank using different filters. Another option to consume kief is to press it into hash.
How to consume kief
There are a few different ways you can consume kief; you can sprinkle it onto a rolled joint, add it to your vaping routine to increase potency, or even onto a packed bowl of cannabis flower. You can also consume it by adding it to your favourite cannabis infusion recipe, like cannabis butter, simple syrup, or oil.
Always make sure to start low and go slow to consume safely.