Kief is the dried trichome heads that have fallen off the stalks, which are collected and used to traditionally smoke. It is considered a dry herb concentrate of cannabis and one of the oldest forms of a cannabis concentrate. Most people use grinders to mince and chop their cannabis into a crumbly consistency.
In the process, kief is collected as it falls through a metal screen and accumulates on the bottom most chamber of the grinder. Over time, this material can take on a pale green to golden color and is scooped up and placed on the top of material that has already been ground up and ready to smoke. Kief is usually very sticky when it encounters a warm surface, such as your fingers.
The sugary whiteness that coats mature buds on a cannabis plant is what kief is essentially made from. When the trichomes dry or frozen, they are more brittle and break off the plant more easily. In large quantities, kief is collected and either compressed together or stored loosely in jars away from heat and moisture.
Most people collect kief from their grinders over time, provided they come with a metal screen and bottom chamber to do so. Those who specialize in manufacturing kief, and other cannabis concentrates use large amounts of cannabis and process them over large mesh screens of different sizes to grade the quality, potency, and purity of the kief.
Smaller grinders collect kief much more quickly and usually come with a small scooper just for the occasion. The best grinders will feature a rounded bottom with no edges, making scooping most ideal and less prone to wastage. Kief can also be collected when cannabis buds and trim are frozen and processed through ice water.
When referring to traditional kief, it is usually made dry and sifted through screens instead of water. The common way to get kief will be through a grinder over time. Certain dispensaries also carry kief as a product. Most people are only familiar with smoking kief, and not vaping it. Fortunately, there are ways to vape kief without having to resort to burning it.
Most users top off their dry herbs in a bowl or sprinkle some inside a joint prior to lighting up. This is the most common way to consume kief. One of the most overlooked methods for using kief is through a vaporizer. In fact, any vaporizer that can accommodate dry herbs will be able to utilize kief. It is all a matter of knowing how to prepare it.
You will still need to use dry herbs for this to work, and you want to start out by filling your vape’s chamber with dry herbs first. Once you are about halfway full, put in enough kief to where you can still layer more dry herbs on top of it. You essentially want to create a sandwich of dry herbs, kief, and more dry herbs.
This will ensure that the kief itself stays in place and does not get sucked into your mouth or go down into the heating unit or other components of your vape. Kief is very fine, almost like dust. It is denser and pairs well with dry herbs, though care must be taken not to fill up a vape chamber or even a pipe with just kief, as this will certainly result in no vapor whatsoever.
Dry herbs are easy to load into a vape and usually consist of just grinding them up and loading them into the heating chamber. This is true whether you use a portable vape or a desktop vape. Kief by itself cannot be vaped or even smoked without it going to waste. This is because kief is usually loose and requires something to keep it into place to be properly heated up.
Dry herbs do not require this type of regulation since they are usually too large to go through any type of mesh screen. Kief on the other hand can potentially clog up your vape and make it very difficult to clean, especially since dry herb chambers are known for being fixed into place. There is a way to convert kief into an infused liquid as well, though this can be more trouble than it is worth.
The best way to use kief in a vape is by placing it between two layers of dry herb material. This is the fastest and cheapest way to do it, and it works quite well. When it comes to kief over dry herbs, it is best to remember that kief comes from dry herbs, and so you are better off using kief to augment your dry herbs, not replace them.
Using kief in a dry herb vaporizer is one of the best ways to use kief. Burning and smoking kief in the same manner will also work, though you will lose much more kief by smoking it this way. You are better off getting the most out of it by gently heating it up and getting vapor instead of smoke. When it comes to the vaporizer itself, if it is dry herb compatible, there should be no issues.
Kief can be a little messy, so always strive to maintain your vapes and keep them clean so that they do not clog up from the kief. Always keep the kief layered between dry herbs and never use it by itself unless it is highly compressed. This will keep your dry herb vapes running smooth for years to come.