In this guide, you will discover how to make cannabis edibles with kief, the fine powdery substance oftentimes found at the bottom of a grinder. Learn more about why kief can be stronger and more potent than traditional cannabis flowers, and get instructions on how to decarb your kief for best results.
How to Decarb and Make Edibles with Kief
If you've ever topped a bowl or a joint with a sprinkle of kief, you know it's powerful stuff.
It may take a little practice to get your recipe perfect, but it gets a little easier when you know what you're doing.
To learn more about making edibles with kief, read on for tips and tricks, as well as full instructions for how to decarb your kief at home in the oven.
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What Is Kief?
If you use a three-chamber grinder to grind your cannabis, you're left with a powdery substance in the bottom chamber once you're done grinding your flower.
This stuff is usually known as kief but is sometimes called pollen or dry sift.
But what is kief, exactly?
Kief is made up of the cannabis plant's resin glands, also known as trichomes, containing much of the plant's terpenes and cannabinoids.
This means that kief is essentially concentrated cannabis - it's the most potent part of the plant in terms of cannabinoid concentration.
Because kief is so high in cannabinoids, depending on the type of flower you're starting with, even just a tiny bit can have a big effect.
If you're using a THC-dominant flower, you will have THC-dominant kief.
If you are using CBD-dominant flower, you will have CBD dominant kief.
It's easy to collect kief without any special equipment besides a grinder, and over time you'll quickly save up a lot, especially if you use trichome-heavy strains of cannabis.
You can also purchase kief that's ready to be used at some dispensaries and retail stores.
How Potent is Kief?
It's difficult to know exactly how potent your kief is without testing it in a lab, but you can approximate its strength if you know what kind of bud the kief came from.
In addition, if you buy kief at a store or dispensary, the label will likely give you a good idea of its potency.
While it's standard to find cannabis flower that is roughly 15-25% THC, kief can contain upwards of 70% THC.
With this in mind, know that a little can go a long way. It's a great way to quickly deliver a strong dose of THC when you need relief or relaxation right away.
If you've saved up a bit of kief, you can make edibles quite easily.
In most cases, you'll probably want at least a gram of kief before you get started.
Depending on how much you consume may take a few weeks or months to save up.
Once you have enough to work with, you'll need to decarb your kief, which we go into below.
After your kief is decarbed, it's ready to use in any way you please.
How to Decarb Kief
Yes, you need to decarb kief when making cannabis edibles.
Before you use your kief in edibles, it needs to undergo the process of decarboxylation, or to be heated, so the cannabinoids become active.
Raw cannabis kief does not naturally contain high amounts of active CBD or THC; it actually contains what is known as cannabinoid acids.
Cannabinoid acids, like CBDA and THCA and more, have potential health benefits – but they are not intoxicating in nature - meaning you won’t get high.
To convert these nonintoxicating cannabinoid acids into the activated cannabinoids we typically want to consume, the process of decarboxylation must occur.
This process is easy and can be done by baking the kief in your oven at home.
Before getting started, it's important to know that kief can sometimes be hard to work with.
It's sticky, powdery, and easy to spill, so be extremely careful when decarbing.
You can find my complete, step-by-step guide to decarbing kief below with printable instructions.
How to Make Edibles with Kief
Now it's time to enjoy your decarbed kief in a variety of ways.
Because the kief is decarbed, its effects are active in whatever way you use it.
This means you can add it directly to a recipe like a spice, infuse it into oil, or make an extract like tincture.
I will go over all of those options below.
Use Kief Directly in a Recipe
Kief has a distinct flavor, but it isn't particularly harsh, which makes it great to use as a seasoning or to sprinkle directly onto food.
Because kief is so fine, it has a similar consistency to other ground herbs, meaning it will blend into a recipe well.
One important thing to note if you plan on adding kief directly to recipes is that cannabis is more effectively absorbed and utilized by the body when paired with a fat source.
This means that adding a fat source to your kief recipe may make it up to 2.5-3 times more potent than choosing to skip a fat source.
Use Kief to Make Oil or Butter
You can use your kief to make a potent infused oil or butter to be used either sublingually or added into baked goods.
If you've never made kief butter before, you can follow my guide to making cannabutter and use your desired amount of kief in place of the cannabis flower.
If you want to make an infused oil, I have many recipes which I will share with you below.
If you're unsure what one is right for you, be sure to grab my guide to understanding the many different types of cannabis oils here.
Cannabis oils that can be made with kief:
- Cannabis Coconut Oil
- Cannabis MCT Oil
- Cannabis Olive Oil
- Homemade CBD Oil
- CBN Sleep Oil
- Full-Extract Cannabis Oil
Use Kief to Make a Tincture
You can use kief to make a potent cannabis tincture.
You can then turn around and use that tincture to make a variety of different recipes such as:
Use Kief to Fill Capsules
Many members of my Well With Cannabis Facebook Community report that swallowing cannabis capsules makes for a quick, easy, effective, and essentially tasteless way to dose and consume their cannabis.
Because kief is so potent, you may not need a lot to fill your capsules.
You can fill the remaining space of the capsule with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, to get the fat you need for better absorption in one simple dose.
If you've never made cannabis capsules before, be sure to check out my guide on how to make and fill cannabis capsules.
Use An Infusion Machine For Your Edibles
Cannabis-infusion machines are countertop devices that do all the work for you by decarboxylating and infusing your butters, oils, and more.
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How to Decarboxylate Kief
- 3.5 grams cannabis kief or your desired amount
- Preheat the oven to 240° F.
- Using a digital scale, weigh the kief to your desired weight. For example: 1 gram, 5 grams, 7.5 grams, or more.
- Carefully put the parchment paper into an oven-safe baking dish with a lid, making sure the kief is in an even layer (you do not want clumps or mounds). If you don't have a lid, the tin foil will work.
- Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes for THC-dominant flower or 60-65 minutes for CBD-dominant flower. Your kief will have darkened in color. Sometimes, the resin crystals may have melted a little, but that's why we used parchment - so they don't stick to your baking dish.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely with the lid on.
- Your decarbed kief is now ready for immediate use. Be sure to store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place if you don't use it right away.