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There are several kinds of marijuana concentrates out there today, but kief and hash are some of the oldest and most popular forms for medical marijuana patients. An old school favorite for many marijuana enthusiasts, kief, and hash is unique amongst concentrates because it can be smoked like normal flower.
Read on to learn more about how kief and hash are made, what types you can find on the market, and how they're used.
What is Kief?
Kief is a fine, light powder that resembles very granular sand that is made by separating trichomes (the crystalline structures that coat the outside of the dried marijuana flowers) from whole-plant material using a weed grinder, mesh screens or bubble machine.
Kief is, perhaps, the easiest cannabis concentrate to make, and therefore, is one of the most popular. It isn’t considered the highest quality extract out there, but THC levels can typically be 3 to 4 times more concentrated than unprocessed cannabis.
What is Hash?
Hash is a potent cannabis extract that’s been used for centuries throughout Asia, the Arab world, and India. It was introduced to the West in the 19th century when literary giants like Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Charles Baudelaire consumed hashish in Parisian nightclubs.
Hashish is made by heating and pressing kief into a firm block. A popular type of hash is called bubble hash, which is a darker, crumbly cannabis concentrate that derives its name from the way it bubbles when smoked.
How to Make Kief
There are many ways to make kief.
The simplest way is to collect the powder that accumulates at the bottom of your grinder. This powder is low grade kief. Some specially designed grinders sift and save this powder in a separate chamber to collect a much finer grade of kief.
If you're looking to make a larger amount of high quality kief, a trusted method is to push ground flower through a series of silk screens. The screens are usually layered from most porous to finest to catch very high quality trichomes on the last screen.
Others use an ice water bath and agitation machine to knock off the trichomes into the water. The water is then filtered through screens to save the kief which is then dried and pressed into hash.
There are literally dozens of ways to safely produce kief. Any method that knocks the trichomes off the plant and saves them in a container will suffice.
How to Make Hash
Hashish is made by pressing kief into a solid block or ball using high pressure and very low heat--average 180 degrees or so. Many people like to use a pollen press because it produces a very neat, defined block. But no special equipment is absolutely required to make hash.
An age-old method, one that likely pre-dates the written word, is to roll ground cannabis flowers with bare hands until enough of the black, gooey hash collects on the hands to be scraped off and rolled into balls.
Since bubble hash has become one of the most accepted recent innovations in hash making, here are the exact steps for making bubble hash.
How to Make Bubble Hash
- Bubbleator or other washing machine with accessories including zipper bag
- 2 or 3 progressively finer mesh bags if not included. The finest mesh should be 45 microns or so.
- 5 gallon food grade bucket
- pollen press
Exact Steps to Make Bubble Hash with a Bubbleator
1) Put the cannabis into the zipper bag.
2) Zip the bag tight and make sure the zipper is locked.
3) Drop the bag into the Bubbleator.
4) Fill the Bubbleator about halfway with water.
5) Add ice till the chamber is ¾ of the way full.
6) Wait till your temperature reaches just above freezing.
7) Close the lid and set the machine to run for 15 minutes.
8) Put the 5 gallon bucket under the Bubbleator's drainage tube.
9) Put the finer mesh bag over the bucket first, then the larger mesh bag on top of it.
10) Open the drainage tube and pour the water into the bucket through the bags.
11) The larger mesh bag will filter out the larger debris from the water, while the smaller mesh bag below it collects the kief. The bags can be squeezed to make the filtering process move faster.
The resulting kief must then be dried for about 24 hours. It can then be smoked, but is more commonly pressed into hash to make bubble hash.
12) Put the resulting, now-dry kief into the pollen press.
13) Open the pollen press and insert one of the plugs.
14) Put the cap on over the plug, but don't screw it in all of the way.
15) Pour the kief into the top part of the chamber.
16) Use the other plug to press the kief into the chamber.
17) Apply both end caps and twist, using as much pressure as possible.
18) Leave your pollen in a warm place--not HOT, because that will degrade your cannabinoids, but WARM. Leave it there for 6 to 8 hours, checking it every couple hours to further tighten the end caps.
19) Put the pollen press in the freezer for about 15 minutes to cool off the contents and help the hash release from the chamber more easily.
Enjoy by smoking with herb, vaporizing, mixing with edibles or any other way you like. You'll find that this method produces very flavorful, full-spectrum concentrates.
Using Kief & Hash
So, after you've managed to collect all that kief, how do you use it?
Well, kief can be sprinkled on joints, or smoked in bowls, bongs, or pipes. However, because kief is such a fine powder, it’ll burn differently than normal cannabis flower. A joint rolled with nothing but kief is difficult to roll and will burn remarkably fast. Therefore, many kief enthusiasts instead sprinkle it on conventional weed before rolling a “J” and sparking it up.
Kief bowls burn better but remember you’re smoking concentrated marijuana, so pack your bowl accordingly as a small kief hit can go a long way.
Hash can also be smoked in joints, bowls, bongs, and pipes. Smoking hash is very similar to smoking kief. That is, it's best to combine it with conventional cannabis flower for the best results. If you'd rather not smoke your kief or hash, you can use it to make cannabutter and other marijuana edibles.
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Warnings and Dangers
Before you start collecting kief or working to make your own hash, make sure that you are complying with the local marijuana laws in your jurisdiction. Many states have only legalized marijuana for medical use, requiring their residents to be licensed to use kief and hash. Many others haven't legalized marijuana at all, meaning hash and kief would be illegal to possess, produce, or use.
Otherwise, hash and kief are probably the safest marijuana concentrates to make yourself.
Hash can be made through a variety of solventless methods (see above), and collecting kief is as simple as grinding up cannabis flower. However, things begin to get dangerous and potentially illegal when solvents are used in the hash making process.
It's not recommended that you use any hash-making methods that require solvents, as it can be very dangerous and illegal if done improperly or without the necessary legal licenses.
How to Find and Buy Kief and Hash
Truth be told, you should be hard-pressed to find a dispensary that doesn't offer some form of hash and kief. Because both are relatively easy to produce and have been used for thousands of years, your local dispensary should have hash and kief products you can buy. Remember that depending on your local cannabis laws, a medical marijuana recommendation may be needed to buy and possess hash and kief.
If you're looking into getting a medical marijuana recommendation, then look no further. Using the NuggMD telemedicine platform, you'll be connected with a cannabis physician licensed in your state and be recommended for medicinal use in no time. Sign up with NuggMD today!