How to Press Kief
Those tiny crystals that cover cannabis buds are called trichomes, also known as dry sift. Trichomes contain terpenes and cannabinoids, and when these work together, they produce a synergistic effect, causing something called “The Entourage Effect”. Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are not the only ones causing relief and healing to your body. It has been discovered that terpenes not only determines how your weed smells, but they also play a big role in the therapeutic properties of cannabis.
If you check out the bottom of your grinder, you will probably see some beautiful glittering dust in its bottom chamber. Known as kief this the remaining part of the crystals of your bud when grinded. Is your grinder full of kief already? Don’t simply sprinkle a little on top of your bowl. It will burn fast and the magic will be all over too soon.
If you want to make the most out of all that hard-earned dry sift, there is a better way of using your kief. We're going to teach you how to press kief, and it just might change how you think about these sparkly little trichomes.
Pressing Kief into Rosin
When you compress and heat kief, you squeeze the trichomes, turning them into a slightly different extract with hardened shape, sappy texture, and semi transparent appearance called rosin. This solvent less shatter varies in color from yellow to black and is used by many in the same way they would kief, such as adding it to bowls and blunts or to smoke on its own.
Pressing kief into rosin is easy. If you look online, there are amazing kief presses available for roughly $100. These don’t come cheap but, it's an investment that will pay off in the long run. If you don't want to invest, take a look at our homemade version below. This is how to press kief into rosin:
- Bring the low temperature plates up close to each other. Heat at 160 to 180F. Remember to always keep an eye on it to avoid accidents.
- Add your kief. While your press heats up, put some kief inside of a 25 micron bag. After that, insert this first bag into a 160 micron bag to double-bag it. With a scissor, trim the excessive bag area that remains and fold it to make it look like a pouch. Then, cut a parchment with just enough size to place your dry sift pouch inside and fold in each side of it.
- Press it. Set a pair of waxed papers between the two hot surfaces, and leave the pouch centered. Wait just a few seconds until the bag warms up before you apply force to it. As you add pressure, it will basically squeeze resinous sap from the bud.
- Get your rosin. While the press gets to full pressure, the oil will grease up the filter and will slowly drip rosin that retains many of that valuable terpenes providing aroma and flavor without any residual hydrocarbon. Leave it for about 3 minutes. Rosin can rival any other solvent-based extraction products by it’s flavor, potency, and yield. You can open the press and check if there is enough product. If you would like to have higher yields, leave it a few more minutes in the press.
- Release and store. Be careful when opening up the low temp plates and take out the waxed paper with the pouch inside and place it on a flat surface. Open up and gently pick up your homemade rosin with a dabber.
To store it, place your homemade rosin in a glass jar that has a lid with an air-tight seal. While it will probably stick more to the glass, it won’t create any chemical reaction between the compounds on the rosin and the material of the container.
How to Make a Kief Press
You can also make an easy homemade kief press in case you are not interested in making rosin.
You Will Need:
- Unsharpened pencil
- A segmented ink pen with a straight metal body that is slightly larger in diameter than the pencil
- A piece of paper
With this homemade press you'll squeeze the trichomes into a hardened shape, without using heat, to make beautiful little kief discs that will fit perfectly into your bowl.
- Disassemble the pen. For this purpose, you will need one that threads on the outside of the metal tube, not the inside. Threads will transfer to the disc, and prevent it sliding out smoothly.
- Tap the dry sift off the paper into the metal cylinder of your pen, which will be sitting vertically on a flat surface.
- Once you have your kief inside the metal tube, take the pencil to tap it down. Press and pack hard, applying as much pressure as you can. This way, you will create compact, small kief pills.
- Carefully lift the metal tube and take the disc. Now, pop it into your bowl and smoke your homemade kief pill. The ideal size of it is about the size of a regular prescription pill. However, you can make taller discs. Simply pack some kief down, then add more.
Be careful, however, of packing too much. If you add more kief than recommended, the pill will eventually crumble, wasting your precious pollen.