What Is Pollen?
Pollen (AKA Kief or Keef):
Kief is effectively made by removing the trichomes from the cannabis flowers. Trichomes are the shiny, crystal-like balls that form on the leaves of the cannabis plant, and these crystals contain the highest concentration of cannabinoids compared to any other part of the cannabis plant. By removing these glands from the actual plant material, what you are left with is much stronger than buds.
What is Pollen or Kief?
Kief refers to the resin glands which contain the terpenes and cannabinoids that make cannabis so unique. While marijuana sans kief still contains cannabinoids, the resin glands that develop on flower buds pack the biggest punch.
While kief specifically refers to the bulbous, crystal formation on the tip of a gland, the substance itself is just one part of what is called a trichome, or a “hair.”
Many different plants and algae have external trichomes for specific evolutionary purposes. For example, some carnivorous plants rely on sticky trichomes to trap their prey. Other plants, like cannabis, use them as a deterrent to herbivores.
Trichomes on the marijuana plant keep away hungry herbivores by producing an intense psychoactive experience, theoretically disorienting the animal and preventing it from eating the rest of the plant. The resin’s strong, distinct odor also attracts pollinating insects and predators, which might keep herbivore populations at bay.
Top Uses for Pollen?
1. TOP OFF YOUR BUDS WITH A LITTLE KIEF
This is the easiest way to put your kief to use. Simply sprinkle a tiny bit of kief over the cannabis buds in your bowl, bong, one-hitter etc. Kief, when heated, tends to burn quickly and will continue to stay lit until it is all gone. To avoid wasting product while you catch your breath between each draw, it is recommended that you space the kief out by lining just the outside of a bowl (as opposed to covering the entire top layer).
2. ADD KIEF TO YOUR MORNING CUP OF COFFEE
One of the most popular ways of consuming kief is by putting it in your morning cup of joe. The heat of the coffee or cappuccino will activate the kief’s cannabinoids, making them more available for consumption. Ingesting kief this way will produce a strong, long-lasting effect after just 15-30 minutes, much like eating an infused edible.
3. WHIP UP SOME KIEF BUTTER
Just like you can make infused butter with cannabis flower or hash oil, you can also use kief to produce a stronger end-product. Simply place butter (not margarine) into a crock pot on medium heat until melted completely. Then add your kief and stir every 10 to 15 minutes for 5 hours. Remove the kief butter from the heat and place in a heat-proof container (a bowl). After it cools completely place a lid on the container and put it in the refrigerator to harden.
4. BREW KIEF TEA
Much like you can put kief into your coffee, you can also add it to your favorite cup of hot tea. It only takes a pinch of kief (1 gram will be plenty for 4 6oz drinks) to create a powerful drink.
5. TURN KIEF INTO HASH
Hash is basically just heated and pressurized kief. Applying heat and pressure to kief alters its composition by rupturing the resin glands, changing its taste, consistency, and look. The color of kief typically darkens the more it is pressurized. Just as there are many ways you can collect kief, there are many ways to make your own hash. Here is a simple DIY method that involves parchment paper (not wax paper), an iron, and a buffer (such as a t-shirt, thin towel or even damp newspaper):
- Heat iron to lowest setting – no steam
- Take the parchment (adjust to amount to be pressed – typically about a foot), fold in half and place on an iron-ready surface (preferably an ironing board)
- Place a light layer of kief on the bottom half of the parchment paper (not too thick – about a ¼ inch) and fold the top half over, keeping the kief toward the fold
- Put the buffer over the parchment paper
- Apply pressure with the iron for no more than 3 or 4 seconds at a time, for about 20 swipes, flipping the paper’s side every few swipes
- Check your progress and adjust heat or force of swipes if too loose or sticky
- Don’t forget to turn off the iron
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