Cooking with Kief: Making Edibles with Kief

Note: This is a very basic guideline to marijuana cooking with kief.  For more detailed lessons in this and other cannabis cooking techniques, Senior Stoner recommends Cannademy's comprehensive online Cannabis Cooking course.

Learn how to Cook with Cannabis and Stay Healthy

Cannabis Cheri teaches you how to make great tasting, perfectly dosed edibles, to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cooking with kief opens up a whole new world of recipes that can be converted to cannabis cooking. 

For the record, these techniques will also work with hash too.  

 A lot of the edibles recipes that can be made with kief and hash contain far less fat than ones that depend on butter or oil to carry the medication.  This can be an important consideration for those trying to curb calories or limit fats.

Of course cannabis metabolizes better with some fat, but when you're making edibles with kief or hash you eliminate the need to add extra oil or butter to achieve a proper dose.

Many people find the nutty flavor of kief and hash naturally blends in better with more foods than the herbal undertones contained in marijuana infused butter and oil.  Cooking with kief can definitely help you get rid of that acrid green flavors some edibles can take on.

What is Kief, What is Hash?

cooking with kief, cooking with hash

Before we go further, let's define the terms so everyone is on the same page.  As we previously talked about, both kief and hash (also k own as water hash or bubble hash) are all natural cannabis concentrates.  No chemical solvents are used to make kief or hash.  

Kief and hash are known as cannabis concentrates because they contain the part of the plant that contains the THC, without much of anything else. 

In practical terms when cooking with kief or hash this means there will be far less herbal flavor in your finished edibles.  

The potency of a given batch of kief or hash, of course, depends on the quality of the plant that dedicated its trichomes to making it.

Kief and hash can be used interchangeably in recipes. 

cannabis trichomes

Kief and hash consist of the tiny resinous trichomes that cover the cannabis plant, with very little of the actual plant materials.  Beyond that:

  • Kief is a powdery substance composed of the resinous glands or trichomes on the marijuana plant.  This powder can range from somewhat sticky to gummy depending on the plant and strain.
  • Hash is kief that has been cured and pressed.  Hash can range from gold to dark green or brown in color and from a dry, crumbly, powdery texture all the way up to a sticky putty-like substance.  And every point in between.

How to Make DIY Kief

What you need for making Dry Ice Kief

Dry ice kief is the easiest concentrate for home cooks to make.  It's also one of the easiest concentrates to cook with.

Our friends at Cannabis Cheri produced a terrific short video that shows just how quick and easy it is for anyone to make kief at home.  So click on over to the How to Make Dry Ice Kief tutorial and before you know it you will be cooking with kief!

Tips for Cooking with Kief and Hash

As we discussed earlier, kief and hash can range from dry and crumbly to sticky and gummy.  Many smokers prefer the latter, but for cooking purposes, the dry, crumbly, powdery stuff is usually easier to work with because it is easy to grind or grate.  This then allows you to stir the fine powder into all kinds of foods, something that is impossible to do with the gummy type of kief or hash.  

If you plan on dissolving the kief or hash in a hot liquid, however, either variety, powdery or gummy, will work fine.

Like any cannabis edibles, your kief and hash infused recipes need some fat, or alcohol, to help them metabolize effectively.  

If you do want to add hash or kief to a fat free food, be sure to accompany the food with another dish that does contain some fat, or wash it down a glass of milk, or coffee or tea with cream, or some other fat containing beverage.

The other consideration when cooking kief, hash, or any kind of cannabis, for that matter is temperature.  

Remember, THC evaporates entirely at temperatures greater than 392 degrees F. You can cook at temperatures higher than that, as long as the temperature of the food itself doesn't get that high.  And it almost never does.

The Importance of Decarboxylation When Cooking with Kief

You will need to heat or decarboxylate kief before using in recipes.  

As hash has been heated and pressed, decarbing hash is optional but not necessary.  Doing so might, in fact, make your finished edibles take on more sleepy effects.

The heat of the decarboxylation process activates the raw plant's THC-A (or acid) and turns it into THC.  The same goes for CBD-A and CBD when cooking with CBD hemp or high CBD strains of cannabis.

Even if you plan on using kief in a recipe that will be cooked, decarbing it first can help get the most potency from it.  

A friend lab tested two batches of brownies that had plain kief stirred into the batter as opposed to kief that had been first decarboxylated.  He found the latter to be about 30% more potent.  

How to Decarboxylate Kief

Decarboxylating kief is easy to do.  Put your kief or hash in an oven proof dish and heat for about 1 hour at 240 degrees F.  

Remove from oven, cool and you are ready to use for cooking.

Learn more about decarboxylation here.

About the author 

Senior Stoner Staff Writer

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