How To Decarb Kief

By Jason Jackson •  6 min read

If you frequently smoke cannabis or are interested in cooking edibles, you may have heard about decarboxylation or what it means to decarb kief.

This is the process that makes cannabis suitable for use in edibles, by activating the THC and CBD inside. Decarboxylating isn’t only for bud, however – you can also decarb kief and use that in edibles too.

But what is decarboxylation, and how does it work?

Luckily for you, this article has got you covered.

Not only will we take a look at the decarboxylation process, but we’ll also go over what kief is, how to decarb it, and what you can use your decarbed kief for.

Ready? Let’s get right into it!

What Is Kief?

Kief is the name for the small crystals that are formed on cannabis flowers. It is often found on weed and tends to collect in grinders.

It is more potent than the bud form of cannabis, and contains more THC and CBD.

decarb keif

You can collect kief easily in a grinder with a kief catcher (an extra section at the bottom of many multi-part grinders, separated by a mesh and usually containing a small scoop), where it is collected while you grind.

Kief will also build up naturally around the teeth of a grinder, and where you store your weed before and after grinding.

You can even collect kief on your fingers when touching some strains due to a higher build-up on the bud.

You should store kief in a cool and dry place. If your grinder has a kief catcher built-in, you can keep it in there and take it out as needed with a scraper. Otherwise, keep it in its own bag or container.

In storage, it will dry out, and any smaller pieces of bud may also develop kief crystals.

Kief is typically included with regular bud to add more potency while smoking, or is decarboxylated and used in edibles.

What Is Decarboxylation?

Decarboxylating (often referred to as simply ‘decarbing’) is a process in which bud or kief is heated up to activate the THC and CBD. It becomes more potent, and also becomes suitable for use in edibles.

To decarb kief, it needs to be heated at a high temperature for around half an hour, which will prompt it to release these chemicals.

The heat activates the active ingredients of CBD and THC that aren’t present in raw kief or bud. This acts in a similar way to smoking weed, but keeps the compounds in the kief for use in edibles.

Why Should I Decarb Kief?

Making edibles is the main reason for decarbing weed, and kief is no different. It also becomes more potent after being decarbed.

This, combined with its less obtrusive taste, makes kief a great ingredient for edibles. The higher concentration of crystallized CBD and THC in kief leads to a stronger high with more psychoactive properties.

As mentioned before, the decarbing process is similar to smoking. As such, if you don’t like smoking and want a healthier alternative then decarbing for use in edibles is a great choice.

Just bear in mind that some of your edibles may not be the healthiest option either!

How To Decarb Kief

You may be wondering how to decarb kief yourself. Don’t worry – we’ve broken down the steps you need to follow into an easy-to-follow guide.

If you just follow a few simple steps you’ll have perfectly decarbed kief ready to use in no time.

cannibus keif

First of all, you’ll need to collect your kief. You can do this by using a grinder with a kief catcher, or you can just collect it after grinding your bud.

Smaller pieces of bud leftover will also crystallize more over time. When you have the required amount of kief, you’re ready to decarb it.

Next, preheat your oven to 250°F. Spread your kief out over a baking sheet or oven-proof dish that you’ve covered in parchment paper.

Make sure it’s spread out well to ensure it is heated evenly. Break up any larger pieces.

Put the kief in the oven for between 20-30 minutes. Over this time, the kief will darken and produce a strong smell. The chemical compounds inside the kief will activate and become more potent, most notably the THC and CBD.

You can also use a decarboxylating machine, which is specifically designed to decarb bud and kief. This will save time and effort, while also removing the risk of you wasting the kief.

This is a great option if you’re unsure of what you’re doing or don’t have the time to keep an eye on your kief while it decarbs.

And that’s it! You now have a batch of decarbed kief, ready to be cooked into various edibles.

Something you should consider before you start is the smell. If you’re decarbing in the oven, there’s going to be a strong smell of weed throughout your house.

And while some decarboxylating machines don’t produce as much of an odor, many still let the smell out. Maybe save decarbing for a day where you aren’t expecting visitors.

What Edibles Can I Make With Decarbed Kief?

There are many different recipes you can use your decarbed kief in to make edibles.

Some of the more useful things to make with kief are medicated oil or butter. These can be incorporated into many foods, from brownies and cakes to savory meals.

Due to its smaller size and less noticeable flavor, you can also use kief to infuse drinks.

Mixing some decarbed kief into a smoothie or a hot drink like tea will make a more refreshing edible, and will keep you hydrated.

You can even infuse alcohol with kief, though this isn’t recommended due to the risks of mixing alcohol and other substances.

You should also be careful with the amount of kief you use in edibles, as it is stronger than bud and contains more THC. Make sure you stay responsible and don’t use more than you can handle.

As long as you follow the required steps, you’ll be able to easily decarb your kief for use in anything you want. Enjoy!