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What is a Kief Catcher?

Posted on January 29 2016

I was out with friends recently, when the topic of kief catchers came up. It turns out that quite a number of folks had no idea what a "kief catcher" was. An animated conversation ensued, and lead me to realize just how many folks are not familiar with kief in general, or kief catchers specifically.

"Kief" refers to the super fine, powdery, dust-like substance you get when you grind your herbs.  It is very frequently referred to as "pollen" as well, because it looks like a fine coating of flower pollen.  

Herb grinders come in a variety of configurations - 2 part, 3 part and 4 part grinders.   A 2-part grinder just has a top and a bottom, both with "teeth" to shred your herb.  That's it, there's no were for it to "go", it's just a shredder.   A 3-part grinder adds a "catch chamber" underneath, with holes in the 2nd part (the piece that *was* the bottom of a 2 part grinder) so that the ground-up herb can fall through the holes tot he catch chamber below.   A 4-part grinder adds yet another chamber below that, called the "kief catcher" (or "pollen catcher").  The catch chamber will have a screen at the bottom that allows the super fine pollen particles to fall through to the very bottom chamber, while the larger pieces of herb stay in the catch chamber.

When you use your grinder for the first time, there will be an ultra fine dusting of pollen in the kief catcher at the bottom.  Just ignore it.  Over time, as you continue to grind herb, that bottom-most chamber will continue to collect kief and accumulate.   Eventually you will have a nice pile of kief (pollen) in the bottom of your grinder!

Why is this a good thing?

Well, the kief is rich in THC. Kief comes from the trichomes and is highly concentrated.    Some folks use a "pollen press" to compress the kief under pressure and create hash.  Others sprinkle it over the top of a bowl to add a layer of concentrated THC.  Some folks just smoke a bowl of pure kief.  

Because it's very potent and has less plant matter, it's generally more pure and pleasing to smoke -- a delicacy, if you will.   To use a beef analogy, kief is like the filet mignon of herb.

And now you know.  Pass it on.

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