Kief: What Is It, How It's Made, What Is It Used For, & How To Consume

July 11, 2023

If you're a cannabis enthusiast who enjoys flower, you’ve probably heard the term kief, and you likely know that it’s a prized part of your flower. Kief contains much of the magic of marijuana, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, so it’s worth learning about, and if you love top-shelf flower, it’s definitely worth collecting. Here, we’re going to tackle the topic of kief as part of our cannabis glossary series, ensuring you know what it is, how you collect it, and what you can do with it.

What is Kief?

Kief is the resinous, dried trichomes of cannabis flowers. Trichomes are tiny, crystal-like glands found on the surface of the plant, and they contain high concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that contribute to the effects and aroma of cannabis. Because it's jam-packed with these compounds, kief is considered a potent solventless concentrate

How Do You Extract Kief?

There are several solventless, DIY-friendly methods to extract kief from cannabis flowers. Here are the three most popular options if you’re interested in collecting kief from your flower:

  • Kief Catcher: Many high-quality grinders come with a built-in kief catcher, which is a chamber at the bottom where the kief collects as you grind your cannabis. Over time, as you continue to grind your flowers, the kief accumulates, creating a potent and flavorful substance you can add to your flower.

  • Ice: The ice method involves placing your cannabis buds in a container along with ice cubes and water, and agitating it. The cold temperature causes the trichomes to become brittle and break off, separating from the plant material. The mixture is then filtered through a series of screens to collect the kief.

  • Dry Sift: Dry sifting involves separating the trichomes from the plant material by using screens or mesh. The flowers are gently rolled over the screens, causing the trichomes to fall through and collect below. This method requires a bit more time and effort but results in high-quality kief.

What Do You Do with Kief?

Once you have your kief, there are several ways to enjoy it. Here are a few popular methods:

Add Kief to Flower

One of the simplest ways to consume kief is by sprinkling it over your cannabis flower before smoking. This method, often referred to as crowning a bowl, adds an extra kick of potency and flavor to your smoking experience. You can also add kief to your “joint” when you roll it, or to the end of your pre-roll. This method is called twaxing.

Create Edibles

Kief can also be used to make potent cannabis-infused edibles. Kief does need to be decarboxylated, so you’ll want to add it to your brownie batter, cookie dough, spaghetti sauce, or other recipe prior to cooking. When you heat your food, it will automatically decarb your kief.

Press into Hash

If you're looking for a more concentrated form of cannabis, you can press kief into hash. Hash is created by applying heat and pressure to kief, causing it to bind together and form a solid block. The resulting hash can be smoked, dabbed, or vaped depending on how you prefer to consume your cannabis.

Answering FAQs About Kief

Kief is a fascinating concentrate that requires minimal effort to enjoy. When learning about kief, it’s good to know the answers to these questions:

Can I smoke kief without flower?
Yes. Just know that smoking pure kief can be quite potent and intense, potentially overwhelming for some canna-connoisseurs. It’s always good to use the low and slow method (start with a low dose and consume slowly) to ensure you don’t overdo it and ruin your session by getting too intoxicated. 

Is kief stronger than flower?
Yes, kief is typically more potent than cannabis flower since it’s basically pure cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The concentrated nature of kief makes it a preferred choice for those of us seeking a stronger effect.

Is kief the same as moon rocks?
No, kief and moon rocks are not the same. Moon rocks refer to cannabis flower that has been coated with cannabis oil and rolled in kief, creating an extremely potent and visually striking product. While moon rocks contain kief, not all kief becomes moon rocks.

Purchasing Kief

If you want to experience kief, you have two options: You can collect it yourself, or you can purchase it from your local dispensary. Once you find a dispensary, talk to the budtender about the kief products they have in stock. They may have hash, fresh kief, moon rocks, twaxed prerolls, and more, so be sure you check out all of it. If you want to collect your own, just ask about their kief catchers, and you can pick the perfect grinder for your flower and kief needs. 

Use of Marijuana Concentrate may lead to: Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder (delusions, hallucinations, or difficulty distinguishing reality); Mental Health Symptoms/Problems; Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) (uncontrolled and repetitive vomiting); Cannabis use disorder/dependence, including physical and psychological dependence.   Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations. 

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