Kief is basically trichome dust. Pronounced with a long e (think keef), the name is derived from an Arabic word meaning “pleasure” or “intoxication,” and kief certainly offers both.
Trichomes are resin glands found on the flowers, leaves and, to a lesser extent, the stalks of cannabis plants. These glands produce a thick and sticky resin which contains key cannabis molecules, including THC and CBD, plus many more cannabinoids and terpenes.
Trichomes play an important evolutionary role for many plants. For example, some carnivorous plants trap their prey via sticky trichomes. Other plants, like cannabis, use them as a deterrent to herbivores like rabbit and deer. Nibbling the plant produces a psychoactive experience, getting the animal too high to eat the rest of the plant. The resin’s strong, distinct odour also attracts pollinating insects and predators, which can keep herbivores away.
Because kief is so rich in THC and other cannabinoids it can produce a much stronger high than smoking cannabis flowers, which includes other plant material.
How Do You Collect Kief?
The easiest way to enjoy kief is to collect it when you grind your cannabis flowers. Grinders with multiple chambers, like our Flower Stampede 4-Layer Cannabis Grinder, feature a bottom chamber for collecting kief. We even include a small scraper to help get the good stuff out of your grinder.
For easier kief collecting, try putting your grinder in the freezer for a half hour or so. Freezing your grinder makes it harder for kief to stick to surfaces, making removal less difficult.
The kief that builds up in your grinder will also contain micro-particles of other plant material. If you really, really want pure kief, you can strain it again using a very fine screen. Otherwise, just collect and enjoy!
How Do You Use Kief?
There are a variety of ways to enjoy your kief stash:
Smoke kief in a pipe
A simple way to use kief is to sprinkle it over ground cannabis in a pipe bowl. Kief alone, because it is a fine powder, may fall into your bowl when you inhale, so it’s best to add some relatively larger flower.
Roll kief in a joint or add to a pre-roll
Another easy consumption method is to sprinkle some kief into your ground cannabis and roll it in a joint. An option is to coat the outside of your joint with cannabis oil, or simply moisten it, and then roll the joint in kief to coat. This also works well for purchased pre-rolled joints.
Hashish, one of the oldest ways to enjoy cannabis, is basically just kief that has been heated and pressurized. To make your own hash, you will need parchment paper and either an iron or hair straightener. It’s a simple process:
- Place the kief on the parchment paper and fold over to make an envelope.
- Heat the parchment-enclosed kief at a medium temperature for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn it. It will release a strong but pleasant aroma.
- The finished hash will clump up when scraped off the parchment paper, making it easy to smoke in a pipe or joint.
Beloved by cannabis connoisseurs, moonrocks are buds covered in oil and rolled in kief. To make a moonrock:
- Gently heat the oil and coat your buds
- Sprinkle kief over the still-warm buds or use tongs to dip the buds into the kief
- Let harden, then enjoy by breaking them up by hand and sprinkling them into a joint or pipe bowl. (Avoid using a grinder as you do not want to make the rock too fine and undo all the added goodness.)
You can make edibles using kief along with, or in place of, cannabis flowers. Kief’s high cannabinoid content means you can use less butter or cooking oil to infuse meals.
But just like cooking with cannabis flowers, you must activate the THC in kief by heating it, a process called decarboxylation. The idea is to heat the kief at a low temperature to trigger the THC while preserving the cannabinoid and terpene content.
Drink kief in coffee or tea
You can mimic the decarboxylation process by using the heat of coffee, tea or any hot drink you prefer. Simply sprinkle some kief into your mug and stir. Like other edibles, ingesting kief this way means the cannabinoids are digested before reaching your bloodstream, resulting in a delayed but more intense buzz.