What is Kief - 5 Clever Ways to Use It

Posted on October 18th 2018

Kief is a substance made from the powder-like crystals called trichomes that are part of the cannabis plant. 

The word kief is Arabic, meaning both “pleasure” or “intoxication.” In the west, it refers to the abundant powdery trichomes collected from the dry cannabis flower when processed.

Kief is microscopic and sticky, falling off of cannabis buds as they are handled in the clipping and drying process. A trimmer's gloves may be dusted thickly with this pollen-like substance at the end of a shift, and if you're not careful, you can quickly lose them. If you are careful in collecting the cannabinoid-rich dust, it can become hashish or some other concentrates. 

Kief can be used in some creative ways to add spice to a joint or bowl; it's practically an art form. Here are some of the best things we've seen people do with kief on the internet—you won't find these tutorials on Pinterest. 

Keep reading for tips on how to collect and use kief. 

Tiny Mushrooms of Tremendous Cannabis Strength

The trichomes are what contains most of the active medicinal cannabis compounds, which means they are rich in THC and pack a heady punch when smoked.

The look of these translucent stalks with rounded heads may baffle anyone not acquainted with the tiniest elements of the plant, but these structures have evolved as a defence mechanism, protecting the plant against insect predators, and UV spectrum light. 

If you think of trichomes as some do, like tiny crystalline mushrooms, you can imagine that the bulk of the cannabinoids, THC and the like, are manufactured in the "cap" of the gland. 


The Easiest Cannabis Concentrate in the World to Make

Kief can be separated from the whole plant material using a multi-level weed grinder that allows the sand-like granules to fall to the bottom level—the kief collector. It isn’t considered the highest quality extract out there, but cannabinoid levels can reach 3 to 4 times that of dry flower alone.

Look for a high-quality grinder with metal teeth that will pulverize the plant material you put inside and extract the highest amount of kief by hand.

If you feel that you're ready to graduate to a device made especially for pollen collection, you can use a pollen box (or pollen sifter, or kief tumbler) to shake the trichomes off dry cannabis flower. The benefit of this method is that plant material doesn't end up in the kief, resulting in a cleaner separation. 


5 Clever Ideas for Your Cannabis Kief


  1. Sprinkle a little into a joint or onto marijuana moonrocks. Joints with pure kief are hard to roll, and they can burn incredibly fast. As a result, most kief enthusiasts recommend sprinkling it on traditional weed before rolling a “J” and lighting up. Kief bowls burn better but remember you’re smoking concentrated pot, so pack your bowl accordingly as a small kief hit can go a long way. 
  2. Create a kief cake using leftover kief and drop it into the chamber of a hash vaporizer.
  3. Use it to make cannabutter and other marijuana edibles. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of marijuana, you can try substituting with 1/4 cup of kief and achieve the same dosage levels. Since this amount is only a suggestion, do stir the batter like your life depends on it and go “low and slow” when taste-testing your masterpiece.
  4. Turn kief into hash the Ice-o-lator way. You should have at least 50 grams of fair to middling weed and expect a large amount of kief in return. 
  5. Turn it into a solventless cannabis extract called rosin. You will need a hair straightening iron for this.  

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