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Kief

Kief refers to the sticky crystal resin that coats cannabis buds. Once the cannabis plant is harvested and dried, kief turns into a darker—usually gold to brown—powder-like dusting that is popularly collected in grinders as it readily detaches from the buds when ground. Kief is formed by the cannabis flower’s trichomes, the glands that secrete oils rich in compounds like THC, CBD, terpenes, and more.

“We should top this bowl with some kief from the grinder.”

“I once smoked a joint that was dipped in oil and rolled in kief.”

What is kief?

Kief is the powdery, golden dust that coats the outside of buds. Cannabis flower is covered in glands called trichomes that produce oils containing cannabinoids like THC and CBD, as well as fragrant terpenes that give cannabis its various aromas. These trichome heads are what become kief once the cannabis plant is harvested and dried.

Kief is highly potent and often salvaged from grinders that have a “kief catcher,” a specific chamber that collects kief as it breaks off buds. Kief is also the essential ingredient of hash (or hashish), which is essentially tightly packed chunks of kief.

How to use kief

Kief that has broken off of cannabis buds has many uses:

  • Kief can be sprinkled onto a bowl of flower in your pipe or bong to make each hit a little more potent. 
  • Kief can be collected and compacted into hash using tools that press it together tightly.
  • Kief can be used to make “moon rocks,” which are cannabis buds that have been dipped in cannabis oil and then rolled in kief for an extra potent smoke.
  • Similarly, kief can be used to coat “twaxed” joints and blunts, which are dipped in oil for extra potency.
  • Kief can be made into rosin concentrates using a rosin press, a tool that uses heat and pressure to squeeze oil out of cannabis or kief.
  • Kief may be added to cannabis oil used for edibles for extra potency.

Where to get kief

Most people procure kief from a grinder with a “kief catcher.” This chamber in a grinder slowly collects kief from ground buds, and in time, a blanket of kief will form. Some grinders come with a tiny spatula-like scraping tool that allows you to easily scoop small amounts of kief from the chamber and add it to a bowl of flower to smoke. 

You may be able to find kief for sale at your local cannabis shop, though it can be difficult to find with so many customers now opting for cannabis oils, concentrates, and extracts instead.