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What Is Kief and Why Is It So Popular?

Kief is the name commonly used to describe the sticky, powder-like crystals found on marijuana flower that can produce a more intense euphoric high.

Collected and used for thousands of years, kief is a highly concentrated form of cannabis. Because kief packs the biggest punch of cannabinoids, it’s an ideal option if you’re looking to increase your cannabinoid intake.

What is Kief?

Kief is the accumulation of the luminous resin trichomes that form on the leaves and buds of marijuana. Kief, also known as “dry sift” or “pollen,” looks like shimmery, powder-like crystals. These tiny, bulbous glands protrude from the surface of the buds and leaves of late-stage cannabis plants. They can be removed from the plant material, producing a powerfully concentrated form of cannabis.

An Arabic word meaning “pleasure” or “intoxication”, kief contains a high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes, offering a more potent marijuana option than traditional marijuana flower but less than extracted concentrates like shatter or wax.

High-quality kief is generally a light tan or blonde color and produces a potent aroma. Kief that is green likely contains additional plant matter and isn’t as pure or concentrated.

kief from trichomes

What Are the Benefits of Kief?

Weed connoisseurs typically enjoy kief because its potent concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes offers a more powerful high than many other cannabis products. While the potency of kief varies depending on the marijuana plant from which it’s sourced, it often tests at over 50 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a notable bump up from marijuana flower’s average THC of 12-25 percent. Kief allows you to quickly and easily get the THC, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and other cannabinoids you want.

Kief is both easy to collect and convenient to use, and it doesn’t require expensive extraction equipment like other concentrates. You can also consume it in several lung-friendly ways that to avoid the dangers and toxins of combustion.

kief from marijuana

How Do You Collect Kief?

While there are several methods you can use to collect kief, the easiest way to do it on your own is to use a three-chamber herb grinder, which features fine stainless steel screens specifically for separating the kief. As the flower is ground, the second chamber catches the plant matter found in the herb, while the cherished microscopic trichomes pass through the screen to the bottom of the grinder.

While you may be tempted to break the trichomes off the marijuana flower with your hands, the kief will stick to your fingers and you will likely lose most, if not all, of it.

Preserve the potency and quality of your leftover kief by keeping it in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark and dry place. Stir the kief every few days with a comb to keep it from sticking together.

How Do You Use Kief?

Once you’ve collected your kief, there are several ways that it can be consumed. The high concentrations of cannabinoids must be exposed to heat to become active and produce a mind-altering effect.

Here are three common, popular ways to use kief:

Sprinkle kief on marijuana flower

Likely the most popular way to use kief is to sprinkle it on top of ground marijuana flowers that are then smoked or vaped. Kief burns faster than the other plant material, and when inhaled produces a nearly immediate and intense euphoric high.

Add kief into your morning coffee or tea

The heat of your coffee or tea can activate the kief’s cannabinoids. Simply sprinkle kief into your mug and stir. Since the cannabinoids will be digested before reaching your bloodstream, taking kief this way offers delayed yet long-lasting and strong effects.

Blend kief into butter

Kief-infused butter can be used in baking recipes to make highly-potent marijuana edibles. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Melt the butter into a crockpot set to medium heat
  2. Add kief
  3. Stir the melted kief butter mix every 10 to 15 minutes for 5 hours
  4. Transfer the kief butter into a bowl
  5. Let it cool fully
  6. Cover the bowl and place it into the refrigerator to harden

kief butter

Learn More about Marijuana

Marijuana is legal in some capacity in more than half of U.S. states. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical marijuana, while eight have passed laws permitting marijuana for recreational purposes.

You can find more information about the marijuana laws where you live by visiting our education page, or learn how to grow your own weed by visiting our Cannabis 101 page.

Post by Eve Ripley

Eve is a writer specializing in cannabis education and editorials related to cannabis industry news.

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