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What is Kief & How Do You Use This Cannabis Product?

When you first start off using cannabis you’re probably lighting a joint. 

If you’re lucky enough to be in a legal state, well I don’t need to tell you about the glazed eye dreams come true kinda feeling when you first enter a dispensary.

But, with so many different kinds of weed and hash, it can be confusing. One of the most old-school concentrates is kief (sometimes spelled keef). 

So what is Kief and how do you use it?

Kief dabbing tool

What Is Kief Made Of?

The term kief, also known as dry sift or pollen, is the part of the cannabis or hemp plant called a trichome. 

Trichomes, or in other words, hair, are found on all sorts of plants as an evolutionary development. On some plants, they deter herbivores, while on other plants, they are used to trap prey.

Trichomes contain resin glands. The specific part of the trichome, commonly referred to as kief, is the crystal formation that is part of the resinous gland’s tip, also referred to as trichome heads. 

These resin gland’s crystals contain terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. All the things we want from tasty buds and hash!

Trichomes are the part of the flower that contains the most THC or CBD, depending on the source of buds you use. So you can basically think of it as an unprocessed cannabis concentrate.

If you use a magnifying glass, you can easily see the trichomes and the delicate crystals. Take a look at your cannabis flowers and see for yourself.

Marijuana Kief

When it comes to kief, there are two kinds. 

The first is marijuana kief which is obtained from the cannabis plant. The cannabinoid most commonly found in cannabis flower is THC. These cannabis plants contain THC levels greater than 0.3%. 

Hemp Kief

Alternately, there is hemp kief, where the significant cannabinoid present is CBD. 

Instead of getting high as you would from cannabis kief, you’ll reap the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids found in hemp plant matter.

How Potent Is Kief?

Trichomes and their resin glands are where you find cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and kief is just a collection of these trichomes or crystals. 

Due to this, kief can be very potent and will have a much stronger effect on cannabis users than typical marijuana flower. 

Kief can even have a THC content higher than 70%, which is excellent if you need a high dosage…Or you just want to enter space. 

Due to kief’s potency, you only need a little bit to go a long way, and It is one of the most economical ways to get high.

What To Do With Kief Resin Glands & How To Use It

Extracting Kief

To extract quality kief, you need to create dry sift using a mesh screen. You can either use a three-part grinder or something commonly referred to as a kief box.

If using a grinder, make sure that it contains three chambers, one with a section to collect kief and another to collect your ground cannabis. 

When you finely grind your cannabis, there is a chamber with a screen that the kief will fall through into another compartment in the grinder.  

You should always choose a grinder with three chambers as your kief won’t go to waste and stick to the inside of a two-chamber herb grinder.

If you are looking to extract large quantities of kief, a kief box is best to use. This is a container with multiple screens in layers. Each screen is finer than the next.

Each screen will have different lines per inch. The size of kief crystals are usually between 75 to 125 microns. Therefore, the best way to achieve the purest kief is to use four or five screens with ever-decreasing lines per inch.

You simply shake the ground cannabis flower, and the resin or kief will separate from the plant matter.

When sifted, the result is kief which should be light in color. 

If it is too dark and green, it means you should re-sift it because there is still extraneous plant matter in it. The best kief is usually a slightly off-white color.

Related Reads: Male Cannabis Plants, Shake Weed

The Versatility of Kief

Kief is very versatile and can be used in multiple ways. Here is our list of the best methods to use kief:

Bong and Pipe For Smoking Kief 

You can sprinkle kief on a bowl, whether it’s for a pipe or a water bong. Grind up some cannabis or hemp bud, place it in the newly cleaned bowl, take a pinch, and add a bit, spreading it evenly over the flower.


Adding kief to a joint is also one of the most common ways to use it. You just prepare a joint, spreading the marijuana flower evenly. Then add a bit of kief evenly along the paper. Spark it up and enjoy. Smoking kief is one of the easiest ways to consume kief.

Twaxed Joint

There is also another way to consume kief with a joint via a method called twaxing. 

You can go about this in multiple ways. Either dip a rolled joint (or blunt) into distillate, or wet it with your tongue, or coat the joint with your favorite concentrate, and then roll it into kief. 

The kief will stick to the moisture on the joint, and you can then smoke away to your heart’s content.

This new way of using kief is quickly becoming quite popular for both cannabis and hemp users. An awesome way to boost cannabinoid content in a joint or blunt!

twaxed joint


Another fun thing to do with kief is to create moonrocks. 

Pick out a quality nug, and using warm distillate, coat the bud liberally. Then, before it cools, roll the coated bud in kief. It will then harden and can be smoked in your pipe or bong.

Vaporize It

Using a tabletop or handheld vaporizer is also a great way to use kief. 

You simply place your flower in the vaporizer and top it off with a sprinkle of kief. Keep in mind that you don’t need much to give your marijuana flower a kick.

Dab It

Grab your dab rig and whip out a bit of kief. 

Heat the banger of your rig with a torch, and then once it sufficiently cools, you just add a small quantity of kief. Inhale and get ready to have a great time. 

Make Kief Butter

Kief is great to cook with because it’s already ground so fine. 

It melts into fats quickly and does not require straining like you would have to do if you were using marijuana flower. 

The best way to cook with kief is to make butter. It has a lot of versatility that way since most recipes call for butter. So add the kief butter to your favorite dishes and enjoy!

Create Kief Discs 

Using a kief disc press, you can add your kief to it and squeeze to create what is also referred to as a kief puck. You can then break the substance up into smaller pieces to smoke or smoke the whole disc at once. 

Press Rosin

Rosin is very popular as more people want a solventless extraction method for consuming cannabis concentrates. 

Rosin pressing is an excellent way to preserve cannabinoids. If you press kief into rosin, you can produce higher yields and greater potency than just using flower. 

Related Read: Rosin Press Review 

If you do not want to invest in a proper press, many people use a hair straightener (not something we actively recommend), parchment paper, and vice. 

You place the kief evenly on the parchment paper, situate the straightener and use the vice to press the kief. 

Soon you will have rosin seeping out of the sides. Collect this and use this marijuana concentrate in whatever way you see fit. 

Make Hash

Yes. You can make hash with it! Hash is just heated and pressurized kief

First, you extract the kief, and then to make hash, simply apply heat and pressure using a press or the at-home method of using a hair straightener. 

When you apply heat and pressure, the resin glands become ruptured. This changes the taste and effects of the resulting product. 

As you apply pressure, the hash will become darker. You can then use the hash for BTs, roll the hash into joints, use it in your glass pipe or bong bowl, or you can even eat kief hash.

All of these methods can be used to either increase the buzz or tamper an intense THC experience if you’re using hemp kief. As you can see, there are so many ways to explore the world of kief. 

powdered trichomes weed

How to Decarb Kief Cannabis Crystals 

If you want to cook with kief or consume it orally, you must decarb the kief crystals. In order to do this, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add your kief to some parchment paper on top of an oven tray and lay it out as flat as you can. The more surface area, the better.

Place it in the oven once preheated for around 20-25 mins. You will know if it is ready if the powder darkens. If it turns darker before this length of time, you can remove it. 

If you have the time, you can extend the heating period by lowering the temperature. This will better help preserve terpenes. 

The Takeaway

The versatility of kief is unparalleled in the cannabis and hemp industry. 

There are so many different ways to use kief. It is so easy to collect kief from the cannabis plant. When purchasing kief, always pick the lighter-colored kief, as this contains less plant material.

With just a little bit of kief added to joints, pipes, bongs, or dab rigs, you can increase the potency of your marijuana.

Enjoying a different way to enter space with the marijuana plant kief or feel the effects of the CBD from hemp kief. 

Now, when some asks “what is kief?” You will have an answer and know the many ways to use kief like a pro.

The concentration and potency of this simple powder will amaze you, so go ahead and give it a shot!