What is Cannabis Kief? How To Make & Use It

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “kief” at some point, but maybe you don’t know exactly what it is. Kief is the minuscule, sticky crystals that you find all over your bud and if you aren’t making the most of this powerful concentrate, then you are missing out! Many ganja lovers collect their kief, but few are actually taking advantage of all the “extra” kief has to offer.

First things first, let’s talk about where kief is derived from and exactly what makes it so powerful.  To define it specifically, kief is made up of the crystal-like formations that form on the tip of the resin glands. The resin glands are part of what’s known as trichomes. These are the white, hair-like strands that you see covering your bud.

The resin glands contain the majority of the terpenes and cannabinoids of cannabis, aka the good stuff

However, these delectable little ganja treats don’t exist for the sole purpose of enhancing your sesh! Trichomes are actually Mother Nature’s way of keeping hungry, plant-eating critters away. Turns out the psychoactive effect disorients the predator and keeps them from finishing their entire meal, leaving the rest of thCannabis kiefe plant intact. Because the terpenes also create a strong, distinct odor, they attract pollinating insects to help the plant reproduce.

So, how do you take advantage of this little gift from nature? The simplest way is to get yourself a three compartment grinder that will sift and collect kief. Without the additional chamber, all this fluffy, light goodness will go to waste since it will simply stick to the grinder. Because the terpenes and cannabinoids are so concentrated in the kief, collecting it is a great way to explore concentrates without spending a ton of money on fancy equipment or commercially prepared concentrates. Of course, you can always purchase extracted kief already prepared from your local dispensary as well. Just remember that because extracted kief is separated from the plant matter, it should be more of an off-white than a green. The greener it is, the less pure it is.

Now that you’ve got your kief, what do you do with it? Here are seven great suggestions for making the most out of your kief collection.

Just Smoke It

Okay, this one is obvious, but there are some things you should keep in mind if you decide to pack a bowl or roll a joint completely out of kief.

Kief is significantly more potent than flowers, so start conservatively

Also, it tends to stay lit until it’s burnt, so you don’t need to worry about relighting.

Sprinkle It Onto Your Packed Bowl of Cannabis

This is also known as “crowning a bowl” and it’s a great way to add a little extra kick to your bowl without packing an entire bowl of straight kief. This is going to drastically increase the potency of your bowl and make your weed go a little further.  You can do the same thing with your joints- just sprinkle a little kief into your ground ganja, mix well, and roll as normal!

Roll a Twax Joint

Wanna take your joint to the next level? Try rolling a twax joint. Simply dampen the outside of your joint or use a wax. Then roll the exterior of the joint in kief. This is going to create a beautiful joint with a little extra kick!

Make Hash

For those of you wondering, hash is one of the oldest forms of refined cannabis.  It’s created by slightly heating and pressurizing kief to form a condensed, tightly packed product with concentrated potency. Because the pressure ruptures the resin glands in the process, hash has a slightly different taste and effect as well as a darker color.  The easiest way to make your own hash at home is to place your kief into folded parchment paper and run a straightening iron or clothes iron over the paper to apply pressure and heat to the kief. The trick here is to hold it long enough that the kief compresses but not so long that the paper burns.

Hash can be smoked or simply sprinkled over food

Because it has already been decarboxylated by the heat, hash doesn’t have to be heated again to produce psychoactive effects.

Make Moonrocks

Moonrocks are nugs that have been covered in oil and rolled in kief. Moonrocks are extremely potent and a quick way to create your own ultimate DIY concentrate.  Cannabis Kief moonrocksThe best part is that they are so easy to make. Simply heat the oil of your choice very lightly. I prefer coconut oil because it makes more of the THC bioavailable. Coat your nugs in the oil and then dredge through the kief like you are making fried chicken. (In fact, go ahead and make some fried chicken while you’re at it- those munchies aren’t going to satiate themselves!) Set them aside and let them harden. Once they’ve set, you can break them up gently with your hands and sprinkle them into your next bowl.

Make Your Own Vape Juice

Now, since we all know vaping is the healthier choice for your lungs, this is hands down, one of the best options for your kief. You will need vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, a coffee filter, a double boiler, and your desired amount of kief. Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, you’ll place a 1:1 ratio of vegetable glycerin to propylene glycol into the double boiler along with your kief. You’ll heat it until it’s all melted and mixed together to a smooth consistency. Then just strain through a coffee filter to get your final product!

Kief It Up A Notch

Because kief has a more subtle flavor profile, it is great for cooking and it requires only about half or a third of the flower you would normally use to create cannabutter or cannaoil. Simply follow your favorite recipe and substitute kief for bud and there you have it- a more potent, better tasting ganja goodie!

Amber Faust

About the author: Amber Faust is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in natural lifestyle pieces and sociopolitical commentary. Amber is a lifelong activist for social justice and environmental issues. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting, drumming, meditation, and yoga.