Small, sticky, and packing a powerful punch of cannabinoids and terpenes, kief is a widely popular part of the cannabis plant – especially for consumers searching for a uniquely rich experience. To the untrained eye, the tiny resin glands might not look like much. But once you learn more about what kief is and what it has to offer, it’s easy to see precisely why it’s got so much attention in the cannabis community.
We’ve put together a short, easy-to-read guide to Kief 101, making it simple for new and seasoned marijuana consumers alike to understand this in-demand product. Once you finish reading, you might want to try kief for yourself.
What is Kief?
Kief is the cannabis flower’s most potent part, containing a high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes in its tiny, sticky crystals. Also called “dry sift” or “pollen,” kief refers to the flower’s trichomes’ resin glands.
Technically, kief is the crystal formation on the tip of each of these glands. However, the actual substance is a part of the larger trichome.
What is the Point of Kief?
Many different plants have developed external trichomes for various purposes–usually as a deterrent for predators or to attract pollinators.
Cannabis, in particular, has evolved trichomes to discourage animals tempted to snack on the plants. Since the cannabinoids in the trichomes (and the kief) deliver a psychoactive experience, they disorient any animal enough to distract it from eating any more of the plant. The distinct odor of the cannabis trichomes can also help attract pollinators.
As interesting as this may be, when people wonder, “what is kief used for?” the question is asked in the context of enjoying marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Generally, kief is an ideal option for cannabis consumers who want to reap its enhanced potency benefits.
What Kind of High is Kief?
Because kief is the most highly concentrated portion of the cannabis plant, it typically produces a much more potent high. In short, a little bit of kief goes a long way.
Whereas most standard flower sits between 12% and 25% THC, kief can reach levels as high as 70% THC. Also, many varieties of kief are from a mix of cannabis strains, which creates a distinctly rich and varied profile of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.
Kief is commonly preferred for veteran consumers as part of a bedtime routine since it often has powerful relaxing effects.
How to Enjoy Kief
Kief isn’t enjoyed just for its potency; it also offers an impressive versatility that has made it a favorite for many consumers. There are many different ways to use kief, so you can choose an option that fits into your cannabis-enhanced lifestyle.
Add kief to a bowl or joint
A sprinkling of kief can take your standard joint or bowl to the next level without requiring extra effort on your part. For example, you can “crown a bowl” by adding a generous helping of kief on top of the flower, or you could mix a pinch of kief with your flower before rolling up your joint.
Dab or vape premium-quality kief
Depending on the quality of kief you’re working with, dabbing or vaping kief is another option. Generally, you’ll want to reserve this method for only the highest-quality kief varieties because otherwise, your experience won’t quite measure up.
Mix up a potent batch of cannabutter
If you make DIY cannabis edibles with cannabutter, stirring in a small amount of kief can up the potency levels of your final product without any additional steps to the process. So don’t forget: thoroughly mix your kief with flower for best results, no matter how you decarboxylate your cannabis.