What Is Kief? How To Smoke It And More About Kief

About Kief - What Is It?

Kief is the name for the resin glands (trichomes) on buds of cannabis. These glands  contain a high amount of the terpenes that give the various cannabis strains their unique flavor. They're also a source of many cannabinoids. While most people associate kief with marijuana - and a higher high - kief is also part of hemp cannabis.

In the case of hemp cannabis, kief won't make you high, as it has the same low THC content all hemp flowers do. But it still provides an extra potency. You get an extra "hit" of the cannabinoids responsible for your reaction, and a more flavorful smoke. In short, what kief is, is just a more concentrated part of the plant.

kief is the resin glands that cover hemp flowers

How Is Kief Made?

Kief (or keef, as it's sometimes spelled) is present in your cannabis buds already. But some people like to collect it for making your own hash, more potent edibles, or just sprinkling an extra potent dose onto a joint or bowl.

To gather the kief, simply use a chambered grinder with an alumimum or steel screen. As you grind the bud, the kief will fall away into the bottom chamber. Some people freeze their buds first, finding that it's easier to separate the resin from the plant matter this way. 

Some people also use a special kief box for just this purpose. You simply add the hemp nugs and shake it around. Since kief is just the outer trichomes, they simply peel away with enough shaking. As the trichomes (or kief) come lose, they'll settle at the bottom of the screen. The cannabis hemp remains on top of the screen.

Two chamber grinders don't work very well for this purpose, as they leave a lot of kief behind. Much of the small crystals of kief end up stuck to the sides of the grinder.

Making Your Own Screen For Collecting Kief

If you don't want to purchase a special kief box, or three chambered grinder, you can make your own series of screens. Buy a few different sizes of silk screens and put them in frames. Arrange them from the largest screens to the smallest, using mesh screens that are about 100-250 lines per inch.

Kief is small, around 100 microns. For perspective, this is about as thick as a single sheet of paper, or less than the length of a grain of sand. Your screen needs to have a tight weave for this to work.

Buying Kief - How To Determine Quality

If you're buying kief, keep in mind that the quality of screening does matter. If it's a hasty job with lots of plant matter mixed in, it will look rather green in color. "Pure" kief is almost white and crystalline. This is usually accomplished by someone working carefully through multiple screenings. You might see it labelled as "99% sift:"

What To Do With Kief

Let's start with what NOT to do. Don't try to roll a joint of pure kief. I know what you're thinking - if a little is good, a lot must be better, right?

Well, no. Kief on its own gets waxy and sticky and just sort of clogs up a perfectly good joint. It doesn't smoke well this way. If you want to put it in a joint, just sprinkle it lightly throughout the ground hemp before you roll it. 

For some other ideas on what to do with kief, check out this YouTube video


Don't feel like dry sifting, screening, and rolling kief yourself? Our CBD pre rolls are infused with an extra dose of kief. We do all the heavy lifting, leaving you with a smooth smoke and an extra punch of flavorful kief. Like all our products, they're organic and made of high-quality hemp!

Some people like to sprinkle kief on top of their hemp joint. While, technically, this is idea for how to smoke kief, it may not be the most practical. It  makes for a pretty joint, but again, kief doesn't smoke as well this way.. Adding kief into the roll is really just the best suggestion for how to smoke kief (at least in a joint).

How to smoke kief, without putting it in a joint? Just add a sprinkling of kief to a bowl of hemp, or however else you smoke your cannabis. Since kief is essentially the "loaded" part of the bud, it makes your reaction stronger and faster. This is perfect if the goal behind smoking is when you need immediate relief, such as for pain). It doesn't matter what you prefer as far as how to smoke kief - any method for taking in kief still gives a faster, stronger reaction.

Just remember - the purer screened stuff equals a better smoke. If you have a lot of plant matter mixed in, it may be a bit harsh or taste sort of wooden. 

Kief added to a joint can make it burn a bit slower, so it's a great way to stretch out the fun. If you're rolling with the intent of sharing, or just like a long conversation with friends over a smoke, add some kief.

How To Smoke Kief On Its Own

Don't want to add it to flower? It can be tough to smoke pure kief without burning it. This rushes your enjoyment, and wastes a lot of material. The best way is to use something marketed for smoking hash, or using a stainless steel pipe screen over your glass pipe. Set the kief on top of the pipe, and heat it indirectly. 

Didn't use a screen and need some help cleaning the resin? Check out how to clean a pipe.

Making Other Things With Kief

1. Make Edibles

Kief can also be used to make edibles like cannabutter, though you may want to add some regular cannabis flower in addition to kief. It can also be used in the classic brownies (add a hemp-infused oil to your recipe). Further, kief makes a nice addition to hot drinks like coffee, tea or warm milk. Heat activates the cannabinoids, so it's best in hot recipes.

2. Turn It Into Hash (Compressed, Even More Potent Kief) 

You can also turn it into hash. Hash is essentially compressed kief that's been extracted for even MORE potency. You can try to make your own by putting kief between two pieces of wax paper and applying heat (like an iron). You shoud be able to see the trichomes melt together from the heat, making a flat, gooey finished product. 

If you don't want to make your own hash, try our CBD bubble hash. We use an ice water extraction method, that results in full spectrum hash with high CBD levels. Tested samples average 32% total CBD.

You can use this in many of the same ways as kief - in edibles, sprinkled over joints and bowls, etc. It's just a more refined, stronger method of taking in CBD. And the flavor is ideal - no harsh smoke, and a fruity, floral, sweet and earthy delight. 

3. Make Moonrocks

Some people cover hemp flowers in oil, then sprinkle additional kief over it. This is essentially the hemp version of a "moonrock" - which, again, gives you a more powerful smoke. Don't grind the rock - just break it up into smaller pieces and smoke it. 

In Conclusion...

Kief is a safe way to take in higher levels of CBD. If you don't want overly processed methods, kief gives you a more potent kick of CBD, while still being "pure plant". It can be great when you want a faster response. It's a great option if you're taking CBD for an ailment like pain or sleeplessness, and need immediate relief. You can dry sift kief yourself with screens, or purchase our kief-infused CBD pre rolls. For an even more potent form of kief, you can make it into hash, or buy our already-made CBD bubble hash. 




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