You are currently viewing What is kief and how should you use it?

Ever used a 3 part grinder? Normally on the bottom layer there is a mesh, this acts as a sieve and allows all of the tiny dust particles to fall through into the dust collector underneath. That fine dust, is also known as kief. Kief is packed all of the goodness that escapes your grinder and is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. But how should you use it?

In this guide, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about kief. From its extraction to its various uses, we’ll shine a light on this often overlooked, yet highly valuable part of cannabis. We’ll also get some expert advice how to get the most out of your kief.

What is kief?

Kief, also known as “dry sift” or “pollen,” is a collection of tiny, sticky crystals that cover the cannabis flower. These crystals, known as trichomes, are glandular hair-like structures on the surface of the plant that produce and store cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This means kief is packed with the compounds responsible for the psychoactive and therapeutic effects of cannabis.

While it may seem like fine powder to the naked eye, under a microscope, kief reveals itself as complex sparkling structures. Kief can be used in numerous ways to enhance your smoke, from sprinkling it on a bowl to making potent concentrates.

How can use kief?

One simple method is to sprinkle it onto a bowl of cannabis or mix it into a joint or blunt. Known as “crowning a bowl,” this method can significantly boost the potency of smoking a bong..

Another popular use for kief is in the creation of hash, a concentrated form of cannabis. By applying heat and pressure, the kief transforms into a compact, sticky substance that can be smoked or vaporized.

Kief is also commonly used in the making of cannabis-infused edibles. As it’s much more potent than typical bud, using kief can make your edibles considerably stronger. Remember to decarboxylate, or heat, the kief first to activate the THC.

You could also press kief into rosin, a solventless cannabis concentrate. With the help of heat and pressure, kief can produce a clean, potent extract that’s perfect for dabbing.

Is kief good in a joint?

Adding kief to a joint is not just good, it’s fantastic if you’re aiming to boost the potency of your smoke. Kief contains a much higher concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes when compared to regular cannabis bud. When you sprinkle some kief into your joint, it adds an extra layer of psychoactive and therapeutic compounds, taking your high to the next level.

But it’s not just about the increased potency. Kief can also enrich the flavor profile of your joint. Because of its high terpene content, adding kief to your joint can make it taste much stronger and bring out all of the flavor of your bud.

However, keep in mind that kief burns quicker than regular cannabis flower, so try to distribute it evenly throughout the joint. Also, given its potency, you might want to start with a small amount and adjust your dose as you get used to the added potency.

How do you collect kief?

Collecting kief is a straightforward process, typically facilitated by using a grinder with a kief catcher. As I explained at the start these three chamber grinders separate the ground cannabis flower from the kief as you grind your buds.

Here’s how it works: you place your cannabis buds in the top chamber and grind them. As the ground cannabis falls into the middle chamber, the tiny kief crystals detach from the buds and fall through a fine screen that acts as a sieve and into the bottom chamber, where they accumulate over time.

It’s crucial to grind your cannabis well to allow as much kief as possible to fall through the screen. However, avoid over grinding as it can lead to plant material falling through, contaminating your kief.

Make sure you keep your grinder clean to prevent clogs and also to prevent your kief from becoming contaminated with bits of dust and dirt.

What are the advantages of using kief?

The most obvious advantage to using kief is that it boasts the concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes in your joint or bong meaning you get much higher.

Secondly, kief enhances the flavor profile of your cannabis. With its high terpene content, kief carries the essence of the cannabis strain it’s derived from, introducing new depths of flavor and aroma to your joints, bowls, or edibles.

Thirdly, kief offers versatility in use. Whether you’re sprinkling it onto a bowl, infusing it into edibles, or pressing it into hash, kief can be used in a multitude of ways, making it a valuable addition to your toolkit.

Can you use keif for dabbing or vaping?

When it comes to dabbing, kief is usually pressed into rosin or another form of concentrate first. Dabbing involves very high temperatures, and pure kief might burn and waste rather than vaporizing properly. However, once converted into a concentrate like rosin, it’s excellent for dabbing.

As for vaping, kief can be used directly in many dry herb vaporizers. Just place a thin layer of ground herb at the bottom of the chamber, add your kief, then top it off with more herb. This “sandwich” method ensures even heating and prevents the kief from sticking to the vaporizer. Vaping kief provides a robust, flavorful experience as the heat releases the cannabinoids and terpenes without combustion.

Why is kief so strong?

Kief’s remarkable strength lies in its composition. It’s made up of tiny crystals, or trichomes, that are found on the cannabis plant’s flowers. These trichomes house the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes – the compounds responsible for the effects and flavors of cannabis.

When you smoke or vape regular cannabis flower, you consume these compounds along with the plant material. But kief isolates the trichomes, meaning you’re ingesting a concentrated amount of cannabinoids and terpenes, minus much of the plant matter.

So, when you use kief, you’re getting a more concentrated cannabis experience. This concentration is what makes kief so potent. It’s filled with a higher level of psychoactive compounds like THC, along with other cannabinoids and terpenes, all of which contribute to the pronounced effects that make kief a favorite among many cannabis enthusiasts.

Does kief get you higher than flower?

Absolutely, kief will potentially deliver a more intense high compared to just smoking or vaping the cannabis bud. This is because of its high concentration of THC.

Kief is composed of trichomes, the resin glands of the cannabis plant where the majority of the cannabinoids, such as THC (the compound responsible for the “high” sensation), are stored. In other words, it’s a condensed form of all the psychoactive and therapeutic elements found in cannabis.

When you consume cannabis flower, you’re ingesting these cannabinoids along with the plant matter. However, with kief, you’re essentially getting a concentrated dose of these cannabinoids and terpenes without as much plant material. Therefore, when used correctly, kief can produce a more potent high compared to an equivalent amount of cannabis flower.

How long should you keep kief?

Storing kief properly is vital for preserving its quality and potency over time. With the right storage conditions, kief can last anywhere from one to two years without significant loss of potency.

Ideally, you should store kief in a cool, dark, and dry place. Exposure to heat, light, and moisture can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes, decreasing the potency and altering the flavor.

For optimal storage, consider investing in a kief box or a multi-chamber grinder with a kief catcher. These often come with a non-stick compartment for kief storage. If these aren’t available, a small, airtight glass jar can also work well.

Importantly, try to handle kief as little as possible, as oils from your skin can also degrade it. Use a small spoon or scoop when you need to use it.

Remember, the goal is to maintain the quality and potency of the kief. If you notice changes in color, smell, or taste, it may be time to replace your kief.

What temperature and time should kief be pressed?

Pressing kief into hash or rosin is an art in itself, and the temperature and time can vary based on personal preference and the specific properties of the kief. However, a general guideline can provide a solid starting point for beginners.

To press kief, most experts recommend a temperature range between 175°F – 200°F (80°C – 93°C). This range tends to produce a balance between yield and quality, as higher temperatures might extract more but can degrade terpenes and cannabinoids, impacting the flavor and potency of the final product.

As for time, it typically takes between 5 to 8 minutes to fully press kief under these temperatures. Starting with a lower temperature and time is often recommended, as you can always increase them if you’re not satisfied with the results, but you cannot reverse the effects of overheating.

Remember, these are just guidelines. The optimal conditions may vary depending on the characteristics of your kief and your personal preferences. Experimentation and patience are key to finding the perfect temperature and time for your needs. Always start low and slow to avoid burning or degrading your kief.


In a nutshell, this article has journeyed through the fascinating world of kief, its potency, and varied uses, from packing a powerful punch in joints to boosting the high in dabs and vapes. We’ve also discovered the art of kief collection, storage, and pressing for optimal potency and longevity. 

So, go and get your hands on one of those three tiered grinders with a kief collector and next time you grind up a joint sprinkle on a little bit of that magic dust. If you found this guide informative and engaging, don’t forget to like and share this article. Let’s spread the kief knowledge!

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