What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It

Author Luke Sumpter
22 March 2023
Kief is a solventless full-spectrum extraction that can precede all kinds of extracts like hash, rosin and even shatter.
22 March 2023
34 min read
What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It

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  • 1. What is kief?
  • 2. How to make kief?
  • 2. a. Grind flowers in a grinder with a collector
  • 2. b. Dry sifting
  • 3. Best ways to consume kief
  • 3. a. Sprinkled in a joint
  • 3. b. Mixed in a bowl
  • 3. c. Rosin
  • 3. d. Edibles
  • 4. Other uses for kief
  • 4. a. Homemade rosin
  • 4. b. Vape juice
  • 4. c. Moonrocks
  • 5. In conclusion

Kief is a solventless extract made out of trichomes and because you are collecting the entire trichome heads you end up with a full-spectrum extract, it can be made with several methods although all consisting of sifting the resin but the purity can change depending on how you do it. It's considered to be the easiest to make from feminized seeds and can be of high purity (if done properly). Even though it is easy to make and doesn’t require many materials, it is a really good full-spectrum extract and can be one of the most aromatic types of extract out there. Modern cannabis users are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying the herb. Whereas stoners of the past had to settle for only a handle of consumption methods, herb lovers of the modern era have a long list of options available. Breakthroughs in modern technology, driven by the impressive innovation of the cannabis industry, have led to incredible extracts and new ways to consume them. Many users love to place CO2-extract dabs onto thousand-dollar rigs when they get high.

Others prefer to load concentrates into the latest vaporizers—devices typically equipped with a host of buttons and a bright LED display. While these methods are worthwhile and deserve their popularity, it’s always fun to switch back to some of the old-school methods of cannabis consumption. Among them, kief is one of the oldest and most humble. This simple cannabis concentrate also referred to as “dust” and “pollen”,  dates back to ancient times when it was used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Kief shows ancient texts from various cultures, including Chinese, Arabic, and Indica. So, why not experience a blast from the past? You won’t be disappointed with the results!

1. What Is Kief?

Kief is a type of solventless extract made out of the small trichome heads. By collecting the entire head of the trichomes we are making a full-spectrum extract. This ensures we are consuming the whole spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes the plant has to offer, although this doesn’t make it stronger than concentrates, it will give you a more complete effect, considered better by many, especially medical consumers.


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Lots of Trichomes on Buds

Cannabis trichomes are more abundant in the last weeks of flowering.

So, what exactly are trichomes? Good question! To fully understand the nature of kief as a cannabis extract, it helps to get a good grip on trichomes. If you smoke or grow weed, you’ll have noticed that frosty coating on the surface of buds. These are trichomes! It’s hard to see their structure with the naked eye, but they have several different forms of shapes. Under a microscope, some of them appear as simply straight hairs or spheres. Others are more complex and feature a stalk with a bulb on it. These mushroom-shaped versions are the trichomes that pump out the most valuable phytochemicals. They’re essentially small biofactories that synthesize the precious secondary metabolites found in cannabis, namely cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, and a host of aromatic terpenes. Botanically speaking, these compounds play an important role when it comes to defense and survival.

They help to keep pest insects and large grazing herbivores at bay because of their irritating qualities; they can even influence the behavior and reproduction of pests! Adding to this, they also help to protect plants against the damage caused by exposure to UV rays. Recent science has also shown that trichomes essentially farm bacteria for nitrogen! These provide these endophytic species with carbon and protect them from oxidation with their antioxidant terpenes and cannabinoids. In return, the bacteria fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, which cannabis plants use to grow. From the human perspective, cannabinoids and terpenes offer valuable recreational and medicinal effects. So, overall, kief is a concentration of cannabinoids—the very structures that make THC!

2. How To Make Kief?

Like all other extracts and concentrates, kief can have different textures, and depending on the way you make it can be more or less pure. There are 3 most common ways to make kief, they are: 

Grind Flowers In A Grinder With A Collector

This method is the easiest and doesn’t require anything other than a 3 or 4-piece grinder that you can find in every smoke shop. To get kief, all you have to do is grind your flowers normally. These grinders usually have a mesh that separates flower material and has the right size for trichomes to go through, making it a way of effortless dry sifting your flowers for kief.


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Kief Collected in Grinder

The kief that falls off your buds will be stored in a grinder with a collector for consuming later.

This is not an optimal way to make kief because it can take up to a couple of months to get a decent amount of kief (depending on the frequency you smoke) and can result in kief with a high amount of plant material and residue if you grind your cannabis too much. Also, the trichomes that go through the filter are basically being removed from your flower, making it slightly less potent. This is usually used by consumers that want to have a treat once in a while without having to make that much effort or buy specialized materials.

Dry sifting

Dry sifting is basically what the grinder does but on a bigger scale. This method consists of breaking your buds apart and slightly pressing and dragging them on a big mesh or screen. This will make the trichomes fall through it. The trichomes will then fall on a clean surface where you can collect them easily with a card and store them in a glass jar or something similar. 


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Dry Sifting Cannabis For Trichomes

When sifting cannabis plant material, the kief will fall through and fall on the surface underneath to be collected.

You can also use bubble bags used for making water hash to filter the trichomes. This way you place the buds in the bags and shake them, allowing the trichomes to separate and fall through. This method can crush your buds, allowing more plant material to go through so it is only recommended if you are experimenting before investing in the proper material or if you don’t mind that your kief has plant residue. Remember that for better yields, a good choice is to freeze the buds before sifting them. By using bubble bags or appropriate screens, you can choose the preferred micron size, allowing you to control the quality and purity of the final product. And because we are effectively removing the trichomes, the leftover plant material sometimes won’t be good for consumption because the lack of trichomes results in a low potency, and usually, the buds end up all damaged.

3. Best Ways To Consume Kief

Like all things in cannabis, there is not a way that can be considered better for everyone, this applies to kief also. There are a variety of ways to consume kief and it will solely depend on what you have available.

Sprinkled In A Joint

The most common way to consume kief is by mixing it with flowers and smoking it in a joint. This is because you don’t need anything extra, you’ll use what you already have (filter tips and rolling papers).


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Kief In A Joint

Kief sprinkled onto a joint before rolling it.

There’s no right way to do it, just sprinkle your joint with as much kief as you want, roll it, smoke it, and enjoy.

Mixed In a Bowl

This is another easy way to smoke, as almost every cannabis consumer has a bong, and is a very good way to enhance your bong hits. The process is the same as smoking it in a joint. You just have to mix it with the ground flower and place it in your bowl.


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Kief Mixed in a Bowl of Flowers

Ground flower mixed in a bowl is a great way to enhance the usual high.

Because kief is an extract, the effect will be more intense and will last longer. With just two or three hits you’ll feel the effects and will be ready to go on with your day. This is a great way if you want a quick and effective way to get medicated without leaving your clothes smelling like smoke.


Kief can be turned into rosin. Rosin is a solventless extract and although it is fairly easy to make, it is not for everyone.


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Rosin Extract

Beautiful rosin ready to be consumed.

It needs a fair bit of experience and a special machine that applies heat and pressure to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes out of the trichomes. The result will be a product that can look like wax or shatter and can have different consistencies, depending on the quality and characteristics of the kief that goes in. Although you can smoke it in a joint, it is mostly recommended to smoke in a dab rig because of its consistency. 


Making edibles is a good option for some people but it is not the most efficient way to consume it. This is because when making cannabutter, you can lose some of the terpenes and cannabinoids when applying heat or simply by not extracting everything out of them.


What Is Kief And Best Ways To Use It: Cannabutter

Cannabutter is usually consumed by medicinal patients who can't inhale smoke.

When making it, we decarboxylate the desired amount of kief and then infuse the butter with it. Unfortunately, it is very hard to not waste a bit if not using the appropriate equipment or a specific machine that makes it. This method is mostly used by medicinal patients who can’t or don’t want to inhale the smoke to medicate.

4. Other uses for Kief

Apart from all the ways mentioned above, there are a couple of other methods to use kief. Now, they may not be the easiest such as making cannabutter, for example, but they’re surely worth it.

Homemade Rosin

As you may know, rosin is a solventless extraction method that uses heat and pressure to squeeze the resin from your kief or hash. Now, you need a rosin press to make rosin but you can make it at home with a hair straightener. So if you want to try making your own rosin at home, grab parchment paper, a hair straightener, and a dabbing tool or something similar. So go ahead and fold the parchment paper like an envelope, place the kief inside and wait for the hair straightener to heat up. Then press the kief with the hair straightener and apply pressure for a couple of seconds until you see the resin coming out. Now collect it with the dabbing tool and enjoy!

Vape Juice

Another way to make the most out of your kief is to make vape juice. You need:

  • Kief
  • Vaporizer
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Coffee filter
  • A syringe
  • Vape juice (optional)

All you have to do is mix the same amounts of glycol and glycerin, and add your kief. Then heat up (preferably in a double boiler) until the whole mixture has melted and has a uniform consistency. If you'd like to add more flavor,  you can go ahead and add your favorite vape juice. After mixing the vape juice, pour it into a coffee filter to separate the plant matter and once your infused vape juice has cooled down, fill up your syringe and add it to your vaporizer!


Now, if you want to take things a bit further, you can always make some deliciously potent moonrocks but you’ll need kief, cannabis flower, and a cannabis concentrate. All you have to do is slightly heat up the concentrate and coat your flowers with it, then sprinkle kief all over the flower while the concentrate is still warm so the kief sticks to it. Once the concentrate has hardened, you can go ahead and grind your moonrocks and roll them into a joint or just smoke it in a bong!

5. In Conclusion

This is a great way to enhance your smoke. Kief is the first step in the processes of a lot of high-quality extracts and concentrates. But to really get the best quality, you have to start with a good quality flower. If you’re adventuring in the world of kief, we recommend our new Strawberry Pie Auto.

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Instagram Strawberry Pie Auto
Instagram Strawberry Pie Auto
Instagram Strawberry Pie Auto
Instagram Strawberry Pie Auto
Instagram Strawberry Pie Auto
Instagram Strawberry Pie Auto

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