A Crash Course On Kief

by Leslie McMann
Kief in grinder

What is Kief?

Congratulations, you’re about to discover a whole new horizon in getting high.

Kief, sometimes called “cannabis crystal” and occasionally spelled “keef,” refers to the tiny resinous crystals that loosely cling to cannabis flower trichomes and have a higher THC content than the other parts of the flower.

In plain English? It’s the smelly dust that coats your weed (good weed, that is) and it will get you super high. And if you’re grinding up your weed before smoking it, there’s a good chance you’re already collecting some of this magic dust.

Is that what the bottom part of my grinder is for?

Yes, that’s where the kief is. The bottom chamber on a four-part grinder is called the “kief catcher.” It sits below the screened middle chamber, collecting all the kief that gets knocked off the flower as it is ground.

Carefully unscrew this bottom compartment, and, depending on how much use your grinder gets and the quality of your cannabis, you may discover a treasure trove of the greenish-yellowish-orangeish dust or just a fine layer. Use the plastic scraper included with most grinders (a small coin also works) to scoop out small amounts of kief.

PRO TIP: to maximize kief collection, keep a small coin in your grinder’s middle chamber so it sits on top of the screen. The edges of the coin will help knock more crystals off your flower, while the weight pushes them through the screen into the catcher.

What can you do with kief?

Just about anything. That’s the beauty of kief: it’s as versatile as the flower it fell from, but many times more potent.

Kief can be vaped and smoked by itself or sprinkled on top of flower as a “crown.” Kief-laden pre-rolls and nugs rolled in extra kief, sometimes called moonrocks, are huge right now. Roll it, rip it, one-hit it– just remember, it only takes a pinch to get a noticeably stronger high.

Kief can also be used in edibles, giving a more subtle flavor to infused oils, butters, and drinks than items made with ground flower. Don’t forget to check out our recipe for delicious kief cookies!

But kief’s most famous use is in making hashish: kief that’s been heated and pressurized into a brown block. Easy to preserve, smoother than raw flower, and goes great with hookah and mint tea or Arabic coffee. Smoking hashish is the preferred use of cannabis in most of Asia and Northern Africa where it has been produced since at least the 12th century. In fact, “kief” is Arabic for “pleasure.”

Maybe you want to impress that one friend who won’t stop talking about their last trip to Marrakesh? According to the Internet, there are many different methods for at-home hashish making, involving all manner of household items, from blenders to hair straighteners– search and find the one you think is least likely to burn down your house. Or you could buy hash made by professionals.

Trying kief for the first time? Try an infused pre-roll

If you’re new to kief or cannabis in general and want to see what it’s all about, we recommend trying out an infused preroll from our menu. You skip the collection process and can compare how you feel from a regular preroll of similar flower to how you feel with the more potent infused one. 

Some of our favorite infused joints come from Packwoods, Jeeter, and Presidential.

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