Kief: What It Is and How It’s Consumed
- Kief is made by mechanical separation, a process that involves physical agitation and sifting.
- Kief can be smoked or vaped, or used to make cannabis edibles.
- As with any other cannabis product, start low and go slow — kief contains a high concentration of cannabinoids.
What is kief?
Kief is a dull green powder made up of the sticky crystal-like substance at the head of the trichomes — the mushroom-shaped glands that secrete resin, where terpenes and cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are produced — which are attached to cannabis flowers and leaves. The substance has a high concentration of cannabinoids. Kief can also be further processed into hash or rosin.
Brown, yellow or green in colour, the powder is collected using a mechanical sifting process, so no solvents are required. It’s a bit tricky to separate the tiny particles, but if you’re patient, you can make your own kief by sifting dried cannabis flower through a series of increasingly smaller screens. A four-piece grinder with a screen and extra bottom chamber can also do the job.
How is kief consumed?
Generally, kief can be smoked or vaped. While the right dosage depends on many variables, try beginning with a pinch, or less than the size of a dime. But, as always, Health Canada suggests starting with a low dose and going slowly to lower the health risks and the risks of over consumption.
When rolling a joint, you can sprinkle kief overtop of the dried cannabis flower or coat a completed joint in hash oil and roll it in the powder (often referred to as a “twaxed joint”). Kief can also be added to a pipe or bong alongside dried flower (also called “crowning a bowl”) by packing the bottom of the bowl with dried flower, and then sprinkling a layer of kief on top. Repeat the process until the bowl is full. (Ensure the bowl has a screen to avoid sucking any tiny particles into your mouth.)
For vaping, it can be used in an extract-specific vaporizer or a dried flower vaporizer that has an extract attachment. Layer the kief and dried flower, ensuring the kief is not placed on the bottom, as it could melt and leave residue.
Can kief be used for edibles?
Kief can be added to just about any kind of homemade edible cannabis product, but it must be heated (a process called decarboxylation, or decarbing) to activate the cannabinoids.