A Comprehensive Guide to Kief

iStock / Charles Wollertz

In Morocco Africa, Kief is described as a mixture of finely ground bud and indigenous tobacco. That is very different than the kind of Kief we are referring to in this article. However, in other parts of the world like the United States and most of western Europe, Kief AKA kif or keef, (all of which quite literally translate to pleasure and intoxication) is derived from the cannabis plant.

What is kief?

Kief consists of the resinous trichomes that cannabis produces. The resin glands on the outer leaf of the buds are always the most potent as they are where the resin glands that provide the most trichome are located. Trichomes are the center of everything from terpene production to cannabinoid content, and kief contains all of that and more.

How strong is kief?

Kief is not quite as potent as some of the purest cannabinoid products like THC crystals that often weigh in around 90%, but it’s still pretty strong when compared to its high 60%-70% average to regular cannabis flowers that run closer to 12%-25% at most. Because of this condensed strength, the effects of kief are typically much stronger than flour and some types of hash.

The pros and cons of using kief

Like any other cannabis product, kief comes with both benefits and drawbacks and it’s important to weigh all of them before deciding whether or not it might be for you.


  • Potent
  • Versatile
  • Terpene filled
  • Solvent-free


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to buy
  • Easy to smoke a lot of

How to make kief

iStock / Dmitry_Tishchenko

Most regular stoners know that they are already gathering Kief at home, but they might not know what to do with it. Little by little, crystals and potent trichomes and hairs will fall away from the bud, and this dust that gathers is Kief. Collecting this dust wouldn’t be worth it though, you would be waiting forever to make enough to do much with. For those looking to make more, there are three different methods we will cover here.

1. How to get kief out of grinder

Kief can be gathered by using a regular hand grinder that has a mesh screen. One can be bought for as little as $14.95 on Amazon. As the kief grinder turns, it purposefully rubs the buds against it, collecting the Kief in the bottom. Once you have done this, you can then open the bottom and empty the Kief into a separate container for storage. Though this method is quite a bit faster than watching it gather at the bottom of a jar, it still isn't quite enough for those who want a more substantial amount and fast.

2. How to collect kief with dry ice

This one is fast but a bit costlier because it requires dry ice and bubble bags. Dry ice can usually only be purchased through specialty stores, and bubble bags can be expensive with prices ranging from $60- $200.

Materials Needed:

  • dry ice (500 grams)
  • bubble bag
  • one bucket
  • 3 ounces of dried bud

Step 1 - Start by putting 3 ounces of dried bud into your bubble bag kit. Then add 1 pound of dry ice to the bucket with the dried bud.

Step 2 - Take your biggest bubble bag and place it over the bucket. It must be a snug fit. If it doesn't, then use tape to create a seal.

Step 3 - Shake the bucket vigorously for 1 minute. Then flip it completely upside down over the top of a flat, clean surface. Continue to shake the bucket until kief stops falling out of it.

Step 4 - Gather kief and place it in a safe sealed container for later use.

3. How to get kief with screens

If you don’t have the patience to wait for kief to gather in your grinder, or to experiment with dry ice, then there is one more option that might be ideal. With this method of extraction, kief can be made right from scratch using buds or cannabis leaves.

You will need:

  • Fine mesh screen
  • Collection container
  • Cannabis plant materials (leaves or buds)


  1. Start over a clean surface with a fine mesh screen. Grab some of the cannabis materials and gently rub them against the metal. Some people have the most success by building a box with a frame to contain larger amounts of buds so that a back and forth motion and the weight is enough to do the harvesting for you, as pressing too hard will just break down the green materials that will lower the quality of your kief.

  2. As you continue, you will start to notice a small pile of powder building, and once it starts it can be hard to stop until you are done with all of the cannabis and taking in the beauty of your freshly harvested kief.

  3. Store the kief in a collection container for safety.

What to do with kief

Kief is a fantastic cannabis product that can be decarboxylated to instantly turn almost any recipe into edibles or added to butter to achieve a similar result. It can be smoked pure or combined, and it can even be made into entirely different exciting and intoxicating cannabis products such as hash or moonrocks. If any of those choices sound appealing to you, then you’re going to want to hang around and read through the easy step by step instructions neatly set out below to learn how to use kief.

How to smoke kief

iStock / shanecotee

Smoking is one of the simplest methods of inhaling kief as it requires no processing and very little for preparation. You can fill the bowl of a bong or weed pipe using pure kief or mix it up a bit by combining it with fresh cannabis buds that will help it to burn longer in rolling papers. You can also use it as a coating to make some ultra-potent moon rockets, but that takes a few extra things like patience and BHO oil to pull off.

You can use:

  • Vaporizers
  • Rolling papers
  • Bongs
  • Pipes

How to decarb kief

Cannabutter is all the rage, but if you want to prepare your kief so that it is activated and ready to add to all of your favorite recipes then you will need to know how to decarboxylate it.

You will need:

  • Baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Kief


  1. Set the oven to 260°F.

  2. Line the pan with parchment paper and then sprinkle the kief around in the

  • Cover the kief with some aluminum foil, then bake at 360°F for 35-45 minutes.

  • Your kief is now decarbed and ready to mix into almost anything you can think of including sauces, baked good, and beverages.

    How to make kief butter

    Kief butter aka cannabutter is really easy to make, but you will need to decarboxylate the cannabis goods before adding them to the mixture.

    You will need:

    • 3-6 grams kief
    • 1lb butter
    • Pot
    • Mixing tool
    • Aluminum foil


    1. Preheat the oven to 260°F.

    2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

    3. Spread the kief across the paper-lined pan.

    4. Cover the kief with aluminum foil to keep it from scalding.

    5. Bake the kief in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes.

    6. Add the butter to a saucepan or pot and set the burner to medium heat until it melts.

    7. Toss in the kief and stir the mixture thoroughly.

    8. Once the kief crystals have dissolved, remove the pot from the burner and allow the liquid to cool which will result in a freshly made chunk of kief butter.

    How to make hash from kief

    iStock / Kondor83

    There are so many different types of hash out there but kief hash is easy to make and not a single tool is needed to do it. Thanks to its dry crystal nature, all it really takes is a bit of pressure and a few drops of water to make some potent kief hash.

    You will need:

    • Aluminum foil
    • Kief
    • 2-4 drops of water


    1. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil and fold it into the shape of an envelope.

    2. Pour the kief into the pocket along with a few drops of water and then wrap it up tightly to seal up any leaks or openings.

    3. Drop the aluminum foil into a large book or into your shoe as you wear it around to add enough pressure to force the kief into a brick. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on how much pressure you use.

    4. Check on your kief hash by gently unwrapping it and feeling the texture. Check to see if it is hard like a brick or still crumble like a powder. If the latter is true then you will need to add more water and try again, but if you have a solid chunk instead then your freshly made kief hash is ready to smoke.

    How to make weed tea with kief

    Weed tea is a huge favorite among cannabis enthusiasts as the boost in caffeine is enough to set the mood for a fun experience, but unfortunately, unlike edibles, tea is all liquid which means any small cannabis pieces might make it seem gritty when you drink it. Instead, try the idea we have here, for the most delicious cup of weed tea possible.

    You will need:

    • ¼ teaspoon decarboxylated cannabis
    • Teabag (any flavor)
    • Scissors
    • Paperclip
    • Kettle
    • Flavor additions (sugar, honey, milk, etc.)


    1. Use a sharp and sterilized pair of scissors to gently cut open one seam from a side of the teabag.

    2. Pack the kief into the teabag.

    3. Use a paperclip to hold everything together.

    4. Boil water and then pour it over the kief tea bag into a mug.

    5. Use a spoon to brew the weed tea by mixing it for approximately 1 minute which is enough time for the kief crystals to dissolve.

    6. Add flavor options according to preference and enjoy your freshly made weed tea.

    How much kief per cup of coffee

    The ideal amount for each individual will differ, so there is no way to accurately predict this. However, it is always best to start low, so we highly recommend no more than ¼ teaspoon of decarboxylated kief per cup of coffee. Especially for first timers with a low tolerance.

    Some of the best weed strains for harvesting kief

    iStock / Yarygin

    Not all weed strains are the same which is why some are better than others for this particular task. The trichomes that are in kief are found in the highest quantities among strains that are best suited for the job. Some of the most popular options to choose from include:

    • Chemdawg
    • White Dawg
    • Shark’s Breath
    • Crystal Coma
    • White Widow
    • Ice
    • Hashberry
    • OG Kush
    • Hash Plant
    • Chernobyl
    What are cannabis trichomes


    Related posts