What is Kief? A Guide to this Potent CBD Extract

CBD comes in many forms. You can buy everything from the finest hand-trimmed flowers to CBD-infused chocolates, candies, and other delectable treats. One of the purest and most unusual products is something known as "kief".

It's fine, sticky, and loaded with cannabinoids, but how does kief compare to other CBD products? Is it strong, what does it taste like, and how is it made?

What is Kief Made From?

Kief is formed from the trichomes that coat hemp and cannabis flowers. These crystalline hairs are rich in terpenes and cannabinoids, creating a potent product that delivers maximum flavor and effects. 

If you have ever used a three chamber grinder you will have made kief yourself. It is the sandy substance that accumulates in the bottom piece, as it's fine enough to slip through the mesh.

The product is also sold by most dispensaries. 

How is Dry Sift Made?

Commercial kief is processed using multiple silk screens. They take large quantities of hemp flower and sift them, with all of the kief slipping through the mesh screens and collecting at the bottom. This is where the alternative name "dry sift" comes from.

Kief can also be made using freezing techniques. In all cases, these processes are natural and chemical-free, making kief a great option for users who want a concentrated product without having to worry about solvents.

Where Does the Name Kief Come From?

The name "kief" stems from the Arabic word "kayf." Google Translate unreliably tells us that this means, "how do," which proposes more questions than it answers. Its real meaning is closer to "pleasure," which makes more sense. 

It may also be written as "keef." When referring to cannabis, kief is also known as cannabis crystals.

How to Use Kief

Keif is much more than a byproduct found in the bottom of your grinder. It's one of the most versatile ways to get your fix of cannabinoids, and it can be consumed in the following ways:

Make Rosin and Hash

Rosin is a popular cannabis concentrate that involves the use of heated presses to create a sap-like product that makes for a strong dab. Commercial rosin is created using expensive equipment, but this process is often mimicked using simple hair straighteners.

You can turn kief into hashish simply by rolling it into a ball or pressing it with a machine or mold.

Add it to Food

You can sprinkle kief into brownies, cookies, and other treats to create your own edibles. Before the cannabinoids are activated the kief needs to undergo a process known as decarboxylation.

To decarboxylate kief, you simply need to heat it up. This sheds its carboxyl ring, turning CBDA into CBD and giving you the effects you desire. In other words, it's generally okay to bake your kief into brownies, cookies, and other baked and cooked foods, but you can't simply sprinkle it onto a slice of bread and butter and hope for the same effects.

Smoking Kief

You can add kief to the exterior of a joint. Just roll a joint with flowers, shake, or a herbal blend, lick the outside, and then roll the joint over a sprinkling of kief. It will adhere to the surface and add some potency to your pre-roll.

Alternatively, you can smoke kief by adding it to a bowl of flowers/herbs or sprinkling it inside a joint. Treat it like hash, and you can't go wrong.

What are Moon Rocks?

Moon rocks are potent little nugs packed with CBD. They are made by dipping hemp flowers into hash oil or CBD oil and then rolling in kief. It creates a sold "nug-like" product often smoked in a pipe or bong. 

They can be a little harsh on the lungs and are not recommended for beginners. They also struggle to stay lit when smoked in a joint, which is why bongs, pipes, and vaporizers are preferred.

Summary: Making and Consuming Kief

​Whether you make kief at home or buy in large quantities, and whether you smoke, vape, or eat, it should always be on your hemp shopping list. It's a versatile, potent, and cost-effective way to consume your favorite strain. Keep a lookout for this sandy-colored substance the next time you find yourself in a dispensary.

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