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What is Kief & What Do You Do With It?

Kief in a small bowl

If you’ve been in the marijuana world, handled cannabis flower, or used a grinder, chances are you’ve at least heard of kief. In this guide, we’ll explain:

  • What is Kief?
  • Where Does Kief Come From?
  • Why is Kief More Potent Than Flower?
  • What Do You Do with Kief?

What is Kief?

Have you ever handled a cannabis flower bud and afterwards your fingers feel a little sticky? And sometimes, you can almost see shiny hairs or crystals on the flower? Those glossy, sticky particles are kief.

More specifically, those are trichomes, and kief refers to the trichomes that are gathered from a cannabis flower. Trichomes are tiny resin glands, and they’re packed with the terpenes and cannabinoids that most cannabis consumers love. This is because terpenes and cannabinoids are what give each strain of cannabis its unique flavors and aromas. Because kief contains such a high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids, they’re typically considered to be more potent than cannabis flower.

Learn about the entourage effect -- it's what makes kief so potent!

Where Does Kief Come From?

While most people think of kief as part of the marijuana flower bud, the truth is that kief can be found on both the leaves and the buds. That being said, for most cannabis connoisseurs, the kief you’ll be collecting will come from marijuana flower, specifically.

Wondering how to extract kief from cannabis? The process of collecting kief is actually pretty straightforward. Most grinders contain a screen that allows you to catch the kief from your bud in a chamber. If you’re looking for a more expert tool, there are products called kief boxes that let you filter different grades of kief until you’re left with only the trichome heads. This process can take some time to perfect but it’s worth it--especially if you love cannabis.

Learn everything there is to know about marijuana grinders with our guide.

Why is Kief More Potent Than Flower?

You might be wondering how a tiny trichome could possibly be more potent than the cannabis flower. While flower buds contain trichomes that are packed with cannabinoids (like THC), they are also made up of bracts, calyxes, and sugar leaves. So when you enjoy marijuana flower, you’re typically consuming a less concentrated product. Kief, however, is made up only of the trichomes. This means that they are a concentrated form of cannabinoids and THC.

In fact, while flower can have between 25-35% THC, marijuana kief can contain anywhere from 50-80% THC. There are even some people that suggest they can get higher percentages with the right kief-sifting techniques.

What Do You Do with Kief?

Are you trying to figure out how to consume kief? Good news, you probably won’t consume kief on its own like that. In fact, most cannabis consumers add kief to a cannabis product, rather than enjoying it on its own. Some common ways to enjoy kief include:

  • Add it to your pipe. The slang phrase “crowning a bowl” is one frequently used by experienced cannabis consumers. It simply requires sprinkling kief on the cannabis in your glass pipe.
  • Roll it into your cannabis “joint.” If you tend to roll your own product, you can add a pinch of kief before closing the roll. There are also some people who will dampen the outside tip of the cigarette and roll it in kief.
  • Create hash. Hash is simply kief that has been heated, pressurized, and rolled into a soft ball. Experienced consumers can do this themselves, and you can also purchase hash in some states from licensed dispensaries.
  • Coat your flower bud. Marijuana flower that has been rolled in kief is referred to (in slang terms) as “moonrocks.” The process of creating these is fairly easy. Simply heat cannabis oil, coat your flower, roll it in kief, and let it dry. Then, break the bud apart for smoking or vaping.
  • Create your own cannabutter. Cannabutter is butter infused with cannabis flower, oil, or other concentrates like kief. You can make your own at home, and if you do, be sure to try these DIY marijuana brownies. They’re a delicious way to consume your kief.

While there are other ways to utilize kief, these tend to be the easiest and fastest ways to enjoy your kief. 

Is Kief Right for You?

Kief is a natural by-product of consuming flower bud, so it makes sense to learn about it to make sure these potent trichomes don’t go to waste. You may discover that you enjoy adding them to other cannabis products. And of course, if you’re still unsure, you can always visit one of our Verilife dispensary locations. Our experts are on hand to discuss any cannabis product, including kief, and help you decide which one is right for you.


Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

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