Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 31, 2022

As we dive further into the secrets of the cannabis plant, popular research on cannabis, and how it is used for both recreational and medical purposes, we need to mention the tiny crystals that cover the cannabis flower called trichomes. 

These high-quality resin glands are the most potent part of the cannabis plant. They contain cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) and terpenes and are extracted and used to make a wide variety of cannabis products. We’ll give you the 411 on kief weed and how it’s used in the paragraphs below, so keep reading to find out more.

The Cannabis Plant, Trichomes, and Kief

Kief, often called pollen, keef, or dry sift, is the term people use to name the resin glands or trichomes which are found on the buds of the cannabis flower. This is the place where the most cannabinoids are located, which makes kief one of the most potent cannabis products.  

The trichomes are mushroom-like resin glands that have a bulbous head and a stalk. The highest percentage of THC in the cannabis plant is contained in the trichome head which is why this part is the most desirable and is collected using various solvent or non-solvent extraction methods.

From an evolutionary standpoint, trichomes can be found in a lot of plants, including the marijuana plant. Their main purpose is to deter herbivore animals from eating the rest of the plant since consuming them results in psychoactive and sedative effects. Apart from that, they also have a potent terpene profile that attracts pollinating insects but also keeps the herbivores at bay.

Why Do People Extract Kief From the Cannabis Plant?

As we’ve previously mentioned, kief is one of the most potent parts of the cannabis plant. So, if you’re a cannabis user who enjoys potent cannabis products such as concentrates, but you don’t have the necessary equipment to make them at home, sifting kief is a great option. Kief has a high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes which is why it’s one of the favorite products for cannabis aficionados. 

You can purchase kief from a local dispensary if weed is legal where you live, or you can extract it at home from the cannabis plant. The quality of the kief will depend on its color – lighter kief is of higher quality, while greener kief has more plant matter mixed into it.

How to Extract Kief?

The easiest way to extract kief is to use a three-chamber weed grinder. This type of grinder will not only grind your weed finely, but it will also collect the kief crystals at the bottom of the grinder, as the bottom chamber is covered with a screen that separates the kief from the dry herb. 

Another way for sifting kief in larger quantities is to use silk screening materials which separate the kief from the plant matter. You can also make your own sifters by stacking a few layers of fine mesh screen on top of another. Since the kief is between 75 and 125 microns, you will need to use different sizes of screens on top of each other and stack them from largest to smallest. The best meshes for sifting screens are between 80 and 270 LPI (lines per inch).

How to Use Your Kief?

Your extracted kief can be used to make cannabis edibles like weed brownies, but it can also be used in your bong, joint, vape, or whichever way you prefer to consume cannabis. So, let’s dive into all the ways you can use it.

Add Potency to Your Edibles

If you want to make your edibles more potent, you can add kief to them. To do this, the kief should go through the decarboxylation process in order to obtain its psychoactive properties. To decarb the kief, place it on a parchment paper at about 220-250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, after which your kief is ready to be used for making edibles. 

Top Your Joint With It

If smoking kief is more your cup of tea, you can add it to your joint for an unforgettable psychoactive experience. Simply place your ground-up weed on your rolling papers, add your desired amount of kief on top of the flower, roll the joint, and light up. If you’re used to smoking spliffs, mix the tobacco with the weed, and top the mixture with kief before rolling.

Make Hash

Hash, or hashish, is a solventless cannabis extract made by removing the trichomes from the cannabis plant and making them into a concentrate that looks brown or dark green. The first step towards making hash is extracting the kief. Next, you need to heat the kief and apply pressure to it to form a soft ball. The pressure ruptures the resin glands and alters their composition which gives you a different cannabis product. The color of the hash depends on how much pressure you apply, therefore more pressure will yield a darker hash.

Make Moon Rocks

Moon rocks are one of the most popular and high-quality cannabis products. They’re made up of cannabis nugs that are covered in cannabis oil or concentrate, and finally, rolled up in kief. They’re very easy to make at home, though you can also buy them pre-made from a local dispensary. To make them, you need to heat your cannabis oil, coat the nugs in oil, and as they’re warm, roll them in kief. Moon rocks can be used as a whole, or broken down into smaller pieces and added to a bowl.

Spice up Your Cannabutter

Kief can also be used to increase the potency and the terpene profile of your cannabutter, especially if you’ve been using less potent parts of the cannabis plant to make the butter, such as cannabis leaves. The amount of kief you put in the cannabis butter will determine the potency of your butter.

Make Rosin

Rosin is another popular solventless cannabis concentrate. It’s made by either pressing the cannabis flower in a press to extract the rosin or pressing the kief. Rosin dabs can also be made at home by using a hair straightener and a chink of your time by following our step-by-step guide on how to make dabs from weed

Make Kief Discs 

If you have a kief press at home, kief discs, otherwise known as kief pucks, are some of the easiest kief products you can make. Simply place your kief inside the press and make your disks. You can use them by breaking them up into smaller pieces and smoking them, but you can also smoke the entire disk at once.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve probably learned throughout this article, kief is a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a lot of potent cannabis products. So, next time you see some white trichomes at the bottom of your grinder, make sure you preserve them. After you collect a significant quantity, you can use them to make some of the products we’ve mentioned in this article. We definitely recommend trying the moon rocks if you’re a seasoned marijuana user who is looking for a new way of consuming the cannabis plant. Enjoy!

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.