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What is Kief and How Is It Used?

Kief may appear as dusty remnants after grinding cannabis flower, but it’s actually an extra potent part of the plant that can level up your next session. Read on to learn more about this powder-like substance, where it comes from, and how you can incorporate it into your routine.

What is kief? 

Kief is an accumulation of trichomes, the cannabinoid- and terpene-packed resin glands of the cannabis plant responsible for the frosty appearance of mature cannabis flower. Kief naturally falls from flower when harvested, during transport, and after grinding.

Because kief comprises the trichomes that contain phytocannabinoids like THC, this part of the plant is very potent. For some consumers, this elevated potency is a major draw. Kief is therefore often reserved and added to other cannabis products for increased effects.

Why is kief popular?

Cannabis consumers typically enjoy kief because of its potent concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes. In Arabic, the word kief means “pleasure” or “intoxication.” That’s a fitting translation, considering the high concentration of delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a prominent cannabinoid that elicits intoxicating effects. While even the strongest of cannabis flowers contain around 25% to 30% THC, kief can contain anywhere from 50% to 80% THC. 

It’s false that high THC levels means a better cannabis product, or even more intoxication. Learn more about why the high THC myth isn’t a reliable way to choose cannabis products.

However, it’s not just more THC that makes kief popular. It also contains heightened concentrations of non-intoxicating cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabigerol (CBG). This is an added bonus for consumers who want to take advantage of the calming, pain-relieving properties of CBD, or the potential anti-inflammatory effects of CBG

Importantly, making use of kief is one of the most effective ways to use as much of your cannabis purchase as possible. Not making use of kief means leaving behind a vibrant, potent, and flavorful part of the plant that can thoroughly enhance your sessions. 

Four ways to consume kief

As with any form of cannabis, it’s best to start low and slow. Kief is known for its potency, so try a little and see how you feel. You can always add more. 

  1. Consume it on its own. Kief can be placed in a device and inhaled on its own. Keep in mind that it is much more powdery than flower, so it can be burned through quickly if you’re not careful.
  2. Sprinkle kief on top of flower. Placing a little bit of kief with your flower inside your chosen consumption device is among the most common and simple uses out there. It adds a nice bonus to your flower and helps a little bit go a long way.
  3. Bake into edibles. Kief is great for making edibles because it’s easy to disperse evenly throughout a mixture. Further, because there is less plant material in kief, it’s less likely to affect the flavor of a product. However, it’s important to first decarboxylate kief by baking it at a low temperature. Otherwise, the cannabinoids will not be in their active form when an ingestible cannabis product is consumed.
  4. Press into hash. Another common use of kief is to press it into homemade hash. This is done by applying heat and pressure to the kief in order to fuse it into a solid block. Once a hash is created, it can be inhaled.

Making the most of your cannabis

Kief can be easy to overlook, but don’t forget about it! Whether you’re sprinkling it into your joint or creating your own hash, understanding how to collect and use this part of the plant is a great way to get the most out of your purchase. 
Ready to give kief a try? Check the menu of your local Ethos dispensary to see what’s in store. And for more information on the variety of cannabis products out there, check out the Ethos learning center for dozens of articles on everything cannabis.

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