What Is Marijuana Kief?

 Posted by at 4:17 PM on January 12, 2012  Cannabis Tips and Tricks
Jan 122012
 January 12, 2012

KiefWhat is Kief Exactly? Looking Inside The Bottom Grinder Compartment

Ever wonder what that powdery stuff is in the bottom of your grinder?

Maybe you know it’s called kief, but do you know what this stuff actually is?

Kief or keef is the small crystals on top of the marijuana bud and is commonly sprinkled on top of marijuana in bowls, bongs, blunts and joints due to its high THC potency. One thing that is certain about kief is that it has higher levels of THC than just marijuana alone.

Kief or keef also comes from the Arabic word kayf meaning well-being or pleasure .

The only way to collect kief is to use a grinder. Most grinders are split into four sections with the very bottom layer used to collect kief. You can see in the diagram below that the kief falls through the grinded marijuana section and into the kief compartment.

Shaking or banging the grinder when marijuana is in the grinded marijuana section can be very effective at shaking some extra kief into the bottom compartment because of the net that is separating the two.

Almost all marijuana grinders have multiple compartments that can be screwed off and are manufactured into a small metal circular device that looks similar to a hockey puck. The top layers of a grinder shred the marijuana into a shake-like mixture, and the bottom layers store the marijuana and collect kief.

Marijuana is commonly broken up and rolled into a joint or blunt. But when broken-up with your hands you are actually losing valuable kief, which can stick to your fingers due to finger oil. If, however, the marijuana is broken-up with a grinder, the valuable kief that you would have lost will be safely stored at the bottom.

For those who like to smoke as little as possible to minimize health risks and still want the desirable effects of marijuana, smoking or consuming kief may be the best option. Because kief is concentrated THC (the main mind-altering chemical in marijuana) you need to smoke very little to obtain the desired effects.

Kief is also commonly made from the “trash” of a cannabis marijuana plant consisting of leaves and misshapen buds. Instead of using a grinder, kief can be collected by rubbing leaves and buds over a stainless steel mesh screen; however, using a grinder is much easier. You can use your grinder to grind up cannabis leaves as well as bud to produce kief in the bottom compartment.

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • miggy420

    Excellent piece, being just a regular buddah head I was wondering what kief was last month and sought it out. They sell kief in some of dispensaries here, that’s how I became aware of it.

    • http://marijuanadrama.com Mike Longo

      @miggy420 Thanks! I was wondering if they sold straight kief in medical marijuana dispensaries myself. That’s awesome! :o

  • Free

    Nothing helps more in the collection of kief from a little grinder than a small paint brush and a small piece of glass. A small brush is key for the nooks where tapping fails to dislodge the kief and the glass gives you a clean area to collect it on. Make sure you store airtight and in a dark container. Also, watch out grinding buds and leaf too much; else the kief will not be as pure as it should or could be. Kief is more of a novelty though. It is tedious to collect, tedious to press and then seldom stays pressed and doesn’t really smoke very well. Considering this, it is better to just make hash or tincture. Of course, tincturing is where it is at. Reference Rick Simpson of Phoenix Tears and his movie called Run From the Cure (available for free on youtube and elsewhere).

  • notwell 1986 to present day

    i putsa full 20 in my grinder and grind and shake the shit outa it.. I lv my thc’s :)

  • Adrian Vetter

    I’m curious, does anyone know the cancer fighting abilities of kief, because that’s important to me, as a patient.

  • Tim

    Doing research into Kief-thanks for a really well written article!

  • Liarma

    Good luck with your recovery friend. Enjoy the medicinal properties of the herb.