What is Kief?

Ever wonder what to call all those tiny, sticky crystals that cover cannabis flower? They’re called kief, also known as dry sift or pollen.

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Kief refers to the resin glands which contain the terpenes and cannabinoids that make cannabis so unique. While marijuana sans kief still contains cannabinoids, the resin glands that develop on flower buds pack the biggest punch.

While kief specifically refers to the bulbous, crystal formation on the tip of a gland, the substance itself is just one part of what is called a trichome, or a “hair.”

Many different plants and algae have external trichomes for specific evolutionary purposes. For example, some carnivorous plants rely on sticky trichomes to trap their prey. Other plants, like cannabis, use them as a deterrent to herbivores.

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Trichomes on the marijuana plant keep away hungry herbivores by producing an intense psychoactive experience, theoretically disorienting the animal and preventing it from eating the rest of the plant. The resin’s strong, distinct odor also attracts pollinating insects and predators, which might keep herbivore populations at bay.

What can you do with Kief?

Sprinkle it in your joint or on top of your bowl.

Add potency to your cannabutter.

Make hash, rosin or moonrocks.

 

Cannabis 101Carly Jones