Definition - What does Kief mean?
Kief, often referred to as pollen or dry sift, is the soft, visible crystals that naturally cover the marijuana plant’s flowers, and to some extent, its leaves. The crystal-like powdery substance is highly sticky and extruded from a cannabis plant’s resin glands.
Kief is a form of trichomes that the plant manufactures to deter consumption by herbivores and also attract beneficial pollinating insects.
Kief’s trichomes consist of a combination of terpenes and cannabinoids, many of which produce a psychoactive experience when ingested.
Hydrolife explains Kief
It is believed that in the wild, when an animal consumes kief, the unpleasant side effects are what deter the animal from future consumption of the plant, thus saving outdoor-grown cannabis from being overgrazed and ultimately dying out. In other words, kief is the plant’s survival mechanism.
Kief also produces the strong odor that is commonly associated with marijuana. It is believed that the strong aroma of kief draws pollinating insects to the plant’s flowers, which helps guarantee pollination and extend the plant’s lineage.
Kief is highly concentrated and often sifted from the plant to use for a more intense psychoactive experience/high. Kief generally contains around 50 per cent more (or higher) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than the rest of the plant. Even the flowers of the cannabis plant contain only about 12 to 15 per cent THC. The high concentrations of THC in kief makes the crystal-like substance highly coveted by users and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Consumers often sprinkle kief directly onto parts of the marijuana plant before consumption to increase its effects. Kief is also heated and pressurized to make hash or to be added to edibles.