Kief vs Hash: What’s The Difference? (Revealed)

hashish and marijuana buds

Kief and hash are two of the most popular cannabis concentrates available today.

Each one is an extract from the most potent part of marijuana plants, but they differ in terms of their potency, aroma, flavor, and texture.

If you’re a new cannabis concentrate enthusiast, you’ll learn everything you need to know about kief vs. hash, from potency and history to how to extract kief and make your own hash.

If you’re unsure what to do with the powder in your grinder, here’s a crash course. 

Main Differences Between Kief vs. Hash

The main difference between kief vs. hash are:

  • Kief is direct from the marijuana plant, whereas hash is processed from kief.
  • Kief has stronger THC properties than weed, whereas hash is more potent than kief.
  • Kief looks like a pile of weed dust, whereas hash has a pasty, waxy, or oily consistency.

What is Kief?

Kief is also known as “dust,” “dry sift,” or “chief.”

It’s a golden-green crystal-like powder obtained from trichomes of marijuana plants and is a crucial contributor to bud potency. The more kief on the plant you smoke, the more intense the high. 

To put into perspective, a typical cannabis plant contains only around 15-25% THC. However, kief contains cannabinoids and THC up to 50-75%. More refined kief can even cross this A-mark. 

In its natural form, kief is a collection of trichomes, the hair-like growth you see on cannabis buds and leaves. More specifically, it’s a collection of resin glands that produce the active cannabis compounds in the plant.  

It’s essentially getting your high direct from the source. 

Kief Pollen Sifter

How Kief is Made

Experts collect kief simply by dusting off the resin or trichome heads. It leaves a brown powdery or light green powdery substance depending on its purity and cannabis strain.

To make your own kief, you’ll need a herb grinder with a fine mesh screen. Place the dry cannabis flowers or leaves into the herb grinder and shake it gently. The trichomes should fall through the screen with little to no added parts.  

Cannabis enthusiasts prevent excessive infiltration using a series of sieves built into a box, popularly called a kief box, kief catcher, or pollen box. 

With each batch, you may achieve the ultimate goal of producing a “99% dry sift.” This is a highly refined and potent kief that contains pure trichome heads.

Remember, kief is more potent than store-bought regular marijuana products, so it’s best to start with a small amount until you know how it will affect you.

Why Do Cannabis Plants Make Cannabinoids And Terpenes?

Cannabis plants don’t produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD to help you get high. Rather its trichomes secrete these compounds to deter predators or hungry animals.

For instance, skunk weed uses its pungent smell as a defensive weapon the way a skunk uses it to fight off predators. They also have an abundance of sticky resins to trap insects in the bud. Cannabinoids act as a natural defense mechanism rendering the flowers bitter and unpalatable in the wild.

But this deterrent covering the leaves and flowers produces the THC that makes cannabis valuable to us. And terpenes give the cannabis plant its unique aroma and flavor, which attracts pollinating insects and help the plant adjust to extreme weather conditions. 

Hash vs Kief: What is Hashish?

Hash is made by taking the sweet trichomes from the cannabis plant and pressing them into a solid block or paste. These trichomes are the resinous glands that make cannabis sticky and appear like it’s been dusted in sugar.

The process of making hashish varies and also determines its name. For instance, butane hash oil is short for collecting kief in a butane solvent. And then compress them together to form a concentrated block of goodness.

But hash is more than just potent – it has a unique aroma and flavor from the terpenes in the trichomes. Depending on the strain of cannabis used and the production method, pure hashish carries various aromas and flavors, from earthy and spicy to fruity and floral.

Hash is simply mixing cannabis resins into a solid form you can hit, vape, chew, or smoke.

History of Kief and Hash

Green lovers can proudly share the history of hash and kief with their friends, smoke buddies, and naysayers. 

You see, these cannabis concentrates have been around for thousands of years, tracing back to 900AD in the middle east and North Africa.  

But the oldest extraction method, hand rubbing, is attributed to folks from Nepal and areas in North India. They noticed the sticky substance on their hands during manual harvest and eventually started making hash by hand-rubbing the fresh buds. This process is what’s now known as Charas

Then, in the 14th century, Marco Polo took tales of Persian assassins – the usurper slaying cult – using hash for an alcohol-like high to Europe. Soon it entered Europe, first by Napoleon Boenaparte’s soldiers’ exposure to hash in their sojourn to Egypt. 

Kief and hash became mainstream when soul-searching western tourists in Asia brought it home from their trips in the 60s. Today, with cannabis legalization, you can enjoy cannabis products, including low amounts of kief and hash. But they’re easier to obtain when you have a medical marijuana card.

kief on a metal container

Why is Kief Stronger than Bud?

Kief is made up of the trichomes that cover the surface of the cannabis plant. These little resinous glands are what give cannabis its special effects, including the bud.

When you smoke or consume kief, you get twice or thrice as much as a bud.

Think about it like this: compare an espresso shot to a cup of coffee. They both have caffeine, but the shot will hit you harder and faster. Such is the case with kief.

But it’s not just about the concentration – kief also has a different chemical makeup than bud. It’s higher in THC because it’s essentially the source. Plus, kief has a lower ratio of plant material to trichomes, so you’re not getting all the extra stuff that comes with smoking buds.

Ultimately, pure kief contains only trichomes and resin glands, while a bud is mixed with fruit and small trichomes. It produces a smoother and more intense high than the bud. 

How To Use Kief

Mix With Regular Cannabis Products

One of the most common ways to use kief is to sprinkle it on top of your bud before a smoke sesh. Also known as a kief bowl, sprinkler, or crowner, and it’s a great way to add an extra kick to your regular smoking routine. Just sprinkle a pinch of kief in your blend, and you’ll be in for a treat.

Cook Edibles

Another way to use kief is to make edibles. Since kief is already decarboxylated – heated and activated – you can add it directly to your recipes without going through the extra step of decarbing your cannabis. Mix your kief into butter or oil for preparation, and you have some seriously potent edibles.

Make Your Own Hash

Furthermore, you can make hash out of kief. All it takes is compressing your kief into a solid block, and you have some homemade hash. It’s a more concentrated and potent form than smoking the strongest cannabis flower and leaves.

Moonrock Lab

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make moon rocks yourself using kief. Marijuana moon rocks are buds that have been coated in oil and then rolled in kief, creating a super potent and flavorful nugget of goodness.

How to Make Hash from Kief

placing kush in a glass tube

First off, you’re going to need some kief. You can collect this yourself with a kief catcher or buy a pre-made kief from your local dispensary.

Pollen Press

Once you’ve got your kief, you can start cooking the hash. The easiest method is using a pollen press. Load your pure cannabis trichomes kief into the press, then twist the end until it’s compressed into a solid block.

Heat Press

Another method is to use heat and pressure to melt the kief together. This can be done using a hair straightener and some parchment paper. Simply place your kief between two pieces of parchment paper and press it with the straightener for a few seconds. The heat and pressure will cause the kief to melt and stick together, creating a solid hash puck.

Bubble Hash

You can make hash by mixing fresh cannabis buds in a water solution to produce bubble hash. It’s famous for its bubble effects when exposed to flame.

Break it down into small pieces and put it in a mesh bag. Fill up a 3-gallon bucket with ultra-purified ice-cold water and throw it in the bag. Stir it up for about 15 minutes with a wooden paddle. Finally, gently strain out the trichomes to get a sticky, gooey, bubble hash.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between kief and hash?

Kief is a collection of trichomes that have been separated from the cannabis plant, while hash is a concentrated form of kief that has been further processed and compressed.

How are kief and hash made?

Kief is typically collected by sifting cannabis through a mesh screen or grinder, while hash is made by compressing kief using heat and pressure, or through solvent extraction.

Which is more potent, kief or hash?

Hash typically has higher THC levels than kief due to its concentrated form, with THC levels reaching as high as 90%. Kief usually contains lower THC levels, ranging from 50% to 80%. However, the exact THC levels can vary depending on the strain of cannabis and the processing method used.

Can kief and hash be smoked on their own?

Yes, kief and hash can be smoked on their own using a pipe, bong, or joint. They can also be added to other cannabis products to increase their potency.

Can kief and hash be used to make edibles?

Yes, kief and hash can be used to make edibles. They can be added directly to recipes or infused into butter or oil for use in cooking or baking.

What is the best way to store kief or hash?

Kief and hash should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to preserve their potency and flavor. Popular storage options include glass jars or silicone containers. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or in areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations.

Wrapping Up

As a cannabis enthusiast, it’s hard not to immediately appreciate the intense high qualities of kief and hash. But they also offer the benefits of a rich history and cultural significance. 

Whether you want to collect kief for a potent smoking experience or experiment with edibles, you can’t overlook these cannabis concentrates.

The differences between kief and hash are mainly from their mode of production. But they remain a pure extract of cannabinoid properties processed into forms you love.

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