AskDefine | Define kief

Extensive Definition

For the city, see Kief, North Dakota.
Kief, Kef, Keef or kif refers to the loose, dried resin glands (or trichomes) of cannabis which may accumulate on containers, in grinders, or be removed with a kiefing screen or sieve. It is sometimes erroneously called pollen or crystal. Kief can be smoked in a number of ways, including using smoking pipes, bongs, vaporizers, or rolling papers (resulting in a joint). Kief contains a higher concentration of desirable psychoactive ingredients than ordinary preparations of cannabis buds from which it is derived. It may also be rubbed on the gums.


The word kief comes from Persian meaning "bag". The original way of preparing kief (for pressing into hashish) was to beat the cannabis plant against a cloth bag.


Kief can be collected by brushing dried bud, which is covered with loose trichomes. The trichomes fall from the bud and can be seen as a gold powder, or kief. Another method of obtaining the trichomes is to rub the bud against an extremely fine screen. Trichomes may be inadvertently combined with small pieces of plant matter breaking off from the bud, which reduces overall potency. Kief powder can be compressed into solid form, creating what is commonly referred to as hashish.

Passive collection

Cannabis may be stored in a container with a very fine screen at the bottom. Such containers are often called kief-boxes or kief-catchers. Over time the agitation of storing and removing cannabis in this box will cause kief to accumulate in a compartment beneath the screen, where it can then be collected. Many grinders are also fitted with kief screens.


A small amount of kief is typically placed on top of cannabis when packed into a smoking pipe . Kief can also be smoked on its own or, most advantageously, vaporized. A vaporizer heats herb material to a subcombustion temperature, about 385° F., protecting against loss of delicate THC and eliminating carbon monoxide and other combustion toxins.
If the inner diameter of a screened smoking utensil is narrow enough (one-hitter or minitoke, i.d. = 1/4 inch or 6 mm.) and the user draws slowly enough, a minimum burning temperature is achieved, protecting against waste of delicate cannabinol and preventing health damage. This method is almost as good as a vaporizer but requires a less expensive device.
Kief can be simply rolled in a joint with cannabis or tobacco. The narrower the joint is rolled, the lower a burning temperature can be achieved.
Another popular method of smoking kief is to roll the powder into small spherical objects known as tees or bots. Due to their potency and smaller size they are often smoked by using minimally wasteful smoking techniques such as the one-hitter or the bottle toke method. The bottle toke is where the a pin is placed in a cork or similar object, the hashish or kif is rolled into a ball and placed on the pin, the ball lit on fire and once well lit, blown out to have a bottle placed over it to collect resulting smoke. The smoke is then removed with a straw, leaving the bottle in its upside down position. Kief can also be formed using a pill maker.

Regional meanings

  • South Africa: kief (often spelled kif) is a term used as an expression of admiration or approval.
  • Morocco: kif refers to a traditional blend of herbal cannabis, smoked with a pipe called a sebsi.
  • Australia: kif (or kiff) often refers to "scraps" of marijuana bud or leaf, such as the broken pieces of bud and leaf fragments found at the bottom of large quantities. Kiff does not necessarily have to be "unwanted" weed, or leafy residue, but large, individual and cohesive pieces of bud are excluded from this definition.
  • Germany: kif is a slang term for marijuana, and kiffen is the verb for smoking marijuana or hashish.
  • Norway: kif/keef is a slang term for hashish, a term used most often in the eastern parts of the country.
  • Denmark: kif/keef is a slang for very bad hash were the THC has been vaporized either for cunsumption or simply by itself
  • Canada: Kief/keef is a word which is always used to describe screened or 'home-made' green-gold coloured hashish. It is a very expensive item but it is rarely for sale.
  • Russia: кайф means a state of relaxing pleasure or just pleasure in general. It is also a slang word for drugs.
kief in French: Skuff
kief in Dutch: Skuff
kief in Spanish: Quife
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