The Differences Between Hash vs Kief



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The terms “hash” and “kief” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. They do come from the same part of the cannabis plant (hence the confusion), but they refer to two different types of marijuana extract. Both are extremely psychoactive, recommended only for the serious connoisseur. In order to better understand the properties of hash vs kief, we need to break them down one by one.

What Is Kief?

Kief belongs to the cannabis plant’s trichome system. It’s the sticky part of the trichome that adheres to your fingers when you handle loose cannabis. It resembles a fine powder and may be brown, green, or yellow in color.

The trichomes are the tiny hairs covering the plant for the purposes of self-preservation and self-defense. They deter predators and also produce aromas that attract pollinating insects, thus ensuring the plant’s survival. Each trichome contains resin glands filled with cannabinoids and terpenes. Those glands are what we call kief.

As a cannabis concentrate, kief is extremely high in THC, sometimes containing up to 50% or more. Compare that to smoked marijuana, which typically ranges between 10% and 20% THC (sometimes up to 28%).

When cannabis is ground down, the kief crystals are separated from the trichomes. They can then be consumed on their own or repurposed into cannabis hash. Anybody can extract kief fairly easily.

How to Make Kief

The easiest way to extract kief at home is to use a multi-chamber herb grinder. Because kief is made up of fine crystals, the cannabis must be filtered through multiple screens and sifters to ensure a pure extract.

Look for an herb grinder with at least four layers of ultra-fine mesh. Each screen should contain about 80 to 270 lines per inch. Grind your cannabis to extract only the small, sticky crystals. The lighter they are in color, the more pure your kief.

How to Consume Kief

There are two common ways to consume kief: sprinkling it over your joint, or mixing it into a hot beverage.

  • Smoking: Because kief contains such a high concentration of THC, you can instantly crank up the potency of your spliff, blunt, or joint. Just sprinkle a bit of powder into your joint before rolling. A little goes a long way, so opt for a light dusting.
  • Drinking: Mix about half a gram of kief into your morning coffee for an instant THC kick. It also works in tea. Just remember to stick with hot beverages, as the cannabinoids are activated by hot temperatures. If you try mixing your kief into a cold beverage and the cannabinoids don’t decarboxylate, you’ll be left with no buzz and a nasty taste in your mouth.

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What Is Hash?

Hash, or hashish, is just kief that has been heated, pressurized, and transformed into a solid wax. In some cases, it may also be extracted into a liquid form. Hash is easier to consume than kief, and it also has a higher THC content since it’s more concentrated. A quality hash typically has 20% to 60% THC. In some cases, more than 80% is possible.

When kief is processed into solid hash, it takes on a yellow-gold color. This is the substance that’s used to make wax, shatter, and other popular concentrates. When you do dabs, you’re just consuming hash that has been finely concentrated from kief.

How to Make Hash

You can make hash at home using a pollen press. The first step is to extract your kief (see above). Place as much kief as you can fit into your press, and then turn the knob as tightly as you can. If you think you’re twisting tight enough, try twisting even tighter. The tighter you go, the more concentrated your hash will be, and the better quality your product will be.

When you’re certain that you can’t turn it any tighter, unscrew the press and release the hash. You should have a solid, amber-colored wax. Store it in a cold, dark location to keep it fresh for up to 5 years.

How to Consume Hash

There are several ways to consume hash:

  • Sprinkling: As with kief, you can sprinkle it into your blunt or joint and heighten the buzz. Again, just be careful not to go overboard.
  • Smoking: You can break your wax into small pieces and smoke it in a glass pipe. This method allows you to avoid a lot of the toxins and carcinogens that are inhaled when you smoke a joint, so some people prefer it.
  • Dabbing: You can dab your hashish for the ultimate high. Just be sure to place the wax in a vape pen or cartridge that’s designed for dabbing. If you try to use a standard vape, you may clog the chamber and experience little to no benefit from your concentrate. You can usually browse vaporizer coupons to find great deals on dab-friendly rigs.

Choosing the best consumption method is all about your lifestyle preference. If you just want to enhance your smoking experience, add the hash to your joint or pipe. If you’re looking for an intense, ethereal experience (or you just prefer vaping), try dabbing.

Hash vs Kief: Which Is Better?

Hashish and kief both have their benefits, but you might want to start with kief if you’re new to cannabis concentrates. Because hash is more intense, it’s better to work up to it. Consider the benefits of each extract:

  • Kief
    • Easier to extract
    • A less potent (but still intense) high
    • You get more for your money
  • Hash
    1. A high THC concentration and mind-blowing high
    2. More options for consumption (smoke or dab)
    3. Less of a sticky mess

Try exploring both options, and see how these potent concentrates can enrich your smoke sessions.

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