As the cannabis plant matures, its buds develop resinous glands called trichomes, which contain THC, CBD, terpenes, and other compounds that contribute to cannabis’ psychoactive effect and healing properties. Trichomes look like tiny crystals—think finely-milled sugar or salt. When these trichomes dry and break off of the plant, they become kief.
Kief, because it has oxidized and loses its freshness when separated from the plant buds, usually has a darker color than trichomes, ranging from light gold to brown. It has a powdery appearance and a texture that is somewhat sticky, though less so than trichomes on a bud. Another name for kief is “pollen,” and sometimes it gets spelled like “keef,” but kief is the correct name.
Kief can be added to vape chambers, bowls, or joints for an added kick when your bud is lacking. It can also be pressed into hash if you have enough kief in your grinder.