What's the Difference Between Kief & Hash?

By Liam Noonan


Cannabis concentrates are blowing up in popularity for their potency and versatility of use. Kief and hash are two popular forms around the world, but there’s also shatter, resin, budder, crumble, and more. When it comes to kief and hash, there’s often some confusion when distinguishing the differences between the two. Kief is a little less potent and easy to collect at home while hash is more potent, but a little harder to make. 

Continue reading to learn more about what kief and hash are as well as a side-by-side comparison between the two.

What is Kief & How is it Made? 

Kief refers to the sticky-icky resin glands covering the tips of the plant’s trichomes. You can identify these potent particles as tiny little hairs on marijuana buds. The trichomes are important to the potency of kief because they contain concentrated amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds distinguish each unique strain profile and allow users to experience the full range of the entourage effect. 

When ground or shaken off the buds, these trichome-based resin glands fall off into a fine sticky powder. From there, you can collect the fine powder and start building up your kief stash. Those with higher tolerances love kief because it offers a higher concentration of THC and may even test at levels around 50% THC.

How to Use Kief

Stoners love kief because it’s easy to make/collect at home with minimal effort. The only tool you need is a grinder with multiple chambers. Once you have one, all you need to do is grind up your weed as you normally would. 

When the bud is ground, the kief naturally falls through the fine mesh filter and into the bottom chamber also known as a “kief catcher.” It may take a few months to build up enough kief to collect and scoop up for use. It’s more expensive than collecting your own, but most dispensaries sell pure kief in small containers. 

Once enough of the powder collects in your grinder, it’s time to decide how you want to use the kief. The most common way to add kief into your smoking routine is to sprinkle some on top of a bowl or inside a joint. This adds a noticeable potency to your session without wasting too much of the high-THC powder.

What is Hash & How is it Made? 

Hash is essentially just kief that’s heated up and pressurized to create a wax, rosin, or shatter. Similar to kief, hash is a highly concentrated form of THC often ranging from 30-60% THC, and can even reach levels up to 80%. Hash happens to be soluble in things like oil and butter, which makes it a great option to make high THC edibles with. 

Hash is more difficult to make than kief as it requires heat and pressure to form. Additionally, it often takes on a yellowish gold color, but can vary based on the input strain. Once created, you can store your hash in a cold and dark location to keep it fresh for up to a few years.

How to Use Hash?

There are a few different ways to smoke or consume hash and it will simply depend on your preferred method. Hash is generally pretty versatile and you can smoke it in a joint, spliff, blunt, pipe, bong, vaporizer, dab rig, make it into edibles, and more. Depending on the method you choose, you may need to turn the hash into rosin or cannabutter before you’re able to consume it. One benefit of hash over kief is it’s less messy to use and handle. 

Kief vs. Hash: Side-By-Side Comparison

They often get confused for each other, but kief and hash are two different forms of cannabis concentrate. Check out the side-by-side comparison below. 


png image of kief

  • Easy to extract at home
  • Less potent than hash (still very potent!)
  • Good bang for your buck 
  • Often sprinkled on a bowl or joint
  • Messier than hash


png image of hash brick

  • Harder to make than kief
  • More potent than kief
  • Versatile consumption options
  • Can be used on its own or added to dry herb
  • Less of a mess than kief

How to Choose Between Kief & Hash

As you now know, kief and hash are fairly similar forms of cannabis concentrates, but they have some pretty important differences. Kief is extremely easy to passively collect at home with a grinder, while hash requires heat and pressure to produce.

 At the end of the day, your choice comes down to personal preference as one isn’t necessarily better than the other. If you want a more intense high and less of a mess, we suggest hash. If you want something a bit more mellow that adds extra potency to your bowl or joint, go with kief. 

Want to learn more about the cannabis industry and the culture that surrounds it? Check out more articles like this one at the Stoned Journal

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