The cannabis plant is one of the most beautiful things on earth in my opinion. Growing up I consumed more brick weed than I would like to admit, which was unfortunate. But it helped me build a huge appreciation for the look of quality cannabis.

Brick weed was always so dark and had virtually no ‘crystals’ on it. When I would get my hands on high-end cannabis, often referred to as ‘kill bud’ back in the day, I would sit and look in amazement for hours on end at how sparkly the cannabis flower was.

My buddy’s stepdad cultivated some of the sparkliest cannabis that I have ever seen. This was decades ago before consumers really knew what strain they were cultivating. My friend’s stepdad would refer to his garden as ‘his project’ which then led to us naming the strain he was growing ‘Project.’ I have always wondered what strain it actually was.

The backstory on the strain was that my friend’s stepdad obtained it from his friend who had brought seeds back from a vacation in Hawaii in the 1980s. The strain was reported as being a sativa, which made sense based on the effects it caused and how it looked when it was growing.

When the Project strain was growing, and the indoor lights hit the ‘crystals’ on the plant, it sparkled as if the entire plant’s buds were covered in tiny diamonds. Over time I learned that what was sparkling were part of the trichomes on the flowers.

Trichomes are the sparkly things that grow on a cannabis plant’s buds. The ends of the trichomes have tiny bulbs on them which my friends and I had been calling crystals (those were simpler times back then!). Below is a picture of trichomes on a cannabis plant, as well as a zoomed in pic:

When those tiny bulbs are separated from the cannabis buds, they are called kief. Anyone who has used a cannabis grinder enough knows what kief is since it builds up in their grinder over time, as seen in the pic below:

One of the most efficient ways to acquire a lot of kief in a short amount of time is by using a kief box. A kief box is usually made out of wood and has a very fine screen built into it. You put the flower in the box and shake it. As the cannabis flower moves back and forth across the screen the kief falls through the screen onto a piece of glass, as seen below:

My favorite way to use kief is very straightforward – I sprinkle it on the top of my pipe or bong bowls. On some occasions, I will sprinkle it into the doobies that I roll. Kief is also a key ingredient in tarantula joints, which involves kief being stuck to the outside of a joint with a cannabis concentrate serving as a bonding agent to keep the kief in place.

I have seen kief being sold on its own at dispensaries here in Oregon on a more regular basis as the industry has continued to evolve. It obviously costs more than flower, but it’s worth every penny. Kief is extremely potent, so keep that in mind if you choose to try it. If you want to get really, really high kief is a great option!