What's Kief? The MED Defines Marijuana's Most Classic Concentrate

What's Kief? The MED Defines Marijuana's Most Classic Concentrate
The state Marijuana Enforcement Division has decided to define kief for us.

In the latest instance of the government confirming that the sky is blue, the MED has issued a statement confirming that kief is indeed β€œthe resinous crystal-like trichomes that are found on [medical or retail marijuana flower] and that are accumulated, resulting in a higher concentration of cannabinoids.”

Along with finger hash, kief (also called "sift" in some dispensaries) is perhaps the oldest cannabis concentrate known to man: It comprises the cannabis resin glands usually collected at the bottom of a grinder or sifting box. What looks like green dust contains cannabinoids like THC and CBD and can be topped on bowls and joints, or pressed into more solid concentrates, like rosin.

The MED's new definition will become official on January 1, 2019, when kief will also be required to undergo new forms of potency testing. Before the MED's revelation during its latest round of fall rule-making hearings, the agency had briefly touched on the substance in the state's medical and retail marijuana codes, and that definition was slightly off the mark.

"The current medical and retail rules mention Kief only once – in the rules governing the statement of intended use to be included on the label of marijuana, marijuana concentrate, or marijuana product," writes MED director Jim Burack. "Under those rules, Kief is treated as a subset of marijuana flower or trim."

According to the MED, which was founded in 2012 after voters approved Amendment 64, a recent request for clarification from an outside party prompted the investigation into the true meaning of kief.

Welcome to the kief club, MED! It only took six years...
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell