Expert Guide: Differences Between Kief vs Hash

Cultivators have become increasingly interested in developing new, potent ways to optimize the benefits of cannabis. As cannabis extracts grow in popularity, products within the category such as shatter, budder, rosin, hash, and kief are gaining a loyal following within the industry.
Two of those in particular are commonly mistaken as a similar product. “Hash” is the abbreviation for hashish, a cannabis plant-derived, refined substance. Conversely, “kief” describes the glands that contain a high concentration of THC and other cannabinoids found in the plant’s bud that are isolated for consumption.

Although “hash” and “kief” are occasionally used synonymously, they are not the same. Though they come from the same area of the cannabis plant, they relate to two different kinds of cannabis extract. Here we’ll discuss the characteristics of hash vs. kief and the differences between them.

Kief vs Hash: How Are They Different

Kief and hash are both derived from the resin glands of cannabis flower, also known as trichomes. Trichomes are small hairlike structures that contain most of the plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which give the flower its distinct aromas and effects. With the high concentration of THC, CBD, and other compounds in trichomes, they are used to create the end-products.

Both kief and hash are popular among cannabis users for their potent effects and various consumption methods, but there are some key differences between the two that are important for individual and commercial cannabis producers to understand.

With regards to production, both kief and hash begin at the same place: trimming the flower from a cannabis harvest to separate the buds that eventually go out for sale and the trim and excess plant material that is left behind for further processing or waste.

Harvesting and processing pounds of flower per hour is made easy with batch-style dry trimmers that remove the fan and sugar leaves and extra plant material from the buds.


Kief is a collection of trichomes that are found on the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Kief is made by separating those trichomes from the rest of the plant material and collecting them in a separate container.

Kief is often referred to as “pollen” or “dry sift,” and it is considered to be a highly potent form of cannabis due to its high concentration of THC and other cannabinoids. However, the exact potency of kief can vary depending on the specific strain of cannabis it is collected from and the method used to extract it.

Kief can be collected by sifting dried plant material through a screen, grinder, or a fine mesh. The trichomes will fall through the screen and can be collected and used in various ways. Kief can be smoked or vaporized on its own or mixed with other flower to increase its potency. It can also be used to make hash and edibles, or added to other cannabis products, such as topicals or tinctures.

Smaller Producers and Extractors

Many individual and smaller producers will use a multi-chamber grinder to break up the whole cannabis bud. Larger pieces used for packing bowls and rolling joints stay in the main chamber, while a second chamber at the bottom of the grinder, known as a kief catcher, will collect all of the kief from the grinding process.

You may also gather kief by agitating the flower over a silkscreen or mesh. There are several sizes available for these screens, but the ideal size for kief is between 75 and 125 microns. To refine the product and remove any plant debris or other substances from it, home extractors stack multiple screens of varying sizes from largest mesh to smallest for the best results.

Larger and Commercial-Scale Producers

When producing kief on a larger scale or with a commercial harvest, cultivators need more efficient, cost-effective ways to extract kief. Some producers may use a commercial-scale version of the mesh screen method to achieve a batch of collected kief, while others will opt for a more streamlined process.

Triminator Dry Accessories

When processing a large cannabis harvest, one of the best ways to collect kief is with commercial-scale processing equipment. Equipment like the Triminator Mini Dry and Dry Trimmers are capable of trimming harvests with efficiency and precision. After the flower is trimmed, it can be sent for packaging for retail sale or further processing while the trim stays behind for the next step. This resulting leftover trim is captured in the trim bin and can be loaded into a separate tumbler to extract the kief.

The commercial-grade Kief Kit works by tumbling trim, and the motion allows for the resin glands to be separated from the cannabis plant material and falls through the micron screen. The THC-rich kief is collected at the bottom of the machine in the special catchment tray.

Both trimmer models have a Kief Kit upgrade that comes with a 150-micron mesh drum, a special catchment tray, and a brush for collecting. This kief collection system is simple to use and easily swapped in for no downtime during production. In extracting kief from your trim, you get the most yield and profit from your harvest.


Hash has its history and roots in being used as a cannabis concentrate for centuries and has been made a few different ways throughout the years. Hash is a concentrated form of cannabis made by separating the trichomes from dried plant material and pressing them into a mass.

Hash is typically darker and more compact than kief and has a slightly different flavor and aroma. Hash can be smoked on its own or added to other products for a more potent experience.

There are several ways of making hash depending on the scale of the production. After the flower is dried, cured, and trimmed, hash can be made from methods involving sifting, mechanical or chemical extraction, solventless extraction, and ice or ice water extraction.

How Hash Is Made

With various ways to make hash, each method requires its own equipment. Sieves or screens would be used to separate trichomes from the plant material for dry-sieve hash. Kief can also be used to make hash once it is separated from the buds.

Pressing equipment like the TRP Stack Rosin Press can be used to apply heat and pressure to the material to make hash. The product extracted from this process can be sold for a high profit, making it a lucrative business opportunity.

There is also the process of making ice water hash, which involves ice, water, and filter bags. Also known as bubble hash, this process typically uses fresh frozen flower and preserves terpenes and cannabinoids in the final product for a more flavorful and powerful effect. Ice water hash is rated on a 6-star quality system and has many uses.

The quality of the flower at the start of the process is imperative for the purity and potency of the final product. Offering a more intense effect, hash can be used in various ways. It can be sprinkled on top of a packed bowl, used in a joint, dabbed, or vaporized.

Kief vs Hash: Final Thoughts

One key difference between kief and hash is the potency of the final product. Kief is typically less potent than hash, as the trichomes are not subjected to the same level of heat and pressure during the production process. This can make kief a good choice for those who are new to cannabis or who want a more subtle effect.

Another difference between kief and hash is the ease of production. Kief is relatively easy to produce, as it simply requires separating the trichomes from the rest of the plant material. Hash, on the other hand, requires more specialized equipment and a more complex production process. This can make it more challenging for individual growers to produce, although there are some small-scale hash-making kits available on the market.

Triminator has equipment and products designed for kief and hash for small to large growers. From trimmers to kief kits and accessories, and rosin presses, Triminator specializes in providing industry-leading cannabis processing equipment.

Overall, kief and hash are both popular forms of cannabis concentrate that offer potent effects and a variety of consumption methods. Kief is generally less potent and easier to produce than hash, making it a good choice for individual growers or those new to cannabis. Hash, on the other hand, is more potent and requires a more complex production process, making it a better choice for commercial growers or those looking for a more potent experience.

Check out our other blogs to learn more about processing kief and hash, and other helpful information about processing equipment. 

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