Can you eat kief raw?

In this short article, we will answer the query, “Can you eat kief?” along with the benefits and risks of consuming kief.

Can you eat kief raw?

Yes, you can eat kief raw, however, eating kief raw or added to other foods as a food ingredient has many drawbacks. 

Kief contains very high doses of  delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Higher THC dose leads to increased risk of adverse effects, such as negative psychological effects and intoxication (1,2,3).

What are the advantages of eating kief raw?

The advantages of eating kief raw are related to the advantages of eating kief or eating concentrated THC. In general, kief contains 50–80% of theTHC potency (1).

There are many therapeutic uses of THC, including (5):

  • Reduction of nausea and vomiting following chemotherapy sessions
  • Appetite stimulant, especially for HIV/AIDS patients
  • Treatment of pain of patients suffering from pain 
  • Treatment of epilepsy from children
  • Treatment of depression, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder

What are the drawbacks of eating kief raw?

Eating kief may have several drawbacks, since it contains a high concentration of THC. 

However, the effects of THC after ingestion are highly variable because of differences in bioavailability, rate of gastrointestinal absorption and metabolism (which varies depending on age, gender and body weight) (3).

With regard to physiological effects, THC produces an increased heart rate, reddened eyes, and a dry mouth. As for psychotropic effects, a mild euphoria, an enhanced sensory perception, fatigue, and eventually dysphoria together with anxiety have been observed (4). 

The following dose dependent effects of THC were observed in clinical studies, both in vivo (i.e. in living organisms) and in vitro (i.e. in laboratory dishes): 

  • Psyche and perception: fatigue, euphoria, enhanced well-being, dysphoria, anxiety, disturbed orientation, increased sensory perception and enhanced sexual experience, hallucinations, psychotic states. 
  • Cognitive and psychomotoric performance: fragmented thinking, enhanced creativity, disturbed memory, unsteady walk, slurred speech. 
  • Nervous system: attenuation of pain, muscle relaxation, appetite enhancement, decrease in body temperature, vomiting, antiemetic effects, neuroprotective effects in brain ischemia. 
  • Cardiovascular system: increased heart rate, enhanced heart activity and increase in oxygen demand, vasodilation, reduced blood pressure, collapse. 
  • Eye: reddened conjunctiva, reduced tear flow, reduced intraocular pressure. 
  • Respiratory system: bronchodilation, dry mouth. Gastrointestinal tract: reduced bowel movements. 
  • Hormonal system: effects on luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, prolactine, somatotropin, TSH, reduced sperm count and sperm mobility and quality, suppressed ovulation and suppressed menstruation. 
  • Immune system: impairment of cell-mediated and humoral immunity, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulating effects. 
  • Fetal development: fetal malformations, fetal growth retardation, impairment to fetal and postnatal cerebral development, improved postnatal development.

What are the risks of eating kief as a food ingredient?

The main risk of eating kief added to food is of greater intoxication and negative psychological effects. 

When ingested, kief and other cannabis products take longer to be assimilated by the body and take longer to enter the bloodstream. As a consequence, the onset of effects is delayed (with mean peak plasma concentration at 1–2 hours after ingestion, in contrast with 5–10 minutes to peak plasma concentrations if smoked).

The delayed effect may induce the higher ingestion of the product than if it was taken by inhalation or smoked, resulting in intoxication.

A study reported the death of a man caused by the ingestion of several cookies containing THC (3).

What to do if you eat large amounts of kief raw? 

In the case of a high intake of kief or any other THC containing food product or any other edible form of cannabis, you should look for medical assistance, because of the potential risk of intoxication. 

The symptoms of cannabis intoxication are (6):

Increased blood pressure, or rarely, orthostatic hypotension
Conjunctival injection (reddening of eyes)
Dry mouth
Increased appetite
Increased respiratory rate
Rarely arrhythmias, angina, or myocardial infarction
Rarely pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax caused by deep inhalation or holding the breath
Changes in mood: euphoria, dysphoria or anxiety
Perceptual changes: color and music perception altered
Time perception may be distorted
Distorted spatial perception
Delusions or paranoid thinking
Impaired attention and concentration
Slowed reaction time
Impaired motor coordination
Impaired judgement

Other FAQs about Kief that you may be interested in.

Can kief go bad?


In this brief article, we have discussed all the aspects of kief with detailed information about its risks.


  1. Hammond, David, et al. Trends in the use of cannabis products in Canada and the USA, 2018–2020: Findings from the International Cannabis Policy Study. Int J Drug Policy, 2022, 105, 103716.  
  2. MacCallum, Caroline A., et al. A clinical framework for evaluating cannabis product quality and safety. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res, 2022.  
  3. Hancock-Allen, Jessica B., et al. Death following ingestion of an edible marijuana product—Colorado, March 2014. Morbid Mortal Weekly Rep, 2015, 64, 771.  
  4. Grotenhermen, Franjo, Gero Leson, and Petra Pless. Assessment of exposure to and human health risk from THC and other cannabinoids in hemp foods. Leson Environmental Consulting, Berkeley. 2001.
  5. Maccarrone, Mauro, et al. Cannabinoids therapeutic use: what is our current understanding following the introduction of THC, THC: CBD oromucosal spray and others?. Expert rev clin pharmacol, 2017, 10, 443-455.
  6. Sarkar S, Bhatia G, Dhawan A. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Assessment and Management of Patients with Substance Intoxication Presenting to the Emergency Department. Indian J Psychiatry. 2023, 65, 196-211.

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