The term kief refers to the sticky, bulbous crystalline formations on the tip of a gland called a “trichome.” Trichomes are external resin glands packed with the chemicals that give marijuana its flavors and smells, called “terpenes.” They also contain high concentrations of cannabinoids. These chemicals which interact with our body to produce marijuana’s signature effects.
The scientific debate regarding taxonomy has had little effect on the terminology in widespread use among cultivators and users of drug-type Cannabis. Cannabis aficionados recognize three distinct types based on such factors as morphology, native range, aroma, and subjective psychoactive characteristics. Sativa is the most widespread variety, which is usually tall, laxly branched, and found in warm lowland regions. Indica designates shorter, bushier plants adapted to cooler climates and highland environments. Ruderalis is the informal name for the short plants that grow wild in Europe and Central Asia.