Breaking up cannabis, whether you do it with a grinder or manually, is a minor but essential aspect of the smoking session. Every seasoned cannabis user has a preferred method for grinding their cannabis.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational or medical cannabis user – investing in a good marijuana grinder can benefit you in many ways. Most cost just $10 a piece – you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and, for a fact, you’re making things a lot faster and convenient for yourself at the end of the day.
If you prefer to consume your cannabis in edible form, a grinder can be very useful as it will quickly let you prepare your herb for cooking or baking, even if you’re not using an extractor.
Get your own Seedsman grinder!
What is a Marijuana Grinder Exactly? Components Explained
It’s unfortunate that grinders don’t get as much press like the rest of the ‘cool cannabis accessories’ like vaping devices, dabbing rigs and blunt rolling papers, for instance. However, they are an essential piece of the cannabis preparation process that no connoisseur should bypass.
Before we explain how to make the most of a cannabis grinder, let’s quickly go over what it is and how it works.
A grinder is a small palm-sized container that has ‘teeth’ capable of effortlessly grinding chunks of cannabis into, well, smaller and finer chunks. It’s also one of the best ways to extract kief from your herb.
All cannabis grinders have three main components: the grinding chamber, teeth/pegs to do the grinding, and a lid to keep it secured inside.
Sounds pretty basic, right? Sounds simple in theory but grinders are available in several sizes – it’s up to you to decide what you need. At a glance, there are three types of grinders common among cannabis users:
- Single chamber 2-piece grinder
- Twin-chamber 3-piece grinder
- Tri-chamber 4-piece grinder
If you find these naming conventions potentially confusing, here are brief explanations to set the record straight:
Two-piece grinders, as one might imagine, has 2 basic components: a hockey-puck sized bowl (the single chamber) and a lid. When you secure the lid over the bowl, you have a single chamber.
Imagine a 2-piece grinder which has a lid and a bowl. Add one more piece underneath. So you have three pieces, isn’t that right?
Starting from the top, you have the lid, which has teeth/peg to do the actual grinding. Right below the lid is the grinding chamber, which may also have teeth/pegs. So, in a 3-piece twin-chamber grinder, the base of the grinding chamber has holes so that the ground-up bud can fall through – the former (2-piece grinder) will not have those holes.
When you chop up your herb into fine pieces in the grinder, it falls right through the holes and into the collection chamber. All you have to do is unscrew the bottom chamber for the collected herb to be used.
To quickly reiterate – you have a collection chamber, grinding bowl and a lid – this constitutes a 2-chamber/3-piece grinder.
In this configuration, the collection chamber houses a tiny mesh screen rather than a solid, flat bottom. Right under the collection chamber is the ‘magic compartment’ – the kief chamber.
As you keep grinding, the larger ground-up buds collect up in the collection chamber. Without pausing, the consistent grinding will lead to small materials that resemble pollens – these fall through the mesh screen and into the bottom chamber. That’s your kief.
Just to reiterate – you have a collection chamber and screen, grinding bowl, lid and kief chamber at the very bottom – which constitutes a 3-chamber/4-piece grinder.
Since we’re now familiar with the common types of grinders available and their underlying components, let’s shed some light on why so many cannabis users prefer using grinders:
Benefits and Uses of Cannabis Grinders
Cannabis bud trichomes is where the highest concentrations of cannabinoids (CBD and THC) as well as terpenes are found. You really want to extract these tiny, frosty crystals, especially if you’re consuming high quality cannabis strains.
Grinding cannabis in a grinder is done mainly for two reasons – first and foremost, to get a nice and even, solid burn in your bowl, blunt or joint; and second, to have heat evenly distributed over nearly every trichome – allowing you to extract the most ‘goodness’ from your cannabis bud material.
An important aspect to consider when it comes to cannabis grinding, is that the grinding consistency fairly depends on how you intent to consume your herb. For instance, if you prefer smoking your herb in a bong, you definitely do not want to make the mistake of grinding too finely as it may actually enter the pipe, causing you to cough unnecessarily due to the much harsher hits.
It’s a no-brainer that cannabis needs to be grinded properly to enjoy the best effects – in addition, here are specific benefits of using a cannabis grinder:
Without a doubt, the best way to ground your cannabis evenly is through a grinder. This is an important step because it ensures that the extraction of the plant’s compounds is even – whether you prefer using a traditional pipe or a vaporiser.
If you happen to be a blunt or joint smoker, consistently ground cannabis makes for an even burn all the way to the end, and also ensures easy rolling.
Ideally, you’d really want to get a grinder just to cut your herb to an even consistency every single time.
Larger and Denser Bowls
You’ve probably heard many consumers swearing by the fact that loading up whole or loosely broken buds into bongs or pipes produces really potent hits. However, we would suggest grinding your product every time to get the best, most potent hits.
When you grind your stuff, you can easily pack it into bigger and denser bowls. Sure, you’ll end up using more product to fill out the bowl properly – but you don’t have to do this every time and can certainly fill your bowl up half way if you like.
By grounding up your cannabis properly, what you’re doing is increasing the surface area of the stuff that’s in your bowl – which equals not only a more potent, but a cleaner burn. Furthermore, ground bud in your bowl means easier draws, making the overall experience more enjoyable.
Many among us prefer to use a vaporiser and that’s great too! In this case, we’d highly recommend cannabis that’s grounded properly. Since vaporisers work on the basis of the convective heating or conductive heating principle, grinding your cannabis means you’re exposing a higher surface area to the heat – allowing for improved extraction of those wonderful compounds present in the buds.
On the other hand, if you attempt to load a whole bud or one that is not properly grinded, you’re not going to get that highly desirable thick and consistent vapour – due to insufficient heat from the vape which is needed to toast the bud’s core.
Your Super-easy Guide to Using a Marijuana Grinder
Here it is – an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide:
Load Your Grinder
Twist and remove the lid. Using your fingers, break the initial piece of cannabis into smaller pieces. There’s no need to place anything in the middle of your herb grinder because this space is simply there to allow everything to pivot.
Grind Your Herb
Now replace the lid and firmly hold the base of the grinder with one hand. Rotate the lid with the other. You may feel a bit of resistance at first, so simply rotate the grinder until this resistance is gone.
Tap the Grinder
It’s important to follow this step before you remove the lid on either one of the collection chambers – give the grinder a tap against the palm of your hand or a table top. This will dislodge your stuff into the collection chamber. Why do we do this? To push as much kief as possible through the mesh screen.
Collect Your Herb
Now, we’ll go ahead and separate the collection chamber from the grinding chamber to scoop out the freshly ground herb. If you’re using a tri-chamber (4-piece) grinder, be extra careful as we don’t want to damage the screen.
Upon your very first attempt, you may notice that hardly any kief comes out – however, upon separating the kief chamber from the collection chamber, you’ll notice that it will be eventually full of the wonderful powdery delight.
You’re All Set!
We’re done with the grinding. Now, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with the cannabis grounds. For example, you could:
- Steep a little marijuana tea
- Make a batch of edibles
- Roll a joint
- Pack a bowl
If you’re the patient kind, however, you can take this a step further to make cannabis extracts, oils, tinctures or isolates.
To conclude, there are hardly any downsides to using a grinder – in fact, now that we think about it, there are none!