How To Use A Grinder For Weed
What’s the point?
A grinder is a tool that breaks down cannabis into smaller bits and pieces. Grinders break down cannabis into a uniform size and consistency so that it can be rolled into joints, blunts, spliffs, or put in a bowl.
To roll a joint or a blunt, the cannabis has to be broken down into smaller bits and pieces to smoke correctly. It is impossible to smoke a whole nug, even in a bowl or a bong. It needs to be broken down to have a consistent burn and make the most out of your cannabis. A grinder is the most common and most helpful tool for this.
Different types of weed grinders
Grinders are circular, cylinder-shaped mechanisms with two to four moving parts that can be rotated by hand.
They are usually made from these three materials:
Grinders also come in different sizes for grinding different amounts of bud. These sizes range from 2” in diameter to 6”. With smaller grinders, you must pack them a few times to break down a nug.
Grinders are convenient because they are easily transportable. Bigger grinders break down more nugs in one load and have more leverage, making it easier to break down larger nugs.
There are many different kinds of grinders. However, the most common is a four-piece metal grinder. The four pieces usually consist of:
- Lid – with teeth to grind up the bud
- Grinding section – this part also has teeth and holes for the cannabis to fall through
- Storage chamber – the third compartment collects and stores the cannabis. It also has a screen to filter the kief
- Kief Catcher – where the kief is collected and falls through from the other chambers from growing cannabis
Other kinds of cannabis grinders
Grinders come in various sizes, including two, three, and five-piece options. The two- and three-piece grinders don’t have kief catchers, so they get sticky and hard to use because the kief isn’t separated.
Five-piece grinders usually have two storage chambers or two kief catchers.
How To Use a Grinder For Weed
Here is how to use a four-piece grinder:
- Remove the lid and put the nugs in the teeth of the grinder, between the lid and the grinder section. Avoid placing the nugs in the center because this is where the magnet pivots, so your nugs will get stuck in the middle, making the process more difficult.
- The next step is to grind down the nugs with about ten rotations until the cannabis has fallen through the holes into the storage chamber. Keep in mind there may be some resistance at first; just push through, and it will twist smoothly eventually. It helps to tap the sides of the grinder with the lid to help the cannabis fall through the holes.
- The next step is to unscrew the grinder section and storage chamber to access your ground-up flower.
- Now you have ground-up flower that is ready for smoking! Add it to a joint, blunt, or pipe, and enjoy!
In the third compartment or storage chamber, there is a screen that holds the ground-up cannabis. The screen functions as a filter that allows the kief to fall into its compartment instead of getting stuck in the grinder and caking up. Even with a kief chamber, some kief will still get caked up on the sides and the teeth. It helps to scrape the grinder to remove the resin that builds up. You can add it to your joints or bowl for an extra potent hit.
The storage container is handy because you can even leave some ground-up bud in there for later.
How To Use A Grinder For Weed: Collecting Kief
Kief consists of the trichomes or tiny crystals on cannabis buds that are hyper potent in cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Kief is stronger than flower. It is an excellent addition to any joint or blunt, or bowl.
A grinder with a kief chamber is essential because it keeps your grinder from caking up and working correctly, and collecting kief helps you get the most out of your cannabis.
Most grinders with kief chambers come with little kief scrapers that allow you to scrape the kief out of the chamber and place it where you need to.
Kief can be scraped and pressed into hash, added to a joint or bowl, or infused into butter or oil.
In addition, you can add a penny or dime into your kief chamber to help knock the resin off the screen and sides of the grinder.
How To Use A Grinder For Weed: Cleaning Your Grinder
Your grinder will need to be cleaned now and again because it can become sticky with kief resin, making it difficult to turn.
How to clean:
- Rub the sticky parts with isopropyl alcohol and salt
- Use a small brush like a toothbrush or paintbrush to knock loose kief from the screen
However, we recommend scraping your grinder with tweezers or something sharp instead of taking alcohol. When you scrub it with alcohol, you lose tons of kief and precious resin that is mega potent. It is a waste of essentially a homemade concentrate.
Additionally, you can put your grinder in the freezer, making it easier for the kief to separate.
If your grinder is irredeemably sticky, it might be best just to replace the grinder entirely. However, be sure to scrape that resinous kief off and add it to a bowl pack or a joint before you get rid of it!
If You Don’t Have A Grinder…
If you find yourself in a scenario with no grinder, don’t worry. You can always go back to the basics: Breaking your bud up by hand!
If doing it by hand is just not feasible, here are some other options:
- Knife + cutting board
- Cheese grater
- Coffee/herb grinder
A coffee grinder is an excellent way to finely break down weed without using a grinder. This is especially true if you are grinding up a significant amount for making edibles.
However, remember that cannabis is sticky and that whatever you use will get pretty sticky. Additionally, it can be hard to clean resin off of coffee grinders and cheese graters.