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5 Reasons to Grind Your Cannabis (and How to Do It Properly)

By Kat Austin | April 28, 2020 | Rolling

If you’re a regular cannabis smoker, you’ve probably broken your bud down by hand a time or two. You probably also know that rolling coarse, lumpy flower with that sticky-sweet coating on your fingers can be frustrating, to say the least.

Fortunately, a grinder can quickly transform your smoking experience. After all, the secret to a slow-burning joint with a smooth draw is a fine, uniform grind.

If you want the low down on cannabis grinders, hang tight. We’re going to cover why you need one, the many different options available, and how to use the different types to get you well on your way to that smooth smoking experience.

Table of contents

Benefits of Grinders
Save Time, Smoke Sooner
Better Roll, Slower Burn
Maintain Your Bud’s Potency
Waste Not, Catch Your Kief
Types of Grinders for Cannabis
Two-Part Grinder
Four-Part Grinder
Electric Grinder
Grinder Card
Grinders with Handles
See through Grinders
How to Use a Grinder Card
Step 1: Arrange a Landing Area
Step 2: Grate Slowly and Evenly
Step 3: Push with Your Fingers
Bonus: Easy to Clean
Common Questions for Cannabis Grinders
Should I buy a grinder?
Is the grinder card effective?
Can you travel with a grinder?
What can I do with the kief my grinder catches?

Benefits of Grinders

Regardless of your rolling abilities, crafting a perfect joint is nearly impossible without a grinder.

What is a grinder? A grinder is a device designed to break cannabis bud into fine, evenly ground bits.

Because cannabis buds are typically large, dense, and sticky, they must be properly prepared prior to being rolled. While it is possible to break up bud with your hands, most prefer the help of a grinder because of the many benefits they provide.

Save Time, Smoke Sooner

The first and most obvious benefit is that grinding your bud with a grinder is much faster than grinding it by hand. Even super sticky bud (which requires serious dedication to break down by hand) can be ground down in minutes to the perfect rolling consistency.

Better Roll, Slower Burn

Unlike hand-ground bud, flower processed through a grinder with be fine and consistent, usually allowing an easier and tighter roll. Being able to pack the bud tighter, whether in a joint or a bowl, usually results in a slower burn, too.

Maintain Your Bud’s Potency

For many people, this one’s the kicker. A lot of cannabis’ potency stems from the trichomes, the small, hair-like structures that give fresh bud that frosty aesthetic.

Unfortunately, trichomes are delicate, and they can stick to your fingers when you break bud down by hand. Using a grinder can help keep your bud intact and keep the sticky on the flower instead of on your fingers.

Waste Not, Catch Your Kief

Although the grinder may not degrade the quality of your bud as much as when it’s broken down by hand, some of that sticky goodness probably falls off in the grinder, right? Sure! These crystal formations on the end of these trichomes, called kief, can still fall off the bud and stick to your grinder when you grind down fresh flower.

Luckily, some grinders have kief-catchers that gently sift the ground bud, allowing the fine kief powder to pass through into its own chamber. After you collect enough, you can use that highly potent kief to top a bowl or even make your own cannabis edibles, if you’d like.

Types of Grinders for Cannabis

As you can see, grinders are vastly more efficient at creating ready-to-roll buds. Now that the benefits of grinding your bud are clear, there is no reason to try and pick apart a large, sticky bud by hand. If you find yourself rolling often and you’re sick of sloppy, hand-ground joints, a grinder is the answer.

Which grinder should you choose? Luckily, you have options, ranging from low profile, credit card-sized grinder cards to complete four chamber grinder systems and more.

Two-Part Grinder

As the name would suggest, these grinders are comprised of two pieces that combine to form one grinder unit. The inside of each piece is laden with sharp teeth designed to shred the dense buds. This style grinder is manufactured in plastic, wood, and metal varieties.

We prefer metal grinders to their cheaper plastic and wood counterparts. In our experience, metal grinders are more durable (less chance of teeth breaking off and into your bud!) and provide a smoother, more consistent grinding action.

Two-part grinders come in a variety of sizes and price points ranging from under $5 for plastic to $40+ for titanium. You get what you pay for in terms of grinder quality.

Best for: The entry-level smoker who is tired of using their hands.

We love the sleek Aerospaced 2-piece Grinder, which comes in CNC machined aluminum, 5 colors, and 5 sizes.

Four-Part Grinder

The four-piece grinder includes some additional features that connoisseurs may have missed with a traditional two-part grinder. Most notably, the four-part grinder includes additional chambers – one for ground bud and one for kief.

A combination of gravity and drilled holes (in the bottom of the grinding chamber) allow the bits of bud to fall down into the collection chamber. The floor of the chamber is typically made of a stiff, relatively fine screen – also referred to as a pollen screen.

The very bottom piece is known as a kief catcher, as the screen only allows the trichomes to pass through. Thus, a four-piece grinder allows you to grind bud, store it, and collect the trichomes that fall off in the process.

Four-part grinders are typically made of metal and also come in a variety of sizes and price points from $10 to over $100. Note: Three-part grinders exist; however, they are the least common variety because they lack a kief chamber.

Best for: The frequent smoker’s daily driver.

The Aerospaced 4-Piece Grinder is our favorite grinder overall, coming in your choice of 8 colors (ours is the “Rasta” color combo, shown below), 2 sizes, and is surprisingly affordable.

Electric Grinder

Electric grinders are by far the least popular type of grinder among cannabis users. While they can grind bud effortlessly, they tend to pulverize it into powder in the process – not the ideal consistency for optimizing airflow.

We don’t recommend using an electric grinder for cannabis consumption unless absolutely necessary as they are cheaply manufactured, grind unevenly and jam frequently despite having a kief catcher.

Best for: The lazy or arthritic smoker.

If you do want an electric grinder, the Wakit Grinder with See-Through Chamber and LED Lighting is very cool.

Grinder Card

The metal grinder functions similarly to a cheese grater – just rub the bud over the shredding surface. We recommend arranging the metal grinder card over a Pebble and rubbing the bud back and forth for a perfect grind with no mess. Grinder cards are manufactured with different grinding surfaces from fine to coarse for a range of uses.

These incredibly low-profile grinders save on size and weight by taking the shape of a standard credit card and sliding right into The Safety Case.

There are quite a few nice grinder cards on Amazon with cool designs here.

Add some papers, rolling tips, a pipe and a lighter and you’ll have the ultimate smell proof all-in-one smoking kit. RAW brand makes a really cool all-in-one travel kit with a grinder card, hardshell case, rolling paper, tips, hemp wick, and more in their smoker’s bundle pictured below. You can find that on Amazon here.

Best for: The mobile smoker who always wants to be prepared.

Grinders with Handles

A handle crank on top of a grinder allows for better traction when grinding your bud. Sometimes, the dank or sticky flower can refuse to budge because of overfill. Don’t worry, we have science! Grinders with handles allow you to fill them to the brim.

Best for: The avid smoker that needs a grinder that can handle heavy loads.

See through Grinders

Clear centers allow you to know exactly how much herb you have left every time. Grinders typically double as stash jars a lot of the time, why not combine the two? These grinders have their place for the right flower smoker.

Best for: The minimalist smoker that wants a 2-in-1 grinder that doubles as a stash spot.

How to Use a Grinder Card

The grinder card is a hugely underrated and highly efficient smoking accessory that you’ll be glad you discovered. While you may be familiar with a standard two or four piece grinder, they aren’t exactly travel friendly – they’re bulky, heavy and awkward to carry around. The grinder card on the other hand, is slim, it looks exactly like a credit card, and slips right into a wallet purse without notice – you can literally store it anywhere. I’m always blown away by how many people have yet to become aware of these essential tools!

As you may have guessed, the grinder card works just like a cheese grater. Slowly rubbing your bud along the metal surface will gently break it apart and prepare it for packing a bowl or rolling a joint. The size of the holes in the card will dictate how fine or course the grind is – smaller holes equate to a finer grind and vice versa.

Step 1: Arrange a Landing Area

First, set up a nice landing area so the ground buds fall in a place where you can collect them afterwards. We recommend placing the grinder card on top of a Pebble container to catch each of the shavings as you grate your cannabis.

Step 2: Grate Slowly and Evenly

Next, slowly rotate the bud as you shave it along the grinding surface. It’s important to go slowly and try not to break off any large stems into your container.

Step 3: Push with Your Fingers

Once the large buds have broken up you can push the smaller bits through the holes and grind up the final pieces.

Bonus: Easy to Clean

One of the best benefits of the grinder card over a 2, 3, or 4 piece grinder is how easy it is to clean. Simply pour some rubbing alcohol (91+% is best) on the grinder card and use an old toothbrush, scrub brush, or scrubber sponge to work the residue off. With some persistence, your grinder card will look good as new. Don’t forget to give the card a quick rinse with water to remove any remaining alcohol/residue.

Common Questions for Cannabis Grinders

Should I buy a grinder?

YES, you cannot roll great joints or smoke slow burning bowls without one and they don’t have to break the bank! There’s a range of different grinder options available that range in price from a couple bucks to a hundred dollars or more. Luckily, even the most affordable options will one-up your hand-grinding game.

Is the grinder card effective?

Yes! The grinder card is as effective as a two or four piece grinder. As you can see in the photo above, the grind produced by the card is almost indiscernible from that produced by a 2, 3, or 4 piece grinder. It certainly beats using your bare hands to crumble the bud any day.

Can you travel with a grinder?

Yes! A grinder or grinder card can be easily stored like a credit card in your wallet, purse, or smoking kit. The best part? It’s completely safe for travel in all forms when clean. Ready to upgrade your smoking kit so you can easily roll better joints and pack a one hitter on the go? Grab a grinder from Bloomgroove.

What can I do with the kief my grinder catches?

There’s plenty you can do with the kief that you collect in your grinder, like create homemade concentrates or make delicious cannabis edibles.

5 Reasons to Grind Your Cannabis (and How to Do It Properly)

If you're a regular cannabis smoker, you know how annoying it is to break down your bud by hand. Luckily, a grinder can elevate smoking experience.

8 Hacks To Grind Weed Without A Grinder

Whether relaxing at home or partying with friends, we’ve all been caught with a stash of weed and no grinder in sight. That should never stop a smoke session, though. No matter where you are, you can use basic kitchen tools, some change in your pocket, and even your own hands to get your weed ground up and ready to smoke.

Contents:

We’ve all been there. You’re getting ready to spark up, whipping out your stash and your papers (or bong, or whatever), but there’s something missing. You take a second, but then you realise: There’s no grinder in sight.

You might panic, thinking this is the end of the smoke sesh. I mean, who’s gonna try to smoke whole nugs? Thankfully, you don’t have to be subject to that fate. Whether you’re chilling out at home, moving around, or hanging at a party, you’ll be surprised at the amount of options you have at hand. In most cases, you’ll just need a few basic tools, with other methods being even more simple.

NO GRINDER? NO PROBLEM!

As we just mentioned, we know there are a few scenarios you could be caught in. Maybe you’re just trying to unwind after a long day. Maybe you’re at a party and need to act fast so everyone can get their smoke on. Whatever situation you’re in, we’ve thought of a variety of ways to get you out of those awkward moments.

SCENARIO 1 — AT HOME

If you’re like many of us, you’ll want to pregame with a little toke before meeting up with friends. Yeah, you’ll be smoking there, but some personal meditation never hurt anyone. Thankfully, when you’re in a well-stocked house, you’ve got a world of options for weed grinding when your grinder isn’t around.

COFFEE GRINDER

Considering the word “grinder” is included in the name, it kind of had to appear on this list, didn’t it? Just like you would coffee beans, throw your buds in there and grind away! Well, not so fast. You’ll want to clean the thing out first, unless you want to smoke your coffee too (which we do NOT recommend). You should also clean it out afterwards unless you want some “special” coffee the next day.

Clean the grinder well before and after grinding your weed.
• Make sure you’re packing the bud loosely and not overwhelming the grinder.
Don’t use buds that are too big (or too small).
• Adjust grind time and settings (if applicable) to make sure your weed doesn’t become a fine powder.

PESTLE AND MORTAR

If you don’t have a coffee grinder around, there’s still an old classic you can try. People call weed “herb” sometimes, so it makes sense that you can use a pestle and mortar to grind it down. Like the grinder, though, you’ll want to clean it off well before AND after using it for this purpose.

Let your nugs dry out for a few hours outside a container. This will make them much easier to break down.
Clean it off well before and after use. That way, you avoid smoking regular herbs or eating “herb” with your dinner.
• It might take some time, especially if the pestle is smooth and rounded.
• Make sure you don’t grind it down too hard.

KNIFE AND CHOPPING BOARD

An equally effective option, there’s no reason you can’t treat your favourite greens like the kind you eat. It’s also probably one of the simplest methods on the list. Throw your weed on the cutting board and dice it until you’ve got it at a ground, but not powdery, consistency.

Ideally, you should be using a non-serrated blade, preferably a chef’s knife. However, almost any knife will do as long as it’s got a decently sharp blade.

• While not necessary, letting your nugs dry out for a bit will make this a much easier task.
• Make sure you watch your fingers, as the nugs may be quite small. Considering how light and uncompressed nugs can be, note that they’ll let the knife pass through easily.
• As was the case with the other methods, overkill is possible. Chop in moderation.
• Like you would after chopping anything else, clean your board and knife off afterwards.

CHEESE GRATER

If you happen to have one lying around, this is a simple and fun way to get your Kush ground up. Get a plate to grate over, pick the appropriate end of the grater, and get to it. It might take a while, but it’ll get easier as you figure out the best way to work with your grater.

Watch your fingers! You’ll end up touching the sharp points sooner than you might realise.
• Almost any of the ends should work. However, give preference to ends with smaller openings, as that’ll give you the ideal consistency.
• You might have a hard time getting weed out of the crevices. Keep a poker around to dig through them and get all of your bud.
Wash off the grater thoroughly to make sure you get rid of the scent and residue.

SCENARIO 2 — ON THE GO

Alright, out the door you go! You’re going to pick up friends, and one of them mentions that they want to smoke in the car. You don’t want to disappoint, but you still don’t have a grinder! What can you do? Well, you have a couple of options here.

DIY SHAKER

Got any change? How about a small, rigid plastic container like a dispensary container or pill bottle? Congratulations, it turns out you DO have a grinder! Throw a couple of heavier coins into the container with your nugs of choice (not too many, not too few). Close the container tightly, and shake away! Check on the progress every 20 seconds or so to make sure you get the ideal consistency.

• If you’re in the US, quarters and nickels work best. For Europeans, the one or two euro coins are your go-to. People in the UK will want to use one or two pound coins for this process.
• Make sure you aren’t over-shaking. It only takes a few too many shakes to leave your weed powdery and unsmokable.
• If you’re using a pill bottle, make sure you clean out the bottle afterwards.
• If you plan on spending the change you use in the process, make sure you clean that off as well.

THE “HANDS-ON” APPROACH

As it turns out, your body has not one, but TWO semi-decent grinders attached already! “Oh my God, they’re just sticking out of me? Where are they?!”. Don’t panic, they’re your hands! “Oh, well that’s not as exciting”. We know, but it sure is convenient!

Start off by taking the bigger buds and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable bits. From there, use your fingers and fingernails to whittle those down into even smaller bits until you’re satisfied.

• No one likes dirty weed. Make sure you wash your hands immediately before you do this. It wouldn’t hurt to wash them after, either.
Take it slow and steady with sticky weed. If you’re too heavy-handed, you could end up compressing it, making smoking slightly more difficult.
• On the other end, be careful if your weed is overly dry, and handle the grounds carefully when they’re at your desired texture.
Make sure you use a flat, even, and crevice-free surface, as this will make picking the weed up far easier.

SCENARIO 3 — AT A PARTY

You’ve made it to the party, and as it turns out, you and your friends are the only ones with weed! That also means, however, that there’s still no grinder. You don’t feel like shaking a plastic container in front of people, and the germaphobes will get put off if you go hands-on. Still, the people need to get their smoke on.

Thankfully, if it’s a well-equipped party, you’ve got a couple decent courses of action.

SHOT GLASS AND SCISSORS

Most people will have a pair of scissors lying around, and there will almost definitely be a shot glass. What do you do with those two things? Well, you’ll just need to throw a nug or two in the shot glass and start cutting them in there. Start by cutting them in half, then use the tips of the scissors to make them smaller and smaller.

• Make sure you wash off the scissors and shot glass before trying this tactic.
Don’t go too crazy with the snipping, as rushed movements could lead to weed spilling out of the glass.
• Do this over a flat, clean and smooth surface, just in case something spills out.
• If you want somewhere to keep the leftover ground weed, just use the same shot glass!

BLENDER

Is it a little excessive? Sure. A little showy? Probably. But why not live life to the fullest? That, my friends, is why you should try grinding weed with a blender.

If it’s the sort of party with mixed drinks, all you need to do is clean out the blender and throw your stash right in there. Close the lid, and you’re off to the races. You’ll want to be careful and switch it to the pulse setting where you can control when it blends. Do it in short intervals until you get the desired texture.

Clean out any stems and seeds before blending, as they’ll cause issues for the blender’s blades.
• As cool as it looks, this is probably a last resort, so really make sure there aren’t any scissors around.
This is most effective with larger amounts of weed. Check around the room and see who wants to contribute!
• The blender might be a bit powerful, so try to limit blending to around 10 seconds.

AN EXTRA TIP: GET A GRINDER!

If you’re reading the article, there’s one more key piece of advice we think you’ll benefit from. What’s that, you wonder?

Get a grinder! Not sure where to get one? We happen to have a wide selection for people with all budgets!

Working off the DIY shaker concept we mentioned earlier, our Grindtainer is one of the most budget-friendly and convenient grinders and containers out there. It’s got the space to hold a decent amount of weed, along with the same grinding capacity as the average compact grinder. Already have a grinder? We’d highly recommend this as a handy backup. Even if this is your primary grinder, you’ll still be living easy.

We’ve got more classic grinders too, including our own RQS branded metal grinder! That one even comes complete with a kief catcher, as does our pollinator grinder, which also has a handle on the outside for a low-effort grind.

We’ve got some more premium options as well. Standing out amongst them is our limited edition collaboration with Krush on their uniquely shaped Kube & Kube 2.0. Constructed with specially designed teeth, this grinder is designed to fluff your weed while you grind. The anodised aluminium construction means it’ll be able to grind like new for a long, long time.

HOW TO GRIND WITHOUT A GRINDER: WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY

No matter how you’re grinding your weed, whether it’s with a grinder, cheese grater, or blender, just make sure you’re enjoying it responsibly, surrounded by friends. Other than that, make sure you’re cleaning anything you’re using to grind your weed, even if you’re using an actual grinder. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay high! Oh, and check out our full range of grinders (and other cool RQS merchandise) here!

We've all been caught without a grinder on hand, but that shouldn't stop you! Whether you're at home, on the go, or partying, there's a way to grind your weed.