What is a Grinder (And How Do I Use One)?
A grinder is an essential part of a cannabis enjoyers toolkit. They grind your bud into smaller pieces, maximizing the surface area and allowing for better, more even vaporization. This makes for better cannabinoid extraction, which means you’re smoking more and wasting less.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Grinders come in many shapes and sizes, but the simplest is the two-piece grinder. A two-piece grinder features a top and bottom piece, each with ‘teeth’ made to fit into each other. Place your favorite strain into one of the pieces and then press the two together. Once the grinder is closed, move both pieces back and forth simultaneously, effectively “grinding” the flower for easier consumption.
Three-pieces essentially work the same as two-piece grinders, but they feature a chamber that catches your bud as it is ground, allowing for easier access and the ability to grind in bulk. Many smokers will grind more than they intend to smoke in a single session, and a three-piece grinder allows the user to grind as much as they please and save it in the chamber for later.
The most commonly found grinder is the four-piece. It features two chambers, one for catching bud and the other for catching kief. The top two pieces use the same concept as the two-piece grinder, but, like with the three-piece model, the bud drops through small holes into the first chamber, making it easier for the user to access. The bud falls onto a screen that then lets your kief fall through to the second chamber.
What is Kief?
Kief is a fine powder and a very potent form of cannabis that can be sprinkled on top of bowls, joints, cooked into foods, or pressed into hash. It can even be smoked by itself. It’s important to note, two- and three-piece grinders do not have a kief catcher, making it much harder to conserve your kief, whereas four-piece grinders have specifically designed kief catching reservoirs and often come with a kief scraping tool.
Finally, there is the electric version. Electric grinders come in all shapes and sizes and can be helpful to those who don’t have the dexterity to operate more traditional grinders. The most common electric version is similar in function to a spice grinder. You simply load the bud into the blender, put the lid on and push down. Your bud is then finely chopped by the machine. While this can be very convenient, electronic grinders do not have a kief catching function, as everything is blended together simultaneously. However, some users find the convenience of electric to be well worth it, and there are many different types of electric grinders on the market today.
As many cannabis enjoyers will tell you, there is a grinder for everyone. Smaller, two-piece grinders are good for smokers who like to take their bud on the go. Three- and four-piece grinders are used by many joint and blunt rollers, and electronic grinders are perfect for medical users who experience chronic pain or arthritis and may not be able to twist their wrists the way more traditional grinders require them to. As a reminder, a grinder allows you to smoke more of your weed than breaking it up by hand would, so they’re better for your wallet, too. Happy smoking!
Step-by-Step: How do I use a grinder?
Remove the top piece of the grinder. Then, carefully push your bud into the teeth of the second piece.
Put the top piece back on and move it back and forth. Most grinders use a magnet to allow the top piece to move separately from the rest of the grinder. You will feel some resistance as the grinder breaks up your bud.
Once you are able to move the top piece without resistance, unscrew the second piece to reveal the first chamber. You will find your bud has been finely ground and is ready for consumption.
Unscrew the bottom piece from the first chamber to see how much kief has fallen through. It takes a while to accumulate kief, so don’t be surprised if there isn’t a lot at first.
When finished, screw the pieces back together to keep your bud safe and portable.