How to Use Weed Grinder | Growers Choice Seeds

How to Use Weed Grinder

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If you’re not an experienced user, the concept of a weed grinder may be new to you, and knowing how and why to use it may also be unfamiliar territory. If so, then this blog is exactly for you and should give you all the basics you need for selecting and using a cannabis grinder.

What is a Weed Grinder?

Let’s start off by answering the most important question of what a weed grinder even is. Basically, a grinder is a piece of equipment that’s used to ground weed into smaller bits that are relatively uniform in size and consistency.

Ground marijuana is most frequently and regularly used for rolling joints, blunts, and spliffs, as well as for packing a bowl of weed in a pipe or bong. The latter of what ardent weed users like to do in order to ensure smoother smoke and a burn that’s cleaner and more consistent.

Not only does having and using ground cannabis make it less harsh and give it a more even burn, it’s also just easier to carry with you as having a bag or container of ground herb as opposed to lumpy, but chunky nugs is also more efficient to throw into your pocket, etc. In addition, using a pot grinder eliminates the need for you to attempt to break your buds apart by hand because when you break your weed up by hand you risk damaging the trichomes and active cannabinoids they carry. Also, notoriously sticky strains, like C4 and Glass Slipper, are near impossible to break apart by hand and often require the use of a high-quality grinder to do so. As such, using a grinder helps to preserve the integrity and strength of your weed.

Grinder with ground cannabis inside
There are a multitude of ways to enjoy cannabis, from bongs to pipes to edibles
Source: Pexels

Different Types of Grinders

A quick search online will result in a plethora of marijuana grinder options from basic weed grinders to electric grinders to three, four, and five-piece grinders to four-chamber metal grinders to DIY old coffee grinder options, etc., to the point that it can be incredibly overwhelming.

In this section, we’ll just go over a few of the many options that exist and will avoid getting into more in-depth conversations on whether or not an anodized aluminum grinder is more effective than a zinc grinder, or if a four-piece grinder is better than a battery-powered grinder, etc.

Basically, choosing the type of grinder that’s best suited for you will depend on your exact needs and budget. If power and speed are important to you, then spending the money on an electric grinder may be worthwhile, whereas, if simplicity, affordability, and portability are your priorities then a two-piece, one-chamber grinder may be your best option.

Electric Grinders

While these types of pot grinders come with the advantages of automatically doing the work for you and being able to quickly grind a large number of nugs, they have the disadvantages of requiring an electrical outlet and utterly pulverizing your weed pieces. As such, these aren’t the most popular choice amongst weed users.

Two-Piece Grinder with One Chamber

Two-piece weed grinders are comprised of two pieces that each have sharp “teeth” inside that when closed together can be used to grind cannabis into one chamber. They’re on the cheaper side of things, with plastic and wooden varieties being the cheapest. However, spending the extra bit of money on a metal grinder is probably doing to be worth the small additional investment as they have a much longer shelf life.

The one disadvantage of using this kind of grinder is that it lacks what is known as a kief catcher, so your kief will either get mixed in with your ground pieces or simply stick to the sides of the container. (In short, kief is what is used to refer to the terpenes and cannabinoids in weed that become separated from the trichomes when weed is ground up.) As such, if you are a regular pot user, you may want to consider spending even that much more to get a four-piece weed grinder with three chambers.

Four-Piece Grinder with Three Chambers

As mentioned above, this is the most common type of grinder used by those who smoke pot on a consistent basis. It has three chambers, which include a grinding chamber, a weed collection chamber, and a kief chamber. Four-piece, three-chamber grinders are usually made of metal.

Other Types of Manual Grinders

The two types of manual grinders described above are the most commonly used ones. However, there are also three-piece grinders that don’t tend to have a kief chamber, and five-piece grinders that have two kief catchers or two storage compartments.

Card Grinders

While a card grinder isn’t recommended for those who are wanting freshly ground weed on an almost-daily basis, this is a good, cheap option for when you’re traveling as a herb grinder card is literally the size of a credit card, which means you can easily and conveniently carry it on you in your wallet, phone card holder, or purse.

In the sections below we’ll cover more on how to use the above-mentioned grinders, but when it comes to using a card grinder all it entails is your “grating” your buds over its holes, which will provide you with a “chunky” grind that is well-suited for wraps and pre-rolled cones, which are basically empty joints that just require filling. If you’re looking for a finer grind, you can simply chop up your pieces of herb using the edge of the card grinder.

Coffee Grinders

Lastly, to just briefly touch on whether or not using a coffee grinder for weed is a good idea or not, let’s just say that if you look this topic up you’ll find those who are for this and those who are dead set against using an old (or new) coffee grinder for “making” some newly ground weed.

The strongest arguments against using a coffee grinder are as follows: it only has one chamber, which means you’re going to end up “losing” your valuable kief; it’s a hassle to clean; and it’s easy to over-grind your weed buds into unusable dust.

However, if you have a coffee grinder already and don’t have the time or money to go buy a regular grinder, then make sure you thoroughly clean all coffee residue from it first and grind it using the pulse setting as opposed to the grinder’s highest speed setting.

Step-by-Step Guide for Using Your Grinder

Electric Grinder

Generally speaking, electric weed grinders are incredibly straightforward and involve just a few simple steps. While every electric grinder is a little different, the steps provided below are for one of the more “typical” setups you’re likely to encounter.

  1. Remove the stems from your dry herb
  2. Unscrew the lid or jar on top
  3. Load it up with your buds
  4. Screw the lid or jar back into place
  5. Press the button and grind to your desired bud consistency
Person using weed grinder to grind cannabis
Smoking and vaping cannabis typically require a grinder
Source: Pexels

Manual Grinders

For starters, as already implied in the “Different Types of Grinders” section above, when it comes to manual grinders, there are several variations that range in the number of pieces and chambers, material, and sizes–usually running the gamut from two to six inches in diameter.

For those looking to break down a lot of buds in one go, a larger grinder, which is less portable, is best; whereas, those who don’t need to break down a lot of weed should be fine using a smaller grinder that comes with the advantage of being easy to transport when you’re off for a weekend of camping, etc.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just cover how to use the metal four-piece, three-chamber grinder, since it is the type that is the most commonly used.

To start with, a four-piece weed grinder is comprised of the following four components:

  1. A lid with sharp teeth for grinding.
  2. A grinding compartment that also has plenty of teeth for grinding, as well as holes for the pot to fall through into the storage container below.
  3. A screened storage chamber, which is the third section of the grinder and serves to collect and store your freshly ground weed. The screen in this chamber serves the purpose of filtering your valuable kief.
  4. A kief chamber, which is where the kief from your ground flower is collected and stored.

Steps for Using a Manual Four-Piece Grinder

Now that you know the components of this type of grinder, here are the steps for grinding your weed up. (Note that with exception to the collection of kief, this applies to two-, and three-piece grinders as well, and to five-piece grinders with kief chambers too.)

  1. Remove the stems and seeds from your dried buds
  2. Remove the lid and place your de-stemmed nuggets in the grinding chamber–making sure to not place them in the center because this is where the grinder pivots, and for metal grinders there’s usually a magnet there. Anything in the center will not get ground up. Also, if you have larger buds that don’t seem to fit that well, just break them up a bit using your hands.
  3. Replace the lid, making sure that it is on tightly, which apart from pushing it down, may require a bit of twisting. Turn the lid clockwise 10-15 times, making complete rotations each time. You may need to apply some pressure at first, as some initial resistance is common, but after a few turns it should rotate smoothly. Tap both the sides and top of your grinder a few times while grinding up your nugs and afterward just to make sure all of your marijuana buds get ground up.
  4. Gently unscrew the grinder chamber and storage chamber to access your freshly ground weed. You’ll want to do this carefully, making sure to hold your grinder evenly as ground-up pieces of herb could fall out if any is stuck to the top. Then just simply load up your joint or bowl etc. and enjoy!
  5. Oh, and don’t forget about your kief, which is collected in the kief chamber at the bottom of the grinder. If your grinder didn’t come with a kief scraping tool, then using a bit of paper, or even a coin should work to knock any remaining resin from the screen and into your kief collector. Some like to sprinkle some additional kief on the top of their packed bowls, while others with the know-how press it into hash or use it to infuse butter or oil.
Person holding a cannabis grinder
Use a grinder to produce cannabis hashish that is also smokable
Source: Pexels

Conclusion: How to Clean Your Grinder

Now that you know how to use a few different types of grinders, let’s end on an important note that can be easily forgotten–cleaning your grinder.

When it comes to an electric grinder, the one you purchase will come with instructions that you can follow for doing so.

For manual grinders, you will need to clean it from time to time as it is bound to become sticky with resin, which will make it increasingly difficult to rotate. Fortunately, cleaning a manual grinder is pretty simple as well. To do so you simply need to rub any sticky areas with a cleaning solution made of isopropyl alcohol and salt. Next, use a brush, such as a toothbrush or stiff artist’s paintbrush, to knock any kief out of the filter screen. Some say that freezing your grinder also works as it makes it easier to remove the kief.

However, if none of these things work, then chances are it’s time to buy a new grinder.

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