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Cannabis Grinders Why and How

All strains / Cannabis / How to choose / Hybrid / Indica / Sativa / THC / March 10, 2022

Grinders are essential pieces of equipment for marijuana users. Alongside the smoother smoking experience and ease of product transportation that it offers, there other excellent reasons for making the grinder a part of your arsenal. Though many smokers are insecure about the cost, if you are a regular cannabis user, it certainly more than makes up for it in what it can uniquely offer, and is a very worthwhile investment.

Before you purchase your grinder, here are a few things to consider.

Why Grind Cannabis Buds

Grinding the buds prior to smoking or vaping it will actually make it easier to use on several fronts. You will also find that it will make transportation easier, as well as make smoking more enjoyable. Ground buds are typically far less coarse, more uniform, and so give a more consistent smoke.

Unlike whole buds – the uneven shape of which can affect the smoothness of the taste and feel – the ground product will smoke cleanly and evenly. In the case of joints, this means that it will be much easier to wrap tight, smooth, well-burning ones. In the case of vaping, the use of ground buds completely eliminates the need to worry about unexpected clumps and continuous burning.

In addition, if you grind the grass before use, it will have less contact with your hands, thus protecting the trichomes and the valuable cannabinoids they carry. That is why using a quality grinder really helps maintain the quality and effectiveness of the buds, and minimises the loss of the all-important trichomes that can be used later.

Kief Crystals

Kief is a term that refers to fine powdery trichomes and cannabinoids that accumulate either in the lower chamber or on the wall of the grinder. Kief is much stronger and cleaner form of cannabis than can be extracted from the average bud alone. Enjoy with responsibility, however, because its high intensity can come as a surprise. Kief crystals are excellent for vaping, as well as sprinkled in with joints to intensify the high. They can also be used for baking after pre-decarboxylation.

When purchasing a grinder, it is always good to consider choosing one that accommodates the all-important kief crystals, and so has a separate space for these powder-like crystals to automatically collect into.

Better Flavoured Cannabis

If you smoke or vape ground or crushed buds, you will find that the natural taste of the terpene profile is much more pronounced and smooth.

On opening the grinder, your olfactory senses will be hit by the delicious and outflowing natural scent that is characteristic of whichever variety of cannabis you have used. While some people only pay attention to the high that cannabis gives, there are many that equally prize the delights of its taste and aroma, and find that it significantly enhances their smoking experience.

Easier Portability

Transporting cannabis in a small sized grinder can be very convenient.

Most grinders close magnetically, ensuring the buds stays securely in place during transport. In addition, a well-designed grinder will help prevent odours from escaping, which can be cumbersome when it occurs. Even the smaller grinders tend to be able to fit a surprisingly generous amount of product within them.

 What Types of Grinders Are There?

Grinders vary in shape, size, price, and function.

The style of grinder you choose will depend entirely on budget and individual needs. For those who want both maximum portability and cost-effectiveness, a small, two-chamber grinder may be the best choice. For those whom performance and speed are a priority, investing in an electric grinder may be a better option.

Electric Grinders

Electric grinders are extremely convenient because they do all of the work for you. The main (some might say only) disadvantage of non-cordless ones, is that they require electricity. Thus, if you are not in possession of a battery-powered grinder, you will need a power source. Electric shredders can also sometimes be so effective at grinding, that the less experience user can inadvertently end up grind the buds to dust.

Because of these disadvantages, electric models are often less popular with smokers. Unless you require a large amount of buds to be ground, it is probably better to choose a hand grinder.

Two-Part, One-Chamber Grinder

This is the simplest grinder you can find.

The two-part grinder is actually comprised of two separate pieces that close together to grind the buds into a chamber. There are sharp teeth on the inside of both pieces. These types do not have a separate section for the buds and grounds. As such, they will all remain mixed together and can get stuck around the edges. Owing to the simplicity of such two-piece grinders, they tend to inhabit the cheaper end of the price spectrum.

They care often made from any number of materials, be it wood, plastic, or metal etc. Whilst wood or plastic ones are typically cheaper, metal grinders are worth the extra expense as they are far more durable.

Four-Part, Three-Chamber Grinders

Grinders of this type tend to be the most popular with the average smoker.

Although they can be slightly more expensive than the standard and less sophisticated two-piece grinders, the extra features they have make them well worth the additional investment. These types of grinders have three separate chambers: one that can store the buds, the other the ground material, and the third part can hold the kief crystals – the latter addition makes then worth the extra cost alone. This shot of kief can come in really handy on a rainy day when you run out of your regular supplies. Typically made of metal, it is durable and longer lasting.

Card-Shaped Grinders

Card-shaped grinders are, in reality, pretty rare. Although they may be easy to store and carry, they are fairly cumbersome to use. Grinder cards are designed to operate similarly to a kitchen grater. They are made of with many tiny holes or fine screen-like grids for chopping/grating. They are, however, very cheap and cost effective.

How to Use Different Grinders

To use two-piece and four-piece grinders correctly, it is prudent to follow a few simple steps to ensure maximum success


  1. Remove the Scraper Cover

This provides access to the main chamber, allowing the buds to be inserted. Use your fingers to break up any oversized pieces that don’t fit in well. Always be cognizant of not placing anything in the centre of the chamber – that is where the grinding mechanism rotates, and for metal grinders, there is a magnet there that will help to ensure the lid stays on tight and securely. Anything that gets into that middle section will not be ground up.

  1. Replacing the Cover

After putting the buds in carefully, replace the cover. Press it firmly and adjust if necessary. Turn the cover clockwise approx. 10 to 15 times while holding down a little. Tap the side and top of the grinder a few times during and after grinding to ensure that everything is processed.

  1. Screw On the Cover and Enjoy the Result

After grinding, carefully unscrew the lid. Be careful, as dry cannabis may fall out if it is stuck to the top, or if not holding the grinder fully upright. The product is now ready for use

  1. Collection of Kief Crystals

Don’t forget to use these precious kief crystals. After crushing a few grams of cannabis, there will be more than enough crystals for a full joint. You can easily fashion a simple tool from a piece of paper towel, or better still – very thin cardboard – to collect the crystals. Special scrapers can be purchased separately, but you may often find one included alongside your grinder.

Cleaning the Grinder

To ensure the best results, it is important to clean the grinder after each use. In addition, a thorough cleaning can ensure that even the smallest bits of remnant bud or kief crystal have been found from hidden parts of the grinder. Also, if too much excess resin residue collects within the grinder, it can become difficult to use effectively, or even seal properly. This leads to wastage, which is bad on all fronts.

There are several tricks to achieving the most efficient cleaning of your machine. With a small, fine-haired toothbrush, it can be easier to get to those hard-to-reach places so you can clean it more thoroughly. If this is not effective enough for some reason, and the grinder has too much build-up, then the entire implement may be soaked in a mixture of isopropanol alcohol, salt and lukewarm water for 5 minutes or so prior to cleaning.

Said mixture of isopropyl alcohol and salt will also help with removing problematic stains, and can be used to rub the offending areas. Another top tip, is to place the grinder in the freezer for a bit before cleaning, as this can also help lift some of the more stubborn resin residues and make them easier to get off.

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