Whether your reasons for using cannabis are philosophical or utilitarian, introducing a grinder is one of the most effective tools to break up cannabis for a smoother smoking/ vaping experience.
While there are many grinding methods that are great in a pinch, a 3 or 4 chamber grinder will ensure you maximize cannabinoid and terpene collection. Below, we’ll discuss the techniques best suited for your herbal lifestyle.
The Hand Grind
Hands down (see what I did there?) one of the easiest and quickest ways to break up bud. No need for extra paraphernalia, start by cupping one hand like a bowl and separating the flowers between your index finger and your thumb with the other. As the bud crumbles, you will feel prickly bits, like branches, seeds or sugar leaves, pick these out as they are trash. Your weed should be granular in appearance, almost like the steel cut oats that everyone pretended to like for a few years. Once you are satisfied that all the debris is gone, use your fingernails to do a final chop. Be forewarned though, this process may make your hands sticky, as the trichomes release a resin-like substance. There’s something about getting your hands dirty that can be deeply rewarding – even if it has the potential to mess up a manicure.
The Coffee Grinder
This life hack has been a favourite among cannabis users with mobility issues. The simple press of a button can make all the difference for those in the throes of an arthritic (or other medical) flareup. I won’t lie, this method makes me nostalgic for my university days when my (ex) boyfriend had 2 dedicated electric grinders, one for actual coffee and one for weed. He thought he was so clever until his mother stayed the weekend and used the wrong one. The key here is caution – don’t overdo it. Most coffee grinders have sharp blades that spin at high rotations, this can quickly turn your product into powder, which isn’t ideal if you want to smoke it, but can be handy if your looking to cook with it. I’d reserve this practice when working with large quantities. The mix of very little effort and very little time is very appealing to someone like me who is very lazy.
Coin and Bottle
Shake it like a Polaroid picture, actually no, Polaroid released a statement advising against that. But if you’re looking to shake things up, place your weed in a mint tin or an old pill bottle (any small receptacle with a tight lid will work), add a coin and voila! Shake it like you’re the tambourine player in a 70s band. The coin will chop up the bud while the container doubles as a storage container. I know I probably don’t need to say this out loud, but maybe just give said coin a vigorous rinse. Also, be sure not to pack the tin too densely, leave enough room for the coin to do its job. Bonus points if you use an old opaque film container. Zero points if you ask me what film is.
The Dedicated Grinder
Full disclosure, if I seem biased towards this nifty little device, it’s because I am. A 4 chamber grinder with mesh screen to catch all the kief (all that delicious trichome goodness) feels like going from drinking gas station hot chocolate to smoking high tea with the queen. Manual grinders can be metal or plastic, 1 to 4 chambered and priced to fit any budget. Grinders work best when you don’t overfill them, you’ll want the final product to be ground finely enough so that hot air (vaping) or flame (smoking) can pass freely preventing clogged pipes. Twist the top and bottom pieces until there is no more resistance – this is when your herb is ready. Separate the bottom chamber (where the kief collects) and sprinkle it on bowls for a little something extra. You can thank me later. If you remember.
Pro Tip: I prefer a magnetic lid because I’m a huge klutz and yes, there is such a thing as crying over spilt weed. As mentioned above, just don’t overfill, you’ll want the magnets to touch firmly.
These sleek, business card sized accessories are cool, if you like bloodying your weed on a cheese grater with your fingertips. Just kidding. Though I’ve never had any luck with it myself, I understand that microplanes are great for an even, consistent finished product. Grinder cards are also small, portable, and can be slipped into your wallet next to your library card.
No matter how you splice it, at the end of the day, there is no wrong way to grind your weed. Whichever method you choose, the act of preparing the cannabis yourself can be a key part of your session, and give you a few more moments to ponder the plant, and your intentions for using it. Okay, I know, it may seem a bit over the top to wax poetic about busting your buds, but a smoother session and more bang for your buck are reasons enough to grind it out.