If you’re new to cannabis, you may be curious about the purpose of a weed grinder. Besides a pipe and a lighter, a grinder is one of the most important accessories you’ll have in your collection of cannabis tools.
There are several types of grinders available, and you can even make your own if you’re feeling crafty. The most popular type of weed grinder is a 4-piece grinder with a kief catch at the bottom, which is also helpful if you want to make edibles.
What Is a Grinder and Why Do I Need One?
The purpose of a weed grinder is to break up marijuana buds into smaller pieces to scoop into a bowl or wrap up in blunt papers. It’s possible to put a whole nug into a bowl and smoke it, but ground weed will provide a smoother high as the heat flows through ground herbs more easily than a dense nug.
Aside from grinding up a smooth bowl, weed grinders are also nice for catching kief crystals. Kief is a fine powder resin that separates from the leaves during grinding and collects in the bottom of the grinder. Kief is often collected separately and used to create magic butter and other edibles. The easiest way to separate kief from bud is by placing a small coin in the mesh area.
How to Use a Weed Grinder
Step 1: Remove the top lid. This lid is usually magnetic to keep small pieces from slipping out during the grinding process.
Step 2: Break up larger nugs of weed and lightly press them into the grinder’s teeth. Avoid placing anything on top of the center magnet.
Step 3: Replace the lid until the magnets touch and rotate it back and forth 5-10 times. Hold the grinder upright while opening the lid again to check if there’s anything stuck in the teeth. If so, give it a few more grinds back and forth.
Step 4: Unscrew the main compartment to reveal a chamber of freshly ground herb. Load it up into a bowl or rolling paper and light up.
Step 5 (optional): Flip the grinder upside down and carefully open the bottom chamber. This is where you’ll find the filtered kief, which can be collected to make edibles, oils, or tinctures. If you’d like to add an extra dose of potency to your joint or bowl, sprinkle some kief on top.
How to Clean Your Weed Grinder
Like any utensil, weed grinders need to be cleaned to stay functional. Fortunately, they don’t need to be cleaned very often. In many cases, a stiff dry toothbrush, paintbrush, or clean mascara wand is enough to remove any sticky residue. If your grinder is too sticky for a dry brush cleaning, pop it in the freezer for an hour or two to harden sticky substances and allow them to flake off more easily.
When dry brushing isn’t enough, give it a more thorough cleaning by soaking the metal parts in isopropyl alcohol, warm water, and salt. If you have a four-chamber grinder with a screen filter to separate kief, do not soak the mesh portion. After a few minutes of soaking, anything left on your grinder will wipe clean.
If you’re ready to purchase your first grinder or would like to add another to your collection, check out our 10 favorite weed grinders available for under $15 on Amazon.