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Do You Really Need to Grind Your Weed?

Monday October 26, 2015

Breaking up cannabis is just a part of the smoking process. If you consider yourself a seasoned smoker, there’s a good chance you have a preferred technique to do so. Over the years the technology from two, to three, and now four chamber grinders have taken the market by storm, filling the shelves of head shops and online marketplaces. They are great for stationary smoke spots, but those that need to be on the go may find that a grinder is too much. However, if you’re the DIY type, there are alternatives to making a purchase of a grinder. Your location and purpose for doing so will dictate your method, but it’s always great to weigh your options.

Getting Behind The Reasons For Grinding

How you grind your raw cannabis is a personal preference, but there are certain processes that require it. Breaking your buds up allows your bowls to burn cleanly and fill the bowl more fully, therefore giving you more surface area to roast the product, while also removing stems. If you choose to go with a traditional grinder, they tend to be equipped with a chamber specifically designed to catch kief, which is the very potent result of separating trichomes from the plant. Extracting kief by letting it collect in the chamber can make for a pleasant surprise once you have enough to add to a normal bowl of flower .

When Grinding Isn’t A Choice

Not grinding your weed can lead to some problems and makes other methods of smoking impossible. If you’re not grinding flower and your pipe is getting clogged or not hitting smoothly, you might want to get on the grinding train. One-hitters and small bowls benefit from your product being ground up because air can easily pass through instead of clog . Rolling joints and blunts require fine material for the same reason, however, some rollers prefer to break it up with their own hands when that’s the case. When vaporizing bud, grinding up your product allows it to be evenly vaped, and most vaporizers even instruct that you do it to get the best performance result.

Ditch Your Fingers

Note that using your fingers can lead to the loss of THC crystals on your fingers. Not only do you lose some THC resin heads on your hands, but you’ll also tarnish some of the resins left on the bud that you’ve been touching with the oil on your skin. For those without a grinder, there are alternatives to using a grinder or your fingers that are easy to execute in a pinch:

Chop it

Slice it

Grind it

The Santa Cruz Shredder

For those that still want a grinder, I’d recommend the Santa Cruz Shredder that has everything you could want in a device used to grind up your dry herbs. The California-based company uses medical grade, ultrasonically-cleansed anodized aluminum, which prevents any sort of possible effect on the green. Its unique threading pattern, friction ring, and textured grip sets it apart from other competitors, in addition to its affordability. A top quality rare earth magnet located in the lid gives a great feature for those that might be moving their stuff around a lot and need to be able to take things on the go. If you’ve been displeased with tooth designs in other products, this one will leave you with evenly ground up product to work with.

If you consider yourself a seasoned smoker, there’s a good chance you have a preferred technique to break up your weed. Even if you're not, here's why it's important to grind up your weed.

The Pros & Cons of Grinding Your Weed

Some swear by the grinder. Some swear by finger chopping. But which one is better? Is there a winner? Our analysis is that there really are pros and cons to using a grinder, and many reasons to use your fingers! In this article, we take a look at the reasons you might want to grind and the reasons you might want to finger chop.

  • The pros of grinding your weed
    • 1. You don’t get sticky-icky on your fingers
    • 2. It’s fast and easy
    • 3. Grinders grind fine weed
    • 4. Collect the hash at the end of each month
  • The cons of grinding weed
    • 1. You disturb the trichomes
    • 2. You go through so much more weed
    • 3. You get a repetitive strain injury
    • 4. You lose the sensory experience
  • Alternatives to grinding weed
    • 1. Scissors
    • 2. A coin and a small container
    • 3. A coffee grinder

The grinder: possibly the least fancy, but arguably one of the most practical items in each stoner’s survival kit. But there are still a lot of seasoned joint rollers and cone smokers that swear by the finger-chop method.

We’re taking the liberty of doing the assessment. Why should you grind your weed? Why shouldn’t you? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of using a grinder and of course, the alternatives to using a grinder.

The pros of grinding your weed

Let’s start with the reasons you might want to keep a grinder next to your weed stash:

1. You don’t get sticky-icky on your fingers

The most obvious reason that someone might want to use a grinder is that it can get pretty sticky if you’re using the finger chop method. And that leads to other complications, such as difficulties rolling and hands that constantly smell like marijuana…

2. It’s fast and easy

It can take much longer to finger chop a gram of weed than to simply just throw it in a grinder. Probably the second most popular reason to grind your buds rather than get those finger nails out. A grinder works much faster than fingertips and finger nails.

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3. Grinders grind fine weed

Some people just don’t like chunky bits in their joints and bongs. They prefer a finer grind, which can be next to impossible to achieve with fingers – especially if it’s very sticky bud like Papaya, Big Bud or California Orange Bud. They also say that the more surface area there is (the finer it is ground), the higher you’ll get off a hit, which also makes sense.

Packing a pipe or bong can be difficult with finger chopped weed, which is when a grinder comes in handy. But I suppose it also comes down to how much effort you’re willing to put into the finger chopping process…

4. Collect the hash at the end of each month

There are grinders you can buy that have multiple chambers. Not only does it collect your ground weed in one chamber, but it collects all the trichomes that fall off in another chamber. That allows you the possibility of collecting some high potency kief after a month or two of grinding (or however long you go without cleaning your grinder).

That’s something to think about when it comes to using a grinder, although some would say that this falls into the “cons” of using a grinder, too. So, on that note, let’s have a look at some of the reasons you might not want to use a grinder.

The cons of grinding weed

It’s okay to give your grinder a well-earned rest. Let it collect a different kind of dust sometimes, and for the following reasons:

1. You disturb the trichomes

There is a lot of disturbance to the trichomes on your weed by using a grinder. Some of the most potent parts of your bud don’t end up in what you’re finally smoking. If you have a multi-chamber grinder, they will fall into the bottom chamber and you can save them for later. But if you’re not really trying to save them for later, then you lose out on the immediate smoke.

2. You go through so much more weed

Stoners swear that if they finger chop their weed, they can make a bag last much longer. And it makes a lot of sense. Chopping your weed using fingers can result in larger chunks, which means you won’t end up packing so much into a joint or a pipe. How this stacks up on how the thing finally burns is up for debate.

3. You get a repetitive strain injury

Oh God – twisting that grinder is hard work! Finger chopping is much easier on the wrists, I think. Especially if that grinder hasn’t been cleaned in a while and has a whole bunch of sticky residue lying around the edges and on the rim. Definitely no risk of straining your wrist muscles if you’re using fingers or scissors!

4. You lose the sensory experience

There’s something very sensual about finger chopping weed. You get the resin all over your fingers, you get to feel it and the best part – the smell comes oozing out as you’re chopping it up. These things just don’t happen when you’re using a grinder. And for some stoners, this is an extremely important part of the joint rolling ritual.

Alternatives to grinding weed

If you’re looking for a good chop but don’t have a grinder, there are alternatives. Plus, if the local head shop only sells plastic grinders, you might want to try something else. So here are a few different methods you can try!

1. Scissors

I’ve seen many stoners chop to a perfect consistency using scissors. The result is somewhere between using a grinder and finger chopping: not too big and not too small.

2. A coin and a small container

So, you live with your parents and simply can’t risk having a grinder lying around? This is one of those grinding solutions that was born out of this exact circumstance. All you need is a container big enough to fit your nugget and a coin. And it should have a lid.

Put your nugget in the container along with the coin, close it and shake vigorously. The coin will do the chopping for you, and you’ll be surprised how well it separates your bud from the stems!

3. A coffee grinder

This non-grinder method of grinding is still grinding, and probably the least recommended. If you don’t have a grinder lying around and want a fine chop, a coffee grinder will do the job. But it’s loud, and it turns your weed into something like a powder. Plus, you must give that thing an epic clean before you’re ever going to be able to use it as a coffee grinder ever again.

Grinding weed all boils down to preferences! When you’ve become a seasoned smoker, you’ve always got your reasons for doing it your way. Those who prefer to roll joints usually like their weed to be a different consistency to those who prefer to smoke bongs or pipes.

So, do you like your weed after grinding or after finger chopping? The choice is yours!

Considering whether or not to use the grinder that lives in your weed stash? We take a look at the pros and cons of grinding in this article.