What is a weed grinder
A cannabis grinder (or “weed grinder” or “herb grinder”) is an essential tool for every stoner. They are used to break up and grind your flower, which makes it easier to handle when rolling a joint or packing a bowl. While it is very possible to simply break up bud with your fingers, a grinder makes it much easier and faster. Plus, grinders can come with anywhere from two to five chambers, which catch all the finer excess plant matter that may have gone to waste otherwise. They come in a variety of styles (you can even get one that looks like a pokéball if that is your thing) to customize your herb grinder and make it your own.
Types of herb grinders
As mentioned, herb grinders can have two to five chambers depending on what you are looking for and your price point. Each chamber is used to collect and store weed. The most common type is a metal four-piece grinder, the four pieces being the lid, grind section, storage compartment, and kief catcher. The lid and grind section have metal teeth that grind up bud, and holes for which the smaller material can fall into the storage container. There is also a screen that will filter out the kief, or pollen, into a separate section. While two- or three-piece grinders do not have kief catchers, a five-piece grinder may have two, or an extra chamber for storage.
Beyond the amount of chambers, material matters as well. Herb grinders can come in acrylic plastic, aluminum, zinc alloy, stainless steel, stone, wood and other materials. The quality of each kind can differ based on grinder brands, but in general, metal ones are said to be the best weed grinders. Different kinds of metal can be expensive though, so plastic or acrylic grinders are good if you are looking for something cheaper. Wooden grinders often look nicer, but they can be hard to clean. Each material has its pros and cons, so it just depends on what you personally enjoy.
Why use a herb grinder?
For starters, grinders make cutting up weed much easier, faster and cleaner. You could use your fingers to pull chunks apart, or scissors to cut them up, but those methods quickly get sticky thanks to the resin. You also do not get as even or as fine of a crumble, which could lead to uneven burn and make it hard to control your light.
Beyond the mechanics, the options of storage containers and pollen catchers offer a way to get the most out of your herb by saving every last bit. Any extra you may have spent time grinding but not using can easily be kept and used later. Grinders are simply economical.
What is a kief catcher?
A kief catcher or a pollen catcher is a screening device used in a four- or five-piece grinder. What is the importance of the kief catcher? The cannabis plant is covered in resinous glands which contain THC, CBD, and terpenes. These glands are called trichomes. When trichomes that have dried up get broken off of the plant during grinding, they create finer particles that fall through the built-in screen of these grinders and into the pollen catcher.
After grinding a lot of buds, the pollen will build up in the compartment, and you can then use it to sprinkle into your joints and bowls, to make moon rocks, or to add potency to cannabutter. Pollen will add potency to anything you decide to put it in, thanks to all those extra cannabinoids and terpenes. So, when choosing a grinder, investing in one with a kief catcher is ideal.
How to use a grinder
Remove the lid and chop up bigger bud. Place your desired amount of herb into the grinder section with teeth, leaving out seeds and stems, and close the lid. Rotate about 10 times until the ground herbs fall through the holes. There may be some resistance at first, but as you twist, the herb will get broken down and will become easier to grind.
Once you feel smooth grinding, you can open the section of the grinder that holds the herb, now ground into nice even flakes, and use it in your smoking method of choice. Keep in mind that you will need to clean your grinder every once in a while, since it can get sticky with resin build up.
How to clean a weed grinder
When the amount of resin or small leftover plant matter in the teeth gets to be too much, it is time to clean your grinder. You will know it is time when your grinder becomes sticky and difficult to rotate. Cleaning methods can differ depending on what your grinder is made of, and you should always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions if it came with any. In general, though, cleaning a weed grinder is pretty straightforward.
Unscrew all the pieces of your grinder and soak each in isopropyl alcohol, then scrub each piece with any hard-bristled brush (like a toothbrush). Once everything has been scrubbed away, rinse your grinder with clean, warm water. You can also put your grinder in the freezer beforehand, to solidify the kief and make it easier to pick off.
On the chance that your weed grinder is too far gone to clean, you can always purchase a new grinder. Keep in mind, replacing grinders every time they are dirty may get expensive. Regular cleaning and maintenance of grinders are recommended rather than constantly replacing them.
The best herb grinder brands
While this is not a definitive list of the best weed grinders available right now, these are a few reputable brands to get you started in your search for your perfect grinder.
- Santa Cruz Shredder – a California-based brand specializing in grinder technology and engineering the most advanced weed grinders.
- Higher Standards – a luxury cannabis lifestyle company with flagship stores in New York City and Los Angeles, offering a carefully selected product range including its own branded line.
- Cali Crusher – made in San Diego, California, these herb grinders feature aircraft-grade aluminum.
- SharpStone – an online retailer known for their top grinders, which feature a hand crank like a coffee grinder and a clear top to keep an eye on your herbs’ progress.
How much is a weed grinder?
Speaking of saving money, what exactly is considered a “good price” for a weed grinder? Cheaper grinders can range from $5-$20, while higher-end grinders can be anywhere from $30-$90. The type of material, quality and amount of chambers can affect their cost as well.
Plastic grinders are usually the cheapest, and they can be cleaned fairly easily since they are just plastic. However, the teeth in these herb grinders can break easily, especially when brands use low-quality plastic. The toxins found in the fumes from your joint after you accidentally grind up a plastic tooth may not be worth the cheap price point.
Wooden grinders are another more aesthetic option. These herb grinders can look really rustic and outdoorsy, and can also be personalized with carvings and designs. They are much harder to clean though, and lighter woods may look stained after prolonged use.
Stainless steel and aluminum are the most common types of metal grinders. These are considered some of the best weed grinders because they are sturdy yet still easy to clean. The cost for these herb grinders can range depending on the type of metals. Aluminum is generally a less costly metal, whereas one made of titanium will be vastly more expensive, but also more durable. There is also food-grade stainless steel, which is both resilient and generally affordable. Depending on your tastes and your budget, you can find other grinders in a range of quality, metals, and prices.
Saving money on herbs and grinders
Whether you are in the market for another grinder, or looking for the best price for herbs to test out a new one, be sure to check out these money-saving options. Find all kinds of cannabis deals near you with Leafy Mate, and earn cashback on your cannabis purchases with Leafy Rewards. Need to get a marijuana medical card? Visit Leafy DOC for help getting started. As always, consult with your licensed health care provider before beginning a medical marijuana regimen.