Oct 15th 2021
How To Use a Grinder (And Why You Should)
Learn how using a grinder can easily improve your smoking experience.
So, what is a grinder and why do you need one? The name should be pretty self-explanatory, but let’s pretend we’re newbs and go into it anyway. A grinder is a simple little device that--you guessed it--grinds your hemp buds into small, fine flakes, making it easier to roll into a paper or pack into a bowl. But it has more benefits than mere convenience.
If you’re into the full, nitty-gritty instruction manuals, this link is a fantastic resource on your basics: What is a Grinder & How Do You Use It?
TL;DR; Why Use a Grinder?
A few quick points for those who don’t like reading as much as they like smoking:
●Faster and cleaner than breaking hemp flower buds up by hand
●Makes for a smoother hit (great for newbie lungs!)
●Easier to collect kief for hemp edibles or a more potent hit
What’s the Difference Between Plastic and Metal Grinders?
Well, namely, price. Both will shred your leaves just fine, and if you don’t want to drop too much cash while you’re still figuring it out, plastic is a good way to go. However, if you’re confident in your abilities and want something on the more durable end, metal is likely the better choice.. They work the same, although metal is less likely to break after extended use.
Just remember to only use a plastic scraper to collect the hemp flower kief from the corners of the tray. A metal scraper runs the risk of chipping and shaving your grinder, and no one wants to smoke heavy metals. I mean, no judgment if you do, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
How Do I Use a Grinder?
Don’t panic, this part is easy. Gather up your supplies--grinder, plants, papers and/or pipe. Make sure your grinder is clean (we’ll get to how to clean it in a sec), and push your CBD flower strain into the chamber with the teeth.
Plastic grinders typically only have two chambers, the part with the teeth on top and the collection cup on bottom, so they’re plenty easy to tell apart. Don’t worry about being gentle, you’re about to grind it up anyway, and you can break up the pieces with your fingers to make sure they fit.
Put the lid on, then grasp top and bottom in each hand and twist in opposite directions. Like one of those fancy salt shakers (or your little brother’s arm when he was being particularly annoying). About ten turns ought to do it, and then you can just unscrew the bottom where the shredded leaves have filtered through.
Now, if you have a metal grinder, it likely has four compartments instead of two, but the process is overall the same. Press your hemp into the teeth, but in this case, try not to put any right in the middle. There’s typically a magnet in the center to hold it all together, so anything in that spot won’t get ground.
Fill it, close it, twist it. The hemp flower will gather in the basket, but some finer sediment will also collect on the bottom layer. You can let that one build up a bit, likely keep it in a separate container, or you can sprinkle that extra kief in with your freshly ground hemp flower buds for a bit of kick.
How To Clean a Grinder
Like every other fun thing in adult life, there’s the not so fun part--namely, keeping your equipment clean. Depending on how often you use your grinder, it can get sticky pretty fast. If you’re the kind of person who likes to let their dishes sit for a few days (or weeks, again, I’m not judging), then it may be better to invest in a plastic grinder and simply replace it every so often.
But, whether you prefer plastic or metal, the cleaning process is about the same. Mix a bit of isopropyl alcohol with salt (remember, you’re gonna inhale the stuff you’re putting into this, so nothing that will make you go blind. Cheap, unflavored vodka is also a good alternative if you don’t trust your rubbing alcohol). Use a toothbrush or something similar to scrub it out, then rinse clean.
Don’t use q-tips for those little crevices, as the cotton can shred and leave traces in the teeth--which, again, you probably don’t want to inhale. Then either air dry or wipe it clean, and you’re good to go! How often you clean it depends entirely on how often you’re using it, but if there’s enough resin to make the threads sticky, then it’s probably time for a soak.
So where do I get one of these things?
If you’re not a fan of sifting through a zillion Google results with annoying code names, explore Atomicblaze.com for some basics. You'll find both metal and plastic, large and small, so you’ve still got plenty of options. Plus, cool colors!
You don’t necessarily need a grinder, but when it comes to making smoothies, you’ll definitely have an easier time with a blender than a butcher’s knife. So why not save yourself the time? Happy grinding, folks!