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What’s a Marijuana Grinder?

marijuana grinder

For the most part, if you’re a fan of smoking marijuana flower, there’s a good chance you’ll need a grinder. If you’re curious about grinders, this is the guide for you. In it, we explain:

  • What’s a Grinder?
  • What are the Different Types of Grinders?
  • What Should You Consider When Choosing a Grinder?
  • How Do You Use a Grinder? 
  • How Do You Clean a Grinder?

What’s a Grinder?

A grinder is a tool used to grind up cannabis flower into smaller pieces which can then be used in glass pipes, cones, and vaporizers. While they aren’t necessary to smoke or vape flower, they are helpful. When most people wonder about grinders, they also ask a couple of other common questions:

Why use a grinder for marijuana?

While a grinder might not be necessary for flower consumption, it makes it easier, less messy, and can even improve your smoking or vaporizing experience. Plus, you have the added benefit that some grinders will catch (and even filter) kief, a terpene- and cannabinoid-rich byproduct of bud.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about grinders as a product and how you can choose the right one for you.

New to flower? Learn the basics in our Flower 101 guide.

What are the Different Types of Grinders?

Grinders are typically made from metal or plastic, but there are some wood grinders available. There are three styles of marijuana grinders that are most common:

  • Two-piece grinders: These grinders are made up of a lid and a bottom. The bottom portion has the grinder. You place the flower inside, put the lid on, twist it a few times (if it’s a manual grinder) until the pieces are the size you desire, and then use the ground cannabis.
  • Three-piece grinders: A three-piece grinder has the same parts as a two-piece grinder, but it also includes a chamber where your newly ground flower can fall through. Here, you can gather up your pieces for use or store them for later.
  • Four-piece grinders: These grinders are favorites of true cannabis connoisseurs. They offer the same parts as a three-piece grinder; however, they also have a kief collection chamber under a fine screen. This screen is designed to allow only kief to pass through.

What’s so great about kief? Learn about kief in our guide.

For most cannabis consumers, a three-piece grinder is going to be the right tool for you. But if you want to be able to catch and filter kief, you’ll want the four-piece grinder.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Grinder?

As with all cannabis products, it’s important to decide what matters to you. Do you care if you catch kief? Do you need to store your marijuana flower somewhere, and would a grinder with a storage compartment make things easier for you? Answering those questions can help you choose which style of grinder is right for you.

Then, you might want to consider the ease of cleaning your grinder. Metal will likely be easier to clean than plastic or wood, and that may influence the type of grinder you purchase.

Finally, there are manual grinders and automatic grinders. Manual grinders tend to be more budget-friendly, so if that’s a factor for you, then you’ll definitely want to go manual. Automatic grinders can make grinding much easier, but they also can be quite expensive.

How Do You Use a Grinder?

Beginners often ask how to grind cannabis flower with a grinder. While it might feel intimidating at first, using a grinder is pretty straightforward.

First, if you just purchased your grinder, be sure to clean it. This way, you know there are no substances from manufacturing left on your grinder that might stick to your bud. Then, gently break any large flower buds into smaller pieces and place those pieces between the teeth of the grinder. In most grinders, you want to put these pieces on the edges and not in the center where the grinder rotates, or they won’t get shredded.

Now, give your grinder—gently—about a dozen turns. Some people think they need to clamp down on the grinder and roughly twist it, but marijuana flower is delicate, and it doesn’t require that much force. If you have a two-piece grinder, you’re set to go. If you have a three-piece grinder, you might want to give the grinder a couple of taps now to ensure that the flower falls into the storage compartment.

If you have a four-piece grinder, you can turn your grinder upside down and take the kief chamber off. Grind it one more time and put the kief chamber back on the grinder. This prevents your kief from falling back into the grinding chamber, while still allowing you to grind your flower bud into smaller, finer pieces. A quick tip: these finer pieces are great if you like baking with cannabis.

Now that you know how to grind marijuana, once you’ve tried it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it. Then, the only thing you’ll need to know how to do when you own a grinder is clean it.

Interested in rolling your own cones, or "joints"? Check out our guide to choosing rolling paper.

How Do You Clean a Grinder?

After a few uses, you may notice your grinder getting sticky and dirty. This not only can affect your ability to grind, but who wants to put their new flower in a dirty grinder? Cleaning your grinder doesn’t have to be a chore though, especially if you do it regularly.

Step 1: Empty your grinder. As you pull your grinder apart, you’ll inevitably notice some leftover marijuana in your grinder. Save that leftover marijuana for later use.

Step 2: Soak your grinder. Give your grinder a 30-minute soak. We recommend using something like isopropyl alcohol. This will break apart any residue in your grinder and make it much easier to scrub clean.

Step 3: Scrub your grinder. You can use any sort of scrubber you want, but we recommend just a toothbrush to get in the little areas of your grinder. And you should focus on all of them, from the lip of your grinder to the teeth.

Step 4: Rinse and dry your grinder. Put your grinder under the tap and let it rinse clean. Then, pat it dry with a cloth or paper towel. Make sure it’s completely dry before using it again.

While there are some cannabis connoisseurs who will also freeze their grinder to help get any residue out and then even use a makeup brush to dust the pieces out, most grinders don’t require that attention to detail, especially if you’re cleaning them regularly.


Should You Get a Grinder?

If you plan on consuming marijuana flower, you should definitely consider getting a grinder. But if you’re not sure what type of grinder to get, why not visit one of our Verilife dispensary locations? Our cannabis experts are on hand and can show you the grinders they have in stock to help you decide which one is right for you.

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

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