When it comes to consuming dry herbs, one of the most important things you can have to get ready for the smoking process is a grinder. Grinders break apart dry herbs into fine, consistent sized pieces and are an essential tool for every smoker – regardless of experience level.
Grinders break down herb far smaller than your hands can. This increased surface area allows for more exposure to heat and even release of the herbal properties.
Grinders come in all shapes, functions, and prices. They range from 2-pieces, which are often made of plastic and can be difficult to turn – but are portable and easy to carry, and 4-pieces, which come with a storage compartment and pollen catcher (known as “kief”).
4-piece grinders enable you to carry your bud on the go – without the risk of opening up in your bag or pocket and spilling the goods. Although somewhat more expensive than plastic grinders, stainless steel grinders enable you to cut through the stickiest herb without significant effort or jamming. The herb chambers hold in the smell and are durable enough to take high falls without spilling on impact.
What makes these so essential?
The fine grind and surface area it creates on the herb is for starters, not to mention protecting your hands from sticky residue that is difficult to clean. A grinder is much, much faster.
The oils on your hands can also degrade your bud. Not by significant amount, but any experienced grower can tell you the more your handle cannabis bud, the more the terpenes degrade and ultimately lower the quality of the product. By using a grinder, this limits the amount of contact bud has with the natural oils in your skin and preserves the quality of the smoke.
If you use a dry herb vaporizer, then a grinder is the only method you should use. The convection-style oven inside your dry herb vape might not reach the core of thick pieces your hand creates. By creating a find grind, more area of the bud is exposed to heat and allows for a consistent release of terpenes.
Lastly, 4-piece grinders come with a section at the bottom known as a pollen catcher, or kief/keef catcher. The pollen falls off the herb as you grind and collects through the screen into a chamber at the bottom. These grinders come with a scooper enabling you to scrape up and place on any bowl. For cannabis, this pollen has the highest concentration of THC.
We recommend putting a small, clean, non-magnetic coin inside your herb chamber. Why? After you grind, shake the grinder and the small vibrations from the coin hitting the walls sends a higher amount of this pollen through the mesh screen. Your coin then acts as a scooper for your freshly ground herb, but increase the amount of pollen you’ll collect over time.
The pollen is the essence of the dry herb, and is the most potent element. The pollen itself is called the trichome; it’s what makes your weed, cannabis, bud, marijuana, gives whatever you call it a crystallized look. When you grind, all the trichomes fall through the pollen catcher or stays on the herb themselves.
When you choose to break apart by hand, most of these trichomes stick to your fingers instead and are lost – reducing overall potency.
By reducing the potency of your dry herbs, you won’t get as much out of them or may need to use more. Because of this, keeping the trichomes on your herbs and protected from the oils (and having some stored for later use) is ideal for every smoker.
Without a grinder, a smoker is depriving themselves of a potential way to store and protect their dry herbs, and losing out on trichomes that are valuable – especially if you are running low on herb. Think of it like an automated savings account for your bud.
Having a fine, consistent grind on your blends will give a consistent smoke, a smoother joint, doobie, or cone roll, and makes grinders an optimal part for any smoker looking to maximize their experience.