Cannabis Products: The Scoop on Grinders

For newbies to the cannabis block, there are tidbits of basic knowledge that lie ahead: things you ought to know before consuming your first dose of THC-infused goodness. Some may argue that understanding safe edible consumption is the first step, while others suggest knowing your state’s marijuana laws before all else. Some helpful hints are less obvious.

Let’s start with the hemp grinder. What is it, why is it necessary, and how do you use it? And why, for God’s sake, can’t you just use an espresso bean burr instead

Grind, Baby, Grind

Cannabis Grinder with Weed
Photo by: MWessel Photo/Shutterstock
Some of the best things in life are ground up into bits. Coffee, flax seed, pencil shavings (you just can’t beat that fresh number-two smell). Add marijuana into the list, and you’ve got a quadfecta. Cannabis completes the aesthetically pleasing ground-up symphony.

A cannabis grinder is pretty exacting from its name alone: it’s a tool used to break cannabis up into smaller bits. It looks like a handheld tin, something you might otherwise find filled with mints or sewing supplies. The top portion has a series of metal blades, attached to a kief catcher, usually held together by a magnet.

Kiefer? I Barely Know Her!

Kiefer catchers, not to be confused with the Kiefer Sutherlands of the world, is the bottom chamber attached to the hemp grinder. It catches the residue from the cannabis crushing taking place above via grinder “teeth,” resulting in potent kief crystals, knocked straight off the buds.

Kief, according to Wikipedia, contains a higher concentration of THC and other psychoactive cannabinoids compared to the rest of the flower. Thanks to the convenient compartmentalization of grinders, you can easily collect the kief and either add it to the top of your bowl or save it for later (kief can also be used in the edible cooking process). It’s a delicious perk that comes with using a grinder, adding a little sweetness to the pot.

Back to the Grind

When weed is chopped into small pieces, they contribute to smoother-hitting bowls, and fit conveniently into blunt wraps and make for easier rolling. While a grinder isn’t necessary, it expedites the process. With the addition of the kief catcher, they also give a new dimension, and the potent kick is an added free bonus. The protocol for using a marijuana grinder is pretty straightforward:

Step one: Take off the top lid of the tin. After using your fingers to break up the bud into smaller chunks, place them between the teeth of the grinder. Be careful not to prick your fingers! Avoid the direct center; this is the magnet’s pivot point, so no grinding will take place here.

Step two: Replace the top lid, and get your grind on. Rotating the lid will grind the cannabis. Twist about 10 times, giving the contraption enough time to shred the bud and have the flakes fall through the holes. Removing the lid and tapping it against the side of the grinder can help dislodge any reluctant cannabis.

Step three: Unscrew the toothy chamber to reveal the treasure: the basket layer holding freshly ground marijuana! It can now be wrapped in a blunt or joint, or loaded into a pipe. Don’t forget the kief; feel free to garnish your bowl with a sprinkling of the potent seasoning.

Pro tip: Adding a weight to the kief chamber can help to knock resin from the screen into the bottom dish. A coin (either a penny or nickel) gets the job done.

Keep It Green

Marijuana Grinder Macro
Photo by: the conscious observer/Shutterstock
After using your grinder, stick with one of the biggest green initiatives: reuse! This tool is meant to last, to be cherished and taken care of for future use. However, after a few grinds, the tin can become mucky and sticky with cannabis residue, which can lead to a serious gummy lock up.

To maintain your grinder and avoid a sticky trap, follow these easy steps:

Step one: Freeze your grinder before cleaning up any big messes. The cold makes it harder for kief resin to stick to surfaces.

Step two: Rub the hemp grinder with rubbing alcohol and salt. Just like with bongs and pipes, this cleaning solution can aid in removing stickiness.

Step three: To knock kief loose from the screen, use some kind of a brush. In scenarios like this, toothbrushes, beard brushes, or paintbrushes with stiff bristles work wonders.

Step four: For grinder messes that just can’t be cleaned up, consider purchasing a new tool. Search Leafbuyer to see the dispensary closest to you.

Head Shop Headquarters

If you are looking for a new grind, Head Shop Headquarters has 2, 3, and 4 piece herb grinders from some of the best brands, including Santa Cruz Shredder. Whether you are looking for your first grinder or a replacement, you can browse a wide selection including wood, metal, and plastic grinders. While you are there, check out their selection of different cannabis products like bongs, rigs, pipes, and more!


The hemp grinder can make a world of difference when lighting up, ensuring a smooth, tasty, and efficient experience. These tools, armed with teeth and a kief chamber, are an excellent resource for both novice users and weed pros.

As for the espresso burr? No one is stopping you.

Article by: Savannah Nelson

Head Shop Headquarters is a proud partner with leafbuyer.com