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How to Grind Weed for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Last updated on April 30, 2024Last updated on April 30, 2024No Comments

One of the basic fundamentals of smoking weed is grinding it up first. There are so many benefits to using ground-up weed versus pulled-apart chunks.

By putting your cannabis buds through a grinder you will get a product that is easier to pack into a bowl or roll into joints and blunts. Ground-up weed provides a much smoother, more even burn than ripped-apart weed. Using a grinder makes for easier smoking and also helps you to waste less cannabis.

If you are looking to grind up your flower but do not already have a grinder at home, then try these methods for grinding weed without a grinder.

How do weed grinders work?

Weed grinders are super easy to operate. You just put your flower into the chamber with the spikes or teeth, then close the grinder and you twist until all of the weed is ground up. Simple as that.

Some grinders on the market are automatic which means they are powered electronically. These may not be as intuitive but for the most part, any type of grinder you find should come relatively easy to use.

Different types of grinders

Grinders are made with a few different materials such as metal, plastic, or wood. These different grinders make look distinct but they should all work about the same. The main difference in grinders that is worth considering is the amount of chambers it comes with and the size.

Some grinders are only big enough for a small-sized nug whereas others can fit about an eighth of weed.

Two-Piece (single chamber)

A single chamber grinder only has two pieces and is as simple as grinders get. They have two lids each with teeth and to use them you just simply place your bud into one of the lids and close it with the other lid. Next, you twist it in opposite directions until the bud is ground up.

Because these grinders do not screw together make sure to keep them closed while you grind your bud or else your bud will fall out. When your done grinding your bud you will need to knock the bud out from between the teeth. Gently tap the two lids together over a table or flat surface to release the ground weed.

Three-Piece (two-chamber)

A two-chamber grinder has the added third piece which catches the ground up weed as it falls through the middle piece. This grinder will have a lid with teeth, a second lid with teeth that also has holes in it, and a third collection chamber that screws onto the second lid. The first two pieces with teeth connect together magnetically.

When you are all finished grinding just unscrew the collection chamber and then you can scoop out the weed with your fingers. This is an upgrade over the two-piece grinder because you do not have to tap out your weed onto a table therefore it leaves less mess.

Four-Piece (three-chamber)

A three-chamber grinder is the most versatile grinder on the market. This grinder is basically the same as a two-chamber except it has an extra screw-on chamber at the bottom that is designed to collect kief. Kief comes from the trichomes on the bud which is the frosty part of the nug.

The first collection chamber is for the flower and will have a fine mesh screen on the bottom which is how the kief falls through and collects onto the second chamber.

Grinding cards

Grinding cards are not commonly used but provide legitimate results. They are flat metal or plastic cards and are usually the size of regular playing cards. These cards have sharp, raised cut-outs for the weed nug to be rubbed against similar to how a cheese grater works.

This type of grinder has exposed teeth and therefore must be used with caution. Grinding cards are a nice traveling option because they are discreet and may not even be recognized as a weed grinder. If you get caught with a cylinder-style grinder then it will certainly be recognized for weed use.

Automatic grinders

Automatic weed grinders work similarly to a coffee grinder. Heck, you could just use your coffee grinder to grind your buds but then of course you would have to clean it out each time you plan to grind coffee beans.

The market is flooded with seemingly superfluous auto-grinders. They even make ones that not only grind up your weed for you but they will dispense the ground weed into your bowl. While this may seem silly to your average smoker, auto-grinders have their benefits.

Cannabis users who may struggle to use a manual grinder due to arthritis conditions or general hand injuries rely on auto-grinders to help them consume their medical cannabis.

How to use a weed grinder

Weed grinders are easy to use for any level of consumer. Here are some general considerations for using a grinder.

How to use a weed grinder

Inspect all the pieces

Grinders usually should last a person a lifetime. However, for some cheaper grinders, the teeth may either become dull over time or they may even break off. It is a good idea to just check your grinder every now and again to make sure all parts are in working order.

If you have a 4-piece grinder then your mesh screen on your flower chamber can potentially break. Again, this does not usually happen for good-quality grinders but for cheap ones, it is known to happen. Inspect your grinder for potential screen damage every so often.

Fill the grinding chamber

Depending on the size of your grinder, you may be able to fit either a little or a lot of weed. Know the limits because if you try jamming in too much weed it will not grind.

If you cannot grind the weed then try taking some out. As a rule of thumb, only fill your grinding lids about halfway with weed. This will assure enough space for the teeth to do their magic.

You also should only use cannabis buds that have been thoroughly dried after harvest. Flower that is still wet from the harvest will not grind well at all.

Cleaning your weed grinder

Any decent quality of weed is going to be sticky. Obviously, this will gunk up your grinder over time. This can negatively alter the way your grinder does its job. Here are some ways to clean out your grinder:

  • Freeze your grinder: If you put your grinder in the freezer, all of the sticky resin that is caked onto your grinder will stiffen off and then can easily be brushed off and even collected for use. This stuff is really potent so collecting it is a bonus.
  • Isopropyl alcohol: Put your grinder into a plastic bag and cover it in Isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt. This will clean your grinder and will also work for your bowls. After the grinder soaks for about a couple of hours, shake the bag and the salt will break off any remaining sticky residue.

If you have an automatic grinder then make sure to follow the user manual instructions on cleaning and maintenance.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.