What they are, their benefits, and how to use them to get the most out of your cannabis

If you’re new to cannabis, you may have had friends recommend bud grinders and how to use one.

The herb grinder is one of the most useful tools anyone who consumes marijuana can have in their stash. Properly preparing your cannabis with the help of a grinder will boost the potency, improve the taste and smell, and reduce the harshness of the smoke.

There many kinds of grinders available, but for reasons we’ll get into below, our recommendation is to use a four piece, three chamber grinder with keif catcher.

What is a Bud or Herb Grinder?

A grinder is a hand-held cylindrical box that will grind dry marijuana flower into a consistent, course powder. Three chamber grinders will have the top chamber made up of two interlocking halves with sharp grinding teeth. Rotating the halves in opposite directions crushes the dry flower, and holes on the bottom release the grinds into the second chamber. Northern Lights grinders all have a strong magnet helps keeps the halves tightly together, ensuring a smooth grind.

The second chamber has a fine screen on the bottom which will allow the tiny kief crystals through, but not the plant material. The third lower chamber captures the kief.

What are the Benefits of Using a Premium Herb Grinder?

Your first instinct to break up dry marijuana flower is to use your hands – but that has some drawbacks. First, you’ll end up with many inconsistent pieces making for very uneven burning. The main plus of a a good grinder is that it will give you a very consistent grind, and therefore, a consistent burn.

Second, a premium grinder will separate and collect the kief – this is the potent fine powder that can be added to your joint – or to your vapourizer, pipe or edible.

If you use your hands, the kief will just spread all over and make a huge mess. Another downside is your fingers will get very sticky from the resin in the plant trichomes, and you’ll also absorb some of that into your skin.

What is Keif, and Why is it Important?

Kief is the term commonly used to refer to the terpenes (aromatic oils) and cannabinoids that separate from the trichomes (“hair”) during the grinding process. Its also known as ‘dry sift’ or pollen.

It’s the keif that mainly gives cannabis its strength. You can still use marijuana that has its keif removed because it still contains cannabinoids, but it will be much less potent.

One of the best ways to collect keif, is from a hand-held grinder – and its even better when that grinder is non stick, like our Ceramic Nano Grinder.

How to Use a Bud Grinder

Using a herb grinder is a straightforward process.

  1. In the top chamber, evenly distribute your dry marijuana flower between the teeth of the grinder, breaking up any larger buds if needed. Keep the marijuana away from the centre, and towards the main teeth.
  2. With the lid closed, hold the grinder with one hand on the lid, and one on the base. Rotate the lid 5-10 times clockwise and counterclockwise – which should grind your buds to an ideal consistency.
  3. Open the grinder. All of the marijuana should have fallen through the holes into the second chamber. This fresh grind is ready for use.
  4. Unscrew the third bottom chamber to reveal the fine particles of kief. This can be added to your vapourizer, into your pipe, or saved for later.

Cleaning Your Bud Grinder

Over time, most grinders will become gummed up with residue and become hard to turn. When that happens, use a solution of warm water and a cleaning solution made up of isopropyl alcohol and salt to clean the grinder parts. Use a small brush to clean away any keif in the screens.

If you want to avoid the sticky grinder problem, consider upgrading to our premium Nano Ceramic Grinder. Its ceramic coating resists any sticky residue buildup, and will continue to grind smoothly, never needing intense cleaning.