Any cannabis consumer who has made their hands sticky manually separating a nugget is all too aware of the importance of a grinder. In addition to the benefit of personal tidiness, a grinder allows for a superior smoking experience, ensuring the cannabis burns cleanly and evenly while retaining its potency. With hundreds of options available online, the matter of choosing a grinder can become a chore. Emerald is aware of this difficulty and has narrowed down five quality cannabis grinders of varying price, make, and design.
The Importance of Grinding
Grinding may seem unimportant in comparison to chosen strain or smoking device. But this process can greatly influence the quality of one’s smoking experience. For one, cannabis that is broken down into small, similarly sized particles is far easier to pack into joints, bowls, etc. These minuscule pieces are in close contact with one another, preventing the phenomenon of “canoeing,” which is when one side of the joint burns faster than the other (High Times). Additionally, a well-packed smoking device encourages a “smoother, more consistent burn,” reports Leafly.
Maintaining the potency of the cannabis is another reason to use a grinder. Cannabis nuggets are covered in trichomes. Defined as a “small hair or other outgrowth from the epidermis of a plant,” trichomes appear to the human eye as tiny, white crystals. These growths are responsible for making cannabis nuggets “sticky.”
According to Clovr, “Trichomes are the site of cannabinoid synthesis…where the cannabinoids and terpenes are actually made [and housed].” In other words, the cannabinoid THC, responsible for getting people “high,” is created and stored in the trichomes.
As a result, a significant amount of a cannabis nugget’s strength or potency is reduced when the trichomes are lost, which occurs when the naturally sticky trichomes come into contact with surfaces like the human hand. To keep the good stuff on the nugget, a grinder with a kief chamber is ideal.
What is Kief?
“A collection of trichomes that have been separated from the plant is called kief,” reports Clovr. When weed is ground, metal or plastic spikes push the cannabis through a series of increasingly finer screens, explains Weedmaps. Semi-fine cannabis is deposited into the main chamber. Simultaneously, the extremely fine trichome glands are filtered through another screen into the lower kief chamber. Therefore, a grinder with a kief chamber is ideal to prevent cannabis from losing its potency pre-smoke.
Using a grinder allows cannabis consumers to obtain a smoother, more pleasant, and more powerful smoking experience. Emerald has narrowed down five of our favorite grinders below based on different customer goals.
Looking for something effective but on the cheaper side? At 3 ½ inches in diameter, this Herb Mill XL grinder is capable of shredding and storing a fair amount of cannabis. This isn’t the shiny metallic piece to show off to your friends. But it certainly does its job. Lightweight and durable, the only downside to this product is its lack of kief chamber (Leafly). Perfect for those new to the cannabis scene or on a budget.
Transferring cannabis from a grinder to a smoking receptacle can be messy. The Tectonic9 Auto Dispensing Grinder offers a solution. An “anodized aluminum alloy body” with a “textured grinding grip,” Cloudious advertises this product as a marriage between “the reliability of a traditional grinder” and “automatic dispensing.” Its 28 teeth ensure the cannabis is finely ground manually, after which the user pushes a button to dispense the desired amount. An LED clear window also allows for cannabis storage levels to be viewed. This grinder is rechargeable and comes with a charging cable and carrying bag. Unfortunately, it does not have a built-in kief chamber. Still, this machine is worth the purchase.
Ranked the #4 best seller in the “Herb and Spice Mills” category on Amazon, this grinder is beloved among cannabis consumers. It received 5 stars on its sturdiness, ease of use, and ease of clean, based on reviews from over 1,000 customers (Amazon). Made from “heavy-duty aluminum alloy,” Kozo advertises that this material “allows the chambers to open smoothly and easily.” Additionally, it ensures the teeth will stay sharp and makes it easy to clean. The grinder includes a built-in kief collection compartment and a miniature scraper for gathering and moving the fine material. It is available in a variety of colors, including pink!
For some, the aesthetic value of a piece is as or more important than its efficiency. MunchMakers offers customers the ability to create their own masterpieces with their customized grinders. Based on the specifics of the design, MunchMaker uses “UV Printing or Laser Engraving technology” to personalize each “high-quality aluminum grinder.” The company attests that their grinders, “[bring] out the best flavors in every strain.” Additionally, the lowest chamber for kief collection ensures that “no weed is lost in the grinding process” (MunchMaker). This product is ideal for companies and businesses looking to advertise their brand, or anyone who wants to add a personal touch to their smoking experience.
For on-the-go grinding and storage, the MedTainer grinder is a cheap and effective option. Air-tight, water-tight, and smell-proof, this 20-dram container is perfect for discreet travel and consumption (Amazon). Furthermore, it is composed of “FDA approved medical grade plastics and is environmentally safe,” reports MedTainer. The multitude of positive reviews this grinder has received testify to its quality, ranking at 4 ½ stars according to over 1,500 Amazon customers (Amazon).
Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right
While the products above are only a fraction of those available, this list serves as a starting point for anyone looking to find their “perfect” grinder. Considering the impact grinding can have on a smoke session, it is worthwhile to find a piece that is not only reliable but fun.