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Sunday December 5, 2021

By Tyler Terps

grinder 420 Culture

Do you need to grind your weed? If you’re rolling a joint, certainly. But do you really need to go to all that trouble of grinding weed just for a bowl or a bong? What’s wrong with just breaking off a piece of your nug and placing it in the bowl? Weed is weed, right? 

While many eager cannabis smokers may be looking for a shortcut to igniting their buds, grinding your weed up is an important part of the smoking process no matter what method you choose.

Why Do You Need to Grind Your Weed?

Grinding up your weed has several benefits that add to the overall smoking experience. 

First off, grinding up your weed allows air to flow easily through your bong, bowl, or joint, which means a cleaner burn and more even pull throughout.

A nug on a grinder
Grinding your weed makes for a smoother smoke!

The second reason to grind your weed is that it gives you more surface area to roast the product. This means more of those delicious, THC-rich trichomes can evaporate off the flower and into your lungs once you catch them ablaze. 

Third, if you choose to go with a traditional grinder, they tend to be equipped with a chamber specifically designed to catch kief, which is the very potent result of separating trichomes from the plant. You can sprinkle kief over your bowl for an extra kick of THC.

Weed grinders are pretty easy to use. Just drop in a couple small nugs (don’t overfill), replace the lid, and give it a couple of twists so that the teeth grind up the plant matter. The now-fluffy, shredded leaves will fall through the holes into the bottom chamber. Unscrew the chamber and pour out your bowl/joint ready nugs. 

The Best Weed Grinders

There are plenty of grinders on the market, from two to four chambers that will grind up your weed and catch your kief. Materials range from plastic (the cheapest and lightest) to wood, metal, and stone (the heaviest). Grinders range in quality, but an airplane-grade aluminum grinder with diamond-shaped teeth and a pollen catcher will give you the best bang for your buck. They’re lightweight, durable, and easy to find. Though a top-quality one may cost a bit more, if it’s well cleaned and maintained, it can last you for life. 

How to Grind Weed Without a Grinder

Whether you’re smoking out of a dry-herb vape, a one-hitter, a bong, or a joint, you’ll want your nugs to be broken up. Sometimes, you may find yourself out and about without a grinder. Here are some options for more on-the-go options for grinding your weed.


If they’re all you have, then go with your digits. However, this is the worst of your grinding options. The heat from your fingers will melt the trichomes, meaning you’re losing THC-rich resin to your hands. You'll also tarnish some of the resins left on the bud that you’ve been touching with the oil on your skin. Still, this works in a pinch.


Put your nugs in a cup (ideally glass or another material that won’t chip or scrape) and chop away with scissors. This method actually works wonders, and you might even get a little bit of condensed hash on the blades at the end of your labor. You can scrape the hash off with the blade of a knife, then lay it on top of your bowl.

Scissors are a great household item to use if you don't have access to a grinder. photo credit

Pill Bottle:

A pill bottle and a coin are just what you need to get your stuff finely ground, but just make sure the coin is brand new or as clean as possible. Simply put your flower and the coin in the bottle and shake until you’re satisfied with the finished results.

Grind Card:

Grind cards are sold at head shops and fit nicely in your wallet, due to their thin design. They work much like a cheese grater and produce similar results to a traditional grinder.

For more details on some of these methods, check out our piece on How to Grind Weed Without a Grinder


Grinding your weed means that you’ll get a more smooth and efficient burn, and thus more efficient use of your green (both buds and money). It’s by no means necessary to grind your cannabis, but it’s a small step that greatly improves the smoking experience. The vast majority of cannabis consumers grind their bud, and for good reason.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does grinding weed do?

Grinding your weed improves airflow through your joint or bowl, giving it a more even burn and a cleaner smoking experience. It also increases surface area, meaning more trichomes get vaporized. This gives your weed more flavor and more potency.

Is it bad to smoke weed without grinding it?

It won’t hurt you, but it won’t be as enjoyable of a smoking experience. Your joint won’t burn as evenly, your bowl may clog, and you’re not getting all of those trichomes ignited.

Do you have a favorite grinder or grinding method? Share it with us in the comments!

Photo Credit: Liquid Splitter (license)


PotGuide Tyler Terps

Tyler is a cannabis journalist and enthusiast that seeks to educate his readers to continue to reveal the benefits, uses, innocence, and overall power of the cannabis. Starting as a music journalist, Tyler contributed to websites like,,, and Now he continues to contribute as a freelance writer, covering cannabis for publications like High Times,, and Massroots. When he's not writing, Tyler likes to book DIY shows and play drums in his band.

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