Monday October 26, 2015

By Tyler Terps

420 Culture

Breaking up cannabis is just a part of the smoking process. If you consider yourself a seasoned smoker, there’s a good chance you have a preferred technique to do so. Over the years the technology from two, to three, and now four chamber grinders have taken the market by storm, filling the shelves of head shops and online marketplaces. They are great for stationary smoke spots, but those that need to be on the go may find that a grinder is too much. However, if you’re the DIY type, there are alternatives to making a purchase of a grinder. Your location and purpose for doing so will dictate your method, but it’s always great to weigh your options.

Getting Behind The Reasons For Grinding

How you grind your raw cannabis is a personal preference, but there are certain processes that require it. Breaking your buds up allows your bowls to burn cleanly and fill the bowl more fully, therefore giving you more surface area to roast the product, while also removing stems. 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. Extracting kief by letting it collect in the chamber can make for a pleasant surprise once you have enough to add to a normal bowl of flower.

When Grinding Isn’t A Choice

Not grinding your weed can lead to some problems and makes other methods of smoking impossible. If you’re not grinding flower and your pipe is getting clogged or not hitting smoothly, you might want to get on the grinding train. One-hitters and small bowls benefit from your product being ground up because air can easily pass through instead of clog. Rolling joints and blunts require fine material for the same reason, however, some rollers prefer to break it up with their own hands when that’s the case. When vaporizing bud, grinding up your product allows it to be evenly vaped, and most vaporizers even instruct that you do it to get the best performance result.

Ditch Your Fingers

Note that using your fingers can lead to the loss of THC crystals on your fingers. Not only do you lose some THC resin heads on your hands, but you’ll also tarnish some of the resins left on the bud that you’ve been touching with the oil on your skin. For those without a grinder, there are alternatives to using a grinder or your fingers that are easy to execute in a pinch:

  • Chop it

    Put your nugs in a cup 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.
  • Slice it

    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 it

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

The Santa Cruz Shredder

Santa Cruz Shredder weed grinder
Santa Cruz Shredder
Santa Cruz Shredder weed grinder
Santa Cruz Shredder

For those that still want a grinder, I’d recommend the Santa Cruz Shredder that has everything you could want in a device used to grind up your dry herbs. The California-based company uses medical grade, ultrasonically-cleansed anodized aluminum, which prevents any sort of possible effect on the green. Its unique threading pattern, friction ring, and textured grip sets it apart from other competitors, in addition to its affordability. A top quality rare earth magnet located in the lid gives a great feature for those that might be moving their stuff around a lot and need to be able to take things on the go. If you’ve been displeased with tooth designs in other products, this one will leave you with evenly ground up product to work with.

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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