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Cannabis 101: Grinders

I asked the folks at New Vansterdam if they could give us a few Cannabis 101 guest posts for those new to marijuana or those returning to it after a long hiatus.

The first looks at grinders – which you use to even out your bud so it smokes better.


The post is below. Cheers and enjoy!
-SueVo (

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New Vansterdam: Grinders 101

Written by: Shon-Lueiss Harris and Lynn Gaither Jr.
Photography by Mario Espinoza

Marijuana connoisseurs speak fondly of dense, thick strains.

Beautiful as these buds may be, to experience them fully it is best to break each nug apart. This smaller, broken up flower makes for an ideal hit that is smooth, flavorful and of course, effective.

There are a variety of ways to prepare your bowl, whether tearing each nug apart with your fingers or snipping each leaf with scissors, but these methods leave much to be desired.

Fortunately, one need not be a connoisseur to achieve this ideal bowl – one simply needs a grinder.

Grinders are an essential tool for anyone who regularly enjoys cannabis. Models can be as cheap as a hamburger and fries, but be weary, as quality is key.


While some marijuana accessories are just that, accessories, the grinder is as handy as a sturdy hammer. The convenience and benefits alone are well worth picking one up.

While immensely useful, a grinder is a simple machine. The simplest form comes in two parts that come apart at the middle with sharp teeth on both sides.

One merely places a nug between these parts and turns them to grind the flower.

A metal grinder tends to produce a finer grind and holds an edge longer. After several rotations (I tend to do about seven) peek inside the grinder.

Be careful not to overgrind as this may lead to issues lighting or a clog in your pipe. If what was a dense nug is now suspiciously green coffee powder, you’ve gone too far. Otherwise, you have successfully produced a well ground bowl.

Breaking up your bud has benefits, that much is clear. How you break up the bud is important

Chances are your first instinct is to simply pull apart each bud with your best and most
reliable of tools your fingers. Unfortunately, those nimble bad boys have natural oils that collect trichomes, the little crystals making your flower look frosty – so using your fingers can damage your once beautiful bud.

Scissors are also an idea better left to theory than application. Cutting your flower with scissors will lose trichomes and leave you with some haggard herb.

A grinder forgoes these problems. Breaking flower into a fine, even consistency to release all of the active compounds allows you the full effect in every bowl.


When you use a grinder you pull the most from your pot, so you smoke or vaporize less, saving you time and money.

Not all grinders are created equal, though.

A basic grinder will have two parts: top and bottom. With a two-part, you literally pull the pieces apart to find teeth on both ends and nothing more.


While a two-part grinder will do the job, to get the most for your money, check out a three or four part grinder.

These more complex models are superior due to the holes in the grinding chamber, allowing finely ground flower to fall to the next level, which has a screen floor.

Loosened trichome crystals then fall through the screen floor into the final chamber, commonly known as the ‘kiefcatcher.’


Given time this collection of THC-rich crystals in the kiefcatcher will build up and can be sprinkled onto flower to enhance potency.

Part grinder, part kiefmachine, it isn’t hard to understand why many opt into the three or four part grinders.

Grinders are an ideal tool to add to your herb arsenal. Connoisseurs and dabblers alike appreciate their efficiency, portability and functionality that enhance both the quality and experience of your cannabis.

No matter the strain, enjoy it to the fullest.



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