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Marijuana (Cannabis)

What Is An Herb Grinder?

An herb grinder is made to grind herbs and spices into small pieces, so they can be added to food and eaten. Most types of herb grinders are very good at grinding marijuana buds into smaller size particles.

The smaller particles of marijuana are suitable for rolling into a joint, smoking in a pipe or vaporizer, or for some purpose that requires finely ground marijuana.

Herb grinders employed to prepare marijuana are also called bud grinders. After properly grinding marijuana with an herb grinder, it will burn more evenly when rolled into a joint.

If broken down into small enough particles, the marijuana will not poke holes in rolling paper. People who break up marijuana with their hands or scissors might want to try an herb grinder instead.

Prior to first using one you might think they are some kind of toy that costs money, but don't really serve any important purpose. However, after first using one anyone who needs to break up buds will appreciate what they do.

Of all the tools available to help prepare marijuana for consumption, this is one of the best values for your money. They are legal and available worldwide.

There are two types of herb grinders for marijuana. The first is a basic herb grinder used strictly for grinding marijuana. The other type is a grinder with one or more screens.

In addition to grinding marijuana, a grinder with screens will collect a few grains of hashish powder each time it is used. Accumulated powder can be pressed into hashish, smoked, or ingested in some other way.

When utilized to grind dry marijuana the screens collect trichomes, also called hashish powder or kiff, from female marijuana plants. Trichomes have a high THC and cannabinoid content.

Basic Herb Grinder
Herb Grinder With Screen
Using An Herb Grinder
Buying An Herb Grinder
Cleaning An Herb Grinder
Herb Grinder Notes

Basic Herb Grinder

2 Piece Herb Grinder

This 2 piece herb grinder made up of:
A) A lower section of teeth. (left)
B) A top section with teeth on the underside. (right)

Marijuana is placed in between the teeth, then the top and bottom are placed together and twisted in opposite directions. Or one section can be turned while the other section is held stationary.

The twisting motion moves the teeth together and the marijuana gets caught between them and broken down into smaller particles.

The size of the particles is determined by how much time was spent grinding. The longer the marijuana has been ground, the smaller the particles will be.

Herb Grinder With Screen

4 Piece Herb Grinder

This 4 piece herb grinder made up of:
A) a top section with teeth on the underside (far left)
B) a section of lower teeth with holes (2nd from left)
C) a screen section (2nd from right)
D) a bottom section to collect trichomes (far right)

The top and lower teeth sections do the grinding. There are holes in the lower section of teeth, the holes ensure that the marijuana particles are all a certain size before passing into the screen section.

The marijuana is collected and held in the screen section where a few grains of hash powder drop into the bottom section. The material collected is the most potent part of the marijuana plant.

Most people wait for the hashish powder to accumulate in the bottom of the grinder. When there is enough the powder can be consumed as is, or pressed into hashish with a pollen press.

Using An Herb Grinder

Top Removed From Herb Grinder

A) Take the top section off the herb grinder.

These directions are shown with a grinder that has holes and a screen. If you have a basic herb grinder with no holes or screen, disregard the information that does not apply.

Fill Herb Grinder With Marijuana

B) Load the grinder with marijuana.

A pair of scissors will do a good job of cutting marijuana so it is small enough, about 1/8 to 1/4 gram chunks, to fit between the teeth. Scissors will also allow you to cut bud away from any large stems.

If you are going to smoke the marijuana in a joint, try to keep stems and seeds out because they will cause a joint to burn unevenly. You can grind and smoke everything when using a pipe or vaporizer, stems and seeds included.

Herb Grinder Loaded With Marijuana

C) Herb grinder filled with marijuana.

Herb Grinder Ready For Use

D) Put the top on the herb grinder.

When you have enough, place the top and bottom together and grind the marijuana by twisting them in different directions. You can also hold the bottom stationary and turn the top.

Don't force down on the top, concentrate on turning it. You want the marijuana to be ground up and fall through the holes, not for dense chuncks to be forced through the holes.

Herb Grinder With Ground Marijuana Inside

E) Take the top grinding sections off the herb grinder.

After less than a minute of grinding, the marijuana will pass into the marijuana collector stage where it can be accessed by removing the top grinding sections.

Marijuana after it has been ground up

F) Marijuana Ready For Consumption

The hashish powder collects in the bottom section of the herb grinder, upper left in the accompaning image, under the screen section that the marijuana is collected in after being ground up.

Buying An Herb Grinder

If you are planning on buying a basic herb grinder or one with a screen, there are several things to consider before making a purchase:

A) --- Basic Grinder Or Grinder With Screen: Both will do a good job of grinding cannabis. An herb grinder with a screen will also collect hashish powder and will pay for itself after you produce a few grams.

B) --- Material: For a long lasting herb grinder you should choose one that is made of metal. Some herb grinders are made from acrylic, wood, or other products that will not last as long.

C) --- Magnetic Lid: A good herb grinder will have a magnet that keeps the lid in place and allows optimal grinding movement. It also keeps the lid from coming off when not in use.

D) --- Size Of Grinder: The larger the grinder, the more material it can process at a time. Most measure from 1.5 to 4 inches in diameter. A 1.5 to 2.5 inch grinder is suitable for most people.

A 1.5 to 2.5 inch grinder will grind about 1 to 2 grams of marijuana. A larger model should be considered when processing amounts of marijuana that are in excess of 2 grams, at a time.

E) --- Hole Size: The size of the holes between the grinding section and the screen section will determine how finely ground the marijuana is. The biggest mistake people make is buying one with holes that are not appropriate for their intended use.

--- Holes less than 2.9 mm are smaller than most people like. They find the particles are too finely ground up. Small particles are harder to roll into a joint than larger size particles.

--- Holes that are 3.0 mm - 3.5 mm are preferred by most experienced joint rollers. Novice joint rollers tend to roll fine marijuana particles too tight, so a larger hole size might be best for them.

A grinder with 3.0 mm holes will also reduce most seeds to smaller particles. This is good when using a pipe or vaporizer to consume marijuana that is seedy.

--- Holes that are 3.6 mm - 3.9 mm in size are a good compromise for those who roll joints and additionally consume cannabis with either a pipe or vaporizer.

The marijuana particles are a bit bigger than when prepared with 3.0 mm - 3.5 mm holes, so joints can't be rolled as thin. But the larger particles are easier to roll for those with limited experience.

--- Holes that are 4.0 mm - 4.8 mm are a good size for people who use a vaporizer, pipe, rolling machine, or as a matter of preference like rolling large size marijuana particles into joints.

Cleaning An Herb Grinder

After working with a metalic grinder for a while, there will be some build-up of material that may cause the unit to work less effectively. To clean, take the unit apart and remove any hash powder or marijuana.

Find a container with an airtight top. The container must be large enough to hold the parts of the grinder. Fill the container with enough rubbing alcohol to cover the parts you want to clean.

The higher the percentage if isopropyl alcohol in rubbing alcohol, the less water it will contain. Therefore it is best to employ rubbing alcohol that is 70% isopropyl alcohol, or higher.

Do not utilize plastic or pvc containers for this purpose. Plastic and pvc can release toxic chemicals when brought into contact with isopropyl alcohol. Glass is probably the best material for a container.

Soak the parts in the alcohol for 5-10 minutes. Use a q-tip to clean any stubborn spots. If you have a grinder with a screen, be gentle and use a soft brush to clean the screen itself, if necessary.

Do not throw away the rubbing alcohol that was used to clean the parts. Put the top on the container and store it in a cool dark place for subsequent cleaning attempts.

Keep using the same alcohol to clean the grinder when it becomes necessary. You will notice that any marijuana that is cleaned off accumulates on the bottom of the container.

When a fair amount of residue has accumulated in the bottom of the container with the alcohol, you can syphon off the clean layer at the top into another container.

Let the remaining rubbing alcohol evaporate from the first container. What remains after evaporation can be smoked or ingested in some other way. The fine particles can be very potent.

It is a good idea to clean an herb grinder or pollen press in this manner before using it for the first time. Always let the parts dry completely before use, anytime you clean them.


1 --- Make sure the marijuana you use is dry. If the marijuana isn't very dry, it will not grind properly. Also, hash powder will cling to damp or wet marijuana and not get collected.

2 --- Grinding is done to reduce marijuana buds into smaller particles. If you have marijuana powder, there is no need to grind it unless there are large particles that need it. You can use the screen section of a grinder to collect hash powder from marijuana powder that doesn't need grinding.

3 --- It is best to cut buds of marijuana into smaller chunks about 1/8 to 1/4 gram in size prior to using it in an herb grinder. If the chunks can fit in between the teeth they are small enough.

This will speed the grinding time and cause less strain on the teeth, resulting in a longer lasting grinder. It also allows you to cut away larger stems from the bud.

The easiest method is to use a pair of scissors to cut bud directly over the grinder. When you have enough, place the top and bottom together and grind the marijuana by twisting them in different directions. You can also hold the bottom stationary and turn the top.

4 --- The powder collected with a grinder that has screens can be pressed into hashish with a pollen press. This is not necessary unless the powder will be stored for a few months prior to being consumed.

When pressed into hashish, the outer section of the hashish is exposed to things like oxygen and light but the material inside will be protected by the outer layer.

THC loses its potency and is degraded into less desireable compounds by things like heat, light, oxygen. Pressing will help preserve the potency of the material in the inner section.

5 --- It may take a while to obtain a gram of hash powder, depending on how often you use the grinder. That isn't bad though. If the grinder extracted most of the hash powder, the marijuana that was left would be of very low quality.

Expect about a gram of hash powder per 1-3 ounces of marijuana used in the grinder. You may get more or less depending on the quality of the product you start with.

To increase the amount of hash powder collected you can shake up the grinder a few times after grinding marijuana. Some people put a coin in to help increase the amount of powder collected.

Keeping the screen clean by brushing it off with a soft bristle brush will also increase the rate of hash powder accumulation. A clean screen allows more hash powder to pass through.

For maximum powder collection, clean the screen after every use. And be sure to consume any material that has accumulated on the screen, rather than discarding it.

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