How To Grind Cannabis (and why)
To Grind or Not to Grind. That is the question.
There are so many conflicting theories about grinding marijuana out there on the internet. It’s easy to be confused about which grind is right to use. Is it a very finely ground cannabis or lightly ground?
When should you grind your cannabis?
Grind it when you are going to smoke it in either a pipe or rolling in a joint. You want the herb to burn evenly and to receive the maximum levels of THC and CBD.
Grind it when your cannabis is extra sticky. That stickiness is the good medicinal parts. If the herb is very sticky, you want to grind so it gets all over the other parts of the plant and not wasted on your fingers.
Don’t grind it if your herb is too dry. It will get too fine and difficult to work with, you can always crumble between your fingers to break it up evenly.
If you decide to grind your cannabis, there are a lot of great, affordable grinders on the market. (See picture of grinder) Choose metal over plastic for longevity. Good metal grinders will cost £20 -£50 and will be magnetized in the lid so the lid and base stay engaged while twisting to grind herb inside. Check out amazon or ebay for grinders.
Most good grinders will have 2 drop zones for the herb and some even have 3 zones, but this is done so the larger pieces are separated from the smaller ones and at the very bottom Kief will be collected.
What is Kief?
Kief (also known as dry sift or pollen) is the tiny crystals gatherers at the very bottom of the grinder which pack quite a punch. Smokers will scrape these fine crystals with the tip of a knife and add it to a bowl to smoke for an added buzz. Derived from the Arabic word for pleasure or intoxication, Kief refers to the tiny crystals packed with higher concentration of THC. This is the primary ingredient in Hashish cakes, famous for getting you very high and said to be very smooth when smoked.
What about grinding for cooking purposes?
Some recipes call for grinding the cannabis into a fine powder by using a coffee grinder or food processor. In my experience, this will leave your final product difficult to strain and very bitter in flavour. There is no evidence that by having the cannabis this finely ground when cooking results in higher absorption of THC and CBD.
My best results come when I sort the leaves from the stem and bud and decarboxylate separately so they cook evenly. Also, when it is sorted then I can clearly calculate how much cannabis to use.
After decarbing (see decarboxylation) the dried cannabis will be easy to break up by rubbing between your fingers. I use this technique when I am adding decarbed herb directly to recipes like in my Cannabis Breakfast Potatoes (see my recipe).
The most important thing to remember is that when making batches of CannaButter, CannaCoconutOil, CannaOliveOil or CannaHoney, make sure your cannabis is all of the same size. So if you decide to grind it or break it up with your fingers, it all should be the same size to insure even cooking times.