If you’re a regular cannabis smoker, you’ve probably broken your bud down by hand a time or two. You probably also know that rolling coarse, lumpy flower with that sticky-sweet coating on your fingers can be frustrating.

Fortunately, a grinder can quickly transform your smoking experience. After all, the secret to a slow-burning joint with a smooth draw is a fine, uniform grind.

If you want the low-down on cannabis grinders, click here. This article will cover why you need one and how to use the different types to get you well on your way to that smooth smoking experience.

Benefits of Grinders

how to smoke weed joints

Regardless of your rolling abilities, crafting a perfect joint is nearly impossible without a grinder.

What is a grinder? A grinder is a device designed to break cannabis bud into fine, evenly ground bits.

Because cannabis buds are typically large, dense, and sticky, they must be properly prepared prior to being rolled. While it is possible to break up bud with your hands, most prefer the help of a grinder because of the many benefits they provide.

Save Time, Smoke Sooner

The first and most obvious benefit is that grinding your bud with a grinder is much faster than grinding it by hand. Even super sticky bud (which requires serious dedication to break down by hand) can be ground down in minutes to the perfect rolling consistency.

Better Roll, Slower Burn

Unlike hand-ground bud, flower processed through a grinder with be fine and consistent, usually allowing an easier and tighter roll. Being able to pack the bud tighter, whether in a joint or a bowl, usually results in a slower burn, too.

Maintain Your Bud’s Potency

For many people, this one’s the kicker. A lot of cannabis’ potency stems from the trichomes, the small, hair-like structures that give fresh bud that frosty aesthetic.

Unfortunately, trichomes are delicate, and they can stick to your fingers when you break bud down by hand. Using a grinder can help keep your bud intact and keep the sticky on the flower instead of on your fingers.

Waste Not, Catch Your Kief

Although the grinder may not degrade the quality of your bud as much as when it’s broken down by hand, some of that sticky goodness probably falls off in the grinder, right? Sure! These crystal formations on the end of these trichomes, called kief, can still fall off the bud and stick to your grinder when you grind down fresh flower.

Luckily, some grinders have kief-catchers that gently sift the ground bud, allowing the fine kief powder to pass through into its own chamber. After you collect enough, you can use that highly potent kief to top a bowl or even make your own cannabis edibles, if you’d like.

How to Use a Grinder Card

The grinder card is a hugely underrated and highly efficient smoking accessory that you’ll be glad you discovered. While you may be familiar with a standard two or four piece grinder, they aren’t exactly travel friendly – they’re bulky, heavy and awkward to carry around. The grinder card on the other hand, is slim, it looks exactly like a credit card, and slips right into a wallet purse without notice – you can literally store it anywhere. I’m always blown away by how many people have yet to become aware of these essential tools!

As you may have guessed, the grinder card works just like a cheese grater. Slowly rubbing your bud along the metal surface will gently break it apart and prepare it for packing a bowl or rolling a joint. The size of the holes in the card will dictate how fine or course the grind is – smaller holes equate to a finer grind and vice versa.

Step 1: Arrange a Landing Area

how to use a grinder card

First, set up a nice landing area so the ground buds fall in a place where you can collect them afterwards. We recommend placing the grinder card on top of a Pebble container to catch each of the shavings as you grate your cannabis.

Step 2: Grate Slowly and Evenly

how to use a grinder card

Next, slowly rotate the bud as you shave it along the grinding surface. It’s important to go slowly and try not to break off any large stems into your container.

Step 3: Push with Your Fingers

how to use a grinder card

Once the large buds have broken up you can push the smaller bits through the holes and grind up the final pieces.

Bonus: Easy to Clean

One of the best benefits of the grinder card over a 2, 3, or 4 piece grinder is how easy it is to clean. Simply pour some rubbing alcohol (91+% is best) on the grinder card and use an old toothbrush, scrub brush, or scrubber sponge to work the residue off. With some persistence, your grinder card will look good as new. Don’t forget to give the card a quick rinse with water to remove any remaining alcohol/residue.

Common Questions for Cannabis Grinders


Should I buy a grinder?

YES, you cannot roll great joints or smoke slow burning bowls without one and they don’t have to break the bank! There’s a range of different grinder options available that range in price from a couple bucks to a hundred dollars or more. Luckily, even the most affordable options will one-up your hand-grinding game.

Is the grinder card effective?

Yes! The grinder card is as effective as a two or four piece grinder. As you can see in the photo above, the grind produced by the card is almost indiscernible from that produced by a 2, 3, or 4 piece grinder. It certainly beats using your bare hands to crumble the bud any day.

Can you travel with a grinder?

Yes! A grinder or grinder card can be easily stored like a credit card in your wallet, purse, or smoking kit. The best part? It’s completely safe for travel in all forms when clean. Ready to upgrade your smoking kit so you can easily roll better joints and pack a one hitter on the go? Grab a grinder from Grass City.

What can I do with the kief my grinder catches?

There’s plenty you can do with the kief that you collect in your grinder, like create homemade concentrates or make delicious cannabis edibles.