What’s a Grinder and Why Do I Need One?

Assorted Colors of acrylic beamer-brand grinders for sale from 710 Pipes online head shop

Whether you’re new to the smoke shop scene or you’ve been around the block for decades, you’re likely aware of the variety of options from one smoking session to the next. Some prefer to imbibe their favorite legal herb through water pipes, while others swear by concentrates and smart rigs. Many smokers stick with the simple pleasure of a well-rolled joint. No matter how you smoke it, the impact felt from any particular herb can vary significantly depending on the way it’s imbibed. As so many of our seasoned smoke-shop regulars will tell you, a quality grinder is essential for any self-respecting smoker, and it’ll boost the quality of any smoking session.

What exactly is a grinder – and why do you need one? We’ll break it down for you (just this once).

What’s a Grinder?

If you’re looking for the details on that dating app, you’ve come to the wrong place (sorry dude – check your spelling). Grinders are small, simple devices sold in head shops like ours, designed to break down legal herb into finite bits to increase its potency. Without grinding, the plant is usually sold in larger, dense buds. If you fail to sufficiently break down your herb before smoking it, lots of quality flower goes to waste.

Can’t I Just Use My Hands?

Technically, sure, but you’re missing out if you do. Dropping a few bucks on a quality grinder from your nearest smoke shop (or ordering a grinder online) will save you time, money, and wasted product. Here’s how.

Don’t Waste Time

Let’s start with the obvious: ripping flower apart piece by piece with your fingernails isn’t the most efficient (or hygienic, for that matter). The stickier and denser the buds, the more time you’re wasting trying to break them down. Using a grinder lets you easily turn those same buds into tinier pieces easily within a few short minutes.

Better yet, papers and bowls packed with finely ground herb tend to burn more slowly than poorly-ground alternatives, letting you savor the added flavor any good grinder allows. You just saved a few minutes by grinding your herb – why not put that time to better use?

Don’t Waste Money (Yes, Really)

The biggest argument we’ve heard for skipping a grinder is to save a few bucks. If this is your goal, you’re thinking about it all wrong, and here’s why.

Every variety of legal herb contains an essential element called trichromes. These are the frosty hair-like structures on the surface of your herb. Trichromes (otherwise known as kief) play a major role in the strength of the herb you smoke. They’re surprisingly delicate, and breaking down bud by hand often strips them from the herb itself, leaving them stuck to your fingers instead. This will make the herb you’re packing notably less effective than it would be if you’d used a grinder. In other words, when you’re raising that joint to your mouth after packing it by hand, those beloved trichromes will be so very close but still too far away.

If the herb isn’t as potent, you’ll need to burn a little extra each time you grind by hand to feel the same level of impact. In this sense, grinders pay for themselves pretty quickly and save you time and money from there.

Save Wasted Herb

As we explained above, breaking cannabis down with your fingers destroys the plant’s trichromes and inevitably puts some of your flower to waste. If you’re paying attention, you may have realized that those same sticky trichromes could get caught in your grinder’s insides. This can absolutely happen – and that’s where kief catchers come in.

Many grinders contain kief-catchers for the wise and frugal smoker who doesn’t want to waste a bit of herb. Kief-catchers lay below the grinder’s central components. If you haven’t seen one in person, picture a spaghetti strainer letting water pour into the sink while your cooked food stays in place. Kief catchers similarly let the finest powdered grains of cannabis sift from your grinder’s primary chamber, separating them from larger portions.

Kief is the smallest and stickiest element of any herb, so kief-catchers keep them from staying stuck against your grinder’s many “spokes.” With a specialized compartment, trichromes are much less likely to go to waste. Once you’ve saved up enough, legal adults can use them in multiple ways, like topping off the bowl of your water pipe or infusing them into some homemade edibles.

Our Smoke Shop Saves You Time, Money and More!

Ready to invest in a quality grinder? 710 Pipes has all of the smoke shop products you need and more. We carry a huge variety of popular products and accessories, including grinders, disposable vaporizers, water pipes, hats, hat pins and so much more! Stop by our head shop in Northglenn or our Denver smoke shop location seven days a week. Denver University students get 10% off with a valid student ID!

Still staying indoors in the name of social distancing? If you’re over age 21 in Colorado or other legal U.S. states seeking quality pipe shop products, Our online smoke shop has several options available for immediate purchase from the safety and comfort of your couch. You’ll also find exceptional prices on hundreds more of our popular products – all deliverable straight to your doorstep. Whether you’re shopping online or onsite, 710 Pipes is proud to provide you with the very best pipe shop products on the market today.

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