To grind or not to grind – that might be a question that some of the more curious cannabis enthusiasts have asked themselves, or it may have not even crossed your mind. However, it’s a question not just of mere practicality, but one that affects the actual cannabis experience.
Pros of Grinding
Finer Texture Improves Effects
By grinding cannabis into finer particles, you increase its surface area. While it’s relatively obvious that the finer and more uniform cannabis texture makes rolling joints easier, what you may not know is that it makes a significant difference in smoking from a pipe or bong. The burn is much more consistent, and you get the full spectrum of effects with each puff as opposed to only whatever side of the flower is being burned.
The same goes for vaping flower; in fact, it makes an even bigger difference since you’re relying on convection and hot air rather than a flame, and the finer texture improves air flow through the cannabis material tremendously.
Quality grinders with 3-4 chambers are great for collecting trichomes into fine powder known as kief. As such, it is inherently more potent; you might say it’s the filtered-down essence of a cultivar. Many people love collecting their kief, even mixtures of kiefs, over time and sprinkling it on top of joints, adding it to bowls, etc.
Cons of Grinding
This may sound somewhat paradoxical considering the paragraph above, but it really isn’t. By breaking trichomes off, grinders, even the best ones that seem to collect every last trichome, always lose some portion by default. Once separated from the bud, trichomes are just too delicate and tiny to manage and trap completely. Some will get stuck between your grinder’s teeth and along its sides, especially if it’s a more basic grinder. Others may seem to vanish into thin air. A significant number of trichomes are separated and collected as kief, drawing away from the potency of the main experience.
Once cannabis has been ground, it may degrade more quickly given that more surface area of the plant is exposed to light, air, and heat. And that fragrant waft of terpenes in your nose after perhaps even just one turn of the grinder means those beneficent molecules are no longer in the flower. So, you definitely don’t want to pre-grind your stash. The simple precaution is to grind a little bit at a time, and if you’re planning to collect kief for a longer period of time, make sure it stays fresh.
Overall, grinding offers more pros than cons. However, if your cannabis is dry and brittle, and if you happen to be a true stickler for the full cannabis experience (all trichomes intact), gently using scissors and leaving larger chunks might be a better option.
Image Credit: Liquid Splitter, Public Domain