Grinding 101: How Fine Should I Grind My Herb?
Deciding how fine to grind an herb is an important thing to consider.
It is important to take into account the consumption method you plan to use when deciding how finely to grind an herb, such as cannabis. Different methods and devices require different levels of fineness when it comes to grinding.
For example, when using a vaporizer, you'll want to achieve a very fine grind for the most efficient delivery of cannabinoids. If you're rolling a joint, you can get away with a finger chop or slightly coarser grind than what is used for vaporizing.
And if you're cooking with cannabis, you'll need to take it one step further and use an ultra-fine grind so that the herb can be evenly dispersed throughout your recipe.
Too fine a grind and you’ve just made powder; too coarse, and you might as well not have used a grinder at all. So...
How Fine Should You Grind Your Herb?
That is exactly what we are going to discuss in this article, so sit down and enjoy learning a little bit more about the world of herb grinders!
Why Grind At All?
We covered this in our Definitive Guide to Herb Grinders for 2020 but let's briefly go over why we grind our herbs at all.
If large, fully-intact, lumpy pieces of the plant are used, you may not be unlocking the true qualities of the herb. Worse yet, it could lose most of its potency in the case of a vaporizer where the herb isn't being combusted.
Grinding herbs into smaller pieces increases surface area which can increase the rate of decarboxylation (activation) and improve vaporization efficiency. So, it’s important to get your grind right if you want to reap all the benefits!
Related Article: 10 Awesome Facts About Weed Grinders
What Are The Different Levels Of Grinding?
Typically, there are four different levels of grind:
- Rough or Finger Chop - This is a course, chunky cut that can be achieved with scissors or your fingers. It’s suitable for blunt wraps and large one hitter pipes.
- Coarse – This is the most popular grind size used by consumers and great for hand-rolled joints, regular pipes, and bubblers.
- Medium – This is a finer consistency suitable for vaporizers, chillums, one-hitter pipes, and some bubbler pipes.
- Fine – This is the finest grind size and is ideal for use with portable vaporizers or any device that uses conduction heating (like most desktop units). It is also suitable for use in homemade edibles.
What is the Perfect Grind?
The perfect grind for your herbs is something that is small enough to spread or burn evenly, but not so fine that the structure of the herb is completely destroyed. Something that is ground into a powder will not allow for a good burn, and may be overpowering in its effects in vaporizers, rolled paper or bowls.
Consistency is critical in whatever you are grinding: all the pieces of the grind should be about the same size.
As for what that size should be, pieces of herb around the size of 1-2 mm square are ideal, although some pieces may be longer than that if they come from a leaf or fibrous plant as long as their short-side diameter is around that 1 mm mark.
For a guide, think about store-bought herbs like Italian seasoning, pre-ground tea, or even tobacco pieces in a cigarette.
You’ll notice that a lot of these products are ground to approximately the same size even though the plants and their uses are different.
That's because the perfect grind for smokable herbs is one that maximizes surface area and allows for an even burn or vaporization, depending on how it is consumed. The smaller pieces allow for more surface area and, in turn, more efficient delivery of the active compounds in the herb.
Just remember, if it’s too fine you may be wasting product and not unlocking the full potential of your herbs - again, depending on its consumption method.
This has become a standard for a reason: it works.
So aim for this type of size for your grind, and also make sure that the grinder you are using produces a consistent grind so that all pieces are roughly the same size.
What Is the Best Grinder for Herb?
So now that you know how fine to grind your herbs, the next part is to find a grinder that can deliver the desired size of grind and do it consistently.
We recommend going with an electric grinder: many of these, such as the Mamba electric grinder, are able to produce a consistent grind at the size you need because the grinding teeth compartment is often combined with a screen and dispensing mechanism that allows fully-ground herb to fall through into whatever container you are using to catch the grind.
Related Article: How to Clean Your Electric Herb Grinder
This helps ensure the grind is consistent: large pieces remain in the grind until they are shredded to the right size, and material that is ground leaves the grinder instead of remaining inside to potentially clog the grinder.
In the case of a grinder like the Mamba, the designers have fitted it with a screen from the factory that allows for the right grind to be achieved each and every time: essentially, the guesswork has been taken out of the grinding process. Just load the herbs, hit the button, and you’ll be enjoying your herbs the right way each and every time.
Its grinding heads are precision milled from anodized aluminum alloy with curved razor sharp teeth that cuts and pushes through material without clumping up. No matter how dense or leafy, simply mill and dispense with no contamination, spillages or wastage.
They also feature an easy-to-use Rocker Switch that ensures a jam-free motion and therapeutic benefits for infirm hands with limited joint mobility and strength.
Related Article: Creative Ways To Grind Weed Without a Grinder
When grinding your herb, there are 2 things you need to do:
- You need to produce a grind in that medium range as indicated above
- You need the entire grind to be at roughly the same size
Size and consistency: these are critical concepts to making sure you are getting the most out of your herb.
At the end of the day, it’s all about preference. Find what works for you and your device, as everyone has their own preference and method when it comes to grinding herbs. Experiment with different grind sizes to find out which one is most suitable for your needs.
And remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself: there are plenty of battery-powered electric grinders out there that can do the job for you, letting you spend time doing the important part: enjoying your herbs!
You don't actually need to grind your herb? Think again! Check out the video below to understand why you should be grinding your herb:
Why You Should Grind Your Weed from PotGuide on Vimeo.
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