How to Use a Grinder to Break up your Weed: An Easy Way to Crush Herbs

You’ve got your bud and you’re ready to get blazed, but if you've got virgin lungs and have never done this before, you're probably asking yourself "what's the best way to attack this?". You're probably staring at your bag of pot, with it's huge nugs inside and you're thinking "how do I get this into a joint?" The solution here is have to cut up your cannabis my friends, break up that bud into tiny pieces so that you can roll it nicely into a smooth looking blunt and the best way to do this is with a quality herb crusher. But what does a grinder do? 

Anyone who cares about the quality of their marijuana is going to look for buds that are tight and have a frosty trichome hue. They should give off the strong pungent odor that is a valuable indicator of a high-quality strain. They’re also going to make sure they crush the weed correctly so that they don’t waste any of this high-quality herb.

Cannabis Nugget

When you buy good weed - you want to make sure you’re preparing it and smoking it in a way that’s giving you the best possible experience. Whether you’re smoking for medicinal reasons or recreational and social use, you want a good quality product that you can use effectively.

A lot of smokers evaluate the quality of the marijuana they buy simply by looking at its colour (often healthy greens with hints of purple, pink and blue), or, by the smell, which is an indicator of how richly a bud is steeped in the wide variety of cannabis resins that produce an effective high.

But why pay so much attention to quality when you're not sure you're getting the best bang for your buck?

A clumped, tightly packed bud is one of the best indicators of high-quality weed. Flaky, dry loose herb that has a red, tan or yellow color is best avoided because it’s been too quickly harvested or grown in unhealthy conditions. This kind of herb also shreds the best if you use the right equipment.

Let’s face it because marijuana is not legally produced everywhere, some strains of product are going to be produced in unhealthy conditions and may even be stored where it attracts mold and other dangerous impurities.

crusher chambers

So, no matter which way you look at it quality weed is going to be thick and nuggetty and buying marijuana in that form always requires that it be properly ground. Now that we understand how important shredding bud is, it's just as equally as important to know how to break up weed and prepare your stash to smoke, vape, eat...however you like to consume it, because you simply can't smoke unless you have mastered the art of grinding weed. 

It's crazy how the quality of your smoke is effected by the way you grind up your weed. The consistency of how it is crushed can effect how your joint burns, provided by the right amount of bud, with a good surface area to oxygen ratio drawn over the flame is very important. Chop up your pot too finely and it will burn like sand because not enough oxygen is drawn through to feed the fire. Shred it too coarsely and it will burn unevenly, flaring up inside your joint, which will waste your expensive high-quality herb in a pile of half burnt ash left unsmoked in your ashtray.

Ok, I've given you a breakdown of why it's important to crush, but this article is about how to grind weed and what grinders are used for, so let’s take a closer look at the best way to shred your bud for a nice, even burn that’s going to give you a fantastic smoking experience. Here’s everything you need to know about crushing your ganja.

A Step By Step Guide on How to Use a Grinder:

STep 1: Don't be scared

Cali Crusher Review

Using a weed grinder for the first time can seem confusing. The first step when it comes to how to use a grinder for weed is to find a good quality crusher that will crush and shred your pot to particle sizes that are ideal for smoking because let's face it, it's just the best way to grind weed. It's probably the most important rule you need to know when wondering how to grind weed. There are a variety of crushers available and the most common are the cylinder shaped containers made from metal, plastic or wood.

step 2: Load it up

Step two is to load your shredder with the buds you want to crush. Herb crushers are formed from two round halves that fit together over the buds you want shred inside a compartment area that is spiked with teeth to pull apart the pot. Be sure to pack the grinder carefully, so the two halves move easily as they chop up your mix. Too much bud will clog the shredder and be difficult to turn, too little and you’re wasting grinding marijuana into power.

Cannabis Shredder

Be careful, also, when you buy a grinder to check the strength of the teeth to be sure that they won’t break off and end up in your mix. A good quality shredders teeth are set in such a way that, as the two compartments are turned in opposite directions from each other, they mesh closely with each other collecting pieces of bud and tearing them apart in much the same way as scissors cut through cloth or paper.

step 3: Gather your herb

Bowl of bud

Step three is gathering ground particles of weed, as they fall out of your grinder into a bowl to smoke. As the herb is broken apart, it becomes gradually smaller until it falls through the holes set between the teeth where it can be collected in a small bowl.

Step 4: scrape out the weed

And finally, step four involves carefully cleaning out any remaining bud inside the shredder and scrapping kief from the mesh bottom chamber. This is important when you have multi-chambered grinders with separate compartment that collect ground bud or where pollen and kief is collected.

Because cannabis buds are usually thick, dense and sticky, shredding in this way provides for the best size for smoking and it also tends to stop people who get a little excited from shredding marijuana into particle sizes that won’t burn as well.

When you’ve gathered all your ground weed, you’re good to go. But remember, no matter how good you are at rolling a joint, the quality is totally dependent on using a good grinder for consistency of burn and effective smoke draw.

Quality and consistency is everything when it comes to grinding herbs and preparing weed for smoking so what other ways are there to shred bud if you don’t have a shredder?

Now that you know how to use a weed grinder, I suggest you check out our marijuana crusher reviews page, to get an idea of what might be the right one for you, so you can be on your way to high times. ​

So What Do You Do When You Don't Have Tools?

Hash Inside a Metal Catcher

Most of us start out smoking as amateurs by crushing bud with our hands or scissors in a small bowl because it's an easy way to grind weed. Though less common, a knife and chopping board can do the job in the same way and sometimes even a coffee grinder can get you through when nothing else is available because there are so many ways to grind weed. But the reality of mixing small amounts of weed in with your morning coffee might be a problem if you get tested at work or need to perform without enhancement.

Whatever you choose, makeshift processes such as these are, at the very least, an effective, though time-consuming method of breaking bud into a smokeable mix.

Before you begin, it’s important that you contain the weed in a small bowl, as you pull it apart, separate it from the stems and, if you’ve gotten a poor quality batch, remove the seeds that accumulate in fertilized buds.

A larger bowl can be used to separate seeds from shredded weed by tipping it in such away that the seeds roll down to the base of the bowl where they can be separated from the rest of the mix and discarded.


Everybody does it differently, which is why I always ask everybody I smoke with "how do you grind?". Breaking pot up by hand and scissors wastes a lot of the resin materials contained in the buds because it rubs off onto your hands and fingers and, if you’re using scissors, finger cramps are an issue because a successful clip often requires a lot continual sniping at the buds. So always opt for using a crusher instead if available.

Scissors can also be a problem for particle size when grinding up weed, as a distracted smoker hacking away with a pair of scissors is more likely to produce a mix that is too fine for effective smoking.

While all of these processes are at least effective, when it comes to ease of use and effective processing for quality marijuana you spent good money on, nothing shreds pot as quickly as a good quality crusher, because no matter how many people say is doesn't matter how to crush weed, as long as it get's crushed, has obviously never used a premium grade grinder before. Just saying. So if you ever have a friend that asks you how to use an herb grinder, be sure to share the love by passing this info on.

If you're done with reading instructions, and you're ready to start choosing your new weed grinder, then check out our reviews on the best products in 2018.​



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