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What’s a ‘Grinder Coin’, and How Does It Affect Your Kief Collection?

August 31, 2017
As an avid cannabis consumer, I’m always looking for opportunities to get more out of my buds. One of the easiest, low-cost ways to extend the life of your cannabis and the tasty trichomes covering it is to get a quality two-chamber grinder. These grinders are usually denoted by their four-piece construction: lid (top grinder), grinder tray (bottom grinder), bud receptacle, and kief catcher. While many cannabis consumers prefer to break up their bud with their hands, I choose to grind my herb because it improves airflow (in a bowl or in a joint) while saving broken trichomes for later use.


What Is a Grinder and How Do You Use It for Cannabis?

The addition of a kief catcher allows for the passive harvest of potent, delicious trichomes that can be pressed into hash, added to cannabutter or cannabis-infused coconut oil, or simply sprinkled into a joint or on top of a bowl. In an attempt to gather as much of this unrefined cannabis concentrate as possible, I added one additional (albeit optional) piece to my grinder set-up: a clean coin.


A “grinder coin” can improve the amount of kief you gather from your ground cannabis without reducing the overall potency of your cannabis-consuming experience too much. It helps break more trichomes off your ground cannabis, and the weight also presses the fine resinous particles through your grinder down toward the kief catcher, improving the overall generation of kief over time.

People who already utilize a grinder coin go at harvesting their kief in a few different ways. The newest method to me is placing your grinder (containing your freshly ground herb) into the freezer for 5-10 minutes before shaking vigorously. I understand the motivation to freeze the trichomes (possibly making them more brittle), but I believe the grinding motion alone should be enough agitation to gather kief without postponing your access to your freshly ground cannabis.


What is kief and how can you use it?

You might be wondering, “Is there a special type of coin I should use in my grinder?” No, but I would note that the size of the coin should be relative to the size of your grinder. If you have a small micro-grinder, a sterilized dime or nickel could work well. Conversely, if you grind a bit more than the Average Joe and have a grinder of considerable size, I would recommend a clean quarter, Loonie, pound, or, for those with a penchant for Feng Shui and lucky numbers, the eight-sided Singapore $1 coin.

These are just a few example, but there are tons of options out there. One that has gotten some recognition in the r/trees subreddit is the 1969 Bahama Islands pineapple five-cent piece. The pineapple, or “highnapple,” is one of the newer symbols in cannabis culture, and this piece of history synthesizes the old world with the new. Check out this Etsy page for the pineapple coin and more cool old coins to add to your grinder.


6 Etsy Shops With Must-Have Cannabis Designs

Obviously, before you drop a piece of loose change you found in your pocket or couch cushions into your grinder, wash and sterilize it. This will just take a few moments with some hot water, soap, a sponge, and elbow grease to remove any particulates or patina from the coin. Afterwards, give it a quick shine with 70%+ isopropyl alcohol, pat and air dry, then deposit.

A grinder coin is one more layer of personalization cannabis consumers can add to their setup, and without too much effort. But whether or not you add some change to your cannabis, keep your kief, make something special, and stay on your grind.

Jeremiah Wilhelm's Bio Image

Jeremiah Wilhelm

Jeremiah Wilhelm is a former strain researcher at Leafly.

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  • Thomy

    I disagree.. Sorry Leafly but it certainly is not the best way to remove the trichomes. Old timers like me, that have been removing trichomes since the late 60s, know exactly what the best method is. It is so simple it’s almost embarrassing to mention but THE VERY BEST way to remove trichomes, is to use undisturbed, bone dry material that’s frozen, no need to crunch it up by hand or any other method. Place all the material, in a sack made of the same material a silkscreen is made from and the 150 mesh is best but a 225 mesh will produce a cleaner product but you’ll lose too many trichomes using the higher woven meshes. Then you rigorously shake the sack while it’s inside a large stainless steel vat or restaurant sized sauce pan with deep sides at least 1 foot deep but deeper is better… You bang it against the walls of the sauce pan until you feel all of the trichomes have been removed as possible. Try that keif and compare it to the broken and pulverized stuff produced from these grinders. Also keep in mind, that while you’re grinding all that material, you’re also grinding the dry green chlorophyll and some of that will be mixed into your product but the only thing, other than the trichomes that pass through the silkscreen material, is pollen and dust that collect on a Cannabis plant while it’s growing and it’s always been best to use indoor grown stock as it does not contain other foreign pollen but will likely produce some dust no matter how hard you try to keep it out of your grow room. When filtered through a coffee filter or cooking oil filter, it will further produce some of the purest oil there is PERIOD, no matter what method you use to produce the oil……….

    • lovingc

      Sounds like it requires a lot of product to make a small amount of hash. I don’t live in a free state it is hard to come by. But your process make more sense than the grinder.

    • Jeff Johnson

      I don’t think the author’s point was to efficiently extract as much kief as possible, but rather a simple bonus technique for use with a grinder.


        Totally…do you smoke the coin then…or then smoke your fingers…….AMAZING SCIENCE!!!!!!

    • Ashley

      I’m too high to understand how you do what you do. I’ll come back to this thread in a few hours, make fun of myself, and read this again.

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