Cannabis 101

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

Published on August 31, 2017 · Last updated September 27, 2021

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.

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.

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Jeremiah Wilhelm
Jeremiah Wilhelm
Jeremiah Wilhelm is a former strain researcher at Leafly.
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