To Grind or Not to Grind: How to Prepare Marijuana for Cooking

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Dear Cheri,

Why do you always tell people not to finely grind their plant material for cooking when most of the other websites and books I read say that you should finely grind the cannabis before making marijuana butter or oil?

Confused in California

When it comes to how to prepare marijuana for cooking, I see this bit of bad advice repeated over and over again, oftentimes by people who should know better. 

I have asked all kinds of cannabis experts through the years why they finely grind the plant material, and I have yet to get a satisfactory answer.  I think people finely grind their cannabis before cooking because that is just the way it’s always been done. 

Don’t fall for that.  Fine grinding serves no practical purpose!

In spite of advice you’ll hear from most other cannabis cooks, and in spite of it being a built-in function of a popular “magical” cannabis butter making gadget, I always advise people to NOT finely grind cannabis before making butter, oil, or other infusions for a very simple reason:

What you are trying to extract is ON the plant not IN it. 

The resinous trichomes that carry the cannabinoids and terpenes cover the surface of the plant.  When we make marijuana butter or cannabis oil or other extractions, those trichomes are what we are trying to infuse into our medium.

The only thing that fine grinding accomplishes is to deposit more plant material into your finished infusions, and that means more herbal green flavor.  As most people are trying to minimize the acrid green flavor of cannabis, skipping fine grinding only makes sense as it will improve the overall flavor of your finished edibles.

To prepare cannabis for cooking, simply crumble apart the plant material with your fingers, or if you do use a grinder, only coarsely grind.  Never go any finer than you would when grinding marijuana to roll a joint.

Cheri Sicard on how to prepare marijuana for cooking

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