Grinding Berlin

by Thmas Bürk

The Grinder, a device for grinding dried herbs as e.g. cannabis…. and its ubiquitous presence in Berlin “Späti” late night shops Grinding seems like an old, basic cultural technique in the world of intoxication by cannabis weed. In fact, grinders only became a necessary stoner item with the shift in consumption from hashish to cannabis flowers, or better "Nederwiet". From the early 1980s onwards, new crosses of the basic cannabis varieties sativa, ruralis and indica were successful in the Netherlands under early cannabis breeders such as Wernard Bruining, based on US varieties. These newly bred, often seedless varieties (sensimilla) such as Northern Lights and later Skunk made "Nederwiet (...) the symbol of cannabis innovation."[1]

This cannabis contained significantly higher levels of THC compared to earlier homegrown- plants, and also gave off a strong aromatic-penetrating smell. This new supply of strong, THC-rich, potent Nederwiet as a Dutch agro-industrial breeder product transformed and expanded the supply of bred hybrid cannabis varieties almost beyond measure, and formed the botanical and economic basis of a worldwide triumph of cannabis weed and all its forms of production and consumption. Hashish, which was often stronger and not as differentiated in its effects, was increasingly replaced by cannabis weed from the 1990s onwards. “Grinding is the process of grating lumps of dried cannabis buds to make them fitting into rolled joints and blunts (like cigars with a tobacco leaf)”[2] to make the dried flowers and leaf stalks into fine powder and to break of the sticky and backed flowers.[3]

Grinding weed is also essential for all other purposes of cannabis consumption like producing edibles and other forms of cooking, drinking, smoking, snorting, to mill and reduce the buds, the dried flowers and leaf stalks to fine powder and rubbed herb stems .

Grinders can be bought, at least in Berlin and other German urban and metropolitan areas,  nearly everywhere where you can buy paraphernalia for weed consumption, the so called head shops or dispensaries (not in Germany), but also, maybe especially in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt/Main (everywhere?) as well in so called “Spätverkauf”-Shops, that is “late night shops”, or better shops for drinks, booze, cigarettes, chocolate, food, everyday articles, newspapers, for almost 23/7.  However, grinders are also offered in many shapes, sizes and colors in general mail order as “herb grinders” and in cannabis specialty retailers and their online stores as unique cannabis weed grinders.


[2] Source:

[3] Ibid.

Berlin Grinders