Grinding Keeps Weed Seeds From Growing
Weed seeds don’t germinate after being pulverized by this unit pulled behind the combine.
Fed up with traditional means for getting rid of weed seeds when no-tilling small grains, Ray Harrington came up with a solution to overcome the mounting concerns with herbicide-resistant weeds.
The farmer from Darkan, West Australia, says it’s been common in Australia to pull an enclosed chaff cart behind the combine to collect weed seeds for later burning. Yet, Harrington felt burning was dangerous and not always effective since he often saw ryegrass seed blowing out of the carts.
As a result, he’s spent the last few years developing the Harrington Seed Destructor where both weed seeds and chaff flow into a trailer-mounted unit pulled behind the combine. The unit contains a screenless, high-speed impact mill that pulverizes the weed seeds so they can’t germinate.
Harrington says 5 years of testing by the Australian Herbicide Resistance Institute shows the weed-splitting unit kills more than 80% of weed seeds. Its own engine powers the unit, but he’s looking at using hydraulic or electric power on future units.
Non-Chemical Weed Control
Bryan Young, a Southern Illinois University weed scientist, says the idea of controlling herbicide-resistant weeds mechanically while flowing through the combine has merit.
“Waterhemp is a small-seeded weed and I think we can screen these easily from grain as it moves through the combine,” he says. “You might be able to collect as much as 10 bushels of waterhemp seed while harvesting a 10-acre area.”
In addition, Young says John Deere engineers have indicated weed seeds could be captured with new combine innovations, but that the attachment would likely require another 10 to 20 horsepower.
But the big question is how much money farmers should be willing to pay for this method of weed control.
Young says combines are unfortunately known for spreading weed seeds. Some no-tillers are baling the residue coming out the back end of the combine to more effectively manage herbicide-resistant weeds.
“Our combines are spreading a lot of weed seeds,” says Young. “Farmers would like to find a way to control this situation and reduce weed-seed pressures on their field, so the weed-splitting concept would be a great idea.”
Harrington expects the first Weed Seed Destructors to be marketed this year. Several combine manufacturers have also expressed interest.
The cost of the Australian weed splitter for U.S. growers is expected to be around $160,000.
What To Do With Your Spare Weed Seeds
If you find seeds in your cannabis and were wondering what to do with them, you should know that you have quite a few options.
Ever find seeds in your cannabis and find yourself wondering what to do with weed seeds? When you buy a bag of weed from a competent grower, you should be getting sinsemilla, which is seedless clusters of cannabis flowers from female plants that have been protected from being pollinated. When female plants are not pollinated, they continue to grow more and more flowers, sticky with resin and potent in cannabinoids.
But if female plants are pollinated because there are male or hermaphrodite plants growing nearby, the flowers will contain seeds. You’ll want to separate the seeds from the herb before you smoke. The burning seeds have an unpleasant acrid taste, and won’t get you high anyway. So what can you do with marijuana seeds?
What Can You Do With Marijuana Seeds?
What to do with weed seeds depends somewhat on how many you have. If you only have a few seeds, you might consider planting them and trying your hand at growing pot. Cannabis cultivation can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Many a master grower got their start by wondering what to do with weed seeds they had laying around.
If you have a lot of heavily seeded pot or have been collecting cannabis seeds for a while, you might have a source of food for yourself, or perhaps even your furry or feathered friends. And if smoking pot gets your creative juices flowing, another answer to what to do with weed seeds is use them as a fun new artistic medium.
Weed Seeds Uses #1: New Plants
What can you do with marijuana seeds? Plant them, of course! All flora that produce seeds do so in order to create the next generation of plants, and cannabis is no exception. If you give your seeds the right environmental conditions including moisture and temperature, they will germinate, or sprout, and begin to grow. Nurturing young plants with the proper light, water, and nutrients will allow them to grow to a size suitable for flowering.
When the nighttime period of darkness gets long enough, either through the change of seasons outdoors or by adjusting the on/off light cycle in a grow room, the plants you started from seed will begin to flower. If you observe your plants closely, you’ll be able to determine which are female and which are male. Unless you want to produce seed, remove all male plants as you identify them. A couple more months of diligent care, and you will be ready to harvest your own free weed! All because you wondered what to do with weed seeds left in the bottom of a baggie.
Weed Seeds Uses #2: A Tasty Snack
Some research suggests that humans have cultivated cannabis as a food source for millennia. Cannabis seeds are rich in healthy fats and have protein, all nine essential amino acids, potassium, iron, Vitamin A, and dietary fiber. The seeds also have zinc and magnesium and are naturally low in carbohydrates.
Whole pot seeds can be made into hemp milk by adding water and mixing well in a blender before straining. Whole seeds can also be eaten whole roasted or raw, but some find the shells unappetizing or difficult to digest.
Marijuana seeds can also be shelled and used as hemp hearts. To shell seeds, place as many as possible in one layer between two cutting boards. Tap the top board with a hammer just lightly enough to crack the shells without flattening the seeds. Place in a bucket of water and stir vigorously. The shells will float. Skim them off before straining and drying the hemp hearts.
Sprinkle hemp seeds over yogurt, salads, or oatmeal to add a mild nutty crunch that is packed with healthy nutrients.
Weed Seeds Uses #3: Animal Food
What can you do with marijuana seeds if you’re an animal lover? Share them with your bird and rodent friends! The nutrition found in weed seeds is good for more than just humans, so add some to the feed for pet birds, hamsters, mice, and rats. Or add them to an outdoor bird feeder as a treat for wild feathered friends.
Weed Seeds Uses #4: Be an Artist!
A recent visit to Etsy, the online marketplace for hand-crafted goods and art, revealed jewelry made from pot seeds suspended in acrylic for earrings, necklaces, and more. Pot seeds are also an interesting subject for photographers, particularly those who create macro images.
Marijuana seeds naturally come in a range of colors including white, cream, and green when they are immature. Fully mature seeds can be found in shades of tan, brown, and nearly black. An abundance of the full palette of colors could be the perfect medium for a 420-friendly mosaic for a patient and talented artist.
Usually, you won’t want to find yourself with a bunch of pot seeds. But if you do have a steady supply and are inclined to collect them, you can put the seeds to use in a variety of ways. Have you thought of any more?
How to grind weed without a grinder
Grinding your weed is a key preparation before smoking. The best way to grind weed is with a grinder designed specifically for herbal applications. But what if you don’t have a grinder on hand? If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to know how to grind your weed without a grinder. This guide will equip you with everything you need to know about how to grind weed without a grinder.
Why it’s important to grind your weed
Before you get started with actually grinding your herb, it’s important to understand why you should focus on getting a good grind prior to smoking.
The specific reasons for grinding your cannabis before smoking differ depending on your smoking method. For starters, if you are trying to roll your herb into a joint, spliff, or blunt, then breaking your cannabis down into smaller chunks is obviously the only way you can fit the herb into your rolling paper. There would simply be no way to roll up an entire nug all on its own. But when you grind the weed into small pieces, you can spread it evenly across your wrap and then roll the whole thing up into a smokable form.
When you grind the weed into small pieces, you can spread it evenly across your wrap and then roll the whole thing up into a smokable form. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Grinding weed is also necessary for other forms of smoking. For example, if you are smoking out of a bowl—whether it’s part of a spoon pipe, a handheld bubbler, a bong, or anything else—you should always grind your herb first if you want to get the most out of your cannabis. Technically speaking, you can get away with dropping a full nug into your bowl and smoking it. But doing so is incredibly inefficient. That’s because there is a very limited amount of surface area that can be exposed to the flame, which will result in an uneven burn and make it hard to tell if there’s unburned green in the center of the nug.
However, if you grind that same nug into smaller chunks, you will be able to pack it evenly into the bowl. And when you ignite the weed in your bowl, there will be a larger surface area to burn. This technique gives you a more uniform combustion across all of your herb and ensures that you ignite the entire quantity, leaving nothing behind. To put it simply: grinding your marijuana ensures that you thoroughly burn and smoke your entire nug so that nothing goes to waste.
Grinding your marijuana ensures that you thoroughly burn and smoke your entire nug so that nothing goes to waste. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Grinding weed without a grinder
By far the best way to grind your cannabis is with a dedicated herb grinder. This tool gives you a uniform grind so that the small pieces of herb are all more or less the same size, further enhancing the efficiency of your smoking experience and letting you get the most combustion out of your marijuana. Further, grinders can help leave intact a greater portion of trichomes—and all the cannabinoids they contain—since they’re not rubbing off onto your hands. However, with all that said, there are still times when you simply cannot access a grinder. In those cases, you can improvise and break apart your marijuana with your hands.
How to break apart marijuana with your hands
This process is best done using a rolling tray or flat surface that can catch your weed and allow you to use both hands to pull apart the nug and separate stems and seeds. But if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a flat, smooth surface handy, you can use the palm of your hand.
Hold your non-dominant hand flat. This will be where you collect your ground-up marijuana. Hold your nug in your dominant hand.
Gently but firmly roll the herb between your middle finger, index finger, and thumb. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Gently but firmly roll the herb between your middle finger, index finger, and thumb. Be sure you roll the herb directly above your non-dominant hand so that all the little pieces fall into your open palm. Continue this process until you have crumbled the entire nug.
Carefully sort through the crumbled herb in your palm. Break down any especially large chunks with your fingertips until all the pieces of herb are roughly the same size.
Once you’re happy with the consistency of your grind, use your ground-up marijuana to roll up your joint, spliff, or blunt, or to pack your bowl.
Protect your trichomes
When you crumble weed with your fingers, the ultimate goal is to strike a balance between applying enough force to break apart the cannabis without damaging the herb.
Remember, you’re trying to protect the trichomes as much as you can, since this is where all the THC and other cannabinoids are concentrated. No matter how gentle or careful you are, you will still end up with sticky resinous fingers when you’re done, and there will be some degree of trichome loss as a result of the crumbling process. Do your best to be as gentle as possible while still applying adequate force to break apart the bud.
Other methods for grinding weed without a grinder
Crumbing weed with your hands is the classic go-to strategy when you find yourself without a grinder. But there are a few other methods you can try if you have access to some basic household equipment.
Method 1: Scissors and a shot glass
For this method, you’ll need a clean shot glass and a pair of clean, sharp scissors. Place your nug into the shot glass. Then poke the scissors down into the shot glass and slice apart the marijuana. Be careful that you don’t spill the cannabis as you work the scissors. As always, shoot for slicing your cannabis into pieces that are as uniform in size as possible. And remember, the sharper your scissors, the more precise your cuts will be and the more intact your valuable trichomes will remain.
Place your nug into the shot glass. Then poke the scissors down into the shot glass and slice apart the marijuana. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Method 2: Coffee grinder
Did you know that you can also grind your marijuana in a coffee grinder? Doing so will give you a decent grind, but will leave the blades of your coffee grinder sticky with resin. Try this method only if you’re fine with having a resin-covered coffee grinder.
Method 3: Kitchen knife and cutting board
Another method is to chop your cannabis using a very sharp kitchen knife and cutting board. If your knife is too dull, you will end up tearing your bud rather than slicing it cleanly, and this could lead to significant trichome damage. But if you can get a nice clean slice, you’ll leave intact more of the trichomes and get a much more uniform final product. Of course, your knife and cutting board will accumulate residual sticky resin, so you should plan on washing them immediately after slicing apart your marijuana.
You can grind your weed by chopping your cannabis using a very sharp kitchen knife and cutting board. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
While a grinder is the single best piece of equipment you can use to grind marijuana, you can also improvise with household items and your own hands.