Keep your herbs pure - Use a grinder
While some people may enjoy the tactile experience of breaking up their herbs by hand, there are several reasons why it is not recommended.
The average person touches their face about 16 times per hour, and our phones are even more contaminated with bacteria than we might realize. In fact, research has shown that our phones are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat!
In addition, our skin is home to various microorganisms, including sweat and facial residue that serve as food for face-sexing mites. These tiny parasites, known as Demodex mites, can be transferred to our herbs during bare-handed grinding and may lead to contamination. Studies have found that up to 100% of adults over 18 years old are hosts to these mites on their face, and they have been associated with various skin conditions, including rosacea and acne.
Another concern with hand-grinding is the loss of potency. Trichomes, the resin glands on the plant that contain medicinal material, are very delicate and can easily be detached from the plant material. By breaking up the flowers with your hands, you are guaranteed to lose trichomes to your fingernails. In fact, research has shown that using a grinder can result in up to 30% more trichome retention compared to hand grinding.
To avoid contamination and loss of potency, it is recommended to use a grinder for herb grinding. Additionally, it is advisable not to use your phone as a tray or surface for herb preparation, as this can increase the risk of contamination. Instead, use a designated tray or surface that is easy to clean and sanitize.
Brady, E. (2019, August 12). Your Phone Is 10 Times Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat. Time. https://time.com/5650743/cell-phone-bacteria/
Lacey, N., & Russell, A. (2011). Demodex mites: facts and controversies. Clinical dermatology, 29(2), 195-202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.07.003
Small, J. (2016, October 11). Does Hand Grinding Marijuana Lose Terpenes and Cannabinoids? Leafly. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/does-hand-grinding-marijuana-lose-terpenes-and-cannabinoids