Understanding Trichome Size and Type for an Optimal Cannabis Experience

July 10, 2024 3 min read

We have said for years that buying a 4-piece cannabis grinder that does not feature a replaceable mesh screen is like buying a car with square wheels. It'll work... sort of... but there are better options for you! Let's take a look at why it matters.

Here at Phoenician Grinders we make and sell both 4pc weed grinders and 2pc weed grinders with each style appealing to different types of cannabis connoisseurs.

Phoenician: The Best Weed Grinders Online

For most folks, the main appeal of a high quality 4pc cannabis grinder is the mesh screen typically found in the third chamber down from the top. As the processed weed drops down from the grinding action in the top two chambers, it rests in the 3rd chamber on that mesh or micron screen.

Even slight agitation of the material causes what is referred to as a "mechanical separation" of the glistening, crystal-like trichomes that blanket the buds from the plant material they are stuck to.

Those trichomes are essentially micro-factories that produce the cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.), terpenes (compounds that give each strain its own unique flavor, aroma, and effects), and the rest of the full spectrum of symbiotic compounds that the plant produces.

As the trichomes wiggle and shake their way through the micron mesh screen in your herb grinder, they fall to the fourth/bottom chamber where they collect in an aromatic and highly potent dust-like gathering known as kief or sift.

The thing about trichomes, though, is that they are usually super sticky as they come off the plant, and they vary in size, shape, and type.

Diagram of trichome sizes

[Image: Andre C.M. et al (2016). D is a capitate stalked trichome; C is a capitate sessile trichome; E is a bulbous trichome. SOURCE]

So, running countless thousands of these through one mesh screen that cannot be removed to be cleaned or replaced just seems sort of... gross. 

Protect Your Trichomes with the World's Best Weed Grinder from Phoenician Grinders

Although that shimmer of trichs on your weed might look pretty uniform, it is usually made up of a variety of different trichomes. Here are the three most common types:

  1. Bulbous trichomes: Despite the name, these are the smallest of the three and are found across the plant's surface.
  2. Capitate sessile trichomes: Next up are capitate sessiles which are usually found in greater numbers overall than the bulbous variety. A healthy capitate sessile trich has a head and a stalk.

  3. Capitate-stalked: The largest trichome type, capitate-stalked trichs usually top out in size between 50 and 100 micrometers. Large enough to be seen by the human eye, this type of trichome is essential in the plant's production of cannabinoids, terps, etc.

So, as you can see, there really is no "one size fits all" screen size when it comes to kief / sift / pollen / trichome collection. Too tight (or dirty... yuck... lookin' at you Santa Cruz Shredders!) of a micron mesh screen and you might miss out on the larger capitate style trichs. Too large of a mesh and you risk letting plant material through and tainting your collection chamber.

4-piece Phoenician Grinders owners know that they have options when it comes to screen size and they know they don't have to rely on an iso bath and a prayer to keep their screens clean.

Here at Phoenician Grinders we have three different sizes of 4-piece weed grinders - Small, Medium, and Large. Each of these sizes comes with a standard mesh screen installed which can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement by loosening the screw with an allen wrench (also included with purchase of any 4pc Phoenician Grinder).

Additionally, we have Upgrade Kits available for all three sizes! Each kit includes a spare screw, wrench, lexon ring, kief scoop, bumper rings, and three - count 'em, THREE! - replacement mesh screens with varying levels of micron sizes.

Phoenician: The Best Weed Grinders Online

Fine: 80 micron mesh
Regular: 50 micron mesh
Coarse: 40 micron mesh

We know that different cannabis cultivars or strains produce different sizes and types of trichomes, so why not dial in your weed grinder options to optimize trichome collection and preservation?

Kick that floppy, funky, fixed screen in your current midgrade grinder to the curb and treat yourself to the coolest cannabis grinder ever created. Get a 4-piece weed grinder from Phoenician Grinders - and be sure to toss in an Upgrade Kit, too!


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