How to grind weed without a grinder
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- Why it’s important to grind your weed
- Grinding weed without a grinder
- How to break apart marijuana with your hands
- Protect your trichomes
- Other methods for grinding weed without a grinder
- Bottom line
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.
How to grind weed without a grinder Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Why it’s important to grind your weed Grinding weed without a grinder
How to Grind Weed Without a Grinder
Smoking weed is a pretty simple process. Break up, throw it in a bowl or roll it up in some paper, and boom, you’re ready to rock and roll. It’s not like you needed us to tell you that. But here’s where we come into play. Grinding up your bud is arguably one of the most important steps of the process, so not having a grinder on deck could serve as a bit of a hindrance. Whether it’s because you lost it, left it at home on vacation, or just really don’t like how finely some of the better grinders break up your bud, keep in mind there are always solid alternatives. So let’s take a look at how to grind weed without a grinder. It’s pretty straightforward, really.
Cutting Board And Knife
This one is a pretty classic technique, and common sense if you brainstorm on the matter of how to grind weed without a grinder for five seconds. Still, it’s worth putting on the list. There’s no real need for an explanation with this one. Simply make sure your knife is sharp enough. Otherwise, if you’re holding some real sticky shit, it’s just going to stick to the knife. At that point, you might as well karate chop it with your hand. Make sure you got a sharp knife, and you’re gucci.
Pill Bottle And A Coin
The pill bottle and a coin method is an old-school technique that works to perfection. Get an empty pill bottle, and throw the bud you want to grind up in there. Then, get either a dime or a penny and add it to the bottle (FYI, you’ll probably want to clean the coin with some hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or cleaner first). Screw on the bottle top and shake it like a polaroid picture. Even the stickiest of icky doesn’t stand a chance against this method.
Scissors And Shot Glass
Scissors are a good tool to break up buds, but the scissors and shot glass method really takes the cake. This might be a little tough if you’re at a concert or festival, but if you’re at home and have a pair of scissors, you should be good to go. All you do is put your bud in the shot glass, and begin snipping at it. A shot glass gives you the perfect range of motion, but if you don’t have one, you can also use a small cup or something like it.
How to grind weed without a grinder Part IV requires another common household item—a coffee grinder. This method can be a pain to clean, but it’s the closest thing to grinding it with an actual weed grinder because, well, you’re using a grinder. And if you’re grinding up larger quantities of weed, this is probably the best way to go.
Alright, this method is a little crazy, but hey, why not add it to the list? If you really like your bud ground to a fine powder, this method works. It’s certainly not your best bet. Also, it’s probably the biggest hassle to clean, as you need to clean your blender blades thoroughly after you’re done grinding your weed. It might not be the most effective way—but hey, it’s a way.
Pestle and Mortar
This method might make you feel like you’re a 14th century apothecary, but it’s still effective, nonetheless. A pestle and mortar has long served as a way to “mix the medicine,” so to speak, and grinding weed certainly falls under that umbrella.
But in all seriousness, these things were literally invented to grind herbs. Think of it as your great, great, great, great, great, great ancestor’s grinder. And it’s pretty self-explanatory—simply place the buds in the mortar (aka the bowl-like receptacle) and crush it up with the pestle. The only think we’d suggest is leaving the bud out for a little bit to dry out before using this method. After all, it’s pretty difficult to break up moist, sticky bud with a tool that predates Christ.
Cheese Grater Method
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if you’re all out of ideas, well, we’re not one to judge. Just pretend that big beautiful bud is a hunk of parmesan cheese and start grating away. Just make sure you give it a thorough rinse before your Nonna makes her famous pasta fagioli.
Using a Homemade Weed Grinder
If you’re someone who outright refuses to break up bud without the use of a grinder, you might have to get a little creative. And by creative, we mean literally making your own grinder from scratch. This method is probably the most unconventional (and perhaps counterproductive, especially if you have to go to the store and buy the necessary parts), but if you already have all the items at home it’s actually pretty simple. And effective.
The main component to this device comes courtesy of a chewing tobacco can. If you already dip and have a bunch of tin cans lying around, then you’re already halfway there.
Once you make sure the can is empty, all you have to do is pierce nails—preferably, thumbtacks—into the top and bottom sides of the tin. Like a real grinder, make sure the top and bottom row of tacks don’t overlap each other, or else you won’t be able to close the tin and grind. After you insert the nails/tacks with proper spacing, put the weed in the can like a regular grinder, close it, and twist away. You won’t have a third compartment or kief catcher at the bottom, but your bud should certainly be ground up.
Break It Up With Your Hands, Dingus
Last but not least, the most obvious answer to the question of how to grind weed without a grinder—just freaking break it up. If your bud is too sticky, this can be a real pain, but it’s still worth it if you don’t feel like scrounging around for makeshift, household items. If it’s really SUPER sticky, you can leave it out to dry a little, or even put it in the freezer for a bit. Either way, this is probably the simplest way to break up your bud.
If none of these methods appeal to you, buckle down and look at some of our picks for the best grinders on the market today. Ponying up the extra cash may be worth your time in the end.
Looking for some old-fashioned methods? We got you.