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
7 Tips To Grind Weed Without A Grinder
Having some marijuana buds but not having a grinder is not such a pleasant surprise, but it isn’t the end of the world either. The truth is, you will probably still be able to smoke your joint anyways, you just need to find out what alternatives there are to grinders.
To your luck, that’s exactly what we’re here for: to give you some tips on grinding weed without a grinder.
The best alternatives to grinding marijuana when you don’t have a grinder include using a pair of scissors and a bowl; a knife and a cutting board; a mortar and pestle; and using your hands as a last resource.
Let’s go through some common weed grinding methods and extra grinding advice.
1. Checking the Buds
Before you even start thinking about rolling that joint or packing your bowl, the first thing you will need to do is to check that your buds are in the optimal conditions for smoking.
These are the aspects to look out for to check if your buds are ready for smoking:
- Dryness: cannabis flowers need to dry for 1 to 2 weeks before they are dry enough to grind and smoke. If your buds feel too sticky and are hard to tear apart they’re probably still humid. Another good way to check if they’re well dried is snapping one of the stems, if it breaks easily then they’re dry.
- Curation: after the drying of your buds, you will need to store them in a concealed jar for at least 3 to 4 weeks for the curing process. This is where the THC will be enhanced to its maximum potential, as well as the aroma and flavor.
- No signs of mold: if there was mold in your plants and you didn’t recognize until now, we’re sorry to break this to you but you’re going to need to get rid of these buds.
Once you’ve made sure that your buds are well dried and cured, looking sparkling green and smelling good, it’s time to grind your cannabis!
2. Grinding with Scissors
One of the best go-to alternative solutions for grinding without a grinder is a pair of scissors. Some frequent marijuana users would even rather use scissors as their usual grinding method, always keeping a tiny pair of scissors on them.
The only two things you will need are a small and clean recipient, preferably slightly tall and with a small circumference, like a glass; and a pair of scissors.
Now that you have your elements, breaking apart your buds, place them inside the recipient. Then, just place the scissors inside while you hold the recipient with your other hand and do the cutting motion several times until you see the weed looks even and well grinded.
Ta-dá, time to roll or pack that pipe or bong!
3. Chopping Board and a Knife
In case you couldn’t find your scissors but you’re still at home looking for alternative ways to grind weed without a grinder then head to the kitchen, my friend.
Take your usual chopping board and any knife you have in hand, clean both of them well and dry them thoroughly. If you have a plastic board that’s better for cleaning, and non-serrated knives will work best for chopping.
Don’t get too excited and chop too fast or you might risk cutting yourself and spreading blood all over your buds, both things which we don’t want to happen.
Once both items are well cleaned, place your buds on top and show off your chef skills: chop, chop, chop and chop some more until the buds look small and grinded. Take out them rolling papers, it’s time to roll!
4. Mortar and Pestle Grinding
Ahh, cooking tools saving the day again. If you’re just feeling funky you probably chose this method, because we refuse to believe you don’t have a cutting board and a knife at home, and if you don’t then what do you even eat?
Anyway, we’re not here to lecture you on your alimentation. So whatever the reason, the mortar and pestle grinding alternative caught your attention, ours too! Mortars and pestles date back all the way to the ancient times, even before 35.000 B.C., so get ready to feel like an ancient stoner.
Before you start, make sure the weed is seriously well dried or else it will likely turn into a mess. First, take the mortar, separate your buds into smaller pieces, and place them inside. We recommend you set amounts for just one joint at a time.
Then take the pestle, place it inside the bowl and continuously press and turn on the buds, gradually grinding your marijuana. Before you finish, shake the bowl around a little to check that the buds are evenly grinded, and once you’re happy with the size get ready to smoke.
5. A Coffee Grinder Can Be a Weed Grinder
Yes, you can use your coffee grinder, electric or manual, for grinding your marijuana buds as well. If you have one of those cute, small, manual coffee grinders then we would recommend opting for that one instead of the electric grinder.
It just makes sense that an object with the word ‘grinder‘ in its name would do the job. As well as in the other methods that include kitchenware, clean your tools before and after!
Well, the instructions for this method are quite simple, just place your weed buds inside, after you’ve taken out all the stems and seeds (which shouldn’t have grown anyway) and grind!
If you’re using an electric machine make sure you don’t over grind the buds by pulsing the button between short intervals to keep your weed from turning into powder.
6. Grating Your Weed
It seems like kitchenware was destined to become weed grinding alternatives for creative stoners. Another great kitchen tool you can use to grind your weed without a grinder is a cheese or carrots grater, or just any grater in fact.
Grinding your cannabis flowers with a grater is fun and simple: just grab a plate, place your grater on top, choose the grating size of preference, we recommend the smallest ones, and swing your hands up and down through the blades as you hold the buds.
Pay attention as you are grating or you’ll end up with some extra finger flesh, barbeque flavor in your joint, not too vegetarian friendly.
7. Methods That Work But We Don’t Recommend
Last but not least, we must mention two common grinding-without-a-grinder methods and why we disrecommend them. These two methods are using a container and a coin, and grinding with your hands.
The Pill Bottle and Coin Grinder
This method consists of using any small container with a lid, such as an empty pill bottle, playdough containers, or old film canisters, hello fellow film photographers, and a coin, small or medium coins work best.
You just need to place the coin, or a couple of coins but not too many, and the buds inside the container. Close the recipient and shake it! Check every now and then to make sure you don’t over grind.
Did you already figure why this is a bad idea? In case you haven’t, well, have you noticed how at the moment we all had to turn a little OCD with cleanness due to the lovely (note sarcasm) covid pandemic?
Keeping in mind that money tends to be completely covered with bacteria, acting as a germs carrier with people touching it all the time and passing it hand in hand, we believe using coins to grind your cannabis isn’t the cleanest of them options.
Grinding With Your Hands
Some friends might roll their eyes at you for walking the mile just for grinding your cannabis, arguing you should simply use your hands. Can you grind your buds with your hands? Yes, of course, but do we recommend this? No way.
To grind weed flowers using your hands, we beg that you wash your hands first, not only because of the coronavirus thing going on but because no one likes dirty marijuana and it only takes two minutes to wash them.
Most people use one hand as a bowl and the other as a pestle, pressing against the first hand as they tear apart the buds into small pieces until they look grinded enough.
The problem is that most people are not aware that when you’re grinding with your hand, you’re destroying a big part of the cannabis bud’s trichomes, those magic lollipop-shaped glands that shine all over your flowers.
Whatever right? Actually no, it’s in the trichomes where most of the cannabinoid contents are stored, such as THC and CBD, and not to mention the loads of terpenes responsible for the delicious flavor and aroma of your buds.
So if you’re a true weed affectionate we believe grinding marijuana with your hands will be your last resource for grinding cannabis without a grinder.
Not having a grinder will never stop a stoner from smoking. There are many alternatives and any quirky mind will find a solution to the problem easily.
The one thing you definitely need to be aware of is the cleanness of the tools you use. Have fun with these creative grinding methods and enjoy getting high later!
If you ever find yourself without a grinder but with some buds, news aren't that bad! Check out some great alternatives to grinding your weed without a gri