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
8 Hacks To Grind Weed Without A Grinder
Whether relaxing at home or partying with friends, we’ve all been caught with a stash of weed and no grinder in sight. That should never stop a smoke session, though. No matter where you are, you can use basic kitchen tools, some change in your pocket, and even your own hands to get your weed ground up and ready to smoke.
We’ve all been there. You’re getting ready to spark up, whipping out your stash and your papers (or bong, or whatever), but there’s something missing. You take a second, but then you realise: There’s no grinder in sight.
You might panic, thinking this is the end of the smoke sesh. I mean, who’s gonna try to smoke whole nugs? Thankfully, you don’t have to be subject to that fate. Whether you’re chilling out at home, moving around, or hanging at a party, you’ll be surprised at the amount of options you have at hand. In most cases, you’ll just need a few basic tools, with other methods being even more simple.
NO GRINDER? NO PROBLEM!
As we just mentioned, we know there are a few scenarios you could be caught in. Maybe you’re just trying to unwind after a long day. Maybe you’re at a party and need to act fast so everyone can get their smoke on. Whatever situation you’re in, we’ve thought of a variety of ways to get you out of those awkward moments.
SCENARIO 1 — AT HOME
If you’re like many of us, you’ll want to pregame with a little toke before meeting up with friends. Yeah, you’ll be smoking there, but some personal meditation never hurt anyone. Thankfully, when you’re in a well-stocked house, you’ve got a world of options for weed grinding when your grinder isn’t around.
Considering the word “grinder” is included in the name, it kind of had to appear on this list, didn’t it? Just like you would coffee beans, throw your buds in there and grind away! Well, not so fast. You’ll want to clean the thing out first, unless you want to smoke your coffee too (which we do NOT recommend). You should also clean it out afterwards unless you want some “special” coffee the next day.
• Clean the grinder well before and after grinding your weed.
• Make sure you’re packing the bud loosely and not overwhelming the grinder.
• Don’t use buds that are too big (or too small).
• Adjust grind time and settings (if applicable) to make sure your weed doesn’t become a fine powder.
PESTLE AND MORTAR
If you don’t have a coffee grinder around, there’s still an old classic you can try. People call weed “herb” sometimes, so it makes sense that you can use a pestle and mortar to grind it down. Like the grinder, though, you’ll want to clean it off well before AND after using it for this purpose.
• Let your nugs dry out for a few hours outside a container. This will make them much easier to break down.
• Clean it off well before and after use. That way, you avoid smoking regular herbs or eating “herb” with your dinner.
• It might take some time, especially if the pestle is smooth and rounded.
• Make sure you don’t grind it down too hard.
KNIFE AND CHOPPING BOARD
An equally effective option, there’s no reason you can’t treat your favourite greens like the kind you eat. It’s also probably one of the simplest methods on the list. Throw your weed on the cutting board and dice it until you’ve got it at a ground, but not powdery, consistency.
Ideally, you should be using a non-serrated blade, preferably a chef’s knife. However, almost any knife will do as long as it’s got a decently sharp blade.
• While not necessary, letting your nugs dry out for a bit will make this a much easier task.
• Make sure you watch your fingers, as the nugs may be quite small. Considering how light and uncompressed nugs can be, note that they’ll let the knife pass through easily.
• As was the case with the other methods, overkill is possible. Chop in moderation.
• Like you would after chopping anything else, clean your board and knife off afterwards.
If you happen to have one lying around, this is a simple and fun way to get your Kush ground up. Get a plate to grate over, pick the appropriate end of the grater, and get to it. It might take a while, but it’ll get easier as you figure out the best way to work with your grater.
• Watch your fingers! You’ll end up touching the sharp points sooner than you might realise.
• Almost any of the ends should work. However, give preference to ends with smaller openings, as that’ll give you the ideal consistency.
• You might have a hard time getting weed out of the crevices. Keep a poker around to dig through them and get all of your bud.
• Wash off the grater thoroughly to make sure you get rid of the scent and residue.
SCENARIO 2 — ON THE GO
Alright, out the door you go! You’re going to pick up friends, and one of them mentions that they want to smoke in the car. You don’t want to disappoint, but you still don’t have a grinder! What can you do? Well, you have a couple of options here.
Got any change? How about a small, rigid plastic container like a dispensary container or pill bottle? Congratulations, it turns out you DO have a grinder! Throw a couple of heavier coins into the container with your nugs of choice (not too many, not too few). Close the container tightly, and shake away! Check on the progress every 20 seconds or so to make sure you get the ideal consistency.
• If you’re in the US, quarters and nickels work best. For Europeans, the one or two euro coins are your go-to. People in the UK will want to use one or two pound coins for this process.
• Make sure you aren’t over-shaking. It only takes a few too many shakes to leave your weed powdery and unsmokable.
• If you’re using a pill bottle, make sure you clean out the bottle afterwards.
• If you plan on spending the change you use in the process, make sure you clean that off as well.
THE “HANDS-ON” APPROACH
As it turns out, your body has not one, but TWO semi-decent grinders attached already! “Oh my God, they’re just sticking out of me? Where are they?!”. Don’t panic, they’re your hands! “Oh, well that’s not as exciting”. We know, but it sure is convenient!
Start off by taking the bigger buds and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable bits. From there, use your fingers and fingernails to whittle those down into even smaller bits until you’re satisfied.
• No one likes dirty weed. Make sure you wash your hands immediately before you do this. It wouldn’t hurt to wash them after, either.
• Take it slow and steady with sticky weed. If you’re too heavy-handed, you could end up compressing it, making smoking slightly more difficult.
• On the other end, be careful if your weed is overly dry, and handle the grounds carefully when they’re at your desired texture.
• Make sure you use a flat, even, and crevice-free surface, as this will make picking the weed up far easier.
SCENARIO 3 — AT A PARTY
You’ve made it to the party, and as it turns out, you and your friends are the only ones with weed! That also means, however, that there’s still no grinder. You don’t feel like shaking a plastic container in front of people, and the germaphobes will get put off if you go hands-on. Still, the people need to get their smoke on.
Thankfully, if it’s a well-equipped party, you’ve got a couple decent courses of action.
SHOT GLASS AND SCISSORS
Most people will have a pair of scissors lying around, and there will almost definitely be a shot glass. What do you do with those two things? Well, you’ll just need to throw a nug or two in the shot glass and start cutting them in there. Start by cutting them in half, then use the tips of the scissors to make them smaller and smaller.
• Make sure you wash off the scissors and shot glass before trying this tactic.
• Don’t go too crazy with the snipping, as rushed movements could lead to weed spilling out of the glass.
• Do this over a flat, clean and smooth surface, just in case something spills out.
• If you want somewhere to keep the leftover ground weed, just use the same shot glass!
Is it a little excessive? Sure. A little showy? Probably. But why not live life to the fullest? That, my friends, is why you should try grinding weed with a blender.
If it’s the sort of party with mixed drinks, all you need to do is clean out the blender and throw your stash right in there. Close the lid, and you’re off to the races. You’ll want to be careful and switch it to the pulse setting where you can control when it blends. Do it in short intervals until you get the desired texture.
• Clean out any stems and seeds before blending, as they’ll cause issues for the blender’s blades.
• As cool as it looks, this is probably a last resort, so really make sure there aren’t any scissors around.
• This is most effective with larger amounts of weed. Check around the room and see who wants to contribute!
• The blender might be a bit powerful, so try to limit blending to around 10 seconds.
AN EXTRA TIP: GET A GRINDER!
If you’re reading the article, there’s one more key piece of advice we think you’ll benefit from. What’s that, you wonder?
Get a grinder! Not sure where to get one? We happen to have a wide selection for people with all budgets!
Working off the DIY shaker concept we mentioned earlier, our Grindtainer is one of the most budget-friendly and convenient grinders and containers out there. It’s got the space to hold a decent amount of weed, along with the same grinding capacity as the average compact grinder. Already have a grinder? We’d highly recommend this as a handy backup. Even if this is your primary grinder, you’ll still be living easy.
We’ve got more classic grinders too, including our own RQS branded metal grinder! That one even comes complete with a kief catcher, as does our pollinator grinder, which also has a handle on the outside for a low-effort grind.
We’ve got some more premium options as well. Standing out amongst them is our limited edition collaboration with Krush on their uniquely shaped Kube & Kube 2.0. Constructed with specially designed teeth, this grinder is designed to fluff your weed while you grind. The anodised aluminium construction means it’ll be able to grind like new for a long, long time.
HOW TO GRIND WITHOUT A GRINDER: WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY
No matter how you’re grinding your weed, whether it’s with a grinder, cheese grater, or blender, just make sure you’re enjoying it responsibly, surrounded by friends. Other than that, make sure you’re cleaning anything you’re using to grind your weed, even if you’re using an actual grinder. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay high! Oh, and check out our full range of grinders (and other cool RQS merchandise) here!
We've all been caught without a grinder on hand, but that shouldn't stop you! Whether you're at home, on the go, or partying, there's a way to grind your weed.