Blog Menu

Grinding Herb Without a Grinder

by Angel Ferrer 6 min read

grind weed without a grinder

Ways to Grind Weed

Even the most prepared smoker can find themselves without a grinder. Maybe you are low on funds, and a grinder is not at the top of the list right now. Perhaps you ended up out with friends for an unexpected smoke. No matter what the case, there are some tips and tricks that make it possible to grind weed without having a grinder on you.

Many people rely on weed for relaxation or to treat medical conditions. Although it may initially seem like a disaster to reach for the grinder and be unable to find it, there are ways to work around this situation. This article will present some of the most popular ways of grinding buds when you do not have a grinder on you.

But first, why grind your weed in the first place?

Grinding Technique: Personal Preference 

Breaking your weed down (and taking it a step further to grind) allows optimal aeration, surface area and even distribution of heat that allows the weed to burn cleanly and efficiently. This can result in a more impactful, flavorful and aromatic experience. Further, this process enables you to remove any stems and unwanted organic matter. In other cases, you may want to produce Kief, an incredibly potent blend created by grinding off the trichomes from the plant and collecting it in a chamber for later use.

Additional Benefits of Grinding:

  • Prevents pipes and bowls from getting clogged
  • Makes cleaning devices and instruments easier
  • Reduces waste
  • Optimizes the experience 
  • Enhances aeration and airflow 
  • Keeps your fingers clean
  • Improves the release of terpenes and cannabinoids 

Are there any cons to grinding your weed? Possibly.

The process can disturb trichomes, and if you don’t collect them in a chamber to add back into your cannabis you will lose out on enjoying them during that session. There is some argument that grinding may inadvertently cause you to use MORE weed than you would have if you packed big chunks into your pipe. Think of a cup. If you filled it with pulverized powdered Legos you could fit a whole lot more into that cup than pouring in randomly sized plastic Legos that no have big gaps and spaces between them.

Solutions Around the House

It can be easy to misplace a grinder or think you packed it when you did not. The fact is, people have been smoking weed for hundreds of years (well before the advent of special ‘grinders’). Although youcan use your hands, this is NOT the best way to get the job done when you find yourself without an actual grinder. Not only is it messy, but you’ll also waste product as it sticks to your fingers and can make quite a mess of things. Not to mention that it’s not the most sanitary.

If you are in a house, you may have a number of solutions readily available:

  • Coffee Grinders – Hey, a grinder is a grinder! But a word of advice: don’t just reach out to grab anyone’s coffee grinder, though. Keep in mind that using this solution means that you may have some “infused” coffee the next brew or that your smoke may hint of java, even if you clean the grinder beforehand. Do the right thing and ask for permission if it's not yours, or if it is yours, be aware that the next time or two you “brew” you may have some leftover residue to contend with. Generally speaking, its best to clean the coffee grinder before you switch back to coffee beans.
  • Mortar and Pestle – If it's good enough for chefs, it's good enough for you. The downside? This solution can be a bit more time consuming, but if there is a chef in the house, chances are you have this sitting around. In order to get a good grind, you will need to make sure your buds are dried out, first.
  • Cutting Boards and Serrated Knives – This is best as a last-resort method, but you can lay out your weed on a cutting board and go all Gordon Ramsey on it. Just make sure to exercise caution so you do not end up cutting a finger. This is also better with dry weed, as sticky weed will just stick to the knife.
  • Cheese Grater – You never knew this tool was so versatile, did you? You can rub your bud against the grates just like you would a hunk of cheese. We recommend a good rinse afterward, though, unless you are planning on some infused eats.

No matter which solution you pick, make sure you ask first before using a device that belongs to someone else or is shared with someone else! And always clean up the device or utensils afterward to reduce cross-contamination of your cannabis with any other food-related items.

Solutions for Grinding While Traveling

More often than not, a missing grinder scenario means that you are out and about. But don’t worry, there are still some great ways to get a good grind going!

Consider the following…

  1. Do it the old-fashioned way: Place the bud in one palm, while you break it up with your other hand. You do run the risk of ending up with some bigger pieces, but in a pinch, this does help to break things up.
  1. Make-A-Shaker: If you have a small bottle, such as a pill bottle, and a coin, you can make your own shaker. Put the coin in the bottle, put your supply in the bottle, put the lid on, and shake it up. The coin will help break apart your bud but do be aware that this is a noisy solution that may draw attention to you.

If you are traveling around, finding quick solutions may depend entirely on what you have on you or what you can find around you.

Pull Out a Few Party Tricks

Are you having a good time with your friends and want to show off a bit while you break up your supply? We ran across a few fun ways to grind up weed when with your friends!

  • Shot glass and scissors – Okay, so this is not as magic as it sounds, but it will definitely get your friends to admire your amazing ingenuity! Use the shot glass to hold your weed, and then break it up in the contained area with a pair of scissors until you are satisfied.
  • Use a blender – The same advice goes for the blender as the coffee grinder – just be aware that your next smoothie may be VERY relaxing! The more you have in the chamber, the easier it will be to blend...we mean, grind…your weed!

Again, if you are using items that do not belong to you, be courteous and ask first!

Create Your Own Grinder – a DIY special! 

Perhaps none of these ideas appeal to you, or you just can’t imagine not using a grinder. You can always try creating your own grinder if you have the right materials around!

A Grinder can be made from any number of items. Remember, the tool itself consists of just a few basic elements/pieces. You need a “chamber” or area to catch anything that gets ground so that you don’t waste anything. Some type of “teeth” or sharp/hard/coarse surface to do the actual grinding, and a lid (optional but helpful to prevent spills).

For a simple DIY project, you’ll need the following supplies to get started:

  • An empty chewing tobacco can – This may be difficult to find, but if you or one of your friends uses chewing tobacco, there may be a can available.
  • Nails or thumbtacks – Thumbtacks are the better option here, but nails will do in a pinch.

Once you have gathered all your supplies, it is time to assemble the grinder. Make sure the tin has been cleaned out, and then pierce the top and the bottom of the tin’s pieces with the thumbtacks or nails, leaving them in.

Make sure to space out the thumbtacks like a real grinder would have spacing. Then, you can put your weed in the container and close it up to grind. There will not be a catcher at the bottom, but it will still grind up your weed!

Get Creative and Have a Good Time

No doubt, using a grinder to prepare your weed is a worthwhile endeavor, even if you don’t have an actual “grinder” laying around. Taking the time to properly prep your weed can result in a significant difference in burn, flavor, aroma and the concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids, not to mention making sure you don’t waste a bit of herb.

Although it can certainly be annoying to forget or lose your grinder, it is not the end of the world, and no time to panic. With a little preparation and ingenuity, you can effectively grind your weed at home or on the go.

Whether you use one of the above suggestions or find your own genius method, there is always a way to accomplish your goal! Think outside the box and see what types of creative ideas you can come up with for grinding your weed.

Everyone deserves to relax and enjoy themselves. Do not let the lack of a grinder get in the way of you enjoying a nice smoke. Whether you use a joint, a pipe, or a bong, there is always a way to get yourself set up for a good time. And as always, enjoy responsibly!