There’s a good reason people grind their weed: It allows for even burning, fully releasing all the compounds you want. If you’ve ever seen a chunk of bud slip down the bong stem because it was packed willy-nilly, you know the frustration. Grinding not only makes the burn even, it allows you to inhale all the terpenes and cannabinoids you’re wanting from your buds. Problem is, you don’t always have a grinder around. Maybe you’re on vacation, or visiting a friend, or you just lost yours. What do you do, and what’s the best way to approach how to grind marijuana without a grinder?

Smokers have been on the DIY tip for a long time (ever smoke from an impromptu pipe made from an apple?), so it’s no surprise there are several clever ways to grind weed without a grinder. It’s all about the physics! Here are some clever ways to produce a nice even burn by grinding buds using impromptu methods.

how to grind weed without a grinder
Knowing how to grind weed without a grinder is a valuable skill that will no doubt come in handy.

First, the goal here is to break up the flowers so all the “good stuff” can be evenly smoked and nothing is wasted. The trick is to break everything down without also wasting the trichomes (the tiny, brittle hairs on the buds) so you get maximum effects and flavor from your smoke. To do that, we’re looking at materials that won’t grab those hairs or any other plant matter, and stuff that won’t accidentally mix into your weed before you smoke it.

Let’s look at how to grind weed without a grinder and the different methods of doing so.

How to grind weed without a grinder

Here are some suggestions for how to grind weed without a grinder.

1. Use your hands

how to grind weed with your hands
Grinding weed using your hands alone

The old ways may not be the best ways, but they still work in a pinch. Breaking up your buds by hand can be tricky if the plants are quite sticky, but just let them dry out a little if that’s a problem (putting them in the freezer for a bit also works). Using your fingers you can break them up into as small a pieces as possible. Trying rubbing your fingers together to release trichomes that stick to you.

2. Scissors

how to grind weed with scissors
Grinding weed with scissors

Unless you’re Edward Scissorhands your fingers will only go so far in chopping those nuggets down. Put a bud in a shot glass, open up some very sharp scissors, and begin snipping away (the glass helps keep all the plant materials from flying away). Within a few seconds you’ll have a nice collection of chopped weed that should be good to go. Note that you should also remove internal stems for best result, so that probably means pulling the buds apart with your fingers first. Whatever works!

3. Knife and cutting board

grind weed with knife chopping board
Grinding weed with a knife and chopping board

If you want to go full Gordon Ramsey you can whip out a sharp knife and cutting board. Ideally your board should be very clean, and if possible use one that doesn’t have deep ruts in it from years of use. A marble countertop works great, or glass (just be careful). The blade should NOT be serrated, and as always be careful when chopping. The size of the blade doesn’t matter as long as you wield it properly. Chop the buds to your liking, but note you can carefully retrieve the trichomes that stick to the blade if you want.

4. Coin and bottle technique

grind weed coin bottle
Grinding weed with a coin and bottle

This method work great, saves all the goodies in the bottle, and is kinda fun to do. Grab a penny — because the smooth edge won’t grab trichomes — drop it in a small bottle with your buds, and shake it more vigorously than a Polaroid picture. Ideally you may have a little glass jar to use, so you can wipe all the good stuff out without it sticking. But a plastic pill bottle works as well. Shaking vigorously flings the coin around in the bottle, chopping the buds up enough to make a nice, even smoke. This is probably the most thorough and effective of the impromptu methods, especially if you’re not keen on using blades.

5. Cheese Grater 

Cheese graters can be sketchy to use with small buds since you have to rub them super close to your exposed hands, but they definitely come in handy whenever you’re caught without a grinder. For this method, you’ll need to prop your cheese grater on top of a rolling tray to catch your buds as they’re grated. Like ordinary cheese, you’ll hold the grater in one hand and your bud in the other. Rub your flowers along the side of the cheese grater with the smallest holes so that your ground flower comes out the right size. You can use the bud that falls on the rolling tray any way you’d like, just be sure to clean the grater well before putting it back in the drawer.

6. Coffee Grinder

grind weed with coffee grinder
Grinding weed in a coffee grinder

The coffee grinder method is ideal if you want a really fine grind, which tends to be ideal for making edibles over smoking. While it’s on the more difficult side in terms of cleaning after use, it’ll still do you in a pinch. You’ll just take your coffee grinder and load your weed where the coffee goes. Use the handle or twist the grinder until the buds inside reach your desired consistency. You’ll quickly find yourself with a good fine grind that will be collected within the grinder, keeping it fresh and fragrant. Open it up and load it into your ideal smoking receptacle and blast off.

7. Credit Card 

how to grind weed with credit card
Grinding weed with a credit card

Credit cards are also great for grinding up your buds. All you need to do is disinfect a nice, sturdy credit card and put your weed on a rolling tray. From there you’ll just swipe your card through your buds horizontally and use it like a knife to chop up your herb. To make it look easy in front of your friends, hold the card at a slight angle to utilize those sharp edges on the card itself. It’s pretty straightforward— all you have to do is keep swiping that card through your weed every which way until you get it broken down into the consistency you like. Once that’s done, you can use the credit card to gather all of the bud and leftover kief on the rolling tray into a nice little pile that you can pull from for a bowl or roll into a j.

If you get creative you can imagine other ways to chop your weed, such as a mortar and pestle, or even a blender. These can lead to waste, however, and are a bit overkill. Humans are clever critters, so there may be other ways of reducing your bud to powder, just keep in mind there’s a balance between “finely ground” and “pulverized powder.”

Which is your favorite method? How do you grind weed without a grinder? Let us know in the comments below.

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