The best way to grind marijuana is certainly with a marijuana grinder. Unfortunately, these handy tools are not always around and ready when they are needed. Fortunately, improvising a clever solution isn’t so hard for the determined cannabis enthusiast who is willing to demonstrate a little bit of ingenuity.
In this article, we will take a quick look at how to properly grind cannabis the old-fashioned way. After that, we will take a look at sixteen ways that are less common, but (almost) just as effective. Read on to learn more!
Picking the Right Grinder
While it’s great to know that you want a grinder, this is only part of the process. You also have to choose one that suits your needs. Here are a few different types of grinders you might encounter at your local cannabis store.
This grinder is either plastic or metal but consists of one single unit meaning there is not a top or bottom. You add your marijuana to the grinder, grind it, and open it the same place you put it in. It’s a pretty simple tool, but for the average person, it gets the job done without complaint. Better yet, they tend to be very affordable, making your standard grinder an accessible tool that every lover of cannabis should have at their disposal.
Multi-unit grinder with a kief catcher
This grinder has a top where you place the cannabis near the teeth, a middle basket that collects the finished product, and a lower unit that collects kief over time. For those that collect kief (and there are certainly lots of reasons why that’s a great idea) you will want a grinder with a kief catcher. These products resemble your basic floor model, save the addition of a small screen that filters out the kief for your later use. These grinders may cost a little bit more, but many find that they are well worth the added cost.
As the name suggests, electric grinders take the manual element out of the job. They are especially handy for people that tend to grind significant quantities of cannabis at once. However, there are some issues to be aware of. For one thing, they tend to be the most expensive options you are going to come across. They may also be difficult to get the hang of, making it very likely that you will over-grind your cannabis from time to time.
How to Use a Grinder to Properly Grind Marijuana
Fortunately, figuring out how to grind cannabis isn’t so difficult. In fact, you can get the job done by taking a few simple steps.
Step 1: Remove the Lid and Place the Cannabis
First things first, take off your grinder lid, and place the amount of cannabis you will be consuming inside. While you may be tempted to break the nugget into pieces, this usually is not necessary unless you are dealing with very dense quantities.
Step 2: Replace the Lid, and Turn
Once your cannabis is safely situated, replace the lid, and turn the top 8-10 times. While there is no precise way to get the job done, it’s always better to take a less is more approach. Keep in mind that you can’t un-grind your cannabis, and overly ground weed can burn extremely fast. A mix of course and fine ground marijuana will give you the best smoke.
Step 3: Unscrew the Lower chamber
After your cannabis is ground to your liking, you will find the finished product waiting in the basket below the grinder teeth. Most of the time it will be ready to go. If, however, you find that your cannabis isn’t as fine as you prefer, feel free to repeat step 2, a turn at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
How to Grind Marijuana Without a Grinder: 16 Different Ways
Above we described the journey cannabis lovers take with their grinders. While it’s great when things go that way, the fact is that sometimes they don’t. Below you will find fifteen ways to grind cannabis without a grinder
Fingers have gotten the job done for as long as cannabis has existed and they will always remain a viable option for the cannabis lover who finds themselves without their favorite accessory. Simply smoosh the bud up between your fingers delicately until your desired consistency has been achieved. It may not be as professional as the grinder but it will get the job done.
2. Coffee grinder
Coffee grinders can serve as a handy alternative to the real deal, but you must proceed with a degree of caution. Keep in mind that coffee beans are significantly harder than cannabis nuggets, and therefore, the tools meant to grind them tend to pack a bit of a punch. If you aren’t careful, your coffee grinder will do too good of a job on your bud. For best results, try pulsing the grinder one or two seconds at a time, stirring the mixture to make sure that the job is done evenly.
Snipping cannabis down to size with scissors can be an effective way to make your cannabis game-time ready if you have the patience and skills. Approach the job you would a head of lettuce with kitchen sheers and you’ll be in the right state of mind. This approach will take more time than some of the other options described here but comes with the benefit of an enhanced level of precision you might not get through other methods.
4. Sharp Knife
Sharp knives can also get the job done, with the same mindset you might extend to scissors. Chop the bud the way you would any veggie, and don’t stop until it looks the way you like it. Just be sure you have a sturdy chopping board handy.
5. Pestle and Mortar
A pestle and mortar set can be a great, rustic way to grind your cannabis at home. To begin, place your cannabis in the basin and slowly rub the pestle over it. Just be gentle! It’s not hard to over-mash something with a quality pestle. It’s also worth noting that there might be a bit of a learning curve attached with this approach. Any seasoned cook will tell you that pestle and mortar sets require practice.
6. Cheese Grater
A cheese grater may not be an appropriate option for smaller quantities of cannabis. However, if you have a large stash that you can get a good grip on, you may find success rubbing it against a cheese grater.
7. Lemon Zester
The same principle as described above can extend to a lemon zester. Added bonus? Most feature a comfortable grip that will make it a little bit easier to use. For best results, scrape the zester slowly against the bud as this will facilitate a coarser grind.
8. Pizza Cutter
While you’re in the junk drawer, why not give the pizza cutter a spin? The process will be a lot like using a kitchen knife, but with a little less need for a decent technique. If you can roll the cutter across a cutting board, you’ll be in fine shape.
Tenderizers are a blunt instrument—literally. While they may feel like overkill for this task, they can actually be used with very minimal effort to bring your cannabis down to a perfect consistency. For small quantities of cannabis, simply place the nugget beneath the face of the tenderizer and apply pressure. For larger quantities, you may wish to bag the cannabis and slide the pressure across the entire stash.
10. Drinking Glass
At a party without a grinder? You can use the same technique described above by taking advantage of the bottom of a drinking glass. It’s a pretty simple technique but it will get the job done in a pinch.
11. Credit Card
Credit cards tend to be affiliated with harder drug use, but the connotation needn’t always apply. If you’re out in the world with nothing but a nugget and a credit card at your disposal, feel free to use the fine edge of the card to chop your stash up into smokeable bits. Just try to give the card a wipe down if you have the means. They tend to get germy.
If credit cards are grody, keys are, you know. Grodier. Still, if you’re without other options, your car key (house key, any key) can be a great way to get the job done. Try to wipe them down if you can. If not, well, YOLO.
13. Coin and a Bottle
This is kind of a weird, roundabout way of getting the job done, but if you’re interested in an improvised solution that comes with the added bonus of providing a decent workout, here it is. Find a decent-sized bottle, place a (for god’s sake, clean) coin in, and drop your stash. Spend a few minutes shaking the bottle, and you’ll find your cannabis has been well ground.
Are you feeling crazy? If so, consider giving this a spin. Place your cannabis in a blender, hit pulse, and pray that your stash doesn’t get reduced to powder.
To be clear, blenders definitely are not the best way to get the job done under normal circumstances (overkill is an understatement) but if your stash is large enough it might be a viable option.
15. Pepper Grinder
There are probably not all that many people in the world who have a pepper grinder handy, but if you do and you’re willing to put it to noble use, consider this method. Place your nugget where the pepper usually goes, and turn the top.
The motion is actually pretty much identical to that of your conventional cannabis grinder making it a pretty dependable alternative.
16. Salt Shaker
The restaurant alternative to a shot glass. If you find yourself on the go in a public setting, consider using the bottom of a salt shaker the way you might a pestle and mortar. It’s a handy and largely effective way to get the job done.
Keep it Clean
As you can see, it’s really not that hard to swap out your grinder for another alternative. With a little bit of creativity, you can really McGiver the situation in a way that will suit your purposes. It begs the question, why invest in a grinder at all?
Consistency is definitely one reason. You’ll have a mixed bag of results with pretty much all of the aforementioned options, while a grinder will more or less treat you to the exact same experience every time.
It’s also worth noting that you can mostly assume your grinder is a sanitary space—at least more so than car keys or loose change. It’s kind of like the difference between preparing food on a kitchen counter versus a bathroom counter.
If you are going to grind your weed on the go, try to keep it as clean as possible. Opt for the most sanitary option at your disposal, and wipe the improvised tool as best you can whenever possible. We live in an age now where everyone is hyper-conscious of germs, so it’s best to keep things as clean as possible.
All of that said, it’s best not to overthink the decision too much. If you’re second-guessing yourself, take solace in this: by the time your cannabis has turned to smoke in your lungs, you won’t really care how it was grinded up.