Grinding your weed is a crucial step to take before smoking up. The best way to grind your bud is with a grinder that is designed for weed specifically. Except what if you do not have a grinder? If you do not have a proper grinder then you will want to find a substitute for one.
Why grind weed?
Grinding your flower is an important part of preparing to smoke. Breaking the buds down into crumb-sized, consistent pieces allows the cannabis to burn thoroughly and evenly.
Especially if you plan to roll a joint or blunt, grinding your weed allows you to pack a quality joint/blunt that should have nice airflow and the ability to stay lit.
Grinding cannabis is also ideal for all other methods of smoking. For example, when you are smoking out of a bowl, whether it is a spoon pipe, a bubbler, or a bong, thoroughly ground-up weed allows for an even burning bowl that should last you more hits than if you were to just stick a dense nug into the bowl.
Technically speaking, you could get away with ripping a chunk off a nug and putting it into a bowl to smoke. If you have ever tried this then you will soon understand the drawbacks. Smoking a dense chunk of weed is very inefficient. There is less surface area that can be exposed to the flame, which results in an uneven burn and leaves you with unscorched green in the center of the nug. The more times you try to light the same nug chunk to smoke the green the worst the flavor will become.
Some people just break their weed up with their fingers, which can work, but causes some issues. First, it is not going to be as finely distributed as grinding. Second, if you have high-quality weed, it will have a high amount of resin which is going to stick to your fingers badly. By getting your fingers all over this precious resin, you will lessen the quality of your cannabis because the resin is where the terpenes and other compounds are.
Methods for grinding cannabis without a grinder
If you find yourself without a grinder, you are not out of luck. There are a few easy ways to break down your cannabis nugs.
Method 1: Scissors and a shot glass
This is a simple technique. You will need a clean shot glass and a pair of clean, sharp scissors. Grab a nug and put it into the shot glass. Next, get your scissors and start cutting up the nug in the shot glass. Be tidy with this so that you do not spill any weed out of the shot glass.
Keep cutting it up until you start to see small, uniformed pieces. The sharper your scissors are the easier this will be. Also, the skinnier the scissors are the less resin you will lose on the blades.
Method 2: Coffee grinder
If you have a coffee grinder at home, this may be the easiest way to grind up weed. Just put your nugs into the grinder and turn it on. Grind it until it is finely ground into even pieces.
This is also the best way to grind up bulk amounts of bud. The cleanup afterward is the biggest drawback. You will certainly need to clean it out before you try using it again for coffee.
Method 3: Kitchen knife
A sloppy yet effective method is using a sharp kitchen knife to chop your weed into pieces. It is important to have a sharp knife because a dull one will just smash the weed and destroy the quality by removing most resin and trichomes onto your knife and cutting board.
A sharp knife will also speed up the process and create a more uniform result.
No matter what, your knife and cutting board will become sticky from the weed, so you will want to give them a good wash and scrub afterward.
Method 4: Pill bottle and coin
If you have any empty pill bottles or film canisters lying around the house and a small coin (penny or dime), you have a grinder substitute. Simply place the amount of cannabis you want into the pill bottle or film canister, then add the coin, and put the lid on tightly (make sure it is closed!). Shake the bottle/canister around for a minute or two or until your arm becomes tired. This will make a decent amount of noise so keep that in mind if you are trying to be discreet.
If your weed is still a little wet or very resinous, this method may not work as well, but should still break the bud down without needing to involve your fingers.
Method 5: Mortar and pestle
These kitchen tools were made for grinding. This traditional tool is a grinder substitute and depending on the size of your mortar, you can break down a bulk amount of weed all at once. It is rather difficult to grind wet weed with a mortar and pestle therefore you might want to let your weed dry out a bit first. Do not aggressively grind your buds or else you may spill some outside of the mortar.
Method 6: Cheesegrater
This is the worst option between the 6 methods but it can still work. If you cannot perform any of the methods listed above, a cheese grater will also grind your flower in a pinch.
For this method, grab your nug and rub it along the side of the grater with the smallest holes. Be very careful not to drag your fingers along the grater. You can use a small towel to grip the bud to avoid any injuries to your fingers.
While it is not the recommended way to break up flower without a grinder, breaking buds up with your fingers will suffice in lieu of a grinder. Your fingers will be very sticky and the result will be different-sized weed pieces, but nevertheless, you will have smaller chunks that can be smoked.
If your buds are too wet and sticky, leave them out of your storage container for a few hours so that they can dry out just enough to break apart easier. You can also throw the weed in your freezer to make it easier to break up. Regardless, you will have ground-up weed ready to be smoked.