Cannabis grinders: these devices are so commonplace, that it can be hard to imagine what it’s like to consume cannabis without sending your dry herb material through the grinder’s interspersed teeth. Especially for portable vaporizers and other consumption methods which require a fine and even grind, the cannabis grinder’s ability to chop flower into small and evenly-sized bits is indispensable for a quality session.
There are plenty of reasons to reach for a cannabis grinder first. A cannabis grinder simplifies the task, especially helpful in breaking apart large amounts of flower quickly (here is a list of popular cannabis grinders). They’re easy to use, requiring just a few twists to go from a solid piece to small bits ready for consumption. These bits are chopped into small and even-sized pieces, essential for a smooth burn and proper airflow. These devices contain the mess of grinding, too, so bits don’t litter the table or floor below you.
Select models come with an additional chamber for catching and saving kief, the valuable and potent material that shakes off the cannabis during the grinding process. Many consumers like to save the kief and add it back into the cannabis before consumption.
However, not everyone has a grinder at the ready. Perhaps you forgot yours at home, or you’re waiting for a new one to arrive in the mail. There’s no reason to wait around to consume your cannabis – there are plenty of alternative ways to take apart your flower. Here, we’ll review five common methods you can use when you’re in a pinch.
Is it Possible to Grind Cannabis Without a Grinder?
Even though there are many reasons to use a grinder, it is certainly possible to prepare cannabis without one. After all, cannabis has been consumed for thousands of years, and the modern grinder hasn’t been around nearly quite that long.
However, these alternative methods do not produce the same results. The mechanical challenges of not having a specially-made device mean that the flower pieces produced by some of these methods may be too large for some devices such as portable vaporizers or desktop vaporizers, or the chop too uneven for a smooth consumption experience. Although the below alternative methods may not be perfect, they are very handy to have handy if a grinder is not in reach.
How can you Grind Cannabis Without a Grinder?
The alternative methods for grinding cannabis without a grinder all take advantage of items you probably have accessible at home. Some use objects found around the kitchen, while others combine common household objects. Whichever tools you have, these five alternative cannabis grinding methods will get the job done.
- Method 1: The “old school” way – with your hands
What you need to know: Talk about getting back to basics! Using your hands is the simplest and most convenient way to break apart your cannabis if you have no tools on hand. While it certainly isn’t perfect and the bits may be uneven, it will get the job done. Be prepared for sticky hands afterward, though.
What you’ll need: A rolling tray or other flat surface, your hands
- Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly.
- Take the dry flower in your hands. Place the material in one hand and use your fingers on the other hand to roll the cannabis around. Pieces will begin to break apart in the palm of your hand. The rolling tray or other flat surface underneath your hand can catch any plant material that falls below.
- If your hands are sticky, wash them thoroughly when done.
- Method 2: The coffee grinder method
What you need to know: As the name suggests, this device is designed to break apart whole spices and coffee beans. In a bind, it can do the same for cannabis. It is especially helpful for grinding large amounts of dry herb material. Keep in mind, though, that it may be difficult to thoroughly clean the cannabis out of the coffee grinder once you’re done.
What you’ll need: A coffee grinder or spice grinder
- Clean the coffee grinder of any coffee or spice remnants.
- Place the cannabis inside the grinder according to instructions.
- Pulse until the cannabis has reached the desired consistency.
- Method 3: The “pill bottle and a coin” method
What you need to know: While it may sound strange, folks swear by this method when they’re stuck without a grinder. It involves no sharp blades or electronic devices: just put together your makeshift grinder and you’ll be ready for your session. Be sure to wash every component thoroughly before attempting this method.
What you’ll need: A penny or dime, a small container such as a pill bottle or small plastic storage container
- Place the cannabis into the clean container.
- Wash the coin thoroughly, and then insert the clean and dry coin into the container. Cover with the lid.
- Shake the container vigorously for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
- Check in on your cannabis. Cover with the lid and shake for another minute if you would like a finer grind.
- Method 4: The knife method
What you need to know: This straightforward way to grind cannabis gives you full control over the size of the flower. You can continue to chop until the grind is fine enough to your satisfaction. However, if your flower is particularly sticky, it may be difficult to maneuver the knife as cannabis builds up and sticks to the blade.
What you’ll need: A sharp knife, a cutting board
- Place the cannabis on a clean cutting board.
- Begin to chop. Proceed cautiously and watch your fingers as you go.
- Continue to chop until the cannabis is of your desired size.
- Method 5: The shot glass method
What you need to know: A pair of scissors opening and closing in the narrow confines of a shot glass or cup mimics the grinder’s teeth. Just like the knife method, though, particularly sticky plant material may stick to the blades and may make it difficult to open and close them.
What you’ll need: Shot glass or other small and narrow cup, scissors (both should be cleaned and dry before use)
- Place the cannabis in the glass.
- Insert the scissors safely.
- Snip at the cannabis until the desired grind is reached.
More options to Grind
If you find yourself grinder-less, don’t fret! There are plenty of alternative methods to grind your cannabis without a grinder. While you might find yourself missing the perfectly-sized pieces produced by a grinder, many household objects such as a knife, scissors, or even just your hands can get close to what the grinder can do. No matter where you are, if you find yourself stuck without a grinder, just ask someone for a penny – they may be pleasantly surprised by the results.