How to grind weed without a grinder
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- Why it’s important to grind your weed
- Grinding weed without a grinder
- How to break apart marijuana with your hands
- Protect your trichomes
- Other methods for grinding weed without a grinder
- Bottom line
Grinding your weed is a key preparation before smoking. The best way to grind weed is with a grinder designed specifically for herbal applications. But what if you don’t have a grinder on hand? If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll want to know how to grind your weed without a grinder. This guide will equip you with everything you need to know about how to grind weed without a grinder.
Why it’s important to grind your weed
Before you get started with actually grinding your herb, it’s important to understand why you should focus on getting a good grind prior to smoking.
The specific reasons for grinding your cannabis before smoking differ depending on your smoking method. For starters, if you are trying to roll your herb into a joint, spliff, or blunt, then breaking your cannabis down into smaller chunks is obviously the only way you can fit the herb into your rolling paper. There would simply be no way to roll up an entire nug all on its own. But when you grind the weed into small pieces, you can spread it evenly across your wrap and then roll the whole thing up into a smokable form.
When you grind the weed into small pieces, you can spread it evenly across your wrap and then roll the whole thing up into a smokable form. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Grinding weed is also necessary for other forms of smoking. For example, if you are smoking out of a bowl—whether it’s part of a spoon pipe, a handheld bubbler, a bong, or anything else—you should always grind your herb first if you want to get the most out of your cannabis. Technically speaking, you can get away with dropping a full nug into your bowl and smoking it. But doing so is incredibly inefficient. That’s because there is a very limited amount of surface area that can be exposed to the flame, which will result in an uneven burn and make it hard to tell if there’s unburned green in the center of the nug.
However, if you grind that same nug into smaller chunks, you will be able to pack it evenly into the bowl. And when you ignite the weed in your bowl, there will be a larger surface area to burn. This technique gives you a more uniform combustion across all of your herb and ensures that you ignite the entire quantity, leaving nothing behind. To put it simply: grinding your marijuana ensures that you thoroughly burn and smoke your entire nug so that nothing goes to waste.
Grinding your marijuana ensures that you thoroughly burn and smoke your entire nug so that nothing goes to waste. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Grinding weed without a grinder
By far the best way to grind your cannabis is with a dedicated herb grinder. This tool gives you a uniform grind so that the small pieces of herb are all more or less the same size, further enhancing the efficiency of your smoking experience and letting you get the most combustion out of your marijuana. Further, grinders can help leave intact a greater portion of trichomes—and all the cannabinoids they contain—since they’re not rubbing off onto your hands. However, with all that said, there are still times when you simply cannot access a grinder. In those cases, you can improvise and break apart your marijuana with your hands.
How to break apart marijuana with your hands
This process is best done using a rolling tray or flat surface that can catch your weed and allow you to use both hands to pull apart the nug and separate stems and seeds. But if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a flat, smooth surface handy, you can use the palm of your hand.
Hold your non-dominant hand flat. This will be where you collect your ground-up marijuana. Hold your nug in your dominant hand.
Gently but firmly roll the herb between your middle finger, index finger, and thumb. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Gently but firmly roll the herb between your middle finger, index finger, and thumb. Be sure you roll the herb directly above your non-dominant hand so that all the little pieces fall into your open palm. Continue this process until you have crumbled the entire nug.
Carefully sort through the crumbled herb in your palm. Break down any especially large chunks with your fingertips until all the pieces of herb are roughly the same size.
Once you’re happy with the consistency of your grind, use your ground-up marijuana to roll up your joint, spliff, or blunt, or to pack your bowl.
Protect your trichomes
When you crumble weed with your fingers, the ultimate goal is to strike a balance between applying enough force to break apart the cannabis without damaging the herb.
Remember, you’re trying to protect the trichomes as much as you can, since this is where all the THC and other cannabinoids are concentrated. No matter how gentle or careful you are, you will still end up with sticky resinous fingers when you’re done, and there will be some degree of trichome loss as a result of the crumbling process. Do your best to be as gentle as possible while still applying adequate force to break apart the bud.
Other methods for grinding weed without a grinder
Crumbing weed with your hands is the classic go-to strategy when you find yourself without a grinder. But there are a few other methods you can try if you have access to some basic household equipment.
Method 1: Scissors and a shot glass
For this method, you’ll need a clean shot glass and a pair of clean, sharp scissors. Place your nug into the shot glass. Then poke the scissors down into the shot glass and slice apart the marijuana. Be careful that you don’t spill the cannabis as you work the scissors. As always, shoot for slicing your cannabis into pieces that are as uniform in size as possible. And remember, the sharper your scissors, the more precise your cuts will be and the more intact your valuable trichomes will remain.
Place your nug into the shot glass. Then poke the scissors down into the shot glass and slice apart the marijuana. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Method 2: Coffee grinder
Did you know that you can also grind your marijuana in a coffee grinder? Doing so will give you a decent grind, but will leave the blades of your coffee grinder sticky with resin. Try this method only if you’re fine with having a resin-covered coffee grinder.
Method 3: Kitchen knife and cutting board
Another method is to chop your cannabis using a very sharp kitchen knife and cutting board. If your knife is too dull, you will end up tearing your bud rather than slicing it cleanly, and this could lead to significant trichome damage. But if you can get a nice clean slice, you’ll leave intact more of the trichomes and get a much more uniform final product. Of course, your knife and cutting board will accumulate residual sticky resin, so you should plan on washing them immediately after slicing apart your marijuana.
You can grind your weed by chopping your cannabis using a very sharp kitchen knife and cutting board. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
While a grinder is the single best piece of equipment you can use to grind marijuana, you can also improvise with household items and your own hands.
How to grind weed without a grinder Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Why it’s important to grind your weed Grinding weed without a grinder
The Pros & Cons of Grinding Your Weed
Some swear by the grinder. Some swear by finger chopping. But which one is better? Is there a winner? Our analysis is that there really are pros and cons to using a grinder, and many reasons to use your fingers! In this article, we take a look at the reasons you might want to grind and the reasons you might want to finger chop.
- The pros of grinding your weed
- 1. You don’t get sticky-icky on your fingers
- 2. It’s fast and easy
- 3. Grinders grind fine weed
- 4. Collect the hash at the end of each month
- The cons of grinding weed
- 1. You disturb the trichomes
- 2. You go through so much more weed
- 3. You get a repetitive strain injury
- 4. You lose the sensory experience
- Alternatives to grinding weed
- 1. Scissors
- 2. A coin and a small container
- 3. A coffee grinder
The grinder: possibly the least fancy, but arguably one of the most practical items in each stoner’s survival kit. But there are still a lot of seasoned joint rollers and cone smokers that swear by the finger-chop method.
We’re taking the liberty of doing the assessment. Why should you grind your weed? Why shouldn’t you? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of using a grinder and of course, the alternatives to using a grinder.
The pros of grinding your weed
Let’s start with the reasons you might want to keep a grinder next to your weed stash:
1. You don’t get sticky-icky on your fingers
The most obvious reason that someone might want to use a grinder is that it can get pretty sticky if you’re using the finger chop method. And that leads to other complications, such as difficulties rolling and hands that constantly smell like marijuana…
2. It’s fast and easy
It can take much longer to finger chop a gram of weed than to simply just throw it in a grinder. Probably the second most popular reason to grind your buds rather than get those finger nails out. A grinder works much faster than fingertips and finger nails.
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3. Grinders grind fine weed
Some people just don’t like chunky bits in their joints and bongs. They prefer a finer grind, which can be next to impossible to achieve with fingers – especially if it’s very sticky bud like Papaya, Big Bud or California Orange Bud. They also say that the more surface area there is (the finer it is ground), the higher you’ll get off a hit, which also makes sense.
Packing a pipe or bong can be difficult with finger chopped weed, which is when a grinder comes in handy. But I suppose it also comes down to how much effort you’re willing to put into the finger chopping process…
4. Collect the hash at the end of each month
There are grinders you can buy that have multiple chambers. Not only does it collect your ground weed in one chamber, but it collects all the trichomes that fall off in another chamber. That allows you the possibility of collecting some high potency kief after a month or two of grinding (or however long you go without cleaning your grinder).
That’s something to think about when it comes to using a grinder, although some would say that this falls into the “cons” of using a grinder, too. So, on that note, let’s have a look at some of the reasons you might not want to use a grinder.
The cons of grinding weed
It’s okay to give your grinder a well-earned rest. Let it collect a different kind of dust sometimes, and for the following reasons:
1. You disturb the trichomes
There is a lot of disturbance to the trichomes on your weed by using a grinder. Some of the most potent parts of your bud don’t end up in what you’re finally smoking. If you have a multi-chamber grinder, they will fall into the bottom chamber and you can save them for later. But if you’re not really trying to save them for later, then you lose out on the immediate smoke.
2. You go through so much more weed
Stoners swear that if they finger chop their weed, they can make a bag last much longer. And it makes a lot of sense. Chopping your weed using fingers can result in larger chunks, which means you won’t end up packing so much into a joint or a pipe. How this stacks up on how the thing finally burns is up for debate.
3. You get a repetitive strain injury
Oh God – twisting that grinder is hard work! Finger chopping is much easier on the wrists, I think. Especially if that grinder hasn’t been cleaned in a while and has a whole bunch of sticky residue lying around the edges and on the rim. Definitely no risk of straining your wrist muscles if you’re using fingers or scissors!
4. You lose the sensory experience
There’s something very sensual about finger chopping weed. You get the resin all over your fingers, you get to feel it and the best part – the smell comes oozing out as you’re chopping it up. These things just don’t happen when you’re using a grinder. And for some stoners, this is an extremely important part of the joint rolling ritual.
Alternatives to grinding weed
If you’re looking for a good chop but don’t have a grinder, there are alternatives. Plus, if the local head shop only sells plastic grinders, you might want to try something else. So here are a few different methods you can try!
I’ve seen many stoners chop to a perfect consistency using scissors. The result is somewhere between using a grinder and finger chopping: not too big and not too small.
2. A coin and a small container
So, you live with your parents and simply can’t risk having a grinder lying around? This is one of those grinding solutions that was born out of this exact circumstance. All you need is a container big enough to fit your nugget and a coin. And it should have a lid.
Put your nugget in the container along with the coin, close it and shake vigorously. The coin will do the chopping for you, and you’ll be surprised how well it separates your bud from the stems!
3. A coffee grinder
This non-grinder method of grinding is still grinding, and probably the least recommended. If you don’t have a grinder lying around and want a fine chop, a coffee grinder will do the job. But it’s loud, and it turns your weed into something like a powder. Plus, you must give that thing an epic clean before you’re ever going to be able to use it as a coffee grinder ever again.
Grinding weed all boils down to preferences! When you’ve become a seasoned smoker, you’ve always got your reasons for doing it your way. Those who prefer to roll joints usually like their weed to be a different consistency to those who prefer to smoke bongs or pipes.
So, do you like your weed after grinding or after finger chopping? The choice is yours!
Considering whether or not to use the grinder that lives in your weed stash? We take a look at the pros and cons of grinding in this article.