Seven Ways to Grind Without a Grinder

Cannabis nuggets, hand pipe and smoking accessories on table

You can’t just take whole buds, stuff them into the bowl of a bong and fire them up. Well, you can. They’re your buds and you can do what you want with them. However, if you want to get the most out of them you’ll need to process them a bit first so that you get a nice even burn and a clean, consistent smoke, and that means grinding.

Most cannabis aficionados have a grinder at the ready at all times. Or, at least they try to. But there are inevitably going to be times when you set up the bong, whip out the weed, reach for your grinder and realize you left it home, or you lent it to your friend who hasn’t returned it yet. There isn’t time to arrange a delivery from the online head shop, so what to do?

Fortunately, transforming nugs into something that’s smokeable is not the same as transforming crude oil into gasoline. All you really need is something that will chop the buds up in a reasonably controlled way, and most homes contain numerous things that will do a fine job of it.

Let’s take a look at seven of them now.

ONE: Ye Olde Mortar & Pestle

If there’s a Thai person in the house where you are, or an Italian who likes to prepare pesto the old-fashioned way, you don’t need an online smoke shop because you can be sure there’s a mortar & pestle nearby. This will do an outstanding job of grinding your herb into a workable state. The most important thing is to clean both mortar and pestle thoroughly before using them and to make sure they are completely dry before you start grinding your buds. When you’re done clean both again so that your host’s som tam or pesto doesn’t taste like your pungent Gorilla Glue strain.

TWO: Coffee Grinder

Using a coffee grinder is a bit more involved than using a mortar & pestle, simply because the cleanup takes longer. But cleanup aside, a coffee grinder will indeed grind your nugs and it will do so quickly and effectively. We should point out that we are not talking about an electric coffee grinder. While that will also work you’ll spend a lot of time trying to rescue weed from the inside of the cap and the various nooks and crannies. So we’re talking about a good old-fashioned manual coffee grinder. It may be the closest thing to a weed grinder from an online smoke shop.

THREE: Pepper Grinder

If you have a pepper grinder in the kitchen you’re never at a loss for a way to process your weed. In fact, you may become so enamored of the quality of the grind you get from the pepper grinder that you pick up a second one and use it exclusively for weed. Don’t laugh. Lots of people do it. But let’s say you’re not going to go that far. You just need the pepper grinder to step up in an emergency. No problem. Just make sure you clean it thoroughly before and after use. And make sure your weed is properly dried out i.e., not sticky or gooey.

FOUR: Cheesegrater

When it comes to finding alternatives to your weed grinder the kitchen is nearly as full of options as an online head shop. Whether you’re at home or at your buddy’s house chances are that even if there’s no mortar & pestle, coffee grinder or pepper grinder that there’s a cheese grater laying around somewhere. And if there is then you’re in business. Just clean it off and use the side with the finer grate. The one downside to the cheese grater is a very real one: if you’re not careful you could scrape up your knuckles in a very unpleasant way.

FIVE: The Blunt Instrument

Okay, let’s say you’re in the one house in the US that doesn’t have any of the above items in the kitchen and there’s no local online head shop that does 24-hour emergency delivery. Fine. Surely they must have a bag and a hammer or some other similarly blunt instrument. That’s all it really takes to turn your buds into a smokeable product. Just put the weed in the bag, close it up and rain ruin down upon it with the hammer. In no time you’ll be ready to go and there’s no tedious cleanup.

SIX: When Push Comes to Shove

What’s that you say? You can’t even find a bag and a hammer? Alrighty then, it’s time to break out the ultimate default grinders, better known as your hands. In the days before the online head shop and weed grinders, this was the most common way of grinding buds (ask your stoner uncle or grandfather, as the case may be), and it worked just fine gall-dernit! About the only thing you need to be careful about is that you wash your hands first.

SEVEN: The Bottom Line

Let’s be real. All the above hacks will work when the chips are down, but the best idea is to make sure the chips are never down by having a couple of weed grinders and keeping one in your house/apartment and one in the car/backpack. That way, you never have to hassle with cleaning a coffee grinder or waking up the neighbors by hammering a bag full of weed into submission. We have a number of high-quality grinders available right now in our online smoke shop.