How to Grind Weed Without a Grinder: Expert Tips

Man using a hand girder to grind a cannabis bud

We've all faced that moment: a desire to prepare our cannabis, however, a key tool is missing. But how to grind weed without a grinder? That's the question many of us grapple with. It's a common predicament, but thankfully, not a dead-end. With a touch of creativity and a glance around your surroundings, you'll find numerous ways to break down your herb. From household items to hands-on techniques, the solutions are closer than you might think, ensuring your session goes uninterrupted.

Why Grinding is Important

grind weed without grinder using hands

Grinding your cannabis isn't merely a preparatory step; it's a gateway to a superior experience. 

When you grind, you increase the herb's surface area, optimizing the release of cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds, responsible for cannabis's effects and aroma, are more efficiently activated with even heating. A consistent grind ensures this even exposure, leading to predictable effects and richer flavors. 

In essence, proper grinding is essential for maximizing the benefits and enjoyment of your cannabis.

Common Tools Used for Grinding

Grinders typically come in two main types:

2 piece (Single Chamber) Grinders:

  • Simple in design.
  • Contains a set of teeth on both the top and bottom.
  • When twisted, the cannabis inside is ground up.

3 piece (Three Chamber) Grinders:

  • More intricate than 2 piece grinders.
  • It contains a chamber where the ground cannabis falls, allowing kief (trichomes) to sift through a screen and collect in a separate chamber below.

In addition to these common types, there are Electric Grinders:

  • Operated by batteries.
  • Can grind weed efficiently with the push of a button.
  • While they offer convenience, they might not provide as consistent a grind as manual versions, especially when compared to the precision of two-piece or four-piece grinders.

Now, How to Grind Weed Without a Grinder?

These techniques keep the quality of our herb intact and offer a fresh twist to our usual routine. Below are some practical and effective alternatives to consider:

grind cannabis without grinder

1. Coffee Grinder

By its very nature, a coffee grinder is designed to break down and refine. While tossing in your buds and grinding is tempting, a few precautions are in order.


  1. Thoroughly clean the grinder to avoid any coffee residue.
  2. Place your cannabis inside, ensuring it's not packed too tightly.
  3. Pulse the grinder in short bursts to prevent over-grinding.
  4. Clean the grinder after use to avoid any lingering cannabis scent.


  • Be mindful of the grind settings to avoid turning your cannabis into a fine powder.
  • Avoid using extremely large or tiny buds for optimal results.

2. Pestle and Mortar

The pestle and mortar, a tool that's been used for centuries, can be a great way to grind your cannabis. Often referred to as an "herb," it's fitting that cannabis can be prepared in this traditional manner.


  1. If possible, let your cannabis dry out for a few hours.
  2. Place a small amount in the mortar.
  3. Use the pestle to grind in a circular motion, applying gentle pressure.
  4. Clean both the pestle and mortar after use.


  • A smoother pestle might require a bit more effort.
  • Be cautious not to over-grind, aiming for a consistent but not powdery texture.

3. Cutting Board and Knife

Treating cannabis like culinary greens can be both effective and straightforward. Using a cutting board and knife, you can achieve a desirable consistency with ease.


  1. Lay your cannabis on a clean cutting board.
  2. Using a sharp, preferably non-serrated knife, finely chop the cannabis.
  3. Clean both the knife and cutting board after use.


  • Drying out your cannabis beforehand can make the chopping process smoother.
  • Exercise caution, especially with smaller buds, to ensure safety.
  • Aim for a ground consistency, avoiding over-chopping.

4. Cheese Grater

A cheese grater, while unconventional, can be a fun and effective way to grind your cannabis. It's all about technique and choosing the right side of the grater.


  1. Position a plate beneath the grater to collect the ground cannabis.
  2. Choose the side of the grater with smaller holes for a finer consistency.
  3. Gently rub the cannabis bud against the grater.
  4. Clean the grater thoroughly after use.


  • Be vigilant about your fingers to avoid any accidents.
  • Use a tool, like a poker, to retrieve any cannabis stuck in the grater's crevices.

5. Pill Bottle and Coin

When simplicity meets innovation, we get methods like the pill bottle and coin technique. This method uses the compact space of a pill bottle and the weight of a coin to efficiently break down your cannabis.


  1. Start by placing a small, clean bud and a sanitized coin into a pill bottle.
  2. Firmly seal the bottle's lid.
  3. Vigorously shake the bottle, allowing the coin to grind against the cannabis.
  4. Periodically check the consistency. If not satisfied, continue shaking until you achieve the desired texture.


  • Ensure the coin and pill bottle are clean to avoid any contaminants.
  • Adjust the number of buds based on the size of the pill bottle, ensuring there's enough space for effective grinding.

6. Scissors and Shot Glass

The combination of scissors and a shot glass might sound unconventional, but it's a method that has stood the test of time. The restricted space of the shot glass, coupled with the precision of the scissors, offers a meticulous grind.


  1. Gently place a bud into the shot glass.
  2. Carefully insert the scissors into the glass, ensuring the blades are positioned over the cannabis
  3. Start snipping the cannabis, breaking it down into smaller, consistent pieces.
  4. Check the consistency and continue snipping until you're satisfied.


  • Opt for sharp scissors for a more efficient grind.
  • Be cautious not to overfill the shot glass, as this can hinder the grinding process.

Safety Precautions Tips

Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Cleanliness is Key
  • Always ensure your tools are clean before starting. Using dirty tools can compromise the taste and might introduce contaminants. If you have a dirty grinder, here's how to clean it

  • Sharp Objects
  • Always work on a stable surface when using sharp tools like scissors or knives. Keep your fingers away from the cutting edge to prevent injuries.

  • Avoid Over-Grinding
  • It's essential not to overdo the grinding. If the cannabis becomes too fine, it might not burn efficiently. Periodically check to achieve the desired consistency.

  • Know Your Tools
  • When improvising with household items, understand their primary function. This knowledge ensures you use them safely and effectively for grinding.

  • Storage
  • After grinding, it's best to store your cannabis in a cool, dry place. Airtight containers can help maintain freshness and potency.

    In Closing

    Figuring out how to grind weed without a grinder might seem tricky at first, but as we've seen, there are easy ways to get it done using things we often have at home. It's all about being careful, clean, and knowing when it's ground enough. Always remember to stay safe, especially when using sharp tools. With these tips in hand, you're all set for a great cannabis experience.