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Guide to Grinding Weed Without a Grinder

A grinder is like a magician’s wand for cannabis flowers – with a few flicks of the wrist, it transforms unwieldy nuggets into piles of aromatic, fluffy ground bud ready for smoking. But what happens when you’re all dressed up for the magic show and realize you’ve lost your magic wand? Don’t cancel the show! With some creative thinking, you can improvise a makeshift magic wand using ordinary household objects to grind high quality cannabis products.

This guide will provide you with a magical cabinet full of improvised weed grinding tricks. We’ll explore why grinders are so important in the first place. Then cover alternative DIY grinding methods, tips for maximizing kief collection, and answers to frequently asked questions. Consider this your official stoner survival guide for smoker’s macgyvering when you find yourself grinderless.

Chris Dorcey
Inheal Editor
Post date
March 9, 2024
Time to read
4 mins 11 secs
Grinding Weed Without a Grinder

Key Takeaways

  • Always grind dry herb prior to smoking for ideal effects.
  • Grinders aren’t 100% necessary – many household items can be improvised.
  • Getting creative will save you when your grinder is MIA.
  • Know tricks for collecting the kief when grinding weed on the go.
  • Grind weed, smoke and be merry!

So there you have it, the stoner’s complete guide to DIY weed grinding using household objects! While grinders are certainly convenient tools, they aren’t required to enjoy high quality cannabis products.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll stay cool as a cucumber when your grinder gets lost before a smoke session. Break out the scissors, mortar and pestle, credit card or whatever you have on hand. Then relax and enjoy your smooth home-ground smoke!

Why You Should Always Grind Your Weed

close up of high

Let’s explore household objects and tools that can step in as impromptu herb grinders to grind high quality dry herb:

Blenders - Magic Bullet for Buds

Any type of blender or food processor will grind up weed in seconds. The rapid spinning blades turn buds to dust. Coffee grinders and pepper mills also work for smaller loads.

Downside: electric grinders like blenders can’t collect the kief, it sticks inside. Use for quick grinding when kief isn’t vital.

Mortar and Pestle - Old School Apothecary Style

mortar and pestle-grinding cannabis

The original weed grinder! Use the bowl-shaped mortar to hold buds while mashing and twisting with the pestle. It provides excellent grinding control over the process.

Upside: A mortar and pestle won’t waste any kief like electric grinders. And it looks legit on your shelf!

Scissors & Shot Glass - Bartender's Grinder

At a party with no grinder? Raid the bar for scissors and an empty shot glass. Use the scissors to chop up buds in the shot glass “bowl”. The glass contains the mess while you snip away.

Cheese Grater - Grater Hits

Rub sticky cannabis flowers back and forth over a cheese grater to break them down. Just watch those fingers! Let the grated weed fall onto a plate.

Pro Tip: Use the smallest grater holes for a finer grind.

Colander & Spice Jar - DIY Kief Catcher

Place buds in a fine mesh metal colander or sieve. Grind by pressing down with a heavy spice jar to push plant matter through holes. The colander catches the kief!

Knife & Cutting Board - Bud Chopping

chopping cannabis with-knife

No different than chopping herbs or vegetables. Dice up buds on a cutting board with a sharp knife into a consistent grind. Quick and easy with no mess.

Razor Blade - Precision Cutting

Any sharp blade can slice up buds in a pinch. Use an X-Acto knife, box cutter, or razor. Watch those fingers!

Pill Bottle & Coin - Ghetto Grinder

bottle full cannabis

The classic dorm room grinder! Throw a small amount of bud and a coin like a nickel or penny in an empty plastic pill bottle. Shake vigorously to break up.

Credit Card - Plastic Grinding

Use an old gift card, credit card, or hotel key card to chop and mash sticky buds. Plastic cards are great for catching sticky nugs that gum up other grinders.

Bag & Hammer - Primal Smashing

When you’re truly desperate – place buds in a heavy duty ziplock bag and go primal! Smash with a hammer, rolling pin, or against a hard surface. Just watch out for squishing those trichomes!

Maximizing Kief Collection

close up cannabis

One advantage of proper grinders is efficiently collecting kief – the sticky, crystalline coating on cannabis containing high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. Kief provides an extra punch of potency to pre rolls and a wide range of cannabis products. Here are some tips for catching the kief when improvising a grinder:

  • Use methods that involve sifting – like a colander or mesh screen. Kief particles will fall through holes.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper below the grinding area to catch fallen trichomes.
  • After grinding, use your fingers to rub and shake buds over a smooth surface to knock off kief.
  • With electric grinders like blenders, look for hidden kief buildup in crevices once dry.
  • Stir ground weed to let kief fall to the bottom of the container.

Get creative extracting every bit of kief from your makeshift grind!

Frequently Asked Questions

You can certainly just use your fingers to break apart buds if you don’t have a grinder available. This works better for looser, dried out buds than sticky, dense nugs. Try to break them into smaller pieces for a more consistent grind.

No, you can have amazing cannabis flowers that simply don’t product much visible kief. But when available, kief contains extra THC for added effects.

2-piece or 3-piece aluminum grinders work well, as the metal teeth agitate buds to dislodge kief. Avoid plastic grinders which can shred instead of grind into a fine ground texture.

  • Go with a fine grater, sharp blade, or sifting method to achieve an even, fine texture.
  • Watch fingers with exposed blades and graters.
  • Clean equipment well after with dish soap to avoid cross contamination of flavors.
  • Don’t crush too forcefully – you want to shake and break trichomes, not obliterate them.


The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. FDA has not evaluated statements contained within the blog. Information on this website or in any materials or communications from Inheal is for educational/informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions, correct dosage or for guidance about a specific medical condition.

by Chris Dorcey

A connoisseur of cannabis creativity and true contemplation with more than 20 years of experience, Chris extracts deep thoughts from getting lightly baked and shares his wandering mind. He blends cuisine and cannabis culture into nutritious, delicious recipes and insights for other hemp lovers.

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