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How to Grind Weed Without A Grinder?

weed grind marijuana

Every seasoned stoner has been in the position of needing to grind weed by hand without grinder at least once in their smoking life. Don’t worry, it’s not hopeless. There are several ways you can grind up your weed without that all-important bud grinder and we’re here to help! 

In this article, you’ll learn the following:

  • What a grinder is and how you use it
  • Why you need a pot grinder
  • How to grind weed by hand without a grinder (including the best way to grind weed without a grinder)
  • How to find the right grinder

So, whether you left your cool weed grinder at home or haven’t purchased one yet, we’ve got your back!


grinder weed nug smokeBeautiful nugs deserve a beautiful grinder. Photo: @Kannastor

What is a grinder and how do you use one?

A grinder is a metal or plastic contraption with teeth to help grind up your weed. They’re typically cylindrical and come with two, three, or four chambers. The two-chamber ones are designed to just grind up your weed. The three-chamber ones come with a kief catch that collects the kief that comes off your bud as you grind, which can later be used to top off a bowl and make it even more potent. Four-chamber weed grinders come with the grinding chamber, the bud collection chamber, a kief catch, and a storage compartment for your bud.
Figuring out how to use a grinder is easy. The top layer (or the only layer in a two-chamber grinder) is easily opened. See the teeth we talked about earlier? You put your weed in there, close the top, and twist it. This forces the two layers of teeth to come together, tearing the bud up. 


Why do you need to grind up weed?

There are a few reasons people choose to grind their weed before smoking it. The first reason is because the finer the weed is ground up, the better the bowl will burn. If you’re a fan of vaping your flower, you have to grind up the weed before putting it in the vape so it will vape evenly, getting you the most out of your bud. The same is true of joints and blunts; you always want to grind up your bud for these smoking means. If you use an actual dry herb grinder instead of just your hands, the reason for using it is two-fold. In using good weed grinders, you don’t lose any of the precious kief on your fingers or to the contraption you use for grinding your weed. That way, you can save it to spice up bowls or to take a hit when you’re out of flower.

cannabis bong bowlA proper grinder could mean more enjoyment of your flower. Photo: @drugsnotpugs420

How to grind weed without grinder

There are a number of ways for you to grind up weed without a grinder. You can easily learn how to grind weed by hand, how to cut up weed, and how to use a weed roller. There are even a number of ways to make a homemade weed grinder or use a coffee grinder for weed. 


How to break up weed with your hands

Using your fingers may be the easiest way to grind up weed without the need for big herb grinders, but it’s not the best way. When you grind up weed like this, you end up squeezing and mashing it (unless it’s overly dry, but who wants to smoke that?) and waste all the kief on your fingertips. 
The process, however, is very simple. You simply rip the bud apart in your hands into the finest weed crumble possible. Depending on your smoking needs, this could take quite a long time and cause you to lose precious THC crystals to your fingertips.


How to crush weed with a medicine bottle and coin

This is a pretty innovative way to grind weed without a grinder that would give McGyver a run for his money. All you need is an empty medicine bottle and a clean coin. We can’t emphasize the importance of thoroughly cleaning the coin enough; let it soak in an alcohol bath and dry before ever using it or whatever's on that coin will be transferred to your precious herb. 
All you have to do is put the coin and your bud in the medicine bottle, seal it up, and shake it like your life depends on it. This method takes quite a while, maybe longer than the hand technique, but it gets the job done. Be sure to shake the bottle hard to ensure the coin grinds up the bud.

How to grind weed using scissors and a shot glass

You can also grind up your weed using some simple, small scissors and a shot glass. You can purchase fancy weed scissors, but if you already don’t have a grinder, you should just spend your money on that, it’s far more convenient. 
For this method, all you need to do is place your bud in a small glass of any type (we find shot glasses to work best, but any small glass will get the job done) and start cutting. With every little snip, your bud will get ground up more and more. This is probably the easiest, most effective, and most resourceful way to grind up weed without a grinder.

marijuana herb mary janeIf you've got scissors and a shot glass you can grind your weed! Photo: @Weed

How to use a coffee grinder to grind weed

If you have a coffee grinder this can be the most effective and simplest way to grind up large amounts of weed. The trick with this method is to ensure you don’t grind it too fine (into a powder) by letting the grinder run too long. Once you've got your settings and timing right - just start slow and check on your flower as you go - you'll be all set with your very own weed blender! You want to be sure to clean the grinder thoroughly before and after each use because you don’t want coffee on your bud or THC in your next pot of coffee (or don't... we're not judging!).


How to use a knife and cutting board to grind weed

If you’re familiar with chopping vegetables, you already understand all you need to know to make this method work. Lay your bud on the cutting board and, using a non-serrated knife, chop it up as finely as you can/want. We recommend dedicating a weed knife for this so you don’t have to worry about food particles or oils getting in your bud.


How to grind up your weed using a grinding bowl for herbs

While you technically can use a grinding bowl to grind up your weed, we really don’t recommend it. This method smooshes your weed, rather than grinding it. It’s far better for this to use grinders weed, rather than the herb bowl. 


joint blunt smoke marijuanaThe perfect grind means you're about to enjoy that perfect joint. Photo: @sarahjain420

Our recommendation

If you’re trying to grind up weed without a grinder, we recommend using either the scissor method or the coffee grinder method, depending on the resources available to you. There are some methods we didn’t mention that you can look up for yourself, but we don’t recommend them. They include but aren’t limited to making a homemade weed grinder and using a weed grinder card.

Now, whether you forgot your grinder at home or just don’t want to shell out the money to buy one, you’re good to go! We do understand, buying from a grinder smoke shop can be expensive, so until you’re ready to purchase, one of these methods will work. 

weed cannabis heart highOur hearts are full when we know you are prepared to smoke, grinder or not! Photo: @zobsnob

Can’t get enough? Here are some suggested topics to further your grinder research:


Grinding weed without a grinder can be frustrating, but we hope this helped relieve you of any worries. If you still have questions drop us a comment below!

Megan Medeiros Written by Megan Medeiros (BA)

Megan Medeiros has a bachelor’s degree in English and is currently working on a master’s in English at James Madison University. She's the owner and operator of Medeiros Writing, and has been working as a cannabis writer for the past three years, mostly following the legal climate of marijuana, especially in areas like California, Colorado, Oregon, Canada, and other legal areas.

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. All photos were sourced from | updated 2021

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