Cannabis grinders are so quintessential to the “whole flower” experience that it’s not uncommon for medical and adult-use dispensaries to give them out for free with qualifying purchases. Whether your grinder broke or you forgot yours at home, several DIY grinding methods can work in a pinch. Even better, many use common household objects, so you won’t need to make a special trip to the hardware store. If you find yourself without a grinder, here are six DIY ways to grind weed without one.
This method is best reserved for large amounts of cannabis, otherwise, you risk the extra sharp blades of the coffee grinder pulverizing your weed into a fine (and rather unusable) dust. If your coffee grinder has different coarseness settings, start with the most coarse and work your way down -- you can always grind your marijuana into a finer consistency, but you can’t go the other way.
Depending on the coffee grinder you’re using, cleaning the grinder before and after use can be cumbersome. Therefore, we don’t recommend this method if you share the coffee grinder with someone else in your household (unless they also use cannabis), as there may be cannabis residue left behind in the grinder, even after cleaning. Who knows, it might make tomorrow’s cuppa taste a little better!
Mortar and pestle
A mortar and pestle is truly old-school, but it’s a fantastic way to break down a variety of herbs and spices (including the kind of herb you can buy at dispensaries.) If you use this method, we recommend leaving your cannabis out to dry for a few hours before grinding it down. This will make it less sticky and easier to work with. Using a mortar and pestle to grind down your weed will result in a consistency that’s similar to kief, and you may lose a bit of cannabis in the crevices (especially if you’re using a mortar and pestle made of stone.) Proceed with caution.
Coin and pill bottle
This method is as simple as it sounds: simply take a coin, put it into the pill bottle with a couple of buds, and shake the bottle. Check on your progress every 20 seconds or so, and keep going until you’ve reached your desired consistency. A couple of notes on this one: 1) coins are DIRTY, so be sure to clean the coin thoroughly with hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or some other kind of cleaner first. If you’re in public and don’t have access to a cleaning solution, soap and water should do, and 2) smaller coins (like a dime or penny) work better for this than larger ones. You can even use your cannabis bottles in lieu of a pill bottle.
Knife and cutting board
If you’re very comfortable using a kitchen knife for chopping garlic or herbs, this may be the best option for you, as it’s basically the same exact process, except instead of garlic, you’ll be chopping cannabis. Simply use a clean, non-serrated knife to chop the buds into small pieces on a cutting board. Repeat this process until you’ve chopped your buds into your ideal consistency. Though you can use any knife or cutting board for this, a very sharp, non-serrated knife works best for sticky weed, and a plastic cutting board will be much easier to clean than wood.
Paper bag and hammer
This method is simple, yet effective. The paper bag is a great non-stick surface, and the force of the hammer will break the bud into small pieces. Unfortunately, wet weed won’t break down using this method, so this can only be used with dry weed. You’ll also want to make sure the surface can handle the blows of the hammer -- avoid glass or other surfaces that can break. Simply place the buds into the bottom of the bag, close the top, and smash the flower with the hammer for a few minutes. Tear open the bag and place the broken-down buds into your pipe, vape, or rolling papers.
Use your hands
If you don’t have access to any of the above tools, most of us do have access to two fully capable tools: our hands. If your bud is really sticky, this could be a pain, but it’s still worth it if you’re desperate and don’t have access to a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, a pill bottle, or a kitchen knife. Find a flat surface (rolling tray, kitchen counter, cutting board) and roll the dry flower in your hands repeatedly. The nugs will start to break apart and will fall onto the tray or board below. It truly is as simple as that!
Avoid the hassle and purchase pre-ground flower
Though flower is a great way to consume cannabis, there is nothing that beats the convenience of pre-ground flower. With pre-ground flower, you’ll never find yourself scouring the house for a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, and you won’t have to worry about sanitizing coins or cutting boards. At CULTA, we offer convenient 14g bags of pre-ground flower that’s grown at our pristine farm in Cambridge, Maryland. In addition to being affordable, accessible, and convenient, pre-ground flower is also one of the most environmentally friendly ways to consume cannabis.