Whether you left on a trip and forgot your favorite grinder or it’s wedged in the couch at an angle you can’t quite reach, you should know how to grind weed without a grinder. Grinding your bud is a crucial part of the preparation and should not be skipped over.

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Breaking flower down into tiny, consistent pieces allows the weed to burn fully. When you grind your weed, you’re less likely to lose it through the stem of your piece or get the dreaded canoe on your joint.

Some people opt to break their weed up with their hands, and while it can work, it is not going to be nearly as consistent as grinding. If your weed is high quality, it’s probably going to get your fingers sticky, collecting the resin as you go. You don’t want to collect all the sticky stuff with your hands, because that’s where the terpenes and other compounds are.

If you find yourself without a grinder, you’re not out of luck. There are a few easy ways to get a better grind than your hands can do.

1. The Knife And Cutting Board Method

This is a pretty obvious method and it works pretty well. It’s not a good idea to pull out the knife and cutting board at say, a guest’s home or your parents’ house, but if you find yourself at home with no grinder, this is an easy fix.

Really, it’s exactly what you’re imagining. Throw those nugs on the cutting board (wood is best), grab a sharp knife, and chop away.

This is one of those things you’ll want to do sober. It’s easier to keep all your fingers intact that way.

Professional chef sharpening knife in the kitchen iStock / Rawpixel

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2. The Pill Bottle And Coin Method

If you’ve got an empty pill bottle or film canister and a penny or dime around, you’re in luck. Just put the desired amount in the pill bottle, add the coin, and put the lid on. Then shake it around a bunch. It’s going to make some noise, so don’t do this anywhere you plan to be discreet.

If you’ve got extra sticky weed, this might prove more difficult, but it’s still going to grind your bud better than your fingers can.

3. The Coffee Grinder Method

If you’re more responsible about your coffee than your weed and you have one of these grinders, you’re set. Again, it’s best not to do this at someone else’s house unless they explicitly permit you to get weed dust all over their possessions.

For larger amounts of weed, this is probably the easiest bet. After all, you’re grinding weed with a grinder. That’s exactly what you should be doing. Cleanup, on the other hand, can be a bit of a hassle.

Alternative: Blender

This method is not as glamorous, and more likely to turn your bud into a very fine powder. But if you have a blender, it can also work. This is best for large amounts needing to be ground up but will leave even more of a mess to clean.

4. The Scissors And Shot Glass Method

If you’ve brainstormed alternate ways to grind your weed, scissors were probably one of the first things to come to mind. Scissors get the job done, but it’s easy to go rogue and get pieces everywhere.

To prevent this, fill a shot glass with your to-be-grinded weed, stick the scissors in, and hack away. This prevents any mess and loss of bud.

5. The Mortar And Pestle Method

alternative medicine herbal treatment concept. herd with mortar or wooden table top view. capsule and solution medicine. iStock / paulynn

If you have a mortar and pestle at home, and you’re still Googling how to grind your weed without a grinder, maybe you just had a lapse in judgment.

These babies were made for grinding. From pesto to guacamole to aromatic spice blends, a mortar and pestle will grind and mash to your heart’s desire.

This ancient tool will grind your herb like it was designed to grind herbs. For best results, you might want to dry your weed a bit first as it’s much more difficult to grind moist weed with a mortar and pestle.

6. The Cheese Grater Method

The options are getting worse but desperation can do a lot to a person. If for some reason, using a cheese grater is the most convenient thing you have to grind your weed with, that’s okay. It can be done.

Take your nug and rub it along the side of the grater with the tiniest holes. It’s rather self-explanatory and should go without saying that you’ll need to clean that grater out before putting it back.

Just watch your fingers, please.

If All Else Fails, Hands Will Do

While it’s not the most efficient way to grind without a grinder, breaking weed up with your own hands is a sure-fire way to get the job done. You’ll end up with different sized chunks and sticky fingers, but on the plus side, you won’t be seen using a cheese grater to grind your weed.

If the weed is just too good and sticky, you can leave it out for a bit to dry out or even throw it in the freezer to make it easier to break up. Regardless, you’ll have ground up weed without scrounging the house for materials.