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The Stoner’s Survival Guide to Grinding Weed without a Grinder

Don’t get paranoid, you’ll still be able to mash your stash

It’s an all-too-common stoner’s conundrum: You packed the weed, the rolling papers and a lighter before trekking to a faraway smoke spot, but oh, shit — you forgot your grinder. There’s no need to turn back, though, because with patience, determination and the advice below, you can master how to grind weed without a grinder (or any equipment at all). 

Prepare to become one with your nug.

First and Foremost, Be Gentle

If you’re not at some remote smoke spot and you have access to kitchen appliances, you may be tempted to drop your weed into the blender, but that’s a big no-no (sorry, this isn’t Jamba Juice). As Nikki Lastreto, co-founder of the Swami Select cannabis brand says, “Do not use a coffee grinder, and try to be as delicate as possible so you don’t knock off all the trichomes [teeny, fuzzy tendrils that pepper weed buds]. Trichomes contain THC, so you don’t want to lose them.” That means anything with too much power behind it is a bad choice. After all, knowing how to grind weed without a grinder is all about disassembling a prime nug with the gentle kindness it deserves.

For Precision, Try Scissors

If you forgot your grinder, you probably didn’t bring scissors either. But if you did, Budtender Awards medalist Zulema Lino explains that a small, sharp pair can help “preserve the kief and trichomes on the flower,” which results in a more potent, flavorful puff. For stoners on the move and deprived of pocket space, fellow Budtender Awards champion Alex Almadova says his grandpa uses scissors on a Swiss Army knife to trim buds, and you can, too.

If You’re a Real OG, Get Your Hands Dirty

Some argue that the best way to grind weed, even if you have a grinder handy, is with your hands, just like the stoners of yore likely did. “It burns a lot slower,” says Almadova. “I taste the flavor of the strain I’m smoking.” That’s once again because of those cannabinoid-packed trichomes, which are more likely to stay attached to your weed if you break it apart as lightly as possible. The best way to achieve this is by carefully rolling the nug between your middle finger, index finger and thumb as the pieces drop into your non-dominant hand or the container of your choosing. (Ideally, each piece should be no bigger than the filter on a joint, or about the size of a green pea, but the smaller, the better.) Just make sure to sort out any unwanted stems or seeds before rolling that spliff.

And remember, while using your hands to pick apart your cannabis may take a little time, as Derek Gilman, managing director of the Ganjier cannabis sommelier training program, says, “It offers us a unique moment to slow down and savor your experience.”

Now that you know how to grind weed without a grinder — and now that you yourself have become the grinder — you can enjoy the benefits of cannabis anytime, anywhere. 

Welcome to the good life, my friend.