You just came into a bag of weed and you don’t have a grinder, well luckily there are options to get you going. You can utilize everyday kitchen items and some DIY techniques to break your buds up for smoking. Don’t rush out pay money to grind your cannabis when you have everything you need already.
Why Grind Your Weed?
Rolling a perfect joint is a skill that many admire, it requires lots of practice and of course, properly ground marijuana. No one likes it when their joint canoes down the side or a chunk of unburned bud falls down the stem of their bong.
Adequately grinding the smoking material before starting your session can prevent these issues from occurring. Breaking apart the bud and shredding it into tiny pieces allows the particles to burn more evenly and completely in your smoking apparatus.
If you have never seen a grinder in action you may be wondering how it works. A cannabis grinder has sharp teeth that break down the buds into smaller usable pieces. This is the most effective and easiest way to get the job done. Most manufactured grinders also store the cannabis in a container built into the apparatus itself. It keeps things contained and if your grinder has a kief collecting chamber then they can give the user an added bonus after multiple grinding sessions. All those wonderful things said about grinders you do have alternatives if you don’t own one yourself.
Pros and Cons of Grinding Weed
Most of us who learned the hard way by avoiding properly grinding the buds first now know the benefits of doing so. Your herbs that are ground get more surface area to combust evenly and allow it to aerate better when rolled snuggly in a joint. The heater at the end of your joint will be more even, allowing the product to combust properly releasing all of the cannabinoids. Combusting the material at the proper temperatures also releases a full aromatic, flavorful and better cannabis experience overall.
One of my favourite things about grinding is having the opportunity to remove all the stems and in my case the occasional seed. Some cannabis connoisseurs prefer using a grinder just so they can collect kief, a potent cannabis concentrate. This concentrate is made when you grind off the bud’s trichomes and collect them to consume another time. Here is a list of some other benefits to grinding your weed.
- Preventing clogging of bowls and pipes
- Reducing waste
- Optimizing your experience
- Keeping your fingers cleaner
- Enhancing airflow
- Allowing cannabinoids and terpenes to release sooner
Ok, now you are wondering what are the drawbacks to grinding your buds. The only drawback is the process dislodges more trichomes, which may be bad if you are using someone else’s grinder.
How a Grinder Works
Before exploring some of the DIY grinding techniques let’s explain how cannabis grinders work. A good quality grinder will have several chambers to process the cannabis buds into usable products. The upper chamber has several rows of sharp surfaces or teeth that move between each other. These teeth break up the weed as the grinder is rotated and twisted.
The bottom of the upper chamber will also have several holes. When you rotate and twist the grinder, pieces small enough to fall through the holes move into the collection chamber beneath. The hole size ensures that your buds don’t get ground into a powder. After the grinding process is complete you will gather your product from the second chamber or collection chamber.
At the bottom of the collection chamber, there may be a screen where the trichomes are filtered out and collected into a final chamber or a kief chamber. After grinding through many bowls worth of cannabis, you will have collected enough kief to use in a bowl or even to enhance a blunt.
Using Kitchen Tools to Grind Cannabis:
If you happen to be a chef or are very handy with a sharp knife you can always utilize a clean surface and your trusty knife to do the job. This can be a quick method to break up the buds when you have no other alternatives. Don’t forget to use a clean knife and you will also have to clean it again once you are done chopping your material.
2. Coffee grinder
A coffee grinder is a wonderful tool to grind your weed, especially if you are breaking down large quantities to use in concentrates. It does tend to give a finer consistency product than a manufactured hand grinder, however. This finer consistency does work better if you plan on using it to make edibles. Decarboxylating your cannabis is more efficient with finer particles of cannabis, important in baking edibles. The coffee grinder will be near impossible to clean afterwards so maybe dedicate one to this process if you want to make a lot of finely ground weed.
3. Scissors and a Shot Glass
This may sound strange but you can actually use a shot glass and scissors to chop up your weed. This was quite a fad for a while and is still popular with some users. It has stuck around because of its simplicity and because most of us have both scissors and a shot glass laying around. All you do is put your buds in the glass and put the tips of the scissors in the glass also to chop the buds. Keeps your fingers safe and the buds blood-free.
4. Cheese Grater
You most likely have a cheese grater in your kitchen cabinet, and it will work in a pinch to grind your weed. It works the same as it would If you were grinding cheese on its surface. Use the side that has smaller holes, the one for grating parmesan cheese. This is a simple process, but not quite as easy to clean afterwards, and you may end up losing a few particles that get stuck in the holes.
Fairly similar to a coffee grinder, a kitchen blender is the best way to break down massive quantities of marijuana. It is a good idea to remove the stems ahead of time when using a blender and keep the blender on the low setting. Open the lid several times and reposition any buds that are in need of further processing.
6. Mortar and Pestle
If your cannabis isn’t moist, you can make good use of a mortar and pestle to easily take care of your grinding needs. This ancient device was designed to grind up everything from spices, to guacamole, medicines and pesto. Even though this tool may be ancient, it is found in most modern kitchens.
Less Popular alternative Grinding Methods
If you don’t want to risk spoiling a kitchen utensil then you can always use the blade from a razor knife or even a razor blade. This is very similar to chopping your weed with a knife. You will need a flat and clean surface to act as a cutting board. Be very careful since a razor can cut you much deeper and faster than a knife can.
If all else fails and you have no tools, just use your fingers. It will take a lot longer but you can accomplish sufficiently small enough particles to consume if you are patient enough. Break up enough with your fingers and you can make some finger hash with the trichomes that stick to your fingers.