If you’re used to vaping cannabis, using waxes or extracts, or buying pre-rolls, grinding your weed might feel like a foreign concept. You’re intelligent enough to know that you can’t use a rolling paper to turn a whole nug into a burrito. Some necessary steps need to be taken before your bud is ready to smoke.
The easiest way to grind weed is with a grinder, but if you don’t have one, you aren’t out of options. Other methods may take longer, but they’ll still get the job done.
Why do you need to grind weed?
Some bowls are big enough to fit an entire cannabis flower. Grinding weed just seems like an extra step if the weed you have will fit. The problem doesn’t have anything to do with volume. It has to do with the way that weed burns.
You need your weed to be in tiny pieces, no matter how you’re going to smoke it. When your weed burns, it releases THC (and other cannabinoids and terpenes) evenly. Each hit is balanced and smooth. If you leave huge pieces behind, this won’t happen. It will burn in spots, huge pieces will be wasted, and some hits will have less THC than others.
A joint or a blunt is a prime example. If the weed in a paper hasn’t properly been ground before it was rolled, the joint may go out after a few hits. Pieces can fall out into your lap and burn a hole in your pants. The paper will burn faster than the weed does, and the whole thing will taste burnt.
The finer the grind, the better your smoking experience is going to be. That’s why finding a great grinder is so important. A grinder only takes a minute to use, and it makes the process of turning a whole bud into a great smoke session extremely simple.
What is a weed grinder?
A grinder is a small, hand-operated device that grinds your weed for you. Most grinders are made of metal and come in four pieces. There’s a lid, a piece with big spikes, a bottom with holes, and a little mesh piece that fits in the bottom. The lower chamber is the kief catch. The rest of the parts do the actual grinding.
What is kief?
Kief are little cannabis crystals called trichomes. They’re very potent little pieces that separate from the fluffy parts of the flower when you grind the weed. Don’t throw the kief away. Save it and sprinkle it back in when you roll or pack your weed.
How to use a weed grinder
Start by breaking the bud up with your fingers into manageable pieces. Drop them in a circle around the spiky pieces of the grinder. Put the top back on and start turning it in circles. After a dozen full rotations, look inside. Most of the weed should have fallen through the holes and into the mesh screen.
If there’s still weed stuck to the sides or around the spikes, give the side of the grinder a few taps to dislodge it. Put the cap back on and rotate it a dozen more times to help break up the stuck weed.
When everything has fallen into the mesh net, it’s ready to smoke. Save the kief to top it off when you’re ready. Kief has a tendency to be really sticky. If you can’t get it all out, try putting your grinder in the freezer for an hour. Kief is less sticky when it’s frozen, so it will be easier to gather.
Cleaning your grinder
With frequent use, your grinder can get gummed up with resin. Use a soft toothbrush to gently dust the kief off the screen. Keep it and use it later. Once you’re sure all the kief is out, you can dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and use it to clean the surfaces of your grinder. Pay close attention to the threads. If your grinder won’t close correctly, chances are high that the threads are gummed up.
Grinding weed without a grinder
If you don’t have a grinder and you’re in a hurry, there are a few impromptu methods that will produce similar results. They’re definitely a lot more labor-intensive than using a weed grinder, but if you don’t have a choice, they’ll have to do.
Make sure everything you’re using instead of a grinder is completely clean before you use it and thoroughly cleaned after you use it. You don’t want to get your weed dirty, and you don’t want to contaminate your house with loose weed. Hygiene is very important when you’re using a non-weed device for weed-related purposes.
Repurposing kitchen appliances
You can use a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder if you happen to have either of those things handy. Most people don’t have a mortar and pestle in their homes, but plenty of people have coffee grinders. Unless you’re a coffee aficionado, you probably don’t actually use your coffee grinder for its intended purpose. You can temporarily rebrand it as an electric weed grinder until you have a better solution.
Cheese graters are partially effective, but most of the holes are too big to produce a fine grind. There’s always a citrus zester. Citrus zesters are easier to work with and they aren’t as sharp. If you’re patient, you can hold your bud like a lemon and get a fine grind with a citrus zester. The biggest advantage to using a zester is that you won’t have to be worried about taking a knuckle off like you could with a cheese grater.
The chef method
You can also put your weed on a cutting board and use a very sharp cleaver to finely mince it. Remove the stems, do a rough chop, and gather the weed back together. Go over it again in one direction, gather it back up, and go over it again in another direction. Keep piling and chopping, alternating directions until you have a fine weed mince.
Please do not attempt to do this if you’re already high. Making hundreds of fine fast chops with a sharp knife is definitely a sober job. If you think you’re going to come back for a second bowl, do your future self a favor and chop up way more than you think you’ll actually need. It’s easier to mince a mountain of something than it is to mince a few pieces, so you’ll actually be simplifying the process.
The shake weight
There’s a trick that uses weight to crush weed, but it’s very loud. Break your weed up into small pieces and drop it into a plastic pill bottle or vitamin bottle. Drop in a few nickels and shake your weed until it breaks. This takes a few minutes and the song it produces definitely won’t make it onto your next Spotify playlist, but it’s a great impromptu solution.
You can snip your bud into really tiny pieces with a pair of small, sharp scissors. Cut them over a short juice glass or a whiskey glass to collect the pieces as they fall. This takes a lot of time, but a lot of people find it easier than using a cutting board or an open blade. Scissors are closed cutting tools, and it’s easier to be sure that your fingers won’t get snipped in the process.
There’s also your hands
You happen to have two perfectly good weed grinders at your disposal. You can pick the bud apart into very tiny pieces manually. This is going to take a long time, and it’s much easier to do if you have a podcast playing or a show to watch. It might take you ten minutes to handpick enough weed for a joint. Grinding by hand for a blunt is a substantial activity. If you’re sharing that blunt with other people, ask them to help.
A grinder is an absolutely vital tool for anyone who smokes cannabis. It’s easy to use and easy to maintain. If you don’t have a grinder, you may have a few things around the house you can use instead. If all else fails, you can use your hands.
Better still is a viable solution. Instead of spending half an hour trying to grind your weed by hand, spend half an hour waiting for Emjay to deliver you a grinder. We have weed, pre-rolls, extracts, and accessories ready to deliver to your door in about half an hour. Just get a grinder. You’ll be so thankful that you did.