How to Grind Dry Herb Without a Grinder

Posted by Smoke Cartel on

What do you do when you get your hands on some precious flower but don’t have a grinder nearby? Let’s explore some practical, some ridiculous, but all effective options.

1. Your Hands

We know - this is the most obvious and most utilized way of preparing herbs. And there is something beautiful in feeling the flowers and slowly crushing them before lighting them up. Depending on how accustomed and skillful you are at this, you’ll be the sole creator and director of your perfect grind. In fact, there’s also something very practical in doing so, especially if you’re prepping your herbs for a vaping session.

Almost every vaporizer out there recommends a different grind consistency. Some of them even specify a coarser grind that is best achieved through manually grinding your herbs with your fingers. Simply place the nug in one hand, hold it tightly and use the other hand to crush it with the tip of your thumb and fingernail. Think bubble wrap. Use the same motion of joining your two thumbs and pressing down small chunks of flower. You can also scrape smaller parts with your fingernails if your herb is really dry and make a fluffy grind.

Keep in mind that when pulling herb apart by hand, pollen and other plant matter can stick to your fingers, reducing its potency.

2. The Shot Glass and Scissors

When there’s a big party and you’re handed a huge pack of herbs, this will be a life saver. You’ll need a shot glass and a pair of sharp scissors to quickly and efficiently grind the material. Place the herbs in glass and start cutting them while holding the scissors as vertical as possible. The grind consistency will depend on your expertise and patience. Don’t aim for speed as that can cause your nugs to fly all over.

While this method absolutely works when you’re in a pinch, you’ll never get the consistency and precision a quality grinder will give you. Valuable pollen and a lot of flavor will stick to your scissors. 

3. Knife and Cutting Board

Those of you that are home cooks will love this. Bring out your cutting board and a very, very sharp knife. Place the dry herb in your hand and hold it with a tight grip. Cut the herbs with your knife and treat them as you would treat your basil, thyme, oregano and other aromatic herbs. Be sure to let the knife do the work and not press too hard since that will not only ruin a good amount of your herb’s flavor but it will also leave nasty green marks on your cutting board. Thoroughly wash your equipment afterwards!

Although flashy and possibly hilarious, cutting your herbs with a knife will leave you with a chunky grind and residue all over your tools. 

4. Blender

This is for those of you that can’t be bothered with methods that require patience. Take your nugs and dump them into a blender or food processor. Set it to pulse in short bursts. Let it do the work and then marvel at the end result - a super-fine grind consistency in a matter of seconds. Is it over the top? Absolutely. Is it fun?

Well, let’s put it this way: if you’ve never seen cannabis flowers being thrown into a blender and reduced to dust, you haven’t seen anything. Still, it creates a lot of mess and you lose a lot of valuable ingredients in this heavy duty process.

5. Coffee Grinder

Technically, it’s a grinder but let’s not get dramatic over this. Believe it or not, coffee grinders are perfect for grinding cannabis flowers. They can hold large quantities and will shred your herbs to a fine grind that’s perfect for pre-rolls and making edibles like brownies.

The only real downside to utilizing coffee grinders this way is that they’re extremely painful to clean afterwards. Oh, and your coffee might taste like Willie Nelson.

6. Cheese Grater

Every house has one. And every grater has those small holes you use when grating parmesan cheese. Use it with the same love and affection and grind your nugs with it. It requires patience and you’ll lose a good amount of precious flavors AND it’s painful to clean. 

Don’t forget to wash it afterwards, otherwise the next time your poor Italian Grandmother whips up her delicious carbonara, she'll be screaming, "Mamma mia, this-a pasta-a taste-a like-a Led-a Zeppelino!" 

7. Just Get a Grinder

If you’re serious about your herbs, then get yourself a good grinder. 

Most importantly, be creative with your dry herbs and use your imagination. There are many other methods of grinding the best herb in the world that we haven’t covered here. Whatever you do, treat it with the same respect it treats you!

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