Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
September 8, 2023

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods to grind weed without the use of a grinder. Whether you find yourself without a grinder or simply prefer alternative methods, these techniques can come in handy. We’ll cover both manual and household items that can be repurposed to achieve a fine grind, ensuring you get the most out of your herb for an enjoyable smoking or cooking experience.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

Hand Grinding Methods

Mortar and Pestle

A mortar and pestle is a traditional grinding tool consisting of a bowl (mortar) and a club-shaped instrument (pestle). It allows for more control over the grind size and is ideal for smaller quantities of weed.

Start by breaking your weed into manageable chunks with your fingers. Place the broken weed into the mortar.

Hold the pestle with one hand and press it down while twisting it with your other hand in a circular motion. Continue until you achieve the desired consistency.

For a fine grind, use a gentle and consistent circular motion. If you prefer a coarser grind, use a more vigorous grinding action.

Scissors and a Shot Glass

Place a small amount of weed into the shot glass and use the scissors to cut the buds into tiny pieces.

Ensure that the scissors are sharp to make cutting easier and more precise. Hold the shot glass with one hand while using the scissors with the other hand for better control.

Pros and cons of using scissors and a shot glass

It’s a quick and readily available method, and you can control the grind size.

It may be less efficient for larger quantities of weed and can be messy if not done carefully.

Rubbing Method

The rubbing method involves rubbing the buds between your fingers to break them down into smaller pieces.

Gently break the buds into smaller pieces with your fingers. Place the broken pieces between your fingers and rub them together until the desired consistency is achieved.


Be careful not to overdo it, as excessive rubbing can reduce the potency of the weed due to the loss of trichomes.

To achieve a finer grind, rub the buds between your fingers for a longer duration.

DIY Improvised Grinders

Coin and Pill Bottle

Place a small amount of weed and a clean coin into a pill bottle and shake it to break down the buds.

Use a clean coin to avoid introducing contaminants into your weed. Fill the pill bottle to around half or two-thirds full to allow space for the weed to move freely.

If a pill bottle is unavailable, you can use other small, sturdy containers like film canisters or small spice jars.

Cheese Grater

Be cautious to avoid accidentally grating your fingers during the process. Use a grater with larger holes for a coarser grind or a finer one for a finer grind.

Hold the cheese grater securely and grate the weed in a downward motion.

Cleaning and maintaining the cheese grater post-use

Thoroughly clean the grater with soap and water to remove any weed residue.

Coffee Grinder

Use a coffee grinder exclusively for grinding weed to prevent cross-contamination with coffee flavors. Avoid overfilling the coffee grinder to maintain control over the grind consistency.

Experiment with different grind settings to find the one that best suits your preference.

Weed may become too finely ground, leading to a powder-like consistency, which could impact its potency.

Alternative Techniques

Finger Grinding

The finger-grinding technique involves breaking down the weed manually using your fingers.

Be gentle and avoid crushing the buds excessively. Work over a clean surface or tray to catch any loose trichomes for later use (e.g., kief).

Wash your hands thoroughly after finger grinding to remove any resin or sticky residue.

Blender or Food Processor

Place the weed in the blender or food processor and pulse it to achieve the desired grind.

Pulse the weed in short bursts to prevent it from turning into a powder. Check the consistency regularly to avoid over-grinding.

Pulse the blender or food processor for a few seconds at a time to maintain control over the grind size.

Freeze and Break Apart

Freezing weed makes it more brittle, making it easier to break apart.

Gently break the frozen buds into smaller pieces by hand, taking care not to overdo it.

Combine freezing with hand grinding or other methods to achieve a finer and more consistent grind.


Grinding weed without a grinder is entirely possible using a variety of methods and household items. Whether you prefer a more manual approach or choose to improvise with DIY grinders, each technique has its unique advantages and considerations. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can achieve a consistent grind that enhances your smoking or cooking experience. Always be mindful of safety and hygiene, and enjoy your finely ground herb responsibly.