Photography by Jonathan Coward/Herb
Why use a grinder? For starters, self-respect. Mostly, it’s more practical than prying your cannabis apart with your fingers. It’ll save you time and frustration. Grinders also create more evenly ground cannabis flower, which will translate into a more evenly rolled joint, or a more efficient bong or pipe hit. If you want to learn more about the benefits of using a grinder, read this.
While grinders can be found at your local head shop and in many convenience stores for as cheap as $5, not everyone has the resources to purchase their own grinder. In this case, your best bet is to find a cannabis-chopping alternative. Most people in their very households have a series of effective cannabis grinding tools at their disposal without even knowing it—remember scissors?
Not all methods are as intuitive as using scissors. And even if you have scissors, you may not know the optimal scissor snipping technique. That’s why we’ve provided this list. So that nobody, nobody, has to resort to picking apart their cannabis with their fingertips like ignorant swine.
Ever grated cheese? If so, you’re ahead of the game. Grinding cannabis using a cheese grater is not only effective, but the technique has been co-opted by businesses that produce what are effectively mini, credit card shaped cheese graters, but are marketed specifically to cannabis users.
The steps are simple:
That’s right—just run your nug of cannabis over the cheese grater like you would a block of parmesan cheese over a steaming plate of gnocchi. This will result in finely ground cannabis flower. Just be careful not to hurt your fingertips. The effectiveness of this technique will depend on the size of your nug, and how dry it is.
This may be your best option if you are without a grinder. If you haven’t noticed, your blender and coffee grinder are good at grinding. You may be wondering “Why not weed?” To which I respond, “Exactly.”
Make sure you thoroughly clean out your blender or coffee grinder before trying to use them to chop up your cannabis. Otherwise, you may end up smoking coffee grounds or the remnants of whatever you made in your blender last. After your blender or coffee grinder is washed, thoroughly dry it. If you forget about this step, you will end up with a mess of sticky, wet, cannabis flakes caked onto the inside of your coffee grinder or blender.
After your coffee grinder or blender is thoroughly washed and dried, simply toss your cannabis flower in and let it rip. You’ll only need to grind or blend your cannabis for a few seconds. Blend your cannabis for too long and it will turn into a dust-like consistency, which is not optimal for rolling joints, and will easily fall through the hole of your bowl piece. So, after just a few seconds, check to see if the consistency of your cannabis flower is how you like it. If it’s still too chunky, continue to grind/blend it. If it’s a good consistency, take it out and smoke it!
This is the way that many cannabis consumers begin their journey into the world of cannabis chopping and smoking. You may hear people shouting things at your from across the table like “Yo, pass the snips!” Don’t fret—they’re trying to communicate with you. What they really mean is “Could you pass the scissors?” If you hear somebody refer to scissors as “snips,” pass them the scissors gently. Do not thrust them violently into your friend as you may feel compelled to do after hearing scissors referred to as “snips.”
Some people like to exclaim “You can actually grind cannabis with a pill bottle and dime if you want!” These are often the same people that refer to scissors as “snips.” I can assure you, you do not “want.”
It’s true: you can grind cannabis by putting a nug in a pill bottle, putting a dime in after it, putting the lid on, then violently shaking the bottle. The dime will bounce around in the pill bottle, crashing against your cannabis nug, breaking off little pieces of flower until it’s been chopped up.
The thing is, if your cannabis flower is dry enough for this technique to work, it’s almost certainly dry enough to crumble it up effortlessly with the thumb and forefinger of one hand. *Note: this is NOT the same as prying apart a fresh nug with both hands over the course of five grueling minutes, and will be excused.