First off, we’d like to preface this by pointing out that there is nothing better for grinding bud than an actual herb grinder.Herb grinders are specifically designed to handle the sticky, messy textures of dry cannabis. The substitute methods we’ll show you below will not grinder herb as well or be as easy to use as a purpose-built herb grinder.
That said, with these methods, you can get pretty good results, and many folks rely on these techniques for getting their buds into a more manageable state. Of course, you could always use your hands, but who wants to do that?
1.) Knife and cutting board
This pretty much how people did it in the old days. Cut up your cannabis like it were any other vegetable on a clean cutting board. Your knife may get a bit sticky, but that nothing a little alcohol won’t take care of.
2.) Paper and hammer
Put your buds between two pieces of paper (parchment is preferable) and smash everything up with a hammer or similar object. Your stems should easily separate and you’ll be left with easy to use bits.
3.) Mortar and pestle
This is another popular method, though we recommend you use mortar and pestle that doesn’t easily absorb liquids. To prevent buds from flying out, a piece of paper or a clean cloth would do nicely on top of the buds. You can also use a set with a tighter fitting pestle to prevent a mess.
4.) Drinking glass and scissors
This is yet another time-honored herb grinder alternative. Simply stick the buds in a small drinking glass or shot glass, then stick your scissors in and start cutting it up. Everything should be neatly contained inside the glass, ready for use. Heavy-duty scissors with good leverage are preferable to smaller scissors to help you better cut through stems and sticky buds.
5.) Coffee grinder
Both hand and coffee grinders work extremely well in a pinch, giving you results at par or close to what you could get from an herb grinder. However, there are several drawbacks to using a coffee grinder for this application. They can get gummed up and jam over time because of the cannabis rosin, and they can be difficult to clean. You’ll probably be tasting cannabis in your coffee for months. They’re also usually more expensive than a purpose-built herb grinder.
However, for some people, the right coffee grinders may be your best possible hack for creating large amounts of consistently ground cannabis. Just don’t expect to be able to use them for coffee ever again.
6.) Pill bottle a coin
Get a clean coin that’s small enough to fit in a pill bottle, stick a few buds in the bottle, put the coin in, close the bottle up, and start shaking for 5-10 minutes. You should be left with an acceptably pulverized bud and no sticky fingers.
7.) Food processor / Blender
While these kitchen mainstays can get you results almost as good as a real grinder, they do leave a huge mess and they get gummed up and messy quite easily. While they can do the job in a pinch, we wouldn’t recommend them for regular use.
If you do need herb grinder, though, there is no better tool for the job than a real grinder. Be sure to invest in quality and buy your herb grinder from a reputable source. That way, you won’t need to get a new one or resort to these life hacks ever again.