The methods and language used to refer to weed have changed over the decades; however, one constant has remained. We still use the same weed measurements to refer to different quantities of weed.
Cannabis is generally measured within the context of an ounce. Of course, you can purchase it in smaller increments, via a gram at a time, or you can purchase it in bulk.
The gram is your base unit of measurement when it comes to buying weed. A single gram is enough for a few joints (depending on how you roll) or one small blunt.
How much weight is a gram of weed?
A gram is defined as a “metric unit of mass equal to one-thousandth of a kilogram.” A gram is the smallest weight of weed you can buy through retail shops and it does not weigh much of anything. To put this into context, a gram is one twenty-eighth of an ounce (1/28). One gram is roughly the size of a bottle cap.
What slang terms are used for grams?
The world of cannabis is filled with jargon and slang terms. There is a whole language relating to marijuana out there that, while not necessary to understand, can help you a little bit especially as you go about trying to purchase your flower.
One of the most common nicknames for a gram of cannabis is “dime bag”.
What is a dime bag?
A dime bag is usually the smallest increment of marijuana that you can purchase. As mentioned earlier, it is standardized as a gram of marijuana. However, if you have ever purchased cannabis before legalization or decriminalization, you probably know that people mean different things when they say dime bag.
Sometimes it is just a regional thing; different areas of the country have their own terms but many use this common name for whatever the smallest increment of marijuana is available for purchase.
How much does a dime bag cost?
So how much is a dime bag? Traditionally, a gram of marijuana flower would cost $10. Thus the name “dime bag”.
However, it is not nearly so regimented as that. Like any other product, the market value of cannabis is subject to frequent change. How much you pay for a dime bag will depend on lots of different factors such as your location; and because weed quality is currently better than ever, the $10 a gram deal is no longer a standard.
An eighth refers to ⅛ of an ounce of cannabis. An eighth of an ounce technically weighs 3.5436904 grams, but dispensaries and other purveyors typically round down to 3.5 grams. This allows for easier measuring and calculation.
The eighth is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, weight to sell cannabis. For many people, an eighth of weed is the perfect amount; it is enough to feel like you have plenty of weed at your disposal, but not so much that you feel like you have too much weed and not enough time to consume it.
How much does an eighth cost?
Among legal dispensaries, an eighth costs between $30 and $50 on average. In some regions, you may find an eighth for as little as $25 or as high as $65.
The next unit of measurement is a quarter. A quarter refers to ¼ of an ounce, and it weighs approximately 7 grams. Technically, a quarter weighs 7.0874 grams, but the industry standard is to round down to the nearest gram.
A quarter of weed usually amounts to five blunts or 10-12 joints. And of course, if you like to smoke out of glassware or bongs, the amount of use you get will be subjective to how you pack your bowls.
How much does a quarter cost?
A quarter costs in the range of $50 and $100, depending both on where you get the cannabis, and the quality.
Slang terms for a quarter of weed include a “quad” and a “Q”.
28 grams make up one ounce, so 14 makes up a half. Most people will not go above this range as an ounce is plenty to last one person quite some time, ranging between $120 to upward of $400; though some places may charge more for their top-shelf ounces. Common names for an ounce are “O” or “zip”, which comes from the old days when an ounce would usually take up a whole zip-lock bag.
This enormous amount of cannabis is not legal to individual recreational or medical users anywhere in the United States of America. A pound contains 16 ounces, and this is the equivalent of 454 grams.
These larger measurements are not of interest to most cannabis users, but they can be useful for making your own concentrates.
You may have noticed that weed measurements start out in the metric system, then change to the imperial system as quantities get larger. While this mix of imperial and metric systems are initially confusing, you will soon get the hang of it, especially if you look at the measurements from the smallest to largest.
Percent of THC weed measurements
Weed measurements can also be looked at from the perspective of how much THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is contained in a given quantity of cannabis. Cannabis has hundreds of compounds, but THC is singled out because it is the one responsible for the “high” or feelings of euphoria and relaxation that users experience.
Average THC content can vary widely from one state or jurisdiction to another, but the average is usually between 15-30%. However, cannabis seed breeders are hard at work, and each year more potent strains are introduced to the market.
As you buy cannabis flower or a rolled joint, pay attention to the percentage THC concentration. A higher percentage means that you will get the psychoactive effects you desire while using a smaller amount of weed.
Not all cannabis is sold as flower or rolled joints, so it is also helpful to look at the percentage THC when purchasing concentrates, such as shatter, wax, hash, and edibles.
For concentrates, THC content is measured in terms of milligrams. For example, a gram of cannabis oil could contain 70% THC. However, the label will indicate that the oil has 70mg of THC per dose of that oil. Cannabis edibles are commonly available in either 5mg or 10mg THC doses, going up to 50mg or 100mg per package.
Keep in mind, concentrates are stronger than cannabis flower, and their effects kick in faster since the body does not have to do a lot to absorb the compounds. In the same vein, edibles are also stronger than flower, and the effects of an edible will last longer. The effects also take longer to kick in, so wait at least 3 hours before you decide to take more.
If you plan to make your own concentrates, you can expect to get approximately 3 or 4 grams of cannabis oil or between two and six grams of wax (butane hash oil) from an ounce (28 grams) of cannabis flower.
Indica to Sativa measurements
As you gain experience, you will start to notice that certain combinations of indica strains and sativa strains give you different effects. Indicas are known to be more sedating, relaxing, and medicinal, whereas sativas are famous for their psychoactive effects or mental stimulation.
It, therefore, helps to know which percentage indica or sativa your marijuana is. Many strains are hybrids, meaning they are a mixture of both (for example, 50-50 or 60-40)
Ensuring You Get Your Money’s Worth
If you want to confirm that you are taking home as much weed as you paid for, ask your budtender to weigh the weed if that is available in your state.
This, however, is not always possible, because many states have passed laws that require recreational or medical marijuana to be prepackaged. If you live in such an area, the best way to ascertain that there is as much weed in the bag as the package says is by weighing your purchase as soon as you get home. They probably have labeled the correct weed weights, but it does not hurt to check.
If you want to measure your weed purchases and do not have a weighing scale, you could always buy one. Here are some things to consider when selecting a scale:
- Maximum capacity. Think about your needs and select a scale whose maximum capacity is sufficient for the quantities you plan to weigh. For example, some scales can only weigh up to 20 grams, while some go as high as 1,000 grams.
- Accuracy. Weed measurements should be precise. Find a scale that will give you a reading that is within +/- a single unit of its smallest display fraction.
- Specific numerals. You will want a scale that displays multiple numerals. This allows you to measure to the tenths of a gram. This way you can measure out specific weights like an eighth (3.5 grams).