Weed Measurements and Prices: Know What to Expect from Your Dispensary
Thankfully, weed measurements aren’t all that complicated.
Once you get a handle on the basic terminology, the rest will come naturally.
No more looking confused at the dispensary counter when they ask you how much you want.
You’ll know exactly how much, and how long it will last.
Considering the entire industry relies on the same measurements, you’ll be able to use this knowledge wherever you go.
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Getting to Know the Basic Measurements
Outside of the marijuana industry, there are a hundred and one different ways to measure things.
Kilograms, pounds, cups, liters, bushels, stones and more.
Sometimes you’ll work with a strange combination between the two.
Cannabis is technically a rudimentary mixture, but its applicable from Canada to England to Australia.
If you are really serious, you can also measure it in pounds.
Making Sense of the Numbers
One gram is usually the smallest weed measurement there is.
Unless of course, you're buying products like pre-rolled joints which may come in half gram portions.
While you can technically purchase cannabis by incremental increases of grams, the next official size is the eighth (3.5 grams).
Following the eighth, is a quarter.
If you remember any math from elementary school, you appreciate that two-eighths make a quarter of an ounce.
Two quarters equal a half, and two halves a full ounce.
Weed measurements are just mathematical calculations.
But What About the Metric System?
For some regions in the world, it's pretty frustrating to be confronted with an imperial based cannabis conversion.
You might wonder, just what exactly is a quarter?
Considering the cannabis scale starts off with a gram, but ends with an ounce, it can throw you off guard.
Here is the metric conversation for those that need it:
One eighth equals roughly 3.5 grams.
Double that, for one quarter, and you get 7 grams.
Double once again, up to a half, and that’s 14 grams of cannabis.
Finally, a full ounce of cannabis should weigh out to more than 28 grams.
How Many Joints Can You Roll?
If your favorite method of smoking weed is a joint, you’ll probably want to know just how many you can get out of each unit of measurement.
While it is true that joints vary widely from one to another, we'll assume for the sack of this article that they are all uniformly sized.
Roughly speaking, you can roll one to two joints out of every gram.
Which means you’ll get between five to seven out of an eighth and between 10 to 14 out of a quarter.
One half will roll at least roll 28 joints, maybe more.
Finally, one ounce will roll enough joints for a month, roughly 50 to 60 in total—assuming that you smoke 1-2 joints per day.
But How Long Will It Last?
This is a tough question to answer because everyone smokes differently.
Do you smoke daily? Do you only puff at parties?
Maybe you are a medical marijuana patient and vape frequently throughout the day.
Knowing exactly how much you smoke on a daily basis can help predict how long your stash will last.
Most medical marijuana patients will take approximately a gram a day.
One-eighth of weed will last three to four days, and a quarter will likely cover you until the end of the week and so on.
Average Costs for an Ounce of Cannabis
This is another tough question, because the price of cannabis, even in regulated markets varies greatly.
Strain, region and regulation all affect the price of marijuana.
As it stands right now the states with the most expensive cannabis are North and South Dakota, and West Virginia.
An ounce of marijuana is going to run you just under $400.
And the cheapest states are those with fully regulated recreational markets, including Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, where an ounce costs less than $250.
So far, at least, the more regulation there is, the lower the price of cannabis.
Even for producers, they have found its hard to sell a pound of cannabis for anything over $1000 today.
Average Costs for a Gram of Cannabis
It used to be that in most places, a gram of marijuana on the black market would run $20 per gram.
But if you’ve been to the dispensary any time in the last year, you’ll see that every strain comes with a specific per-gram price tag.
Sought after strains of weed are always going to have a high price tag, sometimes upwards of $15 per gram.
These are also the strains with a complex cannabinoid profiles, with CBD, CBN and other compounds beyond THC.
Hydroponic cannabis also runs a bit more expensive than outdoor crops.
In the U.S, in the recreational markets, you can probably find some lower quality strains for under $8 per gram.
How do Percentages Play into Weed Measurements?
Most people are concerned about one cannabinoid—THC.
Out of the hundred or so cannabinoids in marijuana, this is the only one that's going to make you "high".
Whether you want to get baked or not, you’ll want to know how much is in your bud.
It doesn’t matter how much cannabis you buy; it matters what percentage of it is THC.
Most strains these days run between 15 to 20% THC.
There are even reports of high potency strains topping out at 30%.
If you are nervous about the psychoactive effects, look for cannabis that has a higher CBD component and lower THC.
Are There Differences Between Recreational and Medicinal Weed Measurements?
Technically there are no differences between the two markets.
Physicians prescribe cannabis to their patients in grams per day.
Some may even break it down into puffs per day.
As medical cannabis normalizes, it will likely change the way it is measured.
Until then recreational and medical are measured in the same ways.
There are differences in some markets as to what types of cannabis, and what potency qualify for a medical grade, but this doesn’t influence measurement.
Are There Slang Terms to Know About?
Of course, with any illicit substance, there comes a host of slang terms.
Although in legalized states, slang isn't required anymore, but the terminology persists.
For example, a nickel and a dime bag refer to the price of cannabis, a $5 bag, and a $10 bag respectively.
A 20 bag, a dub or sometimes a dub-sack, all reference approximately $20 worth of nugs, roughly two grams.
A full ounce sometimes is called a can, a zip or a lid, although these are less commonly used today.
Are Cannabis Edible Measured in the Same Way?
Marijuana edibles are confusingly measured in milligrams, even in the American market where everything is usually imperially based.
Instead of seeing an edible product labeled with “2 grams of cannabis,” you’ll likely notice an indication of milligrams.
Today, most edibles only reference CBD or THC, although this may change in the future.
A crispy rice square could have a 10mg of THC on the label, or as another example, a chocolate bar could indicate 120mg of THC and 30mg of CBD.
These precise measurements help better direct dosage.
What About Concentrates?
Concentrates are diverse and therefore slightly more complicated than the basic unit of measure.
If you are purchasing isolates, they come in milligrams.
Waxes, shatters and budders come either in milligrams or grams.
It also depends on how you buy them because some concentrates come tucked inside another product.
For example, some concentrated oils are then combined into a tasty edible.
Or others come in a vape pen cartridge which are typically available in half a gram and full gram options.
Speak with your dispensary to get more details about the product in question.
How to Weigh Cannabis Accurately
There are many innovative ways to weigh weed these days, with a cell phone app or with a homemade device, but these are inaccurate.
To correctly and precisely weigh cannabis, you’ll need a digital scale.
For the highest precision, source a quality jewelers scale that weighs down to the fourth decimal place.
Baking scales work as well, however, are slightly less accurate.
Most good dispensaries will have one, but if you are stuck, there are many available online.
How to Weigh it Correctly
For those not used to breaking down cannabis down into smaller portions, the trick is consistency and attention to the details.
You’ll soon get to know the rough product weight by sight.
But be careful falling too in love with your eyes.
Different strains offer different densities, which dramatically will affect the weight (more on this is a bit).
When doing business transactions, however, you’ll want to rely solely on precise measures than your eyesight.
Weigh everything, and when it's a matter of oversupplying or cutting a nug in two, always send your customer more.
This is good business practice, and you’ll never have a customer come back complaining of a shortage.
How Strain and Cultivation Affect Weight
With the number of producers on the market today, it shouldn’t come as any surprise the differences between strains.
An OG Kush grown in the backwoods of Oregon is going to cure differently, and therefore weight much differently, than an OG Kush out of California.
Different strains also develop different types of nugs.
Some types produce nice and dense flowers, while others are bushier, and a little less concentrated.
If you are comparing one gram of each, it will likely look like you are getting more out of the bushier strain.
Why is it Important to Know Weed Measurements?
There are a few reasons why you should know measurements before getting into cannabis culture.
First, you don’t want to embarrass yourself asking for ‘one marijuana’ when you really meant a quarter of an ounce.
Second, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.
If your dispensary is shady, you’ll want to know that the product they sell you is measured correctly.
Third, you can’t call yourself a cannabis consumer if you don’t know the basics.
How to Make Your Stash Last Longer
It's a problem faced by all of us, how to get the absolute most out of your stash as humanly possible.
Try rationing yourself to a reasonable amount per day, saving it for only when necessary.
Another method is to switch to vaporizers, and concentrates; they give more bang for your buck.
Finally, it's also recommended to stop smoking with friends if you want to conserve your cannabis.
Making your stash last longer is always a challenge for chronics.
More Tips of Getting the Most out of Your Purchase
The way you choose to consume your cannabis will also determine how long it lasts.
If you want long-term medicinal benefits, it makes much more sense to ingest it instead of smoking it.
Edibles take longer to peak, but will typically last for six to eight hours.
Smoking, on the other hand, lasts only for two to three.
Another helpful tip is to consume cannabis oils—products that come in medical, oral syringes.
These are highly concentrated, and deliver powerful effects without burning through substantial amounts of product.
Weed measurements can seem all over the place when you first step foot into cannabis culture.
Using parts of two different measure standards always throws everyone for a loop, so don't worry.
Once you get the basics, you'll be fine.
Most people stick to ordering eighths, and at the most an ounce if they only want to make a single trip to the dispensary in a given month.
Are there any commons weights that we forgot about?
Help everyone out and tell us what they are in the comments section below!