Getting used to understanding the measurements for weed can be overwhelming at first, especially for those who are not used to the metric system. To make it even more confusing, it is uncommon for marijuana measurements to include a combination of metric and imperial measurements. This means that whether you grew up using the imperial or metric system, you may be slightly confused about marijuana quantities.
Some Common Measurements
Since the common marijuana measurements include a combination of grams, ounces, and pounds, it can help to put all of these varying measurements in terms of grams. That gives you a better comparison point.
It is common for weed to be sold in one-gram quantities. You can also find it as a 1/8 ounce, ¼ ounce, ½ ounce, 1 ounce, or a pound. These are 3.5, 7, 14, 28, and 448 grams, respectively. While you get used to the various quantities that weed is sold in, it will likely be helpful to think of everything in terms of grams, as it makes it easier to compare quantities.
Although possible, it is less common to find less than a gram of cannabis being sold by itself. If you want to buy a smaller quantity, like a half gram or a quarter gram, you will likely need to do so in the form of pre-rolled joints.
Slang Measurements and Their Meanings
While the above measurements combine metric and imperial units, they are all at least based on measurements you would regularly use in your daily life, such as at the grocery store. To make it more confusing, there are also many different slang terms that describe weed measurements.
A dime bag refers to $10 worth of weed. The actual amount of weed that you get for this amount will depend on where you are and other factors.
A dub sack is similar to a dime bag, but it refers to $20 worth. Once again, the quantity of weed that you get in a dub will depend on the cost of weed in your area.
Half, Quarter, or Eighth
The slang terms of half, quarter, and eighth all refer to parts of an ounce of weed. So a half is a half of an ounce of marijuana or 14 grams. A quarter is a quarter of an ounce or 7 grams, and it is also sometimes called a Q. An eighth is an eighth of an ounce or 3.5 grams.
Ounce, Full O, O, Z
You can probably figure out that Ounce and Full O refer to a full ounce of marijuana. That is also what O or Z refers to. Remember that a full ounce is 28 grams of marijuana. In many areas, this is the maximum quantity of cannabis that you can legally possess while in public.
No one is sure why Z is one of the slang terms of an ounce, but it may come from one of two potential explanations. As you consider them, keep in mind that marijuana was illegal everywhere until very recently, so using the term “ounce” in public would bring to mind illegal substances and be less discrete. Asking for a Z is much more discrete.
One potential explanation of the Z slang term is that it is the last letter when you abbreviate ounce into oz. The more likely explanation is that the term Z comes from the use of Ziploc bags for carrying an ounce. An ounce would fit more or less perfectly in these bags, leading to the abbreviation of Z.
To further support this second reasoning for referring to an ounce as a Z of marijuana, people in certain regions refer to it as a Zip, with half an ounce being half a Zip.
Now that you have a better idea of marijuana measurements, it is time to look at measuring the concentrates that come from cannabis. When it comes to pricing and quantities, you want to be clear about how much flower it takes to produce each type of concentrate.
A full ounce of marijuana, so 28 grams, usually produces between two and six grams of wax (butane hash oil) or dabs. If you want Rick Simpson cannabis oil, you should expect an ounce of cannabis to produce between three and four grams.
If you use an ounce of weed and want to make cannabutter, you will likely find yourself with much more than a single serving. Keep in mind that this depends on how you make the cannabutter.
If you want to make marijuana tincture or oil yourself, around an eighth of an ounce will give you 30 to 34 doses.
Choosing Your Quantities
Of course, the amount of marijuana that you should buy will depend on your consumption habits and whether you plan on sharing. If you are still new to choosing an amount to buy, then consider that most people will have enough for one or two days in a gram. A gram is usually one or two blunts or several joints. An eighth lasts the average marijuana user about a week. If you regularly consume cannabis, you will likely need two weeks to a full month to finish an entire ounce.
The Best Way to Visualize the Weed Measurements
The absolute best way to start getting a feel for these varying weed measurements is to look at various quantities of marijuana. If you have a scale and the maximum legal amount at home, then you can weigh different amounts and see how much it is. Otherwise, you can go to your local dispensary and see what the various sizes look like.
You can also get an idea of the typical size of a certain weight of marijuana by comparing it to a fruit. Just keep in mind that these comparisons are averages, and each bud will vary slightly based on density and other factors.
If you want the visuals, consider that a gram is usually similar in size to a grape, an eighth is similar to a kiwi, a quarter to an apple, a half-ounce to a grapefruit, an ounce to a coconut, and a pound to a watermelon.
Visualizations for Concentrates
Remember that concentrates can contain up to 80 percent of THC, so you will want to pay attention to the THC content in these products. As a size comparison, a typical concentrate that is 0.5 grams will be about the size of a pumpkin seed, while a gram of concentrate will be around the size of a piece of chewing gum.
Remember That Weight Rules, Not Size
One of the key takeaways when it comes to measuring weed is that all of the measurements are typically done in terms of weight. At the very least, that is the case for marijuana as opposed to cannabis-based products like CBD oil.
Density Affects Size
Because the weight of the marijuana is the deciding factor when measuring it, this means that the overall size of an ounce or another measurement can vary. If you choose a dense strain, an ounce will look smaller than it would if you choose a less dense strain.
Looking at Prices
The prices for marijuana will vary depending on the strain you want and where you are.
A gram will typically be in the range of $10, so you will probably get about a gram in a dime bag. A dub is usually about two grams, working out to a similar price per gram. If you buy larger quantities, the price can go down per gram slightly, but only up to a point. It is illegal in most areas, even where marijuana is legal, to buy more than an ounce or two of cannabis at a time.
An ounce of lower-quality cannabis bud can be about $150 to $220. This can easily be closer to $240 to $280 for top-shelf marijuana or more than that for rare strains. If you want to buy more than this, you may need to turn to less legal sources, or stop by multiple dispensaries, so you probably will not get much of a bulk discount.
Remember that prices vary greatly by region. Depending on where you live, prices for an eighth can be anything from $20 to $60 on average, with higher-quality or rarer buds costing more.
Bonus: Measuring THC Content
Once you have a first grasp on the weighted measurements of marijuana, it can also be helpful to understand how the THC content of various strains is measured. THC content is very important since THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. This is the part of marijuana that delivers the high and relaxation you associate with consuming it.
THC content is usually measured in the form of percentage when you are talking about the flower and grams when talking about concentrates or products. The percent THC refers to how much of the plant is made up of THC compared to the plant matter, other cannabinoids, and other natural compounds. You should expect most strains to have THC content of around 15 to 30 percent, give or take a bit.
Some strains of marijuana will have significantly lower percentages of THC and appeal to medical marijuana users who are after the other effects of cannabis without feeling high. It is particularly common to have lower THC percentages in strains bred for high CBD content. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a non-psychoactive component that is commonly sought after in medical marijuana. It is usually measured as a percent in flowers or buds, just like THC.
While percentages are the typical method of measuring THC (and CBD) in whole flowers, buds, or other natural plant materials, processed products or concentrates are usually measured in grams. This is because of the incredibly high concentration of them. It is not uncommon to find shatters, wax, edibles, or hash with THC content listed both as a percentage and a gram amount.
On these items, you should expect to see a measurement in milligrams for THC within the entire product or container of product and a measurement per dose.
How to Know You Got the Right Amount
When you buy marijuana in a legal area, you get to buy it from a dispensary. These businesses will have it in their best interests to be highly transparent and honest, so they typically weigh the cannabis in front of you. If you want, you can ask the workers in most dispensaries to weigh your buds in front of you if they do not automatically do so.
If you buy cannabis that is prepackaged, which is required in some states, then you will have to measure it at home. Depending on where you live, this will be your only option since some states require the flowers to arrive at the dispensary already prepackaged. In this case, just weigh the buds when you get home.
Of course, having the buds weighed in the dispensary is in your favor whenever possible. That way, if there is an error, you have proof, and it can be corrected right away. If you wait to weigh your buds at home, it will be a case of he-said-she-said, and the dispensary has no reason to believe you. In that situation, at the very least, you could see it as a sign to avoid a given dispensary if it happens regularly.
The Bottom Line
Marijuana measurements are confusing as they combine the metric and imperial systems. Marijuana is measured by weight, with common quantities including a gram, an eighth of an ounce, a quarter of an ounce, a half an ounce, and an ounce. Although rare, you may also see measurements of a pound of weed. A dime refers to about $10 of bud while a dub refers to about $20, so the quantities vary based on price. You will likely have to see some examples of each weight of marijuana to get a better feel of the amount that you will choose to buy.