Ask a Budtender: Tips for 4/20 Shopping
by Haley Hansen
One of the most basic sets of terminology in the world of medical and recreational cannabis is that of cannabis weights. However, many people are unfamiliar with these terms when they hear them for the first time upon entering a dispensary. Knowing the most common cannabis measurements is essential: Cannabis is generally priced by weight, so the amount you purchase will ultimately determine the price you pay.
To add to the confusion when purchasing, we often order cannabis using a conversion of the imperial system of measurement. However, cannabis flower and concentrates are typically weighed by metric units—in grams/ounces—using a digital scale.
Let’s take a closer look at the measurements for cannabis flower and concentrates to eliminate confusion and share some tips for saving hard-earned money.
The following measurements are the most common weights of cannabis flower purchased at a dispensary. Starting with a single gram of cannabis—the smallest amount sold—we will cover everything leading up to an entire pound.
A gram of cannabis is exactly that—a single gram. A gram equals 1/1000 of a kilogram and is the base unit of the metric system. A gram of cannabis is roughly the size of a quarter, although it is sometimes smaller or larger depending on the density of the bud. For comparison, a single gram of cannabis comes out to approximately the weight of a small paperclip. If rolling half-gram joints, you should be able to roll two joints from 1 gram of cannabis. A gram is one of the most commonly purchased quantities of cannabis due to its affordability, but purchasing larger quantities can get you a price break depending on the market.
The next level on the cannabis measurement scale is what we refer to as an “eighth,” or an eighth of an ounce. An eighth of flower is equivalent to 3.5 grams of cannabis and weighs just slightly more than a penny, which weighs in at 3 grams. For a visual comparison, an eighth of cannabis would be equivalent to the size of an average kiwi. If rolling average-sized joints, you could expect to get seven to eight joints from an eighth of cannabis flower.
Moving up, a “quarter” refers to a quarter of an ounce and is equivalent to 7 grams of cannabis. If rolled into a ball, a quarter-ounce of cannabis would be roughly the same size as an apple. A quarter is comparable to the weight of a standard postcard or a pair of tweezers. One could expect to be able to roll roughly 14 average-sized joints from a quarter.
The next step up from a quarter is a “half,” referring to half of an ounce of cannabis. A half-ounce is equivalent to 14 grams and is roughly the size of a large grapefruit. When it comes to weight comparison, a half-ounce would roughly compare to an empty aluminum soda can or a #2 pencil. A half-ounce of cannabis would yield an average consumer 28 half-gram joints. This is a great quantity of cannabis to purchase if you find a particular strain that you want to keep on hand.
Often the largest amount purchased by a consumer at one time, an entire ounce of cannabis is equivalent to 28 grams. Visually, an ounce of flower would be roughly the same size as a small coconut. A good weight comparison to an ounce of cannabis would be the weight of a compact disc, five quarters, 10 pennies, or a single slice of whole-grain bread. Some people can roll as many as 90 joints from an ounce of cannabis, but on average, you can expect to roll 56 half-gram joints. Keep in mind that this number can definitely fluctuate depending on how big you roll your joints.
Although many states limit consumers to buying or possessing an ounce or two of cannabis at a time, the scale does not stop there. A pound—the largest measurement on the common scale—is equivalent to 16 ounces or 448 grams. You may have also heard of a quarter-pound, which equals 113.4 grams. A pound of cannabis would take up roughly the same space as a watermelon, but it would only weigh as much as an American football. Wondering how many joints you can roll with this massive amount of cannabis? Let’s just say it’s a lot!
If you live in a state that legally allows purchases of this quantity, buying a pound can be a good way to stock up on a favorite strain. However, keep in mind that large quantities of cannabis can degrade in quality if left sitting for long periods of time and not stored properly. To prevent flower waste, check out a list of tips for choosing cannabis weights at the end of this article.
While the various levels of cannabis weights are defined, the pricing of these levels is not. This means that prices for certain weights can vary drastically depending on the quality of the cannabis. Many local dispensaries offer various shelf levels that allow consumers to choose from cheaper products or higher-quality products that cost more per gram. For example, an eighth of a top-shelf strain may cost significantly more than an eighth of another strain on a lower tier.
Cannabis concentrates, most of which hold high amounts of THC, are nearly as popular as flower among consumers these days. The weights for concentrates are no different than those for flower, but there is one major difference: Concentrates are commonly packaged only in half-gram and gram quantities. If you’re looking to purchase a larger amount of concentrate, these containers can be accumulated to reach any of the weights detailed above. A half-gram of cannabis concentrate is roughly the size of a pumpkin seed, and a full gram is comparable to a stick of chewing gum.
Since cannabis had to remain underground and was sold on the illegal market for so many years, a wide variety of slang terms were developed to describe different weights of cannabis. Have you ever found yourself wondering about the size of a dime bag or a dub sack? Below, we define some of the most common street lingo used when it comes to measuring cannabis.
This term is generally used to describe a small bag of cannabis. A dime bag on average weighs a single gram or $10 worth of cannabis. However, depending on your connection, this could have been more or less throughout the years.
A “dub” or “dub sack” of cannabis is generally used to describe 2 grams or $20 worth of cannabis. However, the weight of a “dub” could range from 1 to several grams depending on your location and your source.
This term was derived from the ziplock baggies that were commonly used to transfer an ounce of cannabis from one person to another. If you ask for a zip of cannabis, almost everyone will know that you are asking for 1 ounce!
To conclude this guide on common cannabis weights, here is a list of general tips for choosing the amount to purchase.
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