We have all heard the marijuana expressions—dime bag, eyeballing it, pre-rolls, etc.—but what does it mean? What do the precise weights of marijuana—gram, ounce, kilogram, etc.—look like? How much should be spent? What is the consumption rate?
Now that cannabis has become a part of the economic mainstream as a publicly traded commodity, we can stop talking in funny codes and obscure slang words to express amounts and prices. If you can buy weed stocks, you can follow your investment using common weights and measurements.
Below are questions that pot consumers ask about the products they buy. It is time to provide some answers.
How much THC is in that?
These days, there are so many different types of cannabis available in just as many forms that weight is no longer the deciding factor. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level, or growing method—organic versus hydrophobic—can determine the price. Cannabis laws still vary between countries and regions, which also affects prices.
An interesting example of how this works is the difference between the price of cannabis grown indoors instead of outdoors. Indoor grows were developed as a response to the need for stealth and secrecy, and take considerably more capital and labour to construct. Therefore, a type of cannabis grown indoors is generally priced at a more expensive level than outdoor strains of the same weight.
Growing a crop using hydroponics results in a crop with a higher-than-average THC level. Strains of marijuana with a higher THC level are more costly than weaker strains. Concentrates are sold in smaller units, but are often much stronger than buds or edible products.
Another new factor is the growing popularity of Cannabidiol (CBD). When buying for CBD content as opposed to THC levels, prices tend to change. As a new phenomenon, CBD is almost exclusively placed in the medical marijuana category. Often, it is specially produced by a few dedicated growers.
How much Cannabis is that, anyway?
Typically, marijuana is sold according to weight, in either grams (g) or ounces (oz). We’re not sure how the metric units got mixed up with the Imperial system, but it might have something to do with the size of a kilogram (kg).
Measurements based on smaller, Imperial standards are more portable. A full kilo, which is 1,000 grams—more than two pounds—might work out to look like a small bale of hay. Remember, this is when your smuggling ability was a factor in buying and selling cannabis. Now that you can buy legal marijuana, it’s a different ball game.
Today, weights follow the same tradition. Cannabis sales start in grams and then move into Imperial measurements. You’ve heard the expressions before: each expression refers to an ounce as the default unit of measurement.
There are several different ways to determine how much a gram is if you’re not comfortable making an estimate, and you don’t have a scale. Several free apps are available that can turn your smartphone into a scale; you don’t have to guess anymore. Check The Internet for simple scales you can build at home with little more than a few common pieces of office supplies. Another handy life hack is to keep in mind that a cap from a water or soda bottle typically holds a gram of weed.
Here’s a glossary of the most common (weed) expressions:
- Gram. The smallest unit of measurement in which cannabis is sold. Think of two small joints, or one fairly fat one, and that’s how much a gram of marijuana looks like.
- 2 grams. Dispensaries that sell cannabis online in Canada and the United States measure in two-gram units. Actual weed prices vary from province to province, and state to state.
- Eighth. Literally, an eighth of an ounce, or three-and-a-half grams. This size is very commonly purchased; the media often uses “eighth” and “gram” as a frame of reference.
- Quarter. Seven grams, or a quarter of an ounce. If you cook with your cannabis, you are likely to buy in larger sizes like “the quarter.” This is the minimum amount required to start cooking budder (another name for weed-butter) and other cannabis-infused recipes.
- Half. Also referred to as a “Half O,” this size is often associated with both cooking and making concentrates. You’re getting, roughly, 14 grams at this bulk-buying stage.
- Ounce. There are 28 grams in an ounce, which is the same amount required in most budder-cooking recipes. If you like making budder, or infusing oils and other beverages with cannabis, buying in this size is a good investment. Oddly enough, we’ve found the question of “how many grams in an ounce of weed?” answered incorrectly all over the place!
- Quarter Pound. 113 grams of marijuana is ideal for a long term supply for conventional smoking accessories. It’s also a good amount for infusing food and beverages, and making smaller amounts of concentrates. You should be getting into serious discount territory at this point in time.
- Half Pound. You’ll hear this unit referred to as a “half-pounder.” 226 grams of cannabis is a healthy supply, but be prepared to pay in excess of $1,000.
- Pound. 455 grams of cannabis is just as impressive as it sounds. Outside of medical use, making concentrates, or bulk purchases, marijuana is rarely sold in this size.
In the new weed age, there is no longer a need to buy pre-weighed bags from your friendly neighborhood dealer. Virtually, all dispensaries will sell by the gram in any unit you choose, but this can vary widely depending on your location.
How much do I buy?
Let’s not forget about other pertinent concerns. Everyone has a different method of consumption, and that is a deciding factor in the amount of pot you buy. For example, does a vaporizer consume the same amount of marijuana as a conventional pipe?
The following directions are based on average sizes as opposed to party or fun sizes. Certain guidelines are applicable across a variety of smoking traditions. Evenly ground cannabis burns better, and lasts longer than weed that is crumbled by hand. A gram of a pure “Kush” strain might be more expensive, but it will get you a faster, stronger high than an eighth of more common cannabis flowers.
Joints and Blunts
A joint is rolled using an average sized paper, and contains about one gram of cannabis, or a simple dime bag. A blunt is essentially a cannabis cigar, rolled using a hollowed out store-bought cigar, or a separate casing—a tobacco leaf. Blunts tend to be at least twice as heavy, containing a minimum of two grams of cannabis, but a blunt is often hand-rolled to an individual’s taste; this can vary.
Pipes, Bongs, and Waterpipes
This covers such an incredible variety of smoking accessories and paraphernalia. Some pipes are built for show, while others are meticulously designed to be the best handheld smoking devices in existence. Standard pipes and bongs are built with a bowl to hold a gram of cannabis, but there are thousands of different styles. Water pipes are intended to accommodate several people, and have larger-than-average bowls.
What was a fairly complicated, expensive, and cumbersome tabletop machine two decades ago, now comes in various streamlined versions. You can still buy an old-school, multi-person vaporizer that fits into your living room like an appliance, or you can invest in a discreet and efficient hand held version.
Advancement in vaporizer technology offers both options, and everything in between. If you can afford a vaporizer upfront, this is the ideal method for getting the most from the smallest amount of weed.