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Weed Measurements: Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated: July 28, 2022By Joshua Mezher

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.

As you prepare to enjoy the fruits of your labor, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the different weed weights, as explained in this guide.

How Much is a Gram or “Dime Bag”?

The smallest measurement of weed you can buy is commonly referred to as a dime bag. This is approximately half a gram. (For your reference, a gram of weed is approximately the size of one grape).

How did it come to be called a “dime bag”? Approximately half a gram of cannabis used to retail for $10, so some clever user or seller thought up a link between that price and a dime and then started calling half a gram a “dime bag.” Naturally, the catchy name caught on, so the smallest amount of weed you could buy is a dime bag, making it one of the most popular weed weights.

However, the meaning behind the name is no longer valid. With the legalization of weed, the prices have dropped so much that many places no longer sell dime bags. Instead, they may offer you an entire gram for $10.

That’s why a gram is quickly becoming the standard smallest measurement of weed sold for both flower and pre-rolled joints. Based on this, you’d probably think that weed measurements are simple. Unfortunately, as the quantities get bigger, you will see why this guide is necessary!

What is an “Eighth” of Weed?

A cannabis nug

 

Things start getting interesting (or is it confusing?) when you want to buy more than a gram or dime bag. The next of the many weed measurements is called “an eighth,” meaning one-eighth of an ounce.

An eighth is approximately 3.5 grams, which is perfect when you want to buy more than a gram or two of weed. The price for this amount of weed can vary from $20 to about $60 for the premium or top-shelf weed.

In some places, you may hear people referring to an eighth as “half a quarter” or a “slice.” This is approximately the size of kiwi fruit.

Many people prefer to buy “an eighth” because of convenience. This one is the perfect amount for either the occasional or regular user of all the weed weights. It’s just enough cannabis to enjoy without feeling any pressure that you will lack time to use it before it starts deteriorating. An eighth can last many people about a week.

Related: How Much Marijuana Does One Plant Produce?

What is a “Quarter” of Weed?

This unit of measurement is fairly obvious, as it refers to one-quarter of an ounce. One-quarter of weed translates to about 7 grams and is the size of an apple.

Some people fondly refer to this measurement as the “Q.” This one is the least used of all the weed weights, and its prices can vary greatly. Don’t be surprised to hear that you can also get a “Q” of cannabis for as low as $40 but expect to pay up to $120 or thereabouts for the top of the range bud.

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How much is an “Ounce” of Weed? 

Jars of cannabis

This unit of measurement is fairly clear since it refers to an ounce or 28 grams of weed. This is quite a sizable amount of marijuana. One ounce is comparable to one coconut in size, while half an ounce is the size of a grapefruit. Few people would even think of buying more than an ounce of weed since an ounce will last for quite a while before someone uses it all.

Instead, it is common to see people buying half an ounce, which translates to 14 grams of weed. An ounce of weed will set you back anywhere from $100-350 dollars, depending on what type of weed strain you’re into and where you live.

The other words you could hear people using to refer to an ounce is “a full O” (short for ounce) or a “zip.” Are you wondering how the name zip became popular for weed weights? In the past, an ounce of weed used to nearly fill the commonly available Ziploc bags. Consequently, people started asking for a “zip” when they wanted to buy an ounce since weed was illegal, and coded language was necessary to avoid arrest.

You can buy more than a “zip” of weed if you want, but many states have laws restricting maximum weed weights. In many areas, an ounce is the maximum amount of marijuana one can buy during one visit. In a similar vein, an ounce may be the maximum amount of marijuana that you can have at one time.

Could you buy an ounce from different dispensaries? Yes, you could. But what would be the point of buying more than an ounce when one ounce can last most people a month? Buying over what you can use in a month would give you another headache of how to preserve your stash so that it doesn’t lose its potency. So, keep it simple and buy just what you need for a week or two.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the price of an ounce of weed in your area can be used to determine the price of other weed measurements. For example, if an ounce costs $300 where you live, then an “eighth” will cost about $37.50 ($300÷8= $37.50).  Though expect to pay a little more for that eighth since the price per unit goes up as you buy smaller quantities.

How Much is a “Pound” of Weed? 

If an ounce of weed will take you a month to smoke, multiply that by sixteen to know how long a pound of the same quality of weed will last. This is because a pound contains 16 ounces, and this is the equivalent of 454 grams!

These larger measurements aren’t 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 percent. However, cannabis seed breeders are hard at work, and each year more potent strains are introduced to the market.

As you buy cannabis bud 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 marijuana is sold as a 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 percent 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 (bud), and their effects kick in faster since the body doesn’t have to do a lot to absorb the compounds. In the same vein, edibles are also stronger than flowers, and the effects of an edible will last longer. The effects also take longer to kick in, so wait a bit 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 of Indica or Sativa your marijuana is. Many strains are hybrids, meaning they are a mixture of both (for example, 50-50). 

Related: The Cheapest Way to Grow Pot Indoors

Ensuring You Get Your Money’s Worth

Weighing out cannabis

 

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. You could even ask the budtender to convert your weed measurements into something you are used to, such as an eighth, a quarter, half an ounce, or a full ounce.

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 doesn’t hurt to check.

If you want to measure your weed purchases and don’t have a weighing scale, you could always buy one. Here are some things to consider when selecting a scale:

  • Readability. Buy a digital scale whose screen will display weed measurements in a font size that you can actually read. You don’t want to spend money on a scale and then have to squint to read the results.  
  • 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.

Weed scales are also highly useful for those growing their own marijuana for accurate measurement of their harvest. If you are still unsure about what to buy, talk to more experienced cannabis enthusiasts to get recommendations about specific brands or models that are known to be reliable and durable.

How Much Does a Gram of Weed Cost? 

First, you need to understand the most basic unit of measurement when it comes to weed: the gram. An excellent trick for learning the exact amount of a gram is to look at the pre-rolled joints the dispensaries sell, which are usually 1 gram of weed, though some might be 2 grams of weed. 

You may find that a gram might be a little more than you thought! An eighth is just over 3 grams of weed or 3.5 grams of weed. A quarter is 7 grams, while a half-ounce is 14 grams of weed. Then we have the ounce, which is 28 grams (well, actually 28.345, but for the sake of simplicity, we will call it 28 grams of weed). 

The cost of a gram of weed depends on the quality of the strain, where obviously, top-shelf buds cost more per gram. Grams of weed usually go for $5-$15. Since this is the smallest quantity sold, buying a gram of weed at a time is not at all cost-efficient. However, it is a great way to sample the shop’s wares and find a strain you like, rather than buying an ounce of something you don’t love. Once you find your favorite strain, it’s time to start buying it in eighths, quarters, or ounces. This will end up saving you money in the long run, which means you can buy more weed! 

Cannabis sitting on a grinder

 

How Many Grams is a Quarter Pound of Weed?

Now we get into the larger amounts, which become more cost-effective, the bigger you go. Big buyers usually prefer marijuana purchases by the quarter pound or four ounces. How many grams is a quarter pound? Remember, an ounce is 28 grams; multiply that by four, and you get 112 grams!

How much will such a large amount of weed cost you? It’s less than you might think. Lower to middle-quality buds will run you anywhere from $550 to just over $600. The higher quality chronic will cost closer to $700. Consider that an ounce costs on average $100-300 depending on the quality. If you were to buy a quarter-pound of weed an ounce at a time, it could cost you $400- $1200! Now think if you were to buy a quarter of an ounce one gram at a time (not that anyone would actually do this). Using the $5-$15 price range from earlier, we get $560-$1680! 

You can clearly see that buying in bulk is the way to go if you’re trying to get more bud for your buck.

How Much Weed Does a Cannabis Plant Yield?

This is not a question with a very straight answer because many factors can affect how many ounces or weed grams your marijuana plant can produce. Depending on the strain and growing conditions, you could end up with anywhere between 28-1000 grams.

You can yield quite a lot from one plant under the right conditions. First, you have to consider whether you are growing photoperiod or autoflower plants. Photoperiods are the typical marijuana plants that require a change to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to begin flowering. Autoflowers don’t require a change in lighting; they simply begin blooming on their own. There’s a trade-off, however. Autoflowers don’t need much maintenance, but your yield will be much lower, closer to 120 grams.

Lighting plays a vital role when it comes to yield. High-Pressure Sodium or HPS and metal halide grow lights will produce the highest possible yields; however, they use a lot of energy, are expensive, and attract attention. LED lights are more energy-efficient and cost-effective but do not expect 1000-gram yields.  

Naturally, giving your plants the right type and amount of nutrients will affect your yield. Using soil with the essential NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) nutrients will produce impressive yields. On the other hand, if you use soils with time-release nutrients such as Miracle-Gro, you may kill your plants. 

Yield also depends on your preferred strain. Indica plants will produce a greater yield than Sativa plants. The difference in yield isn’t substantial, but you may notice it.  

As you can see, the yield from a single plant can vary greatly. As long as your plants are under ideal conditions, you can obtain those vast fields of green that you are looking for (in more ways than one).

The “Heavy Bags”

When you pay attention to the language used by regular cannabis users, you might periodically hear the expression “a heavy bag.” In cannabis lingo, a heavy bag refers to a bag of weed whose contents are slightly heavier than what the package says.

For example, we have already established that an eighth of an ounce contains 3.5 grams of weed. A heavy bag, in this case, could contain 3.6 grams, meaning that a tenth of a gram has been added after weighing out the standard eighth.

Other people measure out the required amount, such as half an ounce, and then add a pinch of cannabis to that amount to give you a heavy bag.

However, you will not find any “heavy baggies” when you buy weed at a dispensary. Those establishments are businesses and need to make a profit to stay afloat. Instead, you’ll find heavy baggies when cannabis is passed around informally (between friends, for example). The extra amount of weed is just a gesture of goodwill.

How Much Does it Cost to Grow a Marijuana Plant?

First off, you will need some seeds. You could go the bag seed route and plant seeds that you find in your herb. These seeds are free, but you are taking a big risk as you do not know if they will even be viable. Even if you can get a bag seed to grow, you have no guarantee it’s female, which means you’ll have wasted time and a ton of cash on plants that won’t even produce a smokable gram of weed. This is why we recommend going to a seed bank, which will cost you around $80-$100 for a pack of 5. 

Once you have your seeds, you will need your medium. If you’re a beginner, we strongly suggest sticking with soil and leaving the hydroponics to those with experience. Good soil (not Miracle-Gro!) is as easy as purchasing our Superb Soil (included in our Complete Kit), or you could pay as much as $75.  Next, you will need something to grow your plants in. A set of 5-gallon planters will cost around $80-$100. 

Now that your seedlings are growing into plants, you will need nutrients and fertilizer to help them thrive. Quality nutrients will cost you around $50. If you are growing indoors, you will also need lighting. Depending on the type of lights you are using, this can cost you anywhere from one to several hundred dollars. You will also need equipment for monitoring and controlling the temperature and humidity in your grow room. Good fans will cost upwards of $80. Thermometers and humidity monitors will cost you around $50 for quality. Lastly, there is the grow tent, which can cost anywhere from $100-150. It can get quite expensive, but the more you grow, the more you break even or even *gasp* profit! 

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Bringing It All Together

A cannabis plant

 

Educating yourself about weed measurements will go a long way towards taking the guesswork out of buying marijuana. It also helps the everyday marijuana home grower understand the value of their hard work. 

While budtenders will gladly sell you weed according to the amount of money you have, it is far better to decide what quantity you want to buy and get it at the right price. 

One last piece of advice. The prices suggested earlier are simply averages and will vary from one location to another, so don’t insist that the price you pay for a quarter of an ounce of weed in Oregon should be the same price you pay while in California!

Related: How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System and How to Get it Out Faster

Frequently Asked Questions About Weed Measurements

What are some common weed measurements?

  • 1/8 an ounce = 3.54 grams
  • 1/4 an ounce = 7.08 grams
  • 1/2 an ounce = 14.17 grams

How many grams of weed is 1 ounce?

1-ounce weed = 28.34 grams

How many ounces are there in a quarter pound of weed?

A quarter-pound of weed contains 4 ounces.

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