Wouldn’t it be nice if a cannabis purchase was straightforward? In states like California and Colorado, where weed is legal for recreational use, it is! All you have to do is buy your Mary Jane like you would a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. The market is regulated so sellers are not going to get away with ripping you off — simply choose your weed and they have to give you the right amount, every time.
The illicit market is a little different, as your local dealer isn’t necessarily going to be a straight shooter. After all, in states where marijuana is against the law, he (or she) is considered a criminal, and will be severely punished if caught. So if your half-ounce weed is off by a gram (or five), you can’t exactly make a complaint to the cops!
Admittedly, even in regulated markets it is helpful to know how much weed you’re buying, whether it be in the form of herb or edibles. When you can purchase the correct amount, you can curate a collection of edibles, strains and other products. In this instance, it makes perfect sense to purchase a weed scale to take the guesswork out of the equation.
Best Weed Scales for Marijuana
If you want accurate weed measurements, a scale is an essential purchase. Unless you’re a vastly experienced user who can tell what 1 gram of weed looks like with the naked eye, a drug scale of this nature will ensure you always get what you pay for. It also enables you to determine how much you’re using per a session.
There’s another very good reason to invest in a weed scale; even in states where recreational and medical use is allowed, there are limits on how much you can actually buy or sell. In Alaska for example, you’re allowed to purchase one ounce of marijuana per transaction. A scale could be the difference between a nice, easy purchase and a serious fine! When buying a scale, here are a few things to consider:
- Only purchase a scale that’s accurate to within 0.1 grams.
- Make sure its capacity is at least 200 grams. If you’re a seller and need to weigh significant amounts, a capacity of 1,000 grams (1 kilogram) should be sufficient.
- Buy a scale with a wall plug if you weigh weed regularly, in order to save money on batteries.
- Online stores have lower overheads and typically offer lower prices than physical stores. Use the money you save to purchase more herb!
- United States residents should buy a scale that measures in grams, although any device capable of measuring in both the imperial and metric system is very useful.
We have regularly found scales available for less than $10, so there is no need to go crazy and purchase a top of the line model that you don’t need.
What Does a Gram of Weed Look Like?
It’s no secret that a gram of weed belonging to one strain might look very different from the same amount of another strain. The fact is, some nugs are more compact and dense, while others are loose and fluffy. So a gram of the latter will look significantly larger than the same amount of the former.
Then, you have to of course consider the level of moisture in the bud, and the fact that it is possible for a strain to come in one large nug, or several smaller ones. The fact is, the ‘eye test’ is almost certain to be inaccurate, no matter how experienced you are.
How to Weigh Weed Without a Scale
If for some reason you don’t want to spend a small sum of money on something that will help you a LOT, never fear! We have uncovered a variety of MacGyver-esque methods to weigh your cannabis without a scale (don’t use kitchen scales though because they are nowhere near accurate enough).
While these following techniques are fun to try and can help you out in a pinch, though, it’s worth reiterating that they are no substitute for the best weed scales on the market.
The Ruler & The Penny
This is a pretty simple technique which only requires a ruler and a 1982 penny. Use the ruler as a scale and place a penny on one side, and your weed on the other. Since the penny weighs exactly 2.5 grams, you’ll know you have that amount when the ruler is perfectly balanced.
The Plastic Hanger Method
All you need here is a plastic hanger, a long piece of string, a drill and a pair of scissors (although a ruler will come in handy as well). Also, you need a nickel as it weighs five grams and acts as a convenient counterweight. Follow these steps for a DIY weed scale:
- Use your scissors to cut off the top of the plastic hanger, and then drill a hole in the center of it.
- Drill a hole on the left and right and use the ruler to ensure they are equal distances from the middle.
- Cut two equal length pieces from the string and one on each side of the hanger.
- Cut another piece of string and tie it through the center; this string holds a weight.
- Attach the pieces to the side, hang it up, and start weighing!
The Weed Scale App
If you have a relatively new smartphone, there are a few different options for ‘Weed Scale’ apps or something else of the sort that can work fairly efficiently (there’s actually one in the Android Play Store called “Weed Weight’). Please note, though, that such apps are not totally reliable, and a typical scale is still the best option.
Grams to Ounces – Or Maybe You Mean Grams in an Ounce?
Let’s go ahead and get to the point of the article, which is to determine how much an ounce of weed is in terms of grams. Regardless of whether a nation uses the imperial or metric system, grams, ounces and pounds have been the universal weed measurement since, well, since basically forever. Dealers have used this to their advantage because purchasers always ask for ounces, quarters, and eighths, a lot of times without even really realizing how many are in each.
Did you know, for example, that 1/8 of an ounce is exactly 3.5437 grams, but dealers tend to round it down to 3.5 grams? Admittedly, that 0.04-gram sliver of weed won’t be missed, but it adds up over time if you’re a heavy user. Think of all the thousands of pounds of pot that have been “rounded down” over the years by wry little small-time dealers!
Anyway, let’s go ahead and break down the most frequently used weed measurements and convert them into grams for you:
- Eighths: At 3.5437 grams, an eighth of weed is probably the most commonly purchased amount for casual smokers. There are also ‘half-eighths’ (one-sixteenth of an ounce) that are well under two grams in weight (1.772 g to be exact)
- Quarters: A quarter of weed is two-eighths, so you are purchasing 7.0874 grams of cannabis – and this is many times rounded down to 7 grams. A quarter of an ounce is a good starting point for intermediate users in the mood to get stoned.
- Half Ounce: At 14.17475 grams, purchasing a half an ounce of weed means you’re either probably about to throw a party, or you’re a verified stoner who goes through a routine amount of pot every month or ever few weeks.
- One Ounce: At 28.3495 grams, one ounce of weed is a significant investment and it should last you a considerable period of time. A lot of residents in legalized states like Colorado and Washington will buy by the ounce, which can range in cost from about $180 to well over $300
- Pound: A pound of weed is 16 ounces, and is usually considered a bulk amount. There are also quarter and half pound measurements, and if you are buying them, you likely already know everything discussed in this article!
- Kilogram: The legendary “kilo” of weed — this is 1,000 grams. If you’re in possession of this much pot, you probably know a lot more than we do!
Here’s a quick recap with everything rounded down:
- 1 eighth oz. = 3.5 grams.
- 1 quarter oz. = 7 grams.
- 1 half oz. = 14 grams
- 3/4oz = 21 grams.
- 1 oz = 28 grams
- 1 pound = 16 ounces
- 1 kilogram = 1,000 grams.
Also, in the United States, you may hear the following terms:
- Nickel Bag (nick-sack, nickel, etc): $5 of weed (or a 5-spot)
- Dime Bag: $10 of weed (or a 10-spot)
- A “Dub”: A Dub is a $20 bag of weed, and usually works out to be about 3.5 g of low-quality bud
Final Thoughts: Know How Much You Smoke
Now that you know the basic units of measurement, it is easier to explain (and figure out) how much you’re actually smoking when you pack up a bowl or fire up a joint (though that being said, it is practically impossible to quantify how much weed is in the ‘average’ joint, as everyone rolls differently. One very interesting 2011 study by Mariani et al. suggested that the average weight of a joint is 0.66 grams, though the government suggests it is about 0.43 grams).
So let’s make things easy for ourselves and split the difference by using 0.5 grams as the average joint size. If we go by this amount, you can get two joints per gram, seven joints in an eighth ounce, and a magnificent 56 joints in an ounce! In California, the average cost of high-quality weed is about $256 an ounce, so if you can afford to drop that amount, each joint will cost you approximately $4.57 — which is a actually not a bad deal!
We hope this guide helped you figure out the weed market a little bit better, and hopefully it didn’t bring back too many bad memories of high school math class! Happy smoking, friends!