In America, the entirety of the marijuana industry is based on the ounce. To answer your question with no frills at all: one ounce contains 28.3495 grams.
But there is a little bit more to the story than that. Typically when handling marijuana, many people simply round down to an even 28 grams per ounce.
However, this can be a little disingenuous, especially when you’re dealing with multiple ounces. At a glance, 0.3495 grams might not sound like much. But think of it in terms of smokability and that is actually one or two solid bowls in a pipe or bong, or even a small joint worth of weed!
When buying multiple ounces, those 0.3495 grams will quickly add up over time. For every three ounces, it amounts to just over 1 gram of marijuana.
An honest dispensary should always be giving you at least 28.3495 grams per ounce. Some dispensaries will even go over that amount, rounding up to 28.5 grams or more to ensure you’re getting a full ounce.
Think of the so-called “baker's dozen.” In medieval England, it became a common practice for bakers to include thirteen loaves of bread in each “dozen,” just to ensure nobody was getting ripped off when they made a purchase from the local bakery. With bread being such a vital staple of the diet, this was no small matter — shorting someone on their bread was literally a problem of life or death!
While weed isn’t quite as serious, the best dispensaries still go out of their way to give you a sort of “baker’s ounce” — a slightly overweight ounce which makes sure everyone remains happy with their purchase and isn’t getting shorted.
Terms Derived from Ounces
Marijuana terminology in the United States is mostly derived from the ounce. Some common terms you’re likely to hear include:
- Half: A half (literally a “half ounce”) is usually 14 grams of marijuana, though if you want to get technical, a half ounce would be exactly 14.1747 grams.
- Quarter: A quarter (literally “one quarter of an ounce”) is usually 7 grams of marijuana. If you bust out your calculator you’ll find 1/4th of an ounce is technically 7.0873, but this is getting a little pedantic with such small numbers!
- Eighth: An eighth (literally “one-eighth of an ounce”) is usually 3.5 grams of marijuana. Technically, 1/8th of an ounce would be 3.5436, but for the most part, 3.5 is close enough.
Teenth: A teenth (literally “one-sixteenth of an ounce”) is usually 1.75 grams of marijuana. But to be super precise, 1/16th of an ounce would actually be 1.7718 grams, but this is a level of precision that doesn’t make much of a difference at all!
Other Weed Measurement Terms
Most of us can get by with the terms outlined above. After all, most state laws prohibit individuals from having more than a few ounces in their possession at any one time (check your local laws!)
But for those working in the industry, it’s sometimes necessary to talk about larger quantities. Here are a few terms used to describe large amounts of weed:
- Kilogram: A kilogram is a standard unit of measurement in the metric system equal to 1,000 grams, or 35.7142 ounces. That’s a lotta weed!
- Pound: A pound is 16 ounces. This isn’t a fancy measurement — it’s just your standard Imperial System pound (lbs) like you might use to weigh a person or object in the US. A half-pound is 8 ounces, while a quarter pound (sometimes referred to as a “QP”) would weigh in at 4 ounces.
- Bar: A Bar is 9 ounces of marijuana.
- Half-Bar: A Half-Bar is 4.5 ounces of marijuana.
Marijuana Measurement Musings
For the casual user, the most commonly encountered unit will be the gram. The gram is a basic unit of the Metric System. Funnily enough, the Metric System does not include the ounce at all, which is a unit which comes from the Imperial System.
While the United States relies on the Imperial System for most of its measurements, the US weed industry is stuck in a sort of limbo between the Metric and Imperial systems, which leads to a lot of conversions like the ones outlined above.
For a bit of a reference point, one gram of marijuana is a decent sized joint. In fact, you’ll find many dispensaries stocked with one gram pre-rolled joints. Or, to use a different example, a gram is about two or three medium sized bowls in most pipes, but obviously this will vary widely based on the size of your bowl.
How To Weigh Your Weed
When purchasing from a dispensary, you should get a label or receipt which indicates the weight of your purchase. You might even have the opportunity to watch them weigh out your herb right in front of you.
But if you’re curious about how much you’re getting, or want to break up your buds into precisely sized portions, the best way is to pick up a cheap digital scale.
There are plenty of low cost digital scales which can be extremely precise! For weighing out your weed, the best option is usually to get a simple scale accurate to 1/100th of a gram (0.001g, also known as a centigram.) This is more than accurate for knowing precisely how much weed you’re working with.
|Common Weed Measurement||Weight In Grams|
|1 eighth ounce||3.5 grams|
|1 quarter ounce||7 grams|
|1 half ounce||14 grams|
|3/4 ounce||21 grams|
|1 ounce||28 grams|
|1 pound||16 ounces|
|1 kilogram||1,000 grams|