How Much Weed Is in a Joint? Pot Experts Have a New Estimate
How much marijuana is in a typical joint? Believe it or not, the question has perplexed experts for years. A new study claims to have an accurate estimate based on federal arrest data, and it’s less than regular users think.
Arriving at a trustworthy estimate is important for many reasons, including informing policy makers, law enforcement officials, health care providers and researchers.
Casual and scientific analyses have yielded a wide range of guesses as to the average contents of a marijuana cigarette, whether purchased or prepared at home.
At least one study placed the typical weight at 0.66 grams. The federal government has said it is closer to 0.43 grams.
The estimates from pot smokers are, shall we say, higher: Roughly one in four people responding to an informal poll last year by High Times, the cannabis magazine, said a typical joint contained one gram of marijuana. But nearly as many said it contained half that amount. Perhaps it depends how you roll.
The actual average may be much less. The new study, an analysis of federal drug arrest data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found the average amount of weed in a joint to be much smaller than those estimates: just 0.32 grams.
Such estimates about more than better understanding a high. Many users report marijuana consumption in terms of joints smoked, a statistic that is useless to researchers, authorities or policy makers without an accurate approximation of what that means.
“In order to get good projections, you need to be able to turn those answers — ‘I’ve had one joint in the last 30 days’ — into a quantity,” said Greg Ridgeway, a professor of criminology and statistics at the University of Pennsylvania who helped write the study with Beau Kilmer, a director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.
“These estimates can be incorporated into drug policy discussions,” the two researchers wrote, “to produce better understanding about illicit marijuana markets, the size of potential legalized marijuana markets, and health and behavior outcomes.”
Their estimate is based on marijuana purchase data collected from interviews with people who were arrested from 2000 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2010 under a Department of Justice program. While the answers came in many forms, Dr. Ridgeway and Dr. Kilmer focused on the more than 10,000 responses in which marijuana was measured in grams, ounces or joints.
The average price per gram, they found, was $6.81; the average joint was $3.50.
They couldn’t stop there. Although dividing the joint price by the gram price yields a rough estimate of a joint’s weight — about half a gram — it ignores how prices vary by location, time and quantity.
Those factors can significantly influence the estimates. Bulk discounts, in particular, modulate price. For example, the average price per gram jumps to $9.30 if the analysis is limited to purchases of five grams or less.
“When people buy an ounce of marijuana, they get a real volume discount,” Dr. Ridgeway said.
To account for those variations, the researchers applied a mathematical drug pricing model to the data, yielding their answer of 0.32 grams in the average joint.
Dr. Kilmer and Dr. Ridgeway acknowledge that their estimate is imperfect. It reflects just one population of marijuana consumer — people who have been arrested — and only in a smattering of counties across the United States.
But it is a convincing measurement nonetheless. Indeed, in 2015 a global drug survey conducted by academics found that most users get about three joints from a single gram of marijuana, or roughly 0.33 grams per joint.
Of course, weight is just a piece of the puzzle. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that produces the main psychoactive effects of marijuana, matters. And, like weight, THC content fluctuates, too: In a 2014 report, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated that marijuana’s average THC content rose from roughly 5 percent in 2000 to 8 percent in 2010.
Data from drug-related arrests offered a new insight into a matter critical for marijuana research and drug policy.
How much is an eighth?
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- How many grams are in an eighth? And other cannabis conversions.
- Dispensary conversions
- International conversions
- Order like a local
- Frequently asked questions
How many grams are in an eighth? And other cannabis conversions.
So, you’re ready to purchase your marijuana. You’ve selected your flower and the budtender asks, “How much you would like, an eighth, maybe a quarter?”
If you’re not already familiar with cannabis weights, you might be wondering “how much is an eighth? Is that too much? Can I just buy one gram? How much is a gram?”
Marijuana dispensaries and delivery services weigh cannabis products such as flower and concentrates in grams. Concentrates can be purchased in half-grams and full grams, while cannabis flower is measured in grams.
What is a gram, and how much is it exactly?
One gram, sometimes called a dime-bag or dub, is the perfect amount for cannabis consumers who prefer to smoke out of a handpiece, bong, or joint.
One gram is the perfect amount for cannabis consumers who prefer to smoke out of a handpiece, bong, or joint. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How much is an eighth in comparison to a gram?
When purchasing cannabis from a dispensary, an eighth is the most common form of marijuana measurement. But how much is an eighth? In the cannabis marketplace, an eighth is 3.5 grams.
In the cannabis marketplace, an eighth is 3.5 grams. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The term eighth refers to the fact that it is an eighth of an ounce, but those savvy with measurements know one-eighth of an ounce is actually 3.543603875 grams. Yes, the industry rounds down.
With an eighth of weed, you’ll be able to roll two to three blunts or a handful of joints. Eighths are also known as a half-quarter or a slice.
A quarter of weed clocks in at 7 grams. A quarter-ounce of marijuana is enough for five to seven blunts and an arsenal of joints.
A quarter of weed clocks in at 7 grams. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
A half-ounce is 14 grams. This quantity is also referred to as a half or half “O.” With a half-ounce, you can roll between 7 and 14 blunts.
A half-ounce of weed is 14 grams. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How many grams are in an ounce?
An ounce weighs in at 28 grams, equating to four quarters or eight eighths. Ounces are also referred to by other names like a zip or an “O.” The possession limits for most states and countries are cited in grams and ounces. Some states and countries place restrictions on how much weed you can possess at a given time and how much you can purchase per month.
A quarter-pound is 113.4 grams, which also equals 4 ounces. Quarter-pounds are often called QP for short.
The next step up from the quarter-pound is a half-pound. Weighing at 226.8 grams, a half-pound, or 8 ounces of cannabis is also known as half-pack and half-pounder.
1 pound is equivalent to 453 grams or 16 ounces, enough to put a dent in the bank account. A pound can cost up to $3,000 and can be called a pack or an elbow.
Have you ever seen or heard the term “5-gram eighth” and wondered what it means? We just identified eighths as 3.5 grams so how can dispensaries rewrite the metric system and declare eighths to equal 5 grams? Just how much is a five-gram eighth?
Five-gram eighths describe the price point for the amount of cannabis. For instance, a customer who selects a 5-gram eighth will receive 5 grams of cannabis for the price of the strain’s eighth. Any “eighth” that’s more than 3.5 grams is basically describing bonus weed.
How do people around the world weigh weed?
Every country except Burma, Liberia, and the United States uses the metric system. With different units of measurements around the globe, how do other countries weigh their weed if they’re on a different system? Most of the world has adopted the metric system. The decimal system of measurement is known as the International System of Units (SI). In short, cannabis is measured by grams no matter where you go. Beyond grams, cannabis weights outside the U.S. are typically referred to in kilograms, or 1,000 grams. One kilo, as it is often called, is 2.20462 pounds.
Order like a local
Grams may be the universal weed measurement, but what we call cannabis changes based on your location.
Countries all over the world use different slang terms to refer to marijuana. So, if you want to shop like a local, it’s best to talk like one, too. In North America, cannabis is referred to as weed, reefer, marijuana, Mary Jane and a host of other words, while other parts of the world like Australia use slang terms like “hooch” and “choof.” People in Jamaica say “dagga.” And while you’re doing some research on ordering like a local in your vacation destination, check up on the laws and regulations before you go.
Frequently asked questions
How many bowls can I get with 1 gram?
How many bowls you can get from a gram of cannabis depends mostly on the size of the bowl you’re smoking out of. On average, one gram of cannabis will pack 2-3 average-sized bowls.
How many grams is the average bowl?
Glass bowls vary in size, but on average bowls hold .3 to .5 grams of cannabis.
How many bowls are in an 8th?
You can get seven half-gram bowls out of an eighth of cannabis.
How many bowls are in an ounce?
An ounce is 28 grams, which means you’ll get 56 half-gram bowls out of an ounce of weed.
How many hits are in a bowl?
How many hits a bowl will net depends on the size of the hit you take. Everyone inhales differently, so a bowl can last anywhere from 3-8 hits depending on the size of the bowl and how much you and/or those in your sesh inhale.
What’s a 10 sack?
A “10 sack” refers to a bag of weed that costs $10. It usually amounts to about a bowl’s worth of weed.
How much is a dub?
“Dub” is a term that refers to a “twenty sack” of weed. On the unlicensed market, a dub costs $20 and usually contains between 1-2 grams of weed, sometimes more depending on where you get it.
What is the usual amount for a 25 sack?
A “25 sack” on the unlicensed market could contain 2.5 grams to 3.5 grams, or an eighth, of weed.
How long does a 1/4 ounce typically last?
How long a quarter ounce of cannabis will last depends largely on the frequency and method of consumption you choose. A ¼ ounce of weed, also known as a “quarter,” is 7 grams.
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