Weed measurement terms can be very confusing. They start in low quantities using the metric system (“grams”) but jump to the imperial system as weight increases (“ounces”).
Not to mention, factors like strain, product size, and density can make it difficult to conceptualize cannabis weight. For example, buds can be large with spindly leaves or dense and compact, but the two can still weigh exactly the same amount.
With that in mind, we’re tackling the confusing topic of weed measurements once and for all. Keep reading to learn what terms like “eighth” and “half” mean, so, even if it’s your first time in a dispensary, you won’t feel like it.
Whether in a dispensary or on the street, marijuana is most commonly sold in five different measurements, all of which use an ounce as the baseline denominator:
Gram (1,000 milligrams)
Eighth (3.5 grams)
Quarter (7 grams)
Half (14 grams)
Ounce (28.35 grams)
A gram is the smallest amount of cannabis you can reasonably expect a dispensary to sell, although some do sell half-gram joints. If you’re curious about trying a new strain or it’s your first time smoking marijuana, this is a good measurement to start with.
A single gram typically allows for two or three smoking sessions, depending on your tolerance level. It’s the least expensive weed measurement, too.
You can usually find a gram for less than $20, although the price of marijuana fluctuates based on several factors: where you buy it, bud quality, etc.
Most pre-rolled joints sold in dispensaries usually weigh one gram and are often included as freebies (with a purchase) for new medical marijuana patients.
An eighth of an ounce of marijuana is most commonly referred to as an “eighth.” Its metric equivalent is 3.5 grams, and it is the most popular weed measurement.
An eighth will typically last a light user two to three weeks. It can last a moderate to heavy user up to one week.
An eighth usually goes for $30 to $70, depending on where you buy it.
One of the benefits of buying eighths is that they allow you to familiarize yourself with a particular strain beyond the point of a couple of smoking sessions and without breaking the bank.
Moving into the larger weed measurements, a “quarter” is equal to a quarter of an ounce of cannabis. It holds the metric equivalent of 7 grams and typically costs twice the amount of an eighth.
Quarters are popular with moderate users, as they allow the user to keep a particular strain around for a while. We’d expect a quarter to last up to two weeks for a moderate user and four weeks for a light user.
In most areas of the country, you can expect to pay $70 to $100 for a quarter, especially for high-quality weed. You may find quarters for less in areas like Northern California that have a lot of marijuana farms, especially during harvest season.
A half-ounce of weed — also called a “half” or a “half-o” — is rather self-explanatory. This weighs in at 14 grams, double the quantity of a quarter.
It’s typically a purchase for moderate smokers who’d like to keep a strain for longer than a couple of weeks or heavy smokers who smoke multiple times a day.
If you’re a light smoker, we’d recommend that you stick with a smaller quantity, or you’ll end up storing this for longer than it will stay fresh.
Cannabis dispensaries usually sell half-ounces for between $100 and $160. Of course, the exact price depends on a number of factors, like the quality of the bud and the THC concentration.
An ounce of weed is the largest quantity sold in dispensaries and generally the legal limit for purchasing marijuana in a single transaction. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so be sure to check your state laws.
It’s typically a purchase for a heavy smoker and costs much more than other measurements (more on the price below).
If you’re interested in buying a full ounce, you might want to consider what you’ll need a large quantity for:
Are you treating chronic pain?
Are you attending a concert?
Is there a cannabis-related event you and your friends are planning for?
Your intentions for the ounce will likely determine whether it lasts months or days.
An ounce is the most expensive of marijuana measurements — upwards of $350 for quality cannabis in legal states. It’s usually worth it for heavy smokers, though, as you can roll up to a hundred cigarette-sized joints with this amount of weed.
Medical marijuana cardholders enjoy reduced taxes on all cannabis products. So if you have a medical card, an ounce won’t cost you quite as much as it might otherwise.
No, you cannot buy a pound of weed. Each state sets its own laws around purchase amounts, but no state allows customers — even medical patients — to buy a pound or more.
It is illegal to possess a pound of weed in most states, too. The only exception is Oregon, where you can possess up to 24 ounces of medical marijuana at a given time.
The medical marijuana possession limits in other states range from a few grams to 10 ounces. However, some states allow medical cannabis consumers to petition to buy larger quantities, although it never exceeds one pound.
“Dime bag” is a slang term used to describe a serving of marijuana that costs $10. It does not refer to a particular amount; it refers to the price of the amount.
In the past, a dime bag was usually equal to roughly a gram of cannabis, but today a gram goes for around $15-$20.
“Dub sack” is a slang term used to describe an amount of marijuana that costs $20. Similar to “dime bag,” it refers to a price rather than a weight measurement.
You won’t likely hear this term in a dispensary, as dispensaries refer to amounts by their weight, not their price.
It’s best to start with a gram of your chosen strain so you can try it without investing too much money into it. If you think you like a particular strain, you can move up to an eighth to spend more time with it.
Unless you’ve tried a particular strain in the past and are sure you like it, we don’t recommend buying more than an eighth at once.