Updated on December 28, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
It might not be the question of ages, however knowing what the average joint weighs is a question that is important for a variety of reasons. Number one, understanding this variable will allow you to more accurately estimate the street/legal value of a joint per unit. This in turn can help decipher things like the estimated value of each market (legal and illegal) and can help dictate policy in the future.
The big question is how will you go about finding out what the typical joint weighs when everybody rolls joints differently. The researchers were stumped with this for some time and experimented with several methods until finding one that seemed to satisfy the inquiry.
The Defunct Approaches First
One study conducted a while back, tried to determine thee answer by having cannabis users speculate, how much cannabis they would typically put into a joint — using oregano. Naturally, there were a couple of issues with this approach including that the estimates were widely over-estimated, and didn’t account for the fact that oregano has different density than that of cannabis. This means that regardless of what these “stoners” would tell researchers, their numbers would only accurately be correlated to “how much oregano would you put into a joint”.
Additionally there were other studies that asked users, to compare their joints to average household items, however, because there is no logical way to calculate mass and consistency with this approach, it was ultimately discarded.
If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
Greg Ridgeway, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Beau Kilmer, of the Rand Corp Beau, the authors of the study, decided to take a different approach to figure out the mass of the “average joint”. They took high quality data from a defunct Federal Program called “ADAM” — a federal program that would interview drug users after they were arrested, which included information documenting the amount of cannabis they were caught with, and the price they paid for it.
When tallying up the weight and the number of joints reported by users, associated with the price, a clear picture emerges revealing the average weight, of a joint. Obviously the researchers had to factor in variables like, location and bulk discounts, but they believe that this is the closest “guesstimate” that one can achieve, with the data available.
The findings discovered that the average joint in the United States, weighs approximately 0.32 grams, with a plus minus factor of .03 grams. This means that the average ounce of cannabis can produce up to 84 joints — according to these statistics and depending on how much you pay for your ounces, you can calculate the average cost of a joint in your specific location.
While this study isn’t life changing, it does shed some light into the realm of cannabis consumption, and cannabis economics, and could potentially help future studies in deciphering trends, usage and much more.