Cannabis purchases have come a long way from copping a lid or dime bag. With less of a need for discretion comes a lot more freedom in how weed is bought and sold, and cannabis consumers have tons of options from which to choose.
Cannabis quantities are measured by the metric system—one of the only instances where Americans embrace the European calculator without complaint—but often talked about using slang terms rather than the actual numbers.
For example: one of the most common weed measurements for consumers is 3.5 grams, but few people will spell that out. Instead, they’ll ask for an “eighth” which is an eighth of an ounce. Similarly, a 7-gram purchase is more likely to be called a “quarter of an ounce,” and 14 grams are known as a “half-ounce” or “half-zip,” depending on how slangy you like to get.
Whether you’re purchasing single grams, a full ounce, or 16 ounces (a pound of weed), prices can vary widely depending on the region you reside in.
A decent eighth might cost around $30 in Oregon and closer to $50 or $60 in California—and that price gap might widen even further when you’re talking about homegrown legacy marijuana versus cannabis purchased at a legal adult-use dispensary or a dispensary reserved for medical marijuana patients.
This price gap is also quite dependent on your personal preference. While homegrown cannabis might be riskier to buy—and more likely to come in a ziploc bag instead of an airtight, quality-control-checked container—it might be higher quality weed than mass-produced retail options if the cultivator is experienced and responsible.
And while some consumers think the safer purchasing option comes from buying at a legal dispensary where products are regulated and tested, others opt for growers they know and trust to provide them with quality grams of weed.
Cannabis metric-imperial conversion chart
As we mentioned, cannabis is both officially measured in metric weight and unofficially referred to by its imperial weight—with a smattering of slang terms to spice up your order.
The chart below outlines the most common units of measurement for cannabis purchases, but it’s also popular and doable to show up at a dispensary and let them know the dollar amount you’re willing to spend. With this approach, the budtender will weigh out your product and cap you at your max limit (and the measurement can be quite random).
|Metric weight||Imperial weight|
|3.5 grams||Eighth or ⅛ of an ounce|
|7 grams||Quarter or ¼ of an ounce|
|14 grams||Half or ½ of an ounce|
|28 grams||Full or 1 ounce|
|448 grams||Full pound or 16 ounces|
One gram is usually the smallest amount of weed you can purchase at a time. It’s about 1-2 joints worth of flower, depending on the size of joints you like to roll up.
An eighth—or 3.5 grams—is enough cannabis to roll around three fatty blunts or 4-5 medium-sized joints.
With a quarter ounce of marijuana, you’ll have enough cannabis to last a while. It’s about 21-23 joints worth of weed, so if you smoke a lot or just like to stock up ahead of time, this is a great amount to go with.
A half-ounce of weed will allow you to roll about 53-56 joints. It’s also a good amount to purchase if you’re planning to make canna-butter and a large batch of edibles.
With one ounce of weed (or 28 grams), you’re set to roll around 80-85 joints. If you’re hosting a large event—or baking an even larger quantity of edibles—this is the perfect unit of cannabis measurement to defer to.
With the purchase of one pound of weed, you’ve just acquired 16 ounces. The more you purchase at a time, the lower your spend is likely to be, so if you know you need to buy a major grip, a bulk amount might be ideal. However, it’s important to check with your state’s regulations to ensure you’re not breaking any laws regarding the amount of cannabis you may possess at one time.
How much cannabis fits in a 5-gallon bag?
Trying to fit your flower into a 5-gallon bag? You can probably fit around 10-12 ounces in, depending on the size and density of your nugs. Just be sure to leave 20-25% head space.
How much cannabis fits in a 27-gallon bag?
If you’re working with a 27-gallon bag, you can probably fit around 30-33 ounces of cannabis or roughly two pounds.
How much cannabis fits in a 55-gallon drum?
For a 55-gallon drum, you can expect to fit around 65-68 ounces of processed buds.