Thursday July 30, 2020
By Erin Hiatt
Getting the hang of cannabis lingo, especially for new consumers, can be confusing. For example, what exactly is the difference between a joint, a blunt, or a spliff? How about shatter, wax, or hash? What about all those crazy strain names?! Super Lemon Haze, Girl Scout Cookies, Grand Daddy Purps? What does it all mean?!
Why Does It Matter to Know Marijuana Amounts?
All of this confusing nomenclature doesn’t even get into cannabis amounts. When buying flower from a dispensary, an eighth is a really common weed measurement. But an eighth...of what? As a consumer, knowing how much cannabis you can legally possess is important.
For example, in Colorado, consumers are allowed to possess up to one ounce or less with no penalty. Possessing between one and two ounces is subject to a $100 fine while possessing between 2-6 ounces could result in incarceration and a $700 fine.
For contrast, let’s look at Texas, where everything is indeed bigger, especially their cannabis penalties. In the Lone Star State, possessing two ounces or less could bring you a misdemeanor, up to 180 days in jail, and a $2,000 fine. Possessing between 4 ounces to five pounds moves you to a felony, prison from 180 days to two years, and a fine up to $10,000.
Knowing how much cannabis you have on you – and how much you’re consuming, especially for medical cannabis patients – matters. Additionally, when it comes time to make a purchase, it helps to be familiar with what’s offered.
Two Systems, One Product
Part of the difficulty in understanding cannabis weight is that the industry uses two different measuring systems. As an FYI, when the amounts jump between grams and ounces, that’s because cannabis measurements start at the bottom of the scale in grams (metric), but change to the Imperial System (ounces and pounds) that the U.S uses as weight goes up.
Despite using grams as a base measurement, you’ll almost never hear of a larger amount of cannabis measured in kilos.
Though this strange system of measurement is a holdover from cannabis’ more illicit days, it has become the cultural standard within the cannabis market, and will likely continue for a long time. It’s become so omnipresent that instead of choosing one system, a large majority of the industry has just learned to do conversions mentally.
That may sound intimidating but it’s actually quite simple once you get the gist. At PotGuide, we’re here to provide you all the tools to be a canna-consumer in the know, so let’s dig in on how much weed is included in the most common amounts.
Common Cannabis Weight Denominations
Gram: Typically the smallest amount you can legally purchase (though some places may do half-grams). Often called a “dime” as they typically cost about $10 - or a “dime.” In legalized markets, the phrase dime is a fading term, as the price of a gram can vary, but it still holds a strong foothold in cannabis lingo.
Two grams: Also referred to as a “twenty,” “dub sack,” or more commonly, “dub.” The name is a black market holdover (two “dimes” makes a “twenty” or simply “double” the typical small amount).
Eighth: This is the most common denomination of cannabis purchased, and the first step into the imperial system. An “eighth” refers to 1/8 of an ounce of weed or about 3.5 grams. Eighths are also sometimes referred to as a “slice.” This term actually comes from pizza! As pizza is typically cut into 8 slices, one eighth is one “slice.”
Quarter: A quarter is, as its name suggests, is a quarter of an ounce, or seven grams. Though occasionally called a “Q,” quarters are one of the only denominations with very few alternative slang terms.
Half-ounce: Weighing in at 14 grams, this is, of course, a half-ounce of cannabis. You’ll often hear this phrased as a “half-O.” It is helpful to know some of the alternative names for ounces, as the “half-“ naming system is pretty common (i.e. “half-zip”).
Ounce: These 28 grams equal four quarters or eight eighths. Many states use ounces to determine legal possession limits, and it is considered as the central standard “complete” unit in the world of cannabis. Though eighths are the most popular and common, in cannabis, the ounce is king.
As the central unit, the ounce has the most euphemisms of any cannabis denomination. We have an “O-Z” (pronounced “oh-zee,” from the abbreviation of ounce, oz.), an “onion” (simply because of the O), a “pie” (thanks to the pizza analogy), and finally a “zip” (shout outs to Juicy J, this one likely comes from the Z in oz.).
Industrial Cannabis Amounts
For individuals shopping in legalized markets, denominations almost never go above an ounce. While some states allow extremely ill medical patients licensing to purchase and possess larger amounts of cannabis, those units are typically still packaged in ounce denominations despite a larger total. However, for the cannabis industry, such as producers, manufacturers, and retailers, cannabis is bought, sold, and transferred in larger quantities.
Quarter-pound: This amount equals four ounces, or 113.4 grams. Also referred to as a “QP,” or occasionally, “quap.”
Half-pound: Also called a “half-pack” or “half-pounder,” this equals 226.8 grams.
Pound: Folks, this is a lot of weed, about the size of a watermelon. Totaling 453 grams (16 ozs.), you may also hear it referred to as a “pack” or “elbow.”
Changing Cannabis Terms
As new cannabis cultures are forged, and old ones evolve, the terms that we commonly refer to cannabis may change along with them. However, these core denominations seem to have persisted through the tests of time for a while now, and will probably remain as the legal cannabis industry solidifies.
Do you have any questions about common cannabis weights and denominations? Ask away in the comments below!