Back when I was a youngster, say my late teens to early 20’s, my friends and I knew of only a few standard units of measurement when it came to pot. When money was really tight we would scrounge up enough couch change or sell our SNES copies of NBA Jam to throw down on a nickle bag, or “nick” as we called them. This was when tolerances (and expectations) were low, and thereby 5 dollars could get you a blunts worth of weed for a nice evening session or two.
When our funds were a little less vagrant we might get lucky and cop a nice fat “dimebag”, which is ten dollars worth; or a “dubsack” (twenty dollars worth) of some Mexi-Cali brick weed, meaning we would get stupid high for the night. I wish I could tell you those were the days but they weren’t.
If you had asked anyone of us back then how much an eight was, a quarter or gasp, an ounce, we would have looked at you like you were a live-action cartoon. We simply had no concept of such sorcery.
And you know what? Most folks still have no concept of how their cannabis divides. Your average consumer only buys eights at a time, so many feel there is no need to understand the rest of those units of measure. But that is the WRONG idea. God forbid your ass gets bestowed a few ounces of weed and someone asks you to break it down. What will you do then? Refer to this chart of course. Or you could just, you know, buy an electronic scale from Amazon like most pot dealers do.
Grams are typically the smallest amount of weed that you can buy. Again, refer to my anecdote of buying “nicks” and “dimebags” as these are typically one gram sacks (depending on how generous your dealer is). Some people may screw you over and sell you less; however, a gram is pretty standard if you’re purchasing smaller quantities.
Technically a gram is “the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre, and at the temperature of melting ice.” All you need to remember is that one gram is typically enough to roll a decent sized joint or blunt with.
An eighth = 3.5 grams.
While 8ths weren’t entirely impossible to cop when I was in high school it wasn’t until I had more disposable income in college, or rather when I became more reckless with my spending in college, that I finally began to purchase them with some regularity.
As any smoker knows, an 8th is your standard weight for those who toke frequently. They can also be a bit hit or miss at times, as an eight typically is weighed anywhere between 3 to 4 grams. However, for the sake of mathematics just remember an eighth refers to 1/8 of an ounce. You will almost always get a better price if you buy an eighth instead of a gram. In fact, price cuts are often given at each of the intervals discussed here. Some people will also sell half-eighths, which should really be called a sixteenth, or in street lingo a “dubsack” ($20 worth), as it’s 1.75 grams. Keep in mind the weights for dimebags ($10), Nickle Bags ($5) and Dubsacks ($20) often vary, as your average street dealer ain’t about whole numbers.
A quarter = 2 eighths = 7 grams
Now we’re straying into mythical territory, as it was somewhat of a pipe dream for college-aged Petey to cop a full quarter of weed. I did it once in a while, mind you, however, that was when 2 hours needed to be devoted to picking all the sticks and seeds out of my weed sack.
A quarter is often called a ‘quad’. Not the place where you go to study, but that place where you go to get snuffed out. A quarter is 1/4 of an ounce. As a dedicated smoker, it will probably behoove you (granted you have the funds) to buy quarters as opposed to eights, as this will keep you from having to re-up all the time.
A half = 2 quarters = 4 eighths = 14 grams
A half refers to 1/2 of an ounce. And although I have smoked for about 20 years now I can count the times I have gotten a half ounce on one hand. It is somewhat of a decadent luxury, the kind of luxury your average smoker simply doesn’t have. Chances are if you are copping half’s at a time you either a) work for the cannabis industry or b) got way to much time and money on your hands. Either way, I’m here to help you out.
An ounce = 4 quarters = 8 eighths = 28 grams
There’s really no other feeling like having an ounce all to yourself. I’ve had one maybe once, twice in my life. It’s like gazing upon a rare gem, a scenic beauty or a bagful of money. Your palms sweat, your heart races in anticipation, you start to salivate. Chances are if you’re buying ounces at a time you fall into one of the two camps I just described above.
A pound = 16 ounces = 64 quarters = 128 eighths = 448 grams
You’ve passed smoking for personal use over at ounces, so at this point you’re pushing weight. Not even the Taylor Gang is smoking pounds at a time, and those are perhaps some of the most dedicated stoners this side of the Mason Dixon line. At this point, you BETTER have a scale, as you’re likely selling this shit. Keep in mind that you can also buy quarter pounds, half-pounds, etc.
If you’re using the devils numerology-aka the metric system you will need to utilize using kilos, or kilograms. But if you actually are selling Kilos I don’t even know why you’re reading this. Study some episodes of Narcos or catch up on I Almost Got Away With It for pointers. Oh and by the way:
A kilogram = 1000 grams
Keep in mind different buds have different densities so the same weight doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always the same volume. Math, yeah, I know..
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.