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  • Writer's pictureGreen Leaf Medical Marijuana Card Doctors

Weed Measurements Explained for New MMJ Patients

As a newcomer to the MMJ world, understanding weed measurements will put you in good stead to start your journey on the right foot. This is because familiarity with standard measurements allows you to purchase—and consume—the right amount.


Cannabis is typically sold using standard weighing systems and often comes in grams. Problems may arise if you're unfamiliar with the metric system, so a working knowledge of cannabis measurements will help you at your local dispensary or when ordering online.


Standard Cannabis Measurements

Residents of the United States measure most goods using the imperial system. This is different from most of the rest of the world, which uses the metric system. Learning how metric units like grams translate to imperial units will help you when you visit your local dispensary.


The following table provides a quick reference point to understand the most common cannabis measurements:


  • Eighth (⅛) ounce = 3.5 grams

  • Quarter (¼) ounce = 7 grams

  • Half (½) ounce = 14 grams

  • Ounce = 28 grams

  • Pound = 453 grams


Most dispensaries will round to the nearest gram when measuring larger quantities.


Guide to the Most Common Weed Weights

Now you know how many grams to purchase to reach a given imperial weight. The next step is understanding how long different weights of cannabis will last you. Be aware of the purchase and possession laws in your state and remember to renew your medical marijuana card to continue to purchase cannabis excise-tax-free in Arizona.


One Gram

Most dispensaries will allow you to purchase as little as a gram online or in-store. Buying small amounts of weed allows cannabis consumers to experiment with different strains to see if it's a good fit. This is especially important as a medical marijuana patient as you'll likely be searching for the perfect strain to improve your condition. Being able to buy such small amounts means you don't have to commit to a strain that doesn't offer noticeable effects.


How Much Weed Is One Gram?

A gram of marijuana is roughly equal to a medium-to-large bud of cannabis flower or two smaller budlets. This may be enough for you to decide if it's a strain you want to try again.


A gram of cannabis is enough for a generously packed joint. Alternatively, you could break it down further to make two medium-sized joints or three one-hitters depending on how much flower you put in each joint.


Eighth (⅛) Ounce

An eighth ounce—or 3.5g—will typically yield between two and four buds. This will depend on how dense the buds are and how much they weigh.


Purchasing an eighth can be a wise move for a handful of reasons:


  • Many dispensaries sell their best buds in eighths as it's the most commonly purchased weight. You may get more colorful, brighter, or denser buds by purchasing 3.5g.

  • An eighth can fill three densely-packed joints plus another smaller, half-gram joint.

  • If using a pipe or bong is your MO, an eighth is enough to pack around six bowls.


Some people might find that a gram simply isn't enough to truly appreciate a strain's effects or therapeutic benefits. An eighth may be a solid compromise between purchasing enough to give each strain a good chance and over-committing to a cultivar that just doesn't do it for you.


You may find it easier to store smaller amounts of cannabis rather than larger amounts. Weed can expire and lose its potency, flavor, and aroma. Smaller measurements may therefore be preferable to keep your weed fresh.


Quarter (¼) Ounce

A quarter ounce is equal to around seven grams of weed. A quarter ounce contains a generous handful (or more) of buds, depending on the size of the buds.


How Much Weed Is a Quarter Ounce?

Expect to roll at least seven fat joints, 14 half-grammers, or up to 30 one-hitters with a quarter ounce. This amount is already fairly significant and should last a decent amount of time.


Be sure you're happy to commit to a large amount, especially if you're a beginner. Sometimes, the effects any given strain offers can be unpredictable, and reading the THC content on the label might not be enough to predict the effects you'll experience accurately. This is because the different cannabinoids and terpenes in a strain can work together to augment or change the effects. This is called the entourage effect.


Half (½) Ounce

Half an ounce amounts to around 14g of weed. You may find pre-packaged 14g packs in your dispensary. These packs will contain around two full handfuls of dense buds.


A typical consumer could make a half-ounce last up to a month. However, this might be less for a medical patient who consumes MMJ to manage an AZ qualifying condition.


How Much Weed Is Half an Ounce?

A half-ounce of weed will make up to 30 full joints. If you only consume a few bowls in a typical week, half an ounce could potentially last up to a couple of months.


An Ounce

One ounce represents the legal limit for recreational purchase and possession in Arizona and many other states. An ounce is equal to about 28 grams of cannabis and you would receive around 10 large buds.


One of the main advantages of holding a medical marijuana is a greater purchase and possession limit. For example, Arizona MMJ patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every two weeks. This is just one of the Arizona weed laws with which MMJ patients should familiarize themselves.


How Much Weed Is an Ounce?

An ounce will be enough to roll up to 84 cigarette-sized joints or 100 smaller ones. Purchasing an ounce is a fairly big commitment so be sure that you're willing to use the strain you purchase for some time.


Other Weed Measurements

Licensed vendors or growers may purchase larger quantities of weed as they're purchasing it to sell rather than consume. Remember, the purchase and possession limit in Arizona is one ounce (or 2.5 ounces for MMJ cardholders) so you won't be able to buy more than this. However, licensed professionals in the cannabis industry may buy a quarter pound, a half pound, or even a pound of weed.


You might also hear colloquial names for weed measurements among people who consume cannabis. A “dime bag,” for example, typically refers to $10 of cannabis. Depending on marijuana prices where you live, the actual weight of a dime bag will vary.


What to Do If You've Ordered Too Much Cannabis

If you've purchased more cannabis than you bargained for, or you're worried about your weed losing its freshness, don't fret. There are plenty of ways to use up weed to minimize waste. Why not try:


  • Making your own tinctures: Use your tincture alone, to make edibles or even homemade cannabis sugar.

  • Making your own cannabis edibles: Get creative in the kitchen and use leftover weed for some delicious cannabis edibles.


Start Low, Go Slow: The Beginner's Mantra

As a new MMJ patient, understanding the basics of cannabis purchase and consumption can help you avoid (costly) rookie mistakes. Start with smaller amounts so that you can try a wider range of products until you find the perfect strains for you and your condition.


Finding your favorite strains can take time, but that's ok; enjoy the journey! Start low, go slow, and be prepared to experiment to find the strains that will best complement your lifestyle and any other treatment you're undergoing.


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