There are 16 ounces in a pound — that's true no matter what you're measuring. But whether you're a regular cannabis consumer buying weed for your personal use or someone in the industry dealing in large quantities of marijuana, it's helpful to understand how cannabis is measured.
For the most part, cannabis weight measurements are just like any other weight measurements. However, the lingo used in the cannabis scene gets much more specific. And in cases when you may need to switch between imperial weight (pounds and ounces) and metric weight (kilograms and grams) things can start to get a little messy.
What does a pound of weed even look like? How is it measured? And how many ounces are in a pound of weed? Read on to find out.
Breaking down the pound
If you live in the United States, or anywhere else that uses imperial measurements, then you probably know that a pound is 16 ounces. No matter what is being measured, a pound is always the same. What matters here is conceptualizing how much weed it actually takes to equal a full pound.
To put it simply, a pound of weed is a lot of flower. Unless you're baking a huge quantity of edibles, this amount is much more than any single individual person could ever smoke before it starts to dry out and degrade.
To paint a very generic picture, a pound of weed would fill to the very brim at least two of the largest zip-top freezer storage bags you can find. In many cases, a pound of weed would probably fill more than two of those bags.
Obviously, this is a generic estimate. The amount of flower required to reach a full pound varies based on the density, fluffiness, and weight of the buds. It will take much more plant matter to make a pound of flower that is light and fluffy, compared to a pound of densely packed, heavy bud.
How many ounces are in a pound of weed?
There are 16 ounces in a pound. And because weight is simply a way of measuring an object's mass, there are 16 ounces of weed in 1 pound of weed — just as there are 16 ounces in a pound of anything else in the world you might be weighing.
When it comes to buying and selling cannabis, using a pound as the base measurement doesn't really make sense, primarily because this is such a huge amount of flower. Similarly, it doesn't make much sense to walk into a dispensary and ask to purchase 1/128 of a pound, 1/64 of a pound, or 1/16 of a pound.
Instead, weed is typically sold in fractions of an ounce. Specifically, weed is generally sold in half-ounce, quarter-ounce, and eighth-ounce quantities.
When you're purchasing weed — whether from a legal dispensary or from a black market dealer — you will typically refer to how much weed you want to buy in terms of fractions of an ounce. For example, if you want to buy ⅛ of an ounce you would call it an “eighth,” ¼ of an ounce would be called a “quarter,” and ½ of an ounce would be called a “half.”
To break it down:
- An eighth = ⅛ of an ounce = 1/128 of a pound
- A quarter = ¼ of an ounce = 1/64 of a pound
- A half = ½ ounce = 1/32 of a pound
- An ounce = 1 ounce = 1/16 of a pound
- A half-pound = 8 ounces
- A pound = 16 ounces
The only real exception to this convention is if you're buying in bulk. A dispensary owner isn't going to call a wholesaler and say “I need 320 ounces of weed” or “Can I place an order for 1,280 quarters?” In this situation, it makes more sense to say “Let me get 20 pounds of weed, please.”
When you're dealing with a high volume of cannabis, measuring in pounds makes sense. Otherwise, weed selling and buying happen in fractions-of-an-ounce units.
Just when you think you've mastered understanding how many ounces are in a pound of weed, the cannabis world goes and complicates things. While weed is typically sold and bought in fractions of an ounce, there are also many times when smaller units of cannabis are sold and bought. When this occurs, it's almost always going to be in grams, which is a metric unit.
Generally speaking, a gram is the smallest unit of cannabis you'll usually see for sale. Because of this, any committed weed consumer should know what a gram of weed is, and how it stacks up against the more standard ounce-based units of weed.
To begin running through how grams relate to ounces, let's start with the fact that there are 453.592 grams in one pound. That means that an eighth of weed is 3.54369 grams. However, this is where things get a little messy. Instead of being that precise and nit-picky, cannabis sellers simply round it off and say that an eighth of weed is equal to 3.5 grams. Notice that the rounded-off figure is 0.04369 grams light when compared to the more precise measurement.
In general, if you're buying and consuming small amounts of weed at a time, this is not too much to worry about. However, if you're buying in bulk you may get burned if the person you're buying from calculates a pound of weed based on the rounded-off estimate of an eighth weighing 3.5 grams. That's because if you multiply 3.5 grams (the industry equivalent to an eighth) by 128 (that's how many eighths there are in a pound), you will arrive at 448 grams. But, remember, a pound is actually equal to slightly more than 453 grams.
Fortunately, this is not an issue for the vast majority of cannabis consumers. It would only be a concern if you were buying in bulk from a person trying to use a 3.5-gram-per-eighth baseline. But if you're buying in bulk, you'll probably just be dealing with straight pounds anyway.
Cannabis consumer basics: bringing it all together
The basics of understanding how many ounces are in a pound of weed are pretty straightforward. What really matters to weed consumers is understanding what a weight of marijuana translates to in terms of actual consumption.
As a very rough guide, let's start with a joint. Obviously, there's no standard amount of marijuana that must be in a joint. It all depends on how you roll. But most pre-rolled joints sold in dispensaries are usually somewhere in the ballpark of 0.7 grams to 1 gram.
Using this as our starting point, we can calculate the following:
- 1 gram of weed = roughly 1 joint
- 3.5 grams of weed = an eighth = ⅛ of an ounce = roughly 3 to 5 joints
- 7 grams of weed = a quarter = ¼ of an ounce = roughly 7 joints
- 14 grams of weed = a half = ½ of an ounce = roughly 14 joints
- 28 grams of weed = an “ounce” = 1/16 of a pound = roughly 28 joints
- 96 grams of weed = a quarter pound = ¼ of a pound = 4 ounces = roughly 96 joints
- 448 grams of weed = a pound = 1 pound = 128 ounces = roughly 448 joints
Obviously, most of these units are way too much weed for an individual consumer. But this scale will help contextualize how much these various weights of weed really are, in terms of real-world consumption.
How to tell if you're getting the right amount of weed
The only way to know how much your weed actually weighs — whether in pounds, ounces, or smaller units like a gram — is to weigh it on a scale. This is crucial when figuring out the cost of any weed you're buying.
Keep in mind that the wide variations in the shape, size, and density of flower make it impossible to accurately determine how much weed you're dealing with just by looking at it. So if you want to truly know how much you're buying, your only option is to weigh it out.
When weighing weed, use a scale that's designed to accurately measure smaller weights; typically, a scale meant for larger weights (like a bathroom scale) isn't going to be accurate to the ounce — let alone down to an eighth of an ounce.
If your weed is packaged, you'll also want to take into account the weight of the packaging. If the packaging weighs an ounce, you need to subtract that from the total weight to get an accurate reading.
Calculating weed cost
Weed is always sold on a cost-per-weight calculation. To give yourself a keen awareness of what you should expect when you buy weed, and to judge if it's a fair weed cost, start by getting familiar with how much you usually pay for an eighth of weed. Use that as your baseline for times when you may be buying more or less than an eighth. Doing a rough calculation based on what you typically pay for an eighth is a quick way to ensure that you're always paying a fair weed cost, no matter how much or how little cannabis you're buying.
And if doing math isn't your idea of a good time, you can always browse for deals on Weedmaps.