Some people like to buy weed a gram or two at a time. Other people like to buy in larger quantities — quarters, halves, ounces — to ensure they have plenty of weed on hand whenever they want to consume. And still other people, like cannabis buyers and dispensary owners, need to buy in bulk — and for bulk weed buying, the measurement of choice is pounds.
Now, the typical cannabis consumer can't walk into a dispensary and buy a pound of weed; there are limits to how much cannabis consumers can legally buy at once. But on the business side, it's not uncommon for a dispensary to buy in pounds to keep up with demand.
For example, if a strain is selling well in a high-traffic dispensary, it makes much more sense for the product buyer to order in pounds to make sure there's plenty of flower on hand for their customers instead of ordering in smaller quantities and selling out almost immediately.
But what does a pound of weed even look like? How is it measured? And how many ounces are in a pound of weed?
Breaking down the pound
Before we start diving into units of measurement and how many ounces are in a pound of weed, let's quickly touch base on what a pound of weed is.
A pound (which can be abbreviated as lb.) is a weight unit; it's a way to measure the weight of an object (in this case, cannabis). Interestingly, while pounds are a popular unit of measurement in the United States, they're almost unheard of elsewhere in the world. The vast majority of countries use the metric system — and other than the U.S., there are only two other countries that reject the metric system (Myanmar and Liberia).
A pound of weed weighs the same amount as any other pound, from a pound of body fat to a pound of sugar to a one-pound hand weight you use at the gym — the only difference is what the pound is measuring.
How many ounces are in a pound of weed?
As mentioned, you can't walk into a dispensary and buy a pound of weed — so weed isn't measured by the pound in retail location. Instead, it's measured in ounces. Or, in many cases, fractions of ounces.
There are 16 ounces (or 448 grams) in a single pound of weed. So, if you walked into a dispensary and purchased an ounce of weed, you'd be getting 1/16 of a pound.
But even though an ounce is only 1/16 of a pound, it's still considered a high quantity of cannabis — which is why it's also common to see weed measured as fractions of an ounce. Typically, there are three fractions of an ounce that are used to measure and sell weed — an eighth, a quarter, and a half.
An eighth of weed is ⅛ of an ounce, a quarter of weed is ¼ of an ounce, and a half of weed is ½ of an ounce. When you break that down into pounds, it gets even smaller. A half of weed is 1/32 of a pound, a quarter of weed is 1/64 of a pound, and an eighth is 1/128 of a pound.
Obviously, no one is going to walk into a dispensary and ask for 1/128 or 1/64 of a pound of weed; those metrics don't make sense — which is why from a consumer standpoint, using ounces (and fractions of ounces) is a much more logical unit to measure weed.
But the opposite is also true. A dispensary owner isn't going to call a buyer and say “I need 320 ounces of weed” or “Can I place an order for 1280 quarters?” They're going to say “Let me get 20 pounds of weed, please.” When you're dealing with a high volume of cannabis, measuring in pounds just makes sense.
How to tell if you're getting a pound of cannabis
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. The wide variations in the shape, size, and density of flower makes 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 many ounces are in your pound, your only option is to weigh it out.
If you're weighing out a single pound of weed, you should plan to 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 completely accurate to the 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 off of your total weight to get an accurate reading on how many ounces of weed are actually in that pound.
The point is, if you want to know how many ounces of weed are in your pound, you need to weigh it, and you need to weigh it with a scale that's going to give you accurate results down to a fraction of a gram.
The more you know about how cannabis is measured, the more empowered you are
Unless you work in the cannabis industry, you're probably not going to purchase an entire pound of weed, at least not with the laws the way they stand today. But understanding how many ounces are in a pound of weed can help give you a better understanding of how weed is measured — and the more you know, the more informed decisions you can make when it comes to purchasing weed.