Understanding how much of a product you are purchasing seems like a pretty obvious piece of information to know, but many weed smokers don’t really know how simple conversions are, like how many grams are in a pound. Knowing what you are picking up, and how to convert one into the other, can help save you cash and flower.

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On top of that, there is plenty of misconception and number-fudging that happens to make scaling easier, including rounding down as a rule. Yes, there are plenty of online converters, but we think knowing how to convert weight is an important basic skill for any smoker.

How Many Grams Are In A Pound of Weed? 

Typically, the smallest unit of measurement found for cannabis is a gram. (For the more casual user, that is a typical size for a normal pre-roll.) After grams comes ounces, but this is where things immediately get weird. Dispensaries and dealers alike have been giving out ounces that weigh 28 grams for years, using the number 28 as a way to easily break down halves (14 grams), quarters (seven grams), and eighths (3.5 grams).

The problem with these fractions is they aren’t exactly honest. Instead of being a tidy 28 grams per ounce, there are .35 grams neatly stashed away, rounded down into obscurity. That may not seem like a lot, maybe a small bowl’s worth of cannabis, but it adds up over time. In fact, for heavy cannabis smokers going through an ounce a week, that adds up to over 18 grams per year, more than a significant amount of flower for any kind of consumer.

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But the common confusion caused by casual rounding doesn’t end there. When we round, 16 ounces in a pound, multiplied by 28 grams in an ounce, becomes 448 grams in a pound. But because of the rounding done to the weight of the ounce, 16 ounces becomes 453.592 grams.

So, does this mean there are hundreds, or even thousands, of rounded-off grams floating around the world, waiting to be snatched up? Nope! Because of the massive confusion that can come from rounding – is it 28.35 or 28.4 or 28? – the rule in the cannabis industry is to always round down. I know its technically not right but come on! A pound of cannabis is then easily measured at 448 grams

How to Weigh Your Cannabis

Marijuana legalization THC Recreational and Medical - flower buds sitting on digital scale with white background and jars of weed blurred in background iStock / RoschetzkyIstockPhoto
The majority of cannabis users purchasing flower are likely going to take someone else’s word for how much their herb weighs. But in case there are some questions or concerns about how much material you are receiving compared to how much you paid for, knowing where to turn for answers is crucial.

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In the old days, fancy scales with special calibration weights and lengthy coding systems were what it took to break down larger quantities into smaller. Today in the information age, digital scales the easiest way to check out exactly how much you’ve got. Digital scales can be found online or at your local home repair shop, and they all come with instructions about how to properly use them.

Pro Tip: You will want some kind of smaller plastic container that can hold your cannabis while it is being measured. This will keep all of your product on the scale and prevents it from rolling off the side. Make sure you follow the instructions for your scale so that you aren't including the weight of your container in the final measurements.

Why Understanding Weed Weight is Important

Understanding how to weigh and convert weights of cannabis can be important for a large number of reasons, none more crucial than the above-mentioned double-checking (you're probably more likely to do this if you're purchasing from a black market dealer rather than a legal dispensary.) There are also plenty of non-paranoid reasons for measuring your marijuana, including the most obvious: Edibles.

Every recipe calls for varying amounts of flower to be decarboxylated (a fancy way of saying the THC in the flower is ‘activated’ and able to get you high). It is crucial to understand how to convert quantities back and forth to make sure your cookies or brownies don’t accidentally annihilate you or your friends with a mega-dose of THC.

Another important reason to know your weights is for legal reasons. Not only are there purchase limits but carrying more than legally allowed limit in the wrong state could result in more than just a fine.

For the record, we obviously don’t recommend carrying any cannabis on you if you live in an illegal state ever, but hey, we aren’t cops.