Unless you’re a dedicated chef or baker with a penchant for precise measurements, taring a kitchen scale may not be high on your priority list. However, scales are useful for more than baking. You could, in fact, use a kitchen scale to weigh your cannabis.

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Hopefully, you’ll always be in the fortunate position of getting exactly what you paid for, but occasions do arise: does that ounce you picked up look a little short? Or maybe you’ve grown your own and want to measure it out. Maybe you want to know how much you’re putting into your hand-rolled joints, or perhaps you’re about to bake some tasty edibles. But before you get cookin' – or weighing weed – you’ve got to know how to tare a scale.

How to Tare a Scale

What does taring a scale mean, anyway? The purpose of the tare feature is to recalibrate the scale to zero. Say you put a bowl on the scale that weighs six ounces; the scale readout should show the weight of the bowl. But when you press the tare button, you reset the display weight to zero, despite the current weight on the scale. Taring excludes the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what you add to the container. When purchasing a digital kitchen scale be sure to grab one that has a tare (or sometimes a net-zero) feature.

Here it is Step-by-Step:
  1. Turn the scale on, making sure the digital readout reads zero

  2. Put the container on the scale

  3. Hit the “tare” button, making sure it says zero before you continue

  4. Toggle your options on a separate button between pounds, ounces, milliliters, and grams, depending on the type of measurement

  5. Place ingredients into the container to see how much it weighs, or add ingredients until it reaches the desired weight

  6. If adding additional ingredients, tare the scale again so that it reads zero, then add the next item on your list

Why You Should Know How to Tare a Scale

Taring a scale is most useful when using a container. For example, dispensaries msot commonly use this feature when filling containers with buds to ensure that the proper amount is added to each. If your containers are standard weight and size, you can set the tare, and once one package is filled, you can simply add the next empty container and start weighing.

Taring is also great for adding different measured amounts into the same container, as mentioned above. Say you want to roll a joint that has equal portions of two different strains. You could lay down your paper, tare the scale, add the first strain to your desired amount, tare the scale again and add the second strain. This ensures that the scale will only measure the amount added in each step.

Taring a scale can be also useful when switching between units of measurement. For example, one cup of flour weighs 4 ½ ounces, or 120 grams. Sometimes, recipes call for measurements in either one or the other. In the U.S., we would simply measure that flour in a one cup measuring cup, but not all recipes list their ingredients in the Imperial System of measurement.

A silver and black scale with a silver bowl in on the weighing block with a clear, plastic lid The tare function is mostly used with weighing a substance inside of a container. photo credit
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U.S. consumers are acclimated to using the Imperial system that uses ounces, lbs., etc., but common cannabis measurements are cited in metric. For example, a dime bag contains about one gram of cannabis, a dub sack two grams, and an eighth is 3.5 grams.

Pounds and ounces do enter the cannabis equation, most often for licensed operators who work with large amounts of the plant. To add a wrench to the works, dispensaries often round down when converting ounces to grams. While one ounce - aka a zip - of cannabis actually weighs 28.35 grams, they round it down to 28 grams. Having a digital scale that can toggle between Imperial and metric takes the guesswork out of do-it-yourself conversions.

For the most part, kitchen digital scales are pretty affordable, so the next time you have a question about how much cannabis you’ve got on your hands, want to bake some cannabis-infused goodies or convert some measurements when you’re trying a new recipe, give the tare function a try.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Tare Mean on a Scale?

When you tare a scale, you are telling the scale to remove the current weight from being calculated in the total weight. It resets the scale to zero, even if there is something currently on the scale.

How Do You Adjust Weight?

When you press the tare button (sometimes labeled ‘zero), the weight displayed will reset to zero.

How Do You Use a Digital Weight Scale?

To use a digital scale, 1) turn the scale on 2) put the container on the scale 3) hit the “tare” button, making sure it says zero before you continue 4) toggle your options between pounds, ounces, milliliters, and grams 5) place ingredients into the container until it reaches the desired weight 6) if adding additional ingredients, tare the scale again so that it reads zero, then add the next thing.