28 Grams. ... Question answered. Or is it?
Life would be so much easier with standards... and lucky for us there are.
Google defines an ounce as 28.35 grams.... and an ounce of gold is 31.1034768 grams ... Why tho?
Image by ilovegrowingmarijuana
The history of the ounce & pound.
As with most strange words and numbers we use today, the term 'Ounce' has its roots in Latin and is defined as 1/12th of a Roman pound. According to Wiki the Roman pound was 328.9 g making a Roman ounce 27.4 g.... huh?
As far as I can tell, the Romans based the Roman pound at a weight of 7000 ideal seeds of cereal or 'grains'.
While the Romans set a standard it seems most nations came up with their own versions of measurement.
The British used Avoirdupoids pound, the Troy pound, the Tower pound, and the London pound before creating a standard of their own in 1959... Before then each weight was held against a measure held by each of the respective 'houses', but after a fire destroyed the 'yard stick' in 1834 at the house of parliament (no jokes!) they realized a standard should be set.
The French has even bigger problems with a pound varying in weight between provinces and varied between 380 grams and 552 grams depending on where you were.
Ounces & pounds of today
We still use a few different pounds and ounces today.
The international avoirdupois ounce
Based on the treaty in 1959 signed by all commonwealth countries including the US. the avoirdupois ounce is exactly 28.349523125 grams and measurable by scientific measures. This is the ounce Americans have come to know and love.
The international troy ounce
The troy ounce is believed to come from the city of troy in France, due to a series of trade festivals held in the middle ages... Since apothecaries and jewelers adapted it to their needs and it stuck amongst precious metal dealers.
To this day most gold and silver coins and other precious metals use the troy ounce.
Some countries still use metric ounces, defined as 30 grams or 1/12th of a 500-gram pound. Notably the metric pound replaced units of measurement for the pound in places like Germany, France, and Spain before they adopted the metric gram and kilogram system.
The weed ounce
Wouldnt it be nice if you got what you paid for? In places like Canada where recreational cannabis is legal, you are in luck!
With a regulated market in place buying cannabis is as easy as buying a pack of cigs, everything is labeled and tested and has to pass strict quality control checks before hitting the market, including the weight they say on the pack.
However, not all of us are fortunate enough to live in a place where we can freely purchase cannabis and so we turn to our local dealer which more often than not uses the weed ounce which weighs in at exactly 28 grams.
The weed ounce is rounded down by dealers to make an extra buck, without the customer knowing. Think about how many thirds of a gram of weed you have missed over the years by this simple dealer technique.
So why is the weed ounce 28 grams?
Dealers usually break their stash down from a kilo in the following conversion:
Two Pounds | Not quite a kilo (1000g), 2 pounds weighs in at 907 grams but distributors often round down to 900g due to the type of scale they use to weigh large amounts.
One Pound | As before a pound weighs 453.59 but distributors don't have time to be this pedantic and often package a pound of weed as 450g so that the math on weighing multiple keys is easier as well as not having to use the most sensitive scales.
One Ounce | An ounce should weigh in at 1/16th of a pound. 1/16th of 453.59g is 28.35 but 1/16th of 450g is 28.125g... As you can see when a dealer breaks down a pound or two, even a few grams lost can make a substantial difference to their packaging and so a weed ounce is usually rounded down to 28 grams.
Half Ounce | A half ounce is similar to the above, a true half ounce is 14.17 grams but almost always rounded down to a weed half ounce of 14 grams.
Quarters | Once we get down to a quarter things start to look a little more normal as a real quarter is 7.0874.. now less than 10th of a gram of weed is nothing to fret over and so a weed quarter is standardized to 7 grams.
Eighths | As with quarters and eight sits pretty tight to the real weight and so ** generally packaged at 3.5 grams of weed.**
... losing that little bit may not seem like much, but it can add up if you are a heavy user. The best action you can take is to purchase a cheap scale to make sure you get the correct amount. If you purchasing ounces or more regularly it might also be wise to demand your extra bud.
What does a gram of weed look like?
Almost every bud is different. Indica strains such as cheese can be pretty dense and compact while a haze can be light and fluffy, making it tricky, if not impossible to tell the weight with the naked eye.
Other things to consider when 'eyeballing' a gram of weed is the moisture content of the bud, if the bud is one single nug or broken into pieces which can fluff it up, and the person 'eyeballing'.
All in all, it is pretty impossible to eyeball weed unless you are extremely experienced in the particular strain and bud you dealing with and it is best to purchase a scale so you can make sure.
Take a look at this infographic for perspective:
The best scales for weed
Knowing the weight of your cannabis can also help monitor usage and keep your budget in check, as it is often simply too easy to grab another nug to crush up for the sesh.
Therefore if you want to know what a gram of weed looks like it is essential to get a weed scale or make your own. Things to look for in a cannabis scale include:
Accuracy | Make sure the scale measures at least 1 decimal unit and is accurate to 0.1 grams.
Capacity | If you planning on weighing a lot of cannabis at a time, choose a scale with a capacity that can weigh at least 100g (or a kilo if you a dealer). Most scales will tell you the capacity and accuracy on the box.
Size | Weed scales come in all shapes and sizes, from pocket-sized ones that look like iphones to large scales that you can plug into the wall to save money on batteries. Choose a scale that suits your particular needs.
Imperical/Metric | Most scales can switch between ounce and grams, though they switch to troy ounces too so do not confuse yourself when weighing!
Cost | A scale is not expensive and you shouldn't pay more than $50 for an extremely top quality scale. Decent scales from China go for as low as $10 and work pretty well for the most part.
Slang terms and other measurements
You may notice dealers and stoners using strange terms and weed slang for the amount of bud. If you new to buying pot you may be unfamiliar with the phrases tho if you have been smoking awhile you most likely familiar with the following:
Nickel Bag | A nickel bag is about $5 worth of pot. It is almost always sold in the smallest zip bag they make and contains about a gram.
Dime Bag | A dime bag is generally referred to as $10 worth of weed. The weight can vary according to quality but generally is a small banky with a few heads.
Joint | Pre-rolled joints of weed are usually between 0.5 and 1g of cannabis and are ready to light up. Most pre-rolled joints have a cone shape with a filter tip.
Eight | As covered in our conversions an eight is generally 3.5g and can vary in price.
A Bag | A bag generally refers to a decent sized bank bag and can vary in price. Most bags contain around 7 - 14g
Ounce | As before we know from our conversion an ounce is 1/16 of a pound tho refers to 28g of pot.
Brick | A brick is generally compressed cannabis shaped into a brick and usually contains about a pound of weed.
Key | A full key refers to a kilogram of cannabis, 100 grams more than 2 pounds and used internationally by drug smugglers when moving large quantities.
Converting ounces to grams conclusion
As we can see, covering the simple question of "How many grams in an ounce of cannabis" is not as straightforward as we first thought and contains a long history and some rounding down by the dealers.