05 Jun Understand Cannabis Weights & Calculate THC Dose
Cannabis Measurement & Conversions for Beginners
(and the Mathematically Challenged)
Deciphering cannabis measurements is a challenge when choosing your medicine. Weights range from grams to ounces, and THC percentages can cloud your purchasing decisions. Even more daunting, is the task of calculating THC dosing of your cannabis flower when you get it home.
We’re going to breakdown what those grams and ounces mean to you and how to calculate your THC dose from cannabis flower. In other words, how much THC is in the cannabis flower you just bought. Further, you’ll learn how to figure out dosing for edibles.
Then vs. Now
Entering a cannabis dispensary for the first time can be a little overwhelming. Cannabis flower weight and THC dosing can be confusing. Even for the most seasoned consumers.
Many of us grew up procuring our medicine from questionable sources in dubious conditions. A crushed baggie of marijuana, with only a guess as to what exactly and how much of it was inside. Promptly forking over our cash, we shoved it in our pocket anyway. Who were we to question and complain to when we were taken advantage of?
When you walk in the dispensary nowadays, your Budtender will sell you a strain in grams and ounces. And THC has a percentage. Huh? Are we back in grammar school arithmetic?
No dime bags, nickel bags, or dub sacks.
The only bag in sight is the brown one carrying out your medicine — clear flimsy bags for packing lunches, not your cannabis medicine. You’ll leave the dispensary with your cannabis flower carefully packaged, to protect it and maintain its freshness and potency.
The Gritty Details
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
With an array of cannabis strains available, it’s impossible to accurately estimate the amount of cannabis in front of you just by looking at it. Some strains will have tighter and denser buds while others appear full and fluffy. So we put it on a scale and weight your medicine.
You can choose flower in packages from grams to ounces. When you come into the dispensary, you’re buying cannabis buds that have been dried and cured – and ready to be used as medicine.
Important Tip: Store your cannabis flower in airtight vessels, away from light and heat. Improperly stored cannabis dries out faster, losing moisture (and weight) over time.
Let’s get some technical details out of the way. In case you blocked out math fundamentals, when we refer to grams and ounces an the same context, we are referencing two different mathematical systems. The internationally recognized metric system measures units in grams, kilograms, and milligrams, etc. And most of us in the US are used to ounces and pounds. As a result of these two math units combining, we (the cannabis industry) do some rounding to keep the decimals and digits from making us all mad.
Breakout the Abacus
Skip ahead if you don’t want to be bothered with knowing where the math or formulas originate.
Here are some helpful terms and conversions that we’ll use later to calculate medicine dosing:
Milligrams = mg
Grams = g
Ounces = oz
Pound = lb
1000 mg = 1 g
1000 g = 1 kg
16 oz = 1 lb
Fun Fact: the weight of 1 cubic centimeter of water is 1 gram.
The Genesis of our Calculations
So how do we get from ounces to grams?
1 kilogram = 35.2739619 oz
Since there are 1000 kilograms in a gram:
1 gram = .0352739619 oz
Which gives us the precise weight of 1 ounce = 28.3495231…
But we all round to 28 grams as the agreed weight of an ounce of our medicinal herb.
However, it becomes interesting when we get into multiple ounces.
How many grams are in a pound?
1 ounce = 28 grams
16 ounces = 1 pound
28 grams X 16 ounces =
…448 grams in an pound, right?
What if you want to use the exact weight (without rounding)?
28.34 grams X 16 ounces =
…453.44 grams — we actually round it up to 454 grams.
It all depends on how you want to do the math and whether you care or not.
Which begs the question — what weighs more?
A pound of cannabis or a pound of anything else?
How Cannabis Flower is Weighed & Measured
Pre-rolls, cones, and joints — the smallest amount of flower you can get at the dispensary.
It’s a great way to try a strain before committing to a larger purchase. Not to mention, pre-packaged cones are perfect for those of us that can’t roll a joint to save their lives. (Raising hand)
How much do you get in a Pre-roll?
As much as the joint will hold.
How much ‘weight’ you get in a pre-roll depends. As you know, density and ‘bulk’ varies between different strains. And so will how much can be stuffed in the package. Dispensary pre-rolls and cones generally range from half to just over a gram a piece.
Besides the pre-roll, single grams are the smallest denomination of cannabis flower you can purchase at the dispensary.
Looks like: grape to the size of a thumb
How much is that? a blunt, couple of joints
1/8 oz = 3.5 g
Looks like: walnut, kiwi fruit
How much is that? 2-3 blunts, a handful of joints — depending on size
Nicknames: half quarter, slice (as in pizza or pie)
1/4 oz = 7 g
Looks like: apple
How much is that? 5-7 blunts, an arsenal of joints
Nicknames: quad, “Q”
1/2 oz = 14 g
Looks like: grapefruit, large orange
How much is that? 7-14 blunts
Nicknames: half “O”
1 oz = 28 g
Looks like: coconut
How much is that? see above and do the math
Nicknames: zip, full “O,” “O,” “Z”
Dispensaries don’t often carry individual strains larger than an ounce.
Cannabis Weight Cheat Sheet
|1 g||“G”||Grape||2 joints|
|1/8 oz||3.5 g||Half quarter, Slice||Kiwi||2-3 blunts|
|1/4 oz||7 g||Quad, “Q”||Apple||5-7 blunts|
|1/2 oz||14 g||Half “O”||Orange||7-14 blunts|
|1 oz||28 g||Zip, “O,” “Z”||Coconut||A lot|
Understanding THC %
When you buy cannabis flower from a dispensary, you’ll notice strains labeled with a number for THC — its THC percentage. But to accurately calculate your dose or how much medicine you need, we need to figure out how much THC is in that flower. We determine how many milligrams are in your medicine based its THC percentage.
Important Tip: if you don’t know where your medicine is coming from (i.e., black market cannabis), you won’t have an accurate way to calculate your dose unless you get it tested yourself.
To calculate the milligrams of THC in your flower, you’ll need to know its weight and the THC percentage.
How to Calculate THC in Cannabis
You don’t have to hire an accountant to work out how much THC is in your bud. But there are a couple of (mostly easy) calculations we need to make.
We measure THC by the milligrams (mg.) So first, we need to convert our flower weight (grams) to milligrams.
1g = 1000 milligrams
Then, we take the THC% and calculate its weight in milligrams. Let’s calculate the THC mg for 1 gram of flower labeled as having 15% THC:
1 g = 1000 milligrams
1000 mg X 15% = 150 mg THC
Theoretically, you have 150 mg of THC in the whole gram.
Using the same example of 15% THC, if you wanted to calculate THC content for 1/8 oz or 3.5 g:
3.5 X 1000 X .15 = 525 mg THC
How to Calculate THC Dose
Now that you know how to calculate the amount of THC in your cannabis flower, you can easily determine individual doses if you want to make your own edibles. For the sake of consistency, let’s stick with the flower we just calculated, and make some brownies. So you infuse the 3.5 g of cannabis flower in 1 cup of oil or butter, which means you have 525 mg THC.
But the recipe calls for eight tablespoons of butter, and there are 24 servings in the recipe.
Here we go again with the math:
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
1/2 cup = 262.5 mg THC
262.5 ÷ 24 = 10.9 mg/serving
With a few taps on the calculator and some well-placed decimals, you’re well on your way to understanding how to calculate your THC dose in your cannabis flower.
Need a Calculator to Do it For You?
If mathematical calculations leave you feeling afflicted, we’ve created a calculator for you to do the math for you automatically.
Canuvo’s THC Dosing Calculator
Find the dosing calculator on the menu under patient information.
More to Come
Did you know that dry cannabis buds won’t get you ‘high’ if you eat them? When the flower is in its raw state, THC is in its raw acid form of THCA. To activate the psychoactive effects, cannabis flower needs to undergo a chemical transformation known as DECARBOXYLATION.
Heating cannabis flower — as in smoking or vaping — unlocks THC from THCA through decarboxylation. This is why you decarboxylate (heat) cannabis flower before adding it to butter or oil.
Subscribe and stay tuned to understand decarboxylation and how to unlock the therapeutic molecules within cannabis for a more effective and efficient delivery.
If you resonated with this content and want to learn more, please Subscribe to The Health Cannabist and get a FREE direct line of contact with me. Get answers questions about Cannabis, Health, Fitness, & Nutrition!