Tuesday April 19, 2016
Cannabis consumers often use their own lingo to describe various marijuana terms, one of the most common being the term “eighth” to refer to a specific quantity of weed. For those not yet fluent in stoner speak, the term “eighth” may not make a lot of sense but I assure you, it’s actually quite simple: 1/8 of marijuana is simply 1/8 of an ounce in weight.
That seems basic enough, but what does an eighth look like and how often will it get a person stoned?
How Much is an Eighth of Marijuana?
When weighing out cannabis products, both standard and metric systems of measurement are used. The most common metric unit used is grams (we don’t deal in kilos in the weed biz) which is used to measure small amounts of product.
Large quantities of cannabis are measured in pounds (as in Colorado sold 148,238 pounds of marijuana (pdf) in 2014) so breaking it down further using the standard system of measurement makes sense. To do this, we assume that a pound weighs roughly 16 oz and that each of those ounces can further be broken down into eight, easy-to-handle parts (or “eighths” in dealer speak).
Eighths are typically weighed out as 3.5 grams. This assumes that an ounce weighs exactly 28 grams which isn’t exactly accurate (in fact, an ounce actually weighs 28.349523125 grams but rounding is easier to calculate and better for overhead). To make up for this discrepancy, some dispensaries offer “weigh heavy” deals where they weigh eighths out at four grams each, so check local deals before making a purchase to get the most for marijuana for your money.
To figure out how much marijuana that really is, let’s assume that the average joint weighs between half and one gram (which should spread between two to four people comfortably, depending, of course, on the tolerance of the consumers). So, if the average joint weighs .7 grams, an ounce of reefer should net about 40 joints total, or roughly enough to get you through a Phish concert! (J/K, don’t smoke 40 joints at once... Seriously.)
Please note that new or infrequent users will need a small fraction of a gram to feel its effects. If you are an infrequent user who only wants to smoke occasionally (especially if you’re visiting from out of state), don’t purchase more than a gram or two at a time. You can always buy more and you can’t take leftovers with you so save your budget – and a few innocent buds – from getting wasted during your trip.
Quantity Restrictions by State
Now that you know the lifespan of an eighth in a typical consumer’s hands, it’s important to understand quantity restrictions in various places across the nation. While some places consider any amount of marijuana to be illegal, others allow adults to have relatively small quantities. Specifically, four states plus the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana recreationally and all have quantity restrictions in place as a part of their regulatory system. Though specific marijuana laws vary by state, basic flower quantity restrictions are as follows:
WashingtonAdults can possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower, seven grams of concentrates, 16 ounces of solid cannabis-infused product or 72 ounces of liquid product.
AlaskaAdults in Alaska may possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six with half flowering at a time. They may also retain the total weight of harvest regardless of the quantity, and gift up to one ounce without remuneration.
ColoradoColorado residents can purchase up to one ounce of cannabis flower at a time while visitors are limited to no more than seven grams (one-quarter of an ounce) per purchase. Both residents and visitors can possess a total of one ounce at a time, plus the total harvest of a personal grow.
Washington DCDC residents and visitors can own up to two ounces of marijuana flower at a time and can transfer up to one ounce to other adults as long as no money is exchanged in the process.
OregonOregon adults can possess up to one ounce of marijuana flower outside of the home and eight ounces inside the home. They can also own up to one ounce of marijuana extract, 72 ounces of cannabis-infused liquids and up to one pound of infused solid product (like chocolate).