There are a lot of aspects of the marijuana growing world that can be confusing to beginners at first, some of which you might not even think about until they become relevant. Perhaps even more important than knowing how to measure different parts of your growing operation is how to convert different units from one to the other. This usually involves looking up an equation for the relationship between the two units of measurement, doing the calculation, and then applying the knowledge accordingly.
Now, however, there are other options out there to make a grower’s life much easier and more efficient. One of these options is the Canna-Calc, a non-profit, open source calculator that offers a ton of different conversions and math that can be useful for many different aspects of growing, consuming, and other areas involving marijuana.
But why are conversions such a big deal anyway? When do they come in handy? And are there really enough units of measurement that are worth mentioning here, especially when it comes to ones that marijuana growers will need to use? Let’s take a closer look at the different units of measurement that might cross your path when you’re going down the road of a marijuana grower.
Of course, everyone has to know the most fundamental aspect of measuring marijuana: the weight of the weed. This applies to people who are buying weed (it’s good to know what the local weed weight is, for example, as well as the local going price for it, wherever in the world you are), but also to people who are growing weed. For the growers, in particular, weighing how much weed you ended up with after your grow season is important and worth recording so you can compare year to year how well you are doing and whether you are improving.
Of course, for the super newbs, there are some vital lingo terms to know as well. Remember, that the weed world uses both the Imperial and the Metric System -- and that can be confusing for US-Americans. It’s a lot easier to understand what weight you’re talking about when it’s in the unit of measurement that you’ve grown up with, that much is certain. Talking about weights can be confusing because many people mix up both, meaning half the time you’re not even sure which one people are referring to.
Better yet, the slang brings in a whole new layer of confusion. You might have the math and weights down pat, but if you don’t know the typical lingo for various amounts of marijuana, you might end up getting ripped off or looking silly. Let’s check out some of the key terms:
Dime bag or dub sack
A dime bag or a dub sack of marijuana is between $10 and $20 worth of marijuana (depending on where you are). The dime bag refers to a $10 amount, and the dub sack refers to $20 worth. This amount of weed can vary quite a bit by region.
Eighth, quarter, or half
These terms refer to the amount of ounces. They mean an eighth of an ounce, a quarter ounce, or half an ounce. They can also convert to grams without too much trouble. For simplicity we’ll spell it out for you: an eighth is 3.5 grams of weed, a quarter is 7 grams of weed, and a half is 14 grams of weed. Logical, right?
“Full O” or “Z”
Either of these terms refers to an ounce of marijuana. One ounce is worth 28 grams. This one-ounce number is vital in the United States because it’s usually the legal limit you are allowed to have (in the states where you’re allowed to have it at all). If you’re able to keep the amount of weed you have in public to an ounce or less, definitely do it for your own security.
The meaning of the measurements
Even though you might now understand the terminology, that still doesn’t mean you’re equipped to buy it from somebody (whether legal or not). Remember those dime bags we mentioned? You can purchase a bit of marijuana for $10 that should be enough to fill up a joint nicely. Generally speaking, this is half a gram of marijuana.
Of course, the prices can change quite a bit when the laws change, such as when marijuana becomes legalized in your home state. Keep a watch on prices to stay informed. It’s also a good idea to buy a little scale to be sure you are measuring your marijuana accurately.
Marijuana coming in concentrated form is a lot different than the buds themselves, even though the end result of consuming both is essentially the same. Anyone can make tinctures or other concentrates, but with these, it is even more important to understand the units of measurement as well as possible.
You should be concerned about certain aspects including the potency of an edible, for example. This, along with most other aspects of growing and consuming marijuana, can be done with math on your own or with the help of an online calculator such as the Canna-Calc. Edibles can be pretty tricky to predict, especially if you haven’t eaten one before and aren’t sure how it will affect you compared to smoking marijuana.
Luckily, with some clever conversions, you don’t have to wait for the results of a trial and error experiment. Instead, you can simply take into account the weight of the product, the amount of oil or butter infused, the potency of the concentrate itself, and more to figure out exactly what the total THC is. You can do this by either weight or volume.
You can also use it for planning purposes, such as how much of your recently grown marijuana to use for making a concentrate, based on how potent it is and how much THC you would prefer per serving, as well as how many servings you plan on baking or cooking. There are tons of other options for concentrate calculations as well.
Perhaps the most important measurements of all are the calculations you are going to need to prepare your grow space and actually grow your marijuana plants. You can (and should) calculate almost everything, especially if you want to really maximize your total yield near the end of the grow season.
For example, you can use the date of planting, the number of days you will need for sprouting, the vegetative phase, and the flowing phase (you can take this information from the seed site you’re buying from if you don’t have the personal experience to know this yet). Then this will allow you to easily calculate the exact dates you can plan on changing your lighting schedule, harvesting, drying, processing, etc.
When you’re plotting out the grow space itself, you can calculate it in yards, meters, or feet. Once you know the actual area of the space (in whichever unit is most comfortable or relevant for you), you can figure out how many plants can actually be planted there, how much wasted space you might want to take into consideration, and so on.
And what about if you’re buying soil? This is another aspect of the planning process before planting your marijuana plants, to begin with. Whatever type of soil or another physical medium you’re using, you can figure out what volume of soil you should be buying or preparing. This will help when you’re deciding how much soil to buy ahead of time, as well calculating as how much money you’re going to spend overall -- both very important parts of knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Simply figure out how much soil you’d need per pot, and establish how many pots you have total, and then the total can be converted from there.
Then there’s pH, and every grower needs to worry about pH levels to some extent. You’ll have to measure the pH level to begin with, as well as the volume of whatever you’re measuring in (in cubic meters, in cups, in cubic feet, or in whatever unit you prefer). Then establish what you want the pH level to be (7, for example), and make a note of the pH level of whatever you’re adding to it. That is, if you’re putting in some lemon, some vinegar, or some calcium nitrate, you should put that into the calculation. Then you can determine exactly how much of the additive you should add in to get the perfect pH level.
Figuring out the nutrients that you should be giving to your plants is also a crucial calculation that growers should be making. You can convert the NPK values of fertilizers (meaning the values of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) to figure out what the dilution ratio should be in parts per million. You simply add in how much water you’re going to have as part of it, and you can figure out exactly how much fertilizer to add.
Finally, your yield. Every grower gets excited speculating about what their yield is going to look like. All you need to know is the minimum, maximum, and average yield per plant in grams, ounces, or pounds, as well as the number of plants total. This will help you figure out exactly what size yield you could end up with on the high or low side, as well as the most likely scenario (the average number).