As experts in the marijuana field (pun intended), we get asked a lot of questions. If we were keeping track of what we get asked the most, near the top of the list would have to be, “How much is a zip?”
Usually, it’s not put so nicely (as in, “What the hell is a zip!?” or, “What the #@%$ is a zip!?” or, sometimes even, “What the &%#@ is a zip!?”). We let it slide because we know our cannabuddies are a little frustrated that they can’t decipher the slang.
If that’s you, don’t feel bad. Even some long-time stoners can’t answer, “How much is a zip?” because the tricky word in that query — zip — just isn’t that common anymore and, honestly, wasn’t that common to begin with.
It’s also frustrating because the phrase, “How much is…” is kind of vague. You could be asking about quantity (as in, “How much ganja can I get for fitty bucks?”). Or you could be asking about cost (as in, “How much money am I going to have to part with to get my ganja on?”)
Yes, it can be confusing. But we’re here to help.
Think of us as your cannabis dictionary. Or maybe your cannabis encyclopedia. Or, better yet, think of us as your all-things-cannabis oracle. Ooooh, yeah! We like that. Ask and ye shall receive.
In this article, the all-things cannabis oracles at Honest Marijuana answer the question, “How much is a zip?” in all its many forms so you won’t be confused any longer. You’re welcome.
A Bit About Marijuana Measurement
One of the things we dislike the most about purchasing cannabis in the United States is that we use two different measurement systems — U.S. Customary Units and the International System of Units — to describe the quantities.
Ounces and pounds are a measurement of mass, weight, or volume used mostly in the United States, while the gram is a measurement of mass from the International System of Units.
The general confusion and opaque jargon that every cannaconsumer has to contend with is a result of the differences and discrepancies between these two measuring systems.
And that’s why trying to figure out how much is a zip can be so difficult — you have to convert from one system to the other somewhere along the chain of common quantities.
It’s like watching a movie that starts off as an 18th-century period drama and then suddenly switches to a horror movie about 30 minutes in. At the end, you’re left wondering what you just watched.
Oh, but there’s more! Even if you understand how to transition from one system to the other, you still have to decipher the long list of slang that creative cannaenthusiasts have come up with over the years.
Zip is one of those terms.
How Much Is A Zip Of Weed In Terms Of Quantity?
In terms of quantity, a zip is the equivalent of 28 grams of pot.
So, for those of you who adore equations:
1 zip = 28 grams
Other terms for a zip include:
- Ounce (which is not slang)
- Full O (which is slang)
- O (still slang)
- The Big O (definitely slang…for more than just 28 grams of pot)
- Z (slang again but not quite as much fun as The Big O)
While one zip equals 28 grams is very descriptive mathematically, it’s not very descriptive practically.
What does 28 grams look like? How big of a pile is 28 grams? To answer the latter, it’s pretty big.
A better question would be, “How many joints will 28 grams get me?” Now that’s a practical question that can really help you get a grip on the zip.
How Much Is A Zip Of Weed In Terms Of Joints?
Your average joint weighs in at around 0.7 grams.
Keep in mind that this is by no means an exact science. Your joints may be lighter or heavier than 0.7 grams and that’s ok (We’re all ok, man.). This is just an example.
Now, back to the math.
So, if you’ve got a zip (28 grams) in front of you and you use it to roll joints of 0.7 grams a piece, your final tally would be 40 joints (28 grams / 0.7 grams per joint).
That’s a lot of joints! That’s one a day for a whole month with some left over. You could even toke two on Wednesdays and Saturdays and still have a few extras to share with friends.
But that much weed doesn’t come without a cost. And, unfortunately, it may be too much to pay for a month’s worth of weed.
How Much Is A Zip Of Weed In Terms Of Cost?
The price of a zip varies from state to state, and strain to strain.
Regardless of where you go to get your ganja, be ready to lay down at least several hundred dollars (sometimes, quite a bit more).
A quick search of a dispensary in Michigan gave us these price tags:
- A zip of Blue Dream for $255
- A zip of West Coast Sour Diesel for $255
- A zip of WiFi OG for $285
- A zip of Platinum Cookies for $315
- A zip of Orange Kush Cake for $350
- A zip of 99 Problems for $375
- A zip of White 99 for $400
- A zip of Baker’s Delight for $560
The one benefit of buying a zip — in terms of cost, of course, because there are plenty of benefits to be had once you smoke it — is that, because you’re buying “in bulk,” you’ll usually get a discount.
For example, one gram of Blue Dream at the Michigan dispensary is $10. If you bought 28 individual grams over the course of a month, you’d pay $280 total.
So you do save a little dinero (in this case, $25 or about 9%) by purchasing a full zip all at once.
Zip? Why Zip?
Etymology — or word origins — is an interesting thing, but don’t get it confused with entomology (that’s bugs).
In etymology, sometimes the experts know exactly where the word came from and can even pinpoint the first time it was used. Other times, no one really knows where the word came from or when it was first used.
Zip falls into the latter category.
We can kind of piece together why zip is a descriptive cannaword and where it came from, but, again, no one really knows for sure.
Let’s track this through the hazy past by looking at some of the other common words for zip.
We listed them in the How Much Is A Zip In Terms Of Quantity? section, but here they are again for your edification:
- Full O
- The Big O
Ounce is pretty obvious — it’s a unit of measurement from the U.S. Customary Units system.
If you placed your zip of weed on a scale set to U.S. Customary Units, it would weigh pretty close to an ounce.
The next three terms — Full O, O, and The Big O — are fairly self-explanatory: they’re just references to the “O” at the beginning of ounce.
But what about Z? Where the heck did that come from?
Again, we don’t know for sure, but the consensus usually falls into one of two camps, with the second being the most common.
- “Z” refers to the final letter in the abbreviation for the word ounce (i.e., oz.). Sounds good, right? Still, it does seem like a bit of a stretch. The next explanation feels a lot more likely.
- Back in the day, we didn’t have the cool packaging we have now and a glass jar was a bit cumbersome (and dangerous for those prone to dropping things or falling down).
To avoid this danger, enterprising cannapreneurs started selling their buds in plastic baggies.
When Ziploc bags appeared, it was only natural that cannaseurs would put them to good use. And, by a stroke of good luck, an ounce of marijuana fits nicely (most of the time) in these bags. See where we’re going?
So if you wanted to buy an ounce of pot, you could say, “I’d like to purchase a Ziploc baggie of your finest marijuana product, good sir.”
Or you could just say, “Gimme a Z, man.” We like the latter for its brevity, but, hey, whatever floats your boat.
Based on the second explanation, it’s fairly easy to see where the word zip came from.
Somewhere along the line — maybe even before Z became a thing — someone asked for a zip of weed (as in, a Ziploc bag) and the term stuck.
So the evolution of these words may have gone a little something like this: from “How much is a Ziploc bag of pot?” to “How much is a zip?” to “How much is a Z?”
Pretty cool, huh?
Other Common Marijuana Measurements
Throughout this article, we’ve touched on the fact that there are numerous ways — both scientific and slang — to refer to different quantities of cannabis. So far, we’ve focused on the zip and how many ounces and grams it is (one and 28, respectively).
But what if a zip is just too much for you? Don’t panic. There are other ways to buy pot that won’t leave you with an empty hole in your wallet where the rent or grocery money used to be.
Dime And Dub
A dime bag or a dub sack of weed is stoner slang for $10- or $20-worth of weed respectively. The amount of weed you’ll actually get in exchange for $10-$20 varies wildly depending upon where in the country (or the world) you’re buying your pot.
So, unlike a zip of weed, and the other words in this section, dime and dub are less about how much you’re going to get, and more about how much you’re going to spend.
Typically — and we do say that loosely — asking for a dime or a dime bag will net you 0.5 grams of marijuana. That’s on the low end for a decent-sized joint (our calculations earlier in this article were based on 0.7 grams per joint), but it will get you through in a pinch.
Asking for a dub or dub sack (slang for double ten, or $20) will usually net you a full gram of cannabis. That’s enough for two decent-sized joints or a single blunt.
If you’re absolutely intent on using these slang terms or the dispensary from which you buy uses them regularly, you’d be best served carrying your own small scale and weighing the product before you buy so you know exactly how much you’re getting and that you’re not being overcharged.
Eighth, Quarter, Half
The terms Eighth, Quarter, and Half are slang for portions of an ounce of pot. Here are the gram-to-ounce equivalents:
- An Eighth = 3.5 grams
- A Quarter = 7 grams
- A Half = 14 grams
By what benchmark, though, can we gauge these new quantities? In the How Much Is A Zip Of Weed In Terms Of Joints? section earlier in this article, we stated that a “standard” joint is 0.7 grams of cannabis. With that number in mind, interpreting these new quantities becomes much easier.
If you buy an eighth of an ounce of pot, you’re buying enough for 5 joints (3.5 grams / 0.7 = 5).
If you buy a quarter of an ounce of pot, you’re buying enough for 10 joints (7 grams / 0.7 = 10).
If you buy half an ounce of pot, you’re buying enough for 20 joints (14 grams / 0.7 = 20).
Wouldn’t Three-Quarters Be Next?
So what comes after half an ounce? Is it three-quarters? Nope. Sorry to burst your bubble (or assault your sense of logic).
Most dispensaries go from a half to a full ounce rather than offering the three-quarters step. Why is that? Nobody really knows.
In most cases, when you buy weed, the seller will drop the price a bit with each doubling of the quantity.
So — and stay with us on this — you can double an eighth to get a quarter, you can double a quarter to get a half, and you can double a half to get a zip of weed (a full ounce), but that doubling process breaks down if you try to buy three-quarters of an ounce.
Most long-time stoners we asked about why three-quarters isn’t more common said something akin to, “Why you gotta be difficult, just get the half or whole.” Granted, they said it using much more colorful language and more than a hint of disgust and disdain.
When pressed to come up with a name for this non-existent-yet-somehow-still-divisive interim step, these same stoners offered such classics as:
- A Drinking Age (three-quarters of an ounce is 21 grams – the drinking age in most U.S. states)
- A Half And A Half Of That (half of a half is one-quarter and a half plus a quarter is three quarters)
- 7 Less Than A Full 28 (pretty self-explanatory)
- A Ladanian Tomlinson (his number was 21)
- Not Enough (there’s that disdain we were talking about)
- 21 Grams (again, pretty self-explanatory)
Bottom line: We recommend avoiding this measurement if at all possible. If you’ve got the money, man or woman up and buy the zip. If not, just buy the half. Doing otherwise could cause lots of issues between you and those who handle your bud.
Practice Recognizing A Zip Of Weed
Practicing with your own scale and weed substitute is a great way to train yourself to recognize a zip of weed and the other amounts you’re likely to encounter on your cannajourneys.
Here are the supplies you’ll need and how to do it.
- Food scale (ones with ounces and grams are best)
- Marijuana substitute (oregano!)
- Seven bowls for separating your stash
- A spoon for scooping
- Set your food scale to grams. If your model doesn’t offer this feature, you’re stuck with ounces. Don’t worry. We’ll make due.
- Reset the scale to zero by pressing “tare.”
- Scoop or sprinkle a small amount of plant matter (marijuana or equivalent substitute) onto the scale until you reach 0.5 grams (0.017 or 0.018 ounces). It won’t take much.
- Dump this amount into one of your seven bowls.
- Reset the scale.
- Add plant matter to the scale until it reads 1 gram (0.035 ounces).
- Dump this amount into another bowl.
- Compare the two amounts.
- These are the most common gram units you’ll find in the marijuana metric system so try and get an eye for their relative size.
- Set your food scale to ounces.
- Reset to zero.
- Scoop plant matter onto your scale until it reads 0.125 ounces (3.5 grams).
- This is an eighth of weed.
- Dump it into another bowl.
- Reset your scale.
- Pile on enough plant matter to take the scale to 0.25 ounces (7 grams).
- This is a quarter (of an ounce).
- Dump it into another bowl.
- Reset your scale.
- Measure out 0.5 ounces (14 grams).
- Dump it into your fifth bowl.
- Reset your scale.
- Measure out 1.0 ounces (28 grams).
- This is a zip of weed.
- Dump that into your sixth bowl.
- Reset your scale.
- Now, just for fun, measure out 2.0 ounces (56 grams or ¼ pound).
- Dump that into your seventh bowl.
- Stand back and visually compare each amount.
- Repeat the process for even more practice.
Being able to recognize the general size of a zip of weed without scales and such — even if it’s not exact — makes buying it even easier.
When you think you’ve got the size of each pile in your head, try this test:
- Weigh one of your bowls on the scale and write down the number.
- Remove the bowl and reset the scale.
- Pick an amount of marijuana you want to try to measure (let’s say, a zip of weed).
- Pour what you think is that amount into the bowl.
- Place the bowl on the scale.
- Subtract the weight of the bowl (the number from step one) from the new reading.
- That number is how much plant matter is in the bowl.
Did you get close to the number you were trying to measure? Try it again with another amount.
How Much Is A Zip? The Bottom Line
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this:
A zip of weed = 28 grams = 1 ounce
From there, it’s pretty easy to decipher other ganja measurements such as half, quarter, and eighth (they’re all fractions of an ounce).
Go For Quality, Not Quantity
When it comes to buying or growing weed, it’s always good to abide by this rule of thumb:
Go for quality, not quantity.
Honestly, we can simplify that even further to the more general (and more universally applicable):
Go for quality, not _________.
Fill in the blank with a weed adjective like quantity, potency, price, color, flavor, or aroma and you’ll get the picture (sorry, it doesn’t work with nouns like food or sex, even though a high-quality trip is sometimes better than the beast with two backs).
Quality is always the most important thing to consider.
For the best cannabis experience, buy a quality zip of weed from a reputable source like Honest Marijuana and try before you DIY.
At our Rocky-Mountain-based grow facility, we employ world-class organic growing methodologies to provide cannabis connoisseurs with the purest marijuana experience on the planet.
We grow our plants the way Mother Nature intended: in organic soil without chemicals or pesticides. We even hand-trim our plants so that they’re organic from the ground up.
Plus, with a high-quality, organic strain like those grown at Honest Marijuana, you’ll need less bud to experience the effects you’re after — a high-quality zip of weed will go a LOOOOOOONG way — and, you’ll be protecting yourself against harmful fertilizers, heavy metals, and pesticides.
So don’t settle for an inferior strain. Get the best strains on the planet — the Honest Marijuana strains — and experience cannabis the way it was meant to be.
If you live in Colorado, find some Honest Marijuana and discover what the purest marijuana experience on the planet feels like. You won’t be sorry.
And for more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products — including flowers, honest blunts, concentrates, CBD oil tincture, CBD gummies, and CBD cream — visit HonestMarijuana.com today.
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