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How Much Weed Is in a Joint? Pot Experts Have a New Estimate

How much marijuana is in a typical joint? Believe it or not, the question has perplexed experts for years. A new study claims to have an accurate estimate based on federal arrest data, and it’s less than regular users think.

Arriving at a trustworthy estimate is important for many reasons, including informing policy makers, law enforcement officials, health care providers and researchers.

Casual and scientific analyses have yielded a wide range of guesses as to the average contents of a marijuana cigarette, whether purchased or prepared at home.

At least one study placed the typical weight at 0.66 grams. The federal government has said it is closer to 0.43 grams.

The estimates from pot smokers are, shall we say, higher: Roughly one in four people responding to an informal poll last year by High Times, the cannabis magazine, said a typical joint contained one gram of marijuana. But nearly as many said it contained half that amount. Perhaps it depends how you roll.

The actual average may be much less. The new study, an analysis of federal drug arrest data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found the average amount of weed in a joint to be much smaller than those estimates: just 0.32 grams.

Such estimates about more than better understanding a high. Many users report marijuana consumption in terms of joints smoked, a statistic that is useless to researchers, authorities or policy makers without an accurate approximation of what that means.

“In order to get good projections, you need to be able to turn those answers — ‘I’ve had one joint in the last 30 days’ — into a quantity,” said Greg Ridgeway, a professor of criminology and statistics at the University of Pennsylvania who helped write the study with Beau Kilmer, a director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.

“These estimates can be incorporated into drug policy discussions,” the two researchers wrote, “to produce better understanding about illicit marijuana markets, the size of potential legalized marijuana markets, and health and behavior outcomes.”

Their estimate is based on marijuana purchase data collected from interviews with people who were arrested from 2000 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2010 under a Department of Justice program. While the answers came in many forms, Dr. Ridgeway and Dr. Kilmer focused on the more than 10,000 responses in which marijuana was measured in grams, ounces or joints.

The average price per gram, they found, was $6.81; the average joint was $3.50.

They couldn’t stop there. Although dividing the joint price by the gram price yields a rough estimate of a joint’s weight — about half a gram — it ignores how prices vary by location, time and quantity.

Those factors can significantly influence the estimates. Bulk discounts, in particular, modulate price. For example, the average price per gram jumps to $9.30 if the analysis is limited to purchases of five grams or less.

“When people buy an ounce of marijuana, they get a real volume discount,” Dr. Ridgeway said.

To account for those variations, the researchers applied a mathematical drug pricing model to the data, yielding their answer of 0.32 grams in the average joint.

Dr. Kilmer and Dr. Ridgeway acknowledge that their estimate is imperfect. It reflects just one population of marijuana consumer — people who have been arrested — and only in a smattering of counties across the United States.

But it is a convincing measurement nonetheless. Indeed, in 2015 a global drug survey conducted by academics found that most users get about three joints from a single gram of marijuana, or roughly 0.33 grams per joint.

Of course, weight is just a piece of the puzzle. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that produces the main psychoactive effects of marijuana, matters. And, like weight, THC content fluctuates, too: In a 2014 report, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated that marijuana’s average THC content rose from roughly 5 percent in 2000 to 8 percent in 2010.

Data from drug-related arrests offered a new insight into a matter critical for marijuana research and drug policy.

2 gram joint

500 joints pot limit plan
The Sun Online

By TONY BONNICI

DRUGGIES caught with enough cannabis to make 500 joints could escape being charged as dealers under planned guidelines.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke revealed proposals to set a threshold for the amount of drugs anyone can claim is for personal use.

Anyone who fell below the threshold could expect to face the lesser charge of possession.

Lib Dems and Tories warned the move would lead to dealers escaping prosecution.

Limits proposed are:

HEROIN and CRACK COCAINE: Seven grams in bulk or ten or more 0.1 gram ?wraps?.

COCAINE: Seven grams in bulk or ten one-gram wraps.

ECSTASY: Ten tablets.

AMPHETAMINE: Fourteen grams in bulk or ten one-gram wraps.

CANNABIS: Resin, 4oz or 10 individual pieces, wraps or blocks. Leaf, 0.5 kilograms or more than 20 individual 2in-by-2in bags.
Four ounces of cannabis would be enough to roll about 512 light joints or about 256 strong ones, according to drugs education charity DrugScope.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: ?This idea would backfire. Set the limit too low, and you treat all users as dealers. Set it too high and dealers will argue the drugs were for personal use.

?If these proposals are taken as a rule of thumb, a lot of dealers are going to be let off the hook.?

Shadow home affairs minister Cheryl Gillan said: ?We can expect to see dealers carry around just less than the prescribed amount so that if they get caught, they have a case that it is only for personal use.?

Police, courts and drugs agencies are being asked their opinions in a consultation exercise, which runs until March.
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4 ounces can make 512 joints?! Thats 112 grams divided by 512 joints, or .2 grams per joint. Or for a “strong” joint it’s still less than half a gram per joint. I don’t know about the rest of you (or the blokes over in England), but when I roll a joint it’s at least a gram.

500 joints pot limit plan The Sun Online By TONY BONNICI DRUGGIES caught with enough cannabis to make 500 joints could escape being charged as dealers under planned guidelines. Home Secretary Charles ]]>