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“Full O” is fairly self-explanatory (short for full ounce), but you may be wondering where in the wide weed world the term “Z” came from. As with most cannabis slang , the exact origins of the word are lost in the pot haze of time. Most long-time stoners agree, though, that they — or their canna-forefathers (and foremothers) — used the term as a sort of code so they didn’t have to say ounce directly. Well, remember, not so long ago, weed was lumped together with a host of really nasty drugs like heroin and crack.

Most of these were sold in increments that included the ounce. So, if you were overheard asking to buy an ounce, there was a pretty good chance you were looking to score an illegal substance. Hence the need for a code word like “Z.” But why “Z” and not “R” or “J” or something else entirely? 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.). Back in the day, we didn’t have the cool packaging we have now. A glass jar was a bit cumbersome and prone to break should a sky-high stoner drop it or fall down. To avoid this danger, buds and other marijuana products were often sold in plastic baggies.

When Ziploc bags came on the market, it was only natural that cannaseurs would use them to keep their weed fresh. And by a stroke of good fortune, an ounce of marijuana would fit nicely (most of the time) in these containers. 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.” Which would you choose? We hate homework too, but there’s a reason schools have been doling out take-home assignments since the dawn of time — it works. Practice — though it won’t make perfect — does make better. And that’s all we really care about here: improving the way we buy weed. One of the best ways to do that — to get a grip on the marijuana metric system — is to measure amounts for yourself at home. And when you think about it, this type of homework isn’t nearly as bad as memorizing multiplication tables (some of us still can’t remember the product of 8×7) because it involves everyone’s favorite topic: dating Mary Jane. Plus, we actually suggest that you burn a blunt before tackling this homework and then treat yourself to a pizza when you’re done. You might even want to incorporate weed measurements into your next toke sesh with friends. Guessing what weighs what would make an entertaining game to play before, during, and after the smoke circle. You will, however, be judged by those around you which can be the harshest grade of all. You will need some supplies for this, so plan accordingly. Food scale Marijuana substitute Seven bowls for separating your stash Measuring spoons (we’re just using these to scoop small amounts so don’t worry about trying to convert from grams our ounces to teaspoons) Food scales are cheap and easy to find, and you can probably find a suitable model at your local market. As a bonus, once you’re finished practicing your weed measurements, you can use the scale to weigh your food. Be sure to purchase a model that allows you to switch between ounces and grams. As for the marijuana substitute, we prefer oregano for its symbolic value in cannabis history and culture. Honestly, you don’t need a marijuana substitute if you’ve got a lot of the real thing lying around. But be warned, we will be weighing out 4 ounces (¼ pound), so you’ll need at least that much to get through the assignment. A quarter-pound of weed purchased all at one time will run you anywhere from $400 to $800 (check local listings). A quarter-pound of oregano purchased at your local market will run you less than $2. If your model doesn’t offer this feature, you’re stuck with ounces. 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). Add plant matter to the scale until it read 1 gram (0.035 ounces). 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. Scoop plant matter onto your scale until it reads 0.125 ounces (3.5 grams). Pile on enough plant matter to take the scale to 0.25 ounces (7 grams).

This is, as you might guess, an ounce, an “O”, or a “Z”. Now, just for fun, measure out 2.0 ounces (56 grams or ¼ pound). Being able to visually recognize the general size of a pile of weed — 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. Pick an amount of weed you want to try to measure (let’s say, an eighth of an ounce). Subtract the weight of the bowl 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?

Asking for a dime usually means you are asking for $10-worth of cannabis . This amount of cannabis (often 0.5g) is usually just enough weed to roll into a decent-sized joint. That said, it is becoming increasingly rare to find so-called “ dime-bag dealers ” who will sell such a small amount of sinsemilla . Asking for a dub usually means you are asking for a full gram of cannabis. One gram of weed is what you’ll typically find in a single blunt or cigar leaf joint.

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