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How Much Weed is in the Typical American Joint? The Answer May Surprise You

How much weed is in the 'average' joint in the US? It might be less than you think!

How much marijuana is in the typical American joint? About 1/3 of a gram.

That’s according to a study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence by drug policy researchers Greg Ridgeway of the University of Pennsylvania and Beau Kilmer of the Rand Corp. Actually the answer is more precisely 0.32 grams.

That’s it you ask? Well you may rightfully be surprised, considering that a 2015 High Times Magazine survey of 2715 readers suggested that the typical joint size was 0.75 grams ­— nearly three times the size of the new findings.

In fact, nearly 3 in 10 High Times survey respondents said their joints weigh a full gram or more.

The discrepancy arrives in the method. The Ridgeway/Kilmer study used reliable data on over 10,000 arrests for marijuana possession in various U.S. cities between 2000 and 2010. The very informal High Times survey relied on what people say they roll, versus what they might actually be carrying.

“A typical joint contains about 0.4 gram of cannabis. $95/oz. is $3.50/gm. So a joint of ‘Uncle Ike’s Budget Bud’ in Seattle has about $1.40 worth of cannabis in it. At 18% THC – aka ‘one-hit weed’ – that should get three naïve users wrecked out of their gourds (if you’ll allow me the use of technical terminology) for about three hours each,” says drug policy expert Mark Kleiman, who spoke to the Washington Post this month. “That comes to about 15 cents per stoned hour, making cannabis far more cost-effective than even very cheap beer on a per-hour basis.”

Researchers are expected to use the data for everything from the formulation of drug policy and tax projections, to public health purposes.

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

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