Out of the many organic compounds present in the cannabis plant, cannabinoids are the most sought-after ones specifically because of the various effects they produce. But not all cannabinoids are created equal – the two most important ones are CBD, due to its therapeutic and non-intoxicating effects, and THC, due to its psychoactive effects that are responsible for the well-known high.
Smoking is the most commonly used method of weed consumption, and it has remained so for decades. And while the average potency of weed has increased compared to the past to up to 900 mg of THC per gram, many cannabis users wonder if there’s a way to calculate the amount of THC you get in a hit.
Therefore, in this article, we’ll talk about how much THC there is in the average joint and consequently, how much you can get in a single hit.
Marijuana Quantity and THC Content In the Average Joint
Knowing how much weed you’re consuming is important for your smoking experience, but before we talk about how many mg of THC is in the average joint, we need to get familiar with the basic marijuana measurements when buying weed.
Basic Marijuana Measurements
In the cannabis community, the most basic measuring unit for dry herbs is the gram. However, somewhere along the way, the ounce took over and it became a staple marijuana measurement.
There are several fixed measurements you should know that are not only used as a point of reference for weed quantity, but that have also become a part of marijuana slang:
- 1 gr, also called a dime bag;
- 2 gr, also called a dub sack;
- 3.5 gr = ⅛ oz, also known as an eight;
- 7 gr = ¼ oz, also known as a quarter;
- 14 gr = ½ ounce, also known as a half;
- 28 gr = 1 ounce.
Now that we have the basic measurements, let’s see how much THC there is in a joint.
How Many Milligrams of THC Are There In the Average Joint?
In order to determine the exact amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) you get in a single joint, first we need to take into account a few variables that affect this number, like:
- The potency of the marijuana strain, or in other words, its THC levels. Obviously, the more potent it is, the more THC you get;
- The amount of marijuana in grams. Similarly, more weed means more THC;
- The loss of smoke between tokes and sidestream smoke. When smoking weed, it’s inevitable that some percentage of THC would be lost in the meantime. Taking more frequent hits can get you more THC, but it can also prove to be too much and cause side effects in the end;
- The loss of THC due to combustion. Cannabinoids (and terpenes) are notoriously volatile, so whenever you smoke weed, whether from a joint, a blunt, a bowl, or a bong, about a third of THC is lost because of the high temperature;
- The bioavailability of THC, meaning the amount of THC that ends up being absorbed by your body.
All of these variables play a role in how much THC your joint will contain. The average joint can hold anywhere between 0.25 to 1 gram of weed. Keeping in mind that the best estimate you can get is an approximate one, there’s a simple equation you can use to calculate the amount of THC per joint.
Cannabis weighs 1 gr in dry weight, or in other words, 1000 mg. Let’s say you have a 1 gram joint with a THC concentration of 14%. The best way to calculate is to multiply the weight of the joint in milligrams by the THC concentration of the marijuana strain.
1 gram joint = 1000 milligrams, therefore:
1000 x 0.14 = 150 mg of THC in one gram joint.
Now that you know how much THC you get in a single joint, how much do you think you would get per hit?
How Many Mg of THC In a Hit? Can You Calculate?
It’s hard to get an accurate estimate on the exact amount of THC you will get with a single toke mainly because the production of smoke is unique to each joint rolled and the volume of smoke per hit varies depending on the person.
On average, the volume of an average toke is between 35 milliliters to 55 milliliters, depending on the person’s technique and force with which they inhale. For better illustration, a shot glass contains 40 milliliters, so you can go ahead and imagine it filled with smoke.
Additionally, the above-mentioned variables that affect how much THC you will get in a joint, also affect how much THC you get in a hit. Sadly, unlike calculating the total amount of THC in a whole joint, the total amount of THC in a hit calculated in mg is much harder to estimate because there are too many variables to be considered.
Therefore, if you’d rather know exactly how much THC you’re consuming, it would be more helpful to look at the bigger picture and consider the mg of THC in the joint above all else.
What About Other Consumption Methods?
Similarly, it’s difficult to calculate how much THC you’ll get in a hit with the other methods of consumption, such as vaping and dabbing. However, there is one key difference between these two methods and smoking, which is that there’s minimal loss of THC.
Vaporizers and vape pens heat the dry herbs/weed concentrate at a temperature below the combustion point, which allows for optimal extraction of the cannabinoids (and terpenes).
Dabbing also preserves a lot of the cannabinoids and terpenes. Dabs are the purest cannabis products on the market with high levels of THC (60-99%), so they’re not only powerful but also provide better taste and smoother smoke.
Edibles are a little different. Those sold at a dispensary have the milligrams of THC per serving disclosed on the package, so you’ll always know how much THC you’ll get per brownie or gummy.
How Much THC Should You Smoke to Get High?
How much THC you should smoke depends entirely on your tolerance level, that is whether you’re a beginner or not. That being said, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a low dose the first time and then increase it as your tolerance increases.
Dosing weed is much easier with smoking because it doesn’t take long to feel the effects. The weed starts interacting with the endocannabinoid system a few minutes after ingestion, and in about 10-20 minutes you’ll know if it worked or not.
Weed tolerance builds up over time and unless you want to take frequent tolerance breaks, it’s best to stick to the lowest dose that’s effective. Otherwise, you risk unnecessarily saturating your body with THC which will make you more resilient to its effects, so with time, you’ll need bigger and bigger doses to feel something. Not to mention the risk of side effects like paranoia and anxiety as a result of too much THC.
Many cannabis users have wondered how many milligrams of THC they get in a hit, but it’s not so simple to calculate it because there are too many individual factors that come into play. To get a really rough estimate, it’s best to calculate the total amount of THC you get in a joint and factor in the loss of smoke and THC due to combustion, as well as the overall potency of the strain. Then you’ll at least know what to expect from a single hit and whether it would be enough to get you high or not.