Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 3, 2023

There are many reasons why you’d want to measure your weed accurately. For one, to avoid being cheated at a dispensary, and also to properly dose your joint, blunt, bong, or edibles (especially if you want to keep track of the exact amount of THC you’re consuming). Whether a recreational or a medical marijuana user, knowing the amount of weed you’re using on a regular basis can also help you plan your budget.

Everyone knows that using a weighing scale is how you can get the most accurate measurements for your cannabis nugs, but sometimes you won’t have it at hand. What then? Well, there are ways to measure weed without a scale, which is the main focus of this article. We’ll share some methods of weighing weed that you can try out at home, so let’s get started.

The Weed Measurement System

Assuming you’re a fellow weed enthusiast, you probably know that there are standard weed measurements when you buy a baggie at a dispensary. These different weights are not arbitrary, they include both imperial and metric units which may be confusing, but this system has developed over the years for practicality. 

  • One gram of weed;
  • An eighth of an ounce or just an eighth which equals 3.5 grams of weed;
  • Quarter of an ounce or just a quarter which equals 7 grams of weed;
  • Half-ounce or just half which equals 14 grams of weed;
  • An ounce of weed which equals 28 grams of weed;
  • A pound which equals 453 grams of weed.

How to Measure Weed Without a Scale

You might think it’s impossible to weigh weed without a proper weighing scale, but it’s incredible how far some creativity can get you. When in need, you’d be amazed at how many things you can come up with, and that includes ways to measure weed. 

Bear in mind that they won’t give you such an accurate measurement as a digital scale would with all the decimals, but some of the methods we’ll present to you can be really helpful when you have nothing else.

Use Paper

You may not believe this, but sometimes a piece of paper is all you need to measure some nugs for your joint. This DIY paper scale can measure approximately 1 gram of weed.

Take a piece of paper (any piece of paper that can hold shape) and fold it in half so that it looks like a tent, and then place it on a flat surface. Then, take another piece of paper and fold it in four equal parts so that when you look at it from the front it looks like a zigzag pattern. 

Balance the zigzag piece of paper on top of the first piece of paper (the one that looks like a tent). The center of the zigzag paper should sit on top of the tent paper, while the sides should be sticking out upwards, giving you space to put the weed.

Put a dollar bill on one end of the paper and fold it so that it can fit. A dollar bill weighs about 1 gram, so it’s perfect as a counterweight. Put the weed you want to measure on the other side and add or take out more weed (if needed) until both sides are more or less balanced.

Use a Ruler

The paper scale was just the beginning of our improv. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures, and using an improv weighing scale is one of them.

One very common way for measuring how many grams of weed you need is using a ruler and a pen or an eraser. This “scale” can measure bigger quantities of weed than the paper one, so it can come in handy. 

It’s very simple. All you need to do is balance a ruler on top of an eraser, or alternatively, you can use a pen instead of the eraser. Your counterweight should be a penny because it weighs approximately 2.5 grams. Put the penny on one end of the ruler and the weed on the other, and voilà, you’re all set! 

DIY a Weighing Scale

Now, if you want to get more technical with your stash and need to measure bigger quantities, it’s time to pull out the big guns and make a weighing scale of your own. This method also involves using stuff that you already have in your home. 

For this DIY activity, you’ll need a hanger, a longer piece of string, and a small item to use as a balancing weight, like a small stone. For a counterweight, you can use a nickel which weighs about 5 grams.

To make this scale, you should do the following:

  • Locate the center at the bottom part of the hanger and drill a hole in it;
  • Then, drill two more holes to the sides of the hanger that are equally apart from the center;
  • Cut off two long pieces from the string and thread them through the holes to the sides you just made;
  • Tie one hanger to each of the strings to clip a baggie of weed. Alternatively, you can tie the strings to two small plastic containers;
  • Take another piece of string and thread it through the hole in the center. Tie the other end to the stone or whichever item you’re using as a balancing weight;
  • Hang the hanger and clip the baggie of weed to the clothespin on one end and the nickel on the other. It helps to put the nickel in a small plastic bag as well to keep it even. If you need to measure bigger quantities just use a bigger counterweight.

Download an App

Finally, if you’d rather keep it fuss-free and not bother with any DIY or makeshift devices, you can keep it digital. As you know, there are millions of apps for so many different purposes that turn your phone into a guitar tuner, a pedometer, and countless other things. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that your phone can also be turned into a digital scale by just downloading an app.

Whether you use an Android or an iPhone, you can find hundreds of weighing scale apps. However, there’s no guarantee that they give you an accurate measurement, so you’d better read through the reviews before downloading.

Using a Proper Weighing Scale for Precise Measurement

Having the right equipment for measuring weed is, of course, ideal. The best scales would be those that measure smaller quantities with accuracy, like digital scales rather than analog scales. Pocket scales are great for small quantities of weed, but smaller food scales or even postal scales can be just as good. You can easily find a scale on Amazon or in local stores. 

For the best accuracy, you should calibrate your scale by using a small object with a known weight, like the pennies and nickels we already mentioned. It’s simple, weigh the object and compare the number you get on the scale with its actual weight, and adjust the scale calibration accordingly. 

The Takeaway – Measuring Weed Without a Scale Is Possible

When you find yourself in a pinch but don’t have a proper scale to measure weed, you’ll need to improvise. Luckily, there are more ways than one to utilize your DIY capabilities and construct a loosely-accurate-but-functional weed scale by using the methods we mentioned. While using a digital scale is no doubt the best method, if you ever need to weigh weed without one, remember that all you need is a piece of paper and a dollar bill.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.