Written by Chantel Martin
Whether you’re in the commercial cannabis business, or you’re just an average consumer, there are several good reasons to have a decent scale to weigh your weed. First of all, marijuana is expensive, and you need to be sure you’re getting the amount of weed that you actually paid for. If you’re a grower, it’s always a good idea to keep tabs on how much bud your plant is producing, and what better way than to weigh? You can also use scales to give the perfect amount to your friend for their birthday, or to show everyone exactly how fat your joint is. No matter what you do with weed, chances are, you’re gonna’ want to weigh it. But where to find the best scale for weed? No worries. I’ve got all the info you need right here.
When you weigh something, you’re actually measuring the force of gravity on the object’s mass. Basically, you’re putting a measuring device (your scale) in between an object and the earth, so you can see how much mass the object has based on how strongly gravity is pulling on it. Because of this, the words mass and weight are often used as synonyms. In stoner language, the scale tells you how much bud you have. A typical scale has a dial, a pointer, a surface for weighing, and a hidden platform inside. The scale weighs the object on the platform, measuring along one direction which is called the principal axis. In the case of our ganja, the principal axis is downward, because of gravity.
Scales have been around since about 4000 B.C. Modern mechanical scales evolved from scales made in the 1700s. These old scales had two pans, and were based on Hooke’s Law. They compared the weight of one object to the weight of another object. Today’s mechanical scales have eliminated the need for a second pan. The object is placed in one pan, which stretches a strong spring. Heavier objects sink lower, and stretch the spring more. Not all modern mechanical scales have springs, but they are all mechanical in nature, hence the name.
The newest addition to the scale family is the digital scale, which is what I’ll be showing you in this article. When an object is placed on a digital scale, a load cell and strain gauge compress, changing the resistance in the strain gauge. A wheatstone bridge measures the difference in resistance, and gives a digital readout. These scales are extremely accurate, and they greatly reduce the potential for human error. That’s why they’re the most commonly used. The best digital scale for weed will even have the readout displayed on a little LCD screen, making it easy for your high eyes to read. The only downside is that they depend on electricity, but if yours runs on AA or AAA batteries, you can find those at any old gas station, so it’s not a big deal.
Now, before you go running off to steal your mama’s bathroom scale (please don’t), you should know that there are several important requirements for weighing weed, as opposed to apples at the store, or the body fat that you claim is from last year’s birthday cake. The following are things you need to look for to find the best scale to weigh weed:
This is where things get interesting. There are several different types of scales that will work to weigh weed, and looking through them can be kind of fun – especially when you get into the wacky stealth scales that people come up with. No matter what your needs are, with all these options, you’re bound to find the best weed scale for the job, and I’m here to help you do just that.
These are great, because they’re super portable, and they don’t take up a lot of room during use. It’s so convenient. They’re normally about 9 square inches or less, weigh down to at least 0.1g, and up to about 100-600g. They’re usually pretty cheap, too! The only downside is the small weighing capacity, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to weigh a whole lot of ganja.
Also known as table scales, these are becoming pretty popular because you can get better deals when you buy weed in bulk. They’ve normally got a platform of around 36 square inches, give or take, and can handle more weight than a smaller scale. Be very careful, though, because a lot of larger scales only measure down to 1 gram. They can also be fragile, and more expensive than a pocket scale. Watch those numbers, and be sure you’re getting a good one.
These scales, often small in size, are cleverly disguised as something else. They can look like anything, from an ash tray to a cell phone, and they’re very convenient when you’re looking to be discreet. To some people, the best pocket scale for weed doesn’t look like a scale at all!
If you’re super big on accuracy, you can get a lot of these in the form of a milligram scale. Those will measure to 0.001 or 0.0001 grams. If you’re downright obsessive, you could go all mad scientist and use a triple-beam balance to precisely measure the mass of your buds. However, a triple-beam balance is very big and bulky, and also expensive. But it does look cool!
You want to keep an accurate weed scale, don’t you? Of course you do! Why else would we be talking about this? But, just like all good things, if you want your scale to stay in top shape, you’ll need to take care of it by keeping it accurate and clean.
Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect, so you can’t just buy a scale and assume it will stay accurate forever. Several things can affect the accuracy of your precious weed scale. Let’s look at them.
I know what you’re thinking: “Whoa, Chantel, those are a lot of potential problems.” Yes, they are. It is true that perfect precision may not always be possible, but that’s ok – we can get really close. Let me show you how.
First, you want to keep your scale on a flat, stationary surface, at room temperature, which is about 10-30℃ (50-86℉). Scales are more accurate around the middle of their capacity range, rather than the high or low limits, so try to weigh your weed in the mid-range of your scale when you can. You’ll also want to keep your scale clean and calibrated, so I’ll tell you how to do those things as well.
When we use the word calibration, we’re talking about the difference between a reliable reference and the weight represented on your scale. You want that difference to be as small as possible – that means your scale is more accurate. When you buy a pre-calibrated scale, it’s a guarantee of your scale’s accuracy right out of the shop, so you know you’re not wasting money on an inaccurate scale. It’s more expensive, but totally worth it. Class 1 scales are the best weed scales, because they’re so accurate, they can actually be used as a reference for other scales. They only have a leeway of 0.01mg for a weight of 100mg. That will definitely satisfy your cannabis needs.
Personally, I would rather just buy a pre-calibrated scale, and get a new one in a few years when mine wears out. But, if you’re really into details, and intent on keeping the same scale forever, I’ll go ahead and give you the professional rundown of calibration, so you can maintain meticulous accuracy of your scale over long periods of time.
To keep your scale in top condition, some people recommend that you calibrate it monthly, or even weekly, depending on how often you use it. It’s also said that you should calibrate it any time you change the batteries or move the scale to a new location. Of course, if you bought a scale that didn’t come pre-calibrated, you’ll definitely want to do this before you use it at all.
The professional way to calibrate a scale is to use calibration weights. You can buy these for personal use, and they come in a wide range of weights, from 1 gram to 2000 grams. You can also buy them as sets, or individually.
When using a calibration weight, you might want to think about using gloves to handle it. The oil from your hands can change the tolerance, reducing the accuracy and making the weight unsuitable for resale. Place the weight directly on the center of the scale – don’t slide it, because doing so can reduce its mass. If you need to clean your weights, do it with a cloth or brush that is specially made for calibration weights, because using other items can also reduce mass. If you drop the weight, you’ll need to recalibrate again. Please note that calibration weights are not returnable, because they’re certified for accuracy on the date that they are manufactured.
If you’re not feeling the calibration weight idea, there is something else you can use for scale calibration. What is the one thing in the world that is always made with exact precision? No, not your grandma’s cookie recipe. It’s money! An American nickel weighs 5 grams, and an American dollar bill weighs 1 gram. All you have to do is place your preferred piece of money in the center of your scale (folding the dollar bill as small as you can will help). If the readout more than a few hundredths of a gram off the standard weight of the money, you know your scale is inaccurate. You’re welcome.
If you want to be super scientific and accurate, you can do repeat tests to be absolutely sure your scale is good to go. Repeat testing is based on two things: reproducibility and repeatability. Yes, there is a difference. Reproducibility means that you can create the same result in identical conditions. So, if your scale is on the kitchen table, you haven’t moved it, and you weighed the same thing ten times, all ten results should be pretty much the same. Repeatability means that you can make the same results in different conditions. So, let’s say you move the scale from the kitchen table, and now it is outside, on top of your favorite slab of sidewalk. Now you test it again, and you got the same result as you did at the kitchen table. Congratulations, you now have repeatability.
I should not have to tell you that cleanliness is important. However, if you didn’t know, I’m here to tell you: cleanliness is important. A dirty scale is an inaccurate scale, which means dirty business. Dirty scales are a no-no. Got it? Good. Now let me show you how to clean your baby – I mean scale.
First, pick your Q-Tip of choice, and soak the little devil in rubbing alcohol. Then use your alcoholic Q-Tip to clean all the cracks and crevices of your scale. Turn the scale upside down, and gently tap on the bottom of it to loosen any remaining junk. Clean until the scale is… well… clean. Dry it with a paper towel. There ya go! Yay clean scales.
So, how much money are we looking at for a weed scale? Well, they used to run upwards of a hundred dollars. Lucky for you, times have changed. You can now buy a decent scale for $30, maybe less.
Before you get started, let me save you the trouble of trying to read the weird numbers on the side of the box, so you know how to get what you’re looking for. Weight and accuracy are normally shown on the box as capacity x sensitivity.
In other words, the maximum weight is the first number, the minimum weight is the second number. For example, a scale with a 200g maximum capacity that can measure to 0.01g will be shown like this: 200g x 0.01g.
Now, there are several ways to go about buying a weed scale. You could go to a big box store, because they’re bound to have scales, but most of those will only measure to half an ounce, or a gram at best. You can buy one at your local headshop, but they are known for their giant markup on scales. You can get the same scale online way cheaper, which brings us to the paradise of scales: the internet.
I, your cannabis hero, have put together a helpful little list of websites that will help you find your perfect weed scale. Some of these websites have a really wide variety, so be sure to watch that accuracy, and keep it at at least 0.1g. Yes, you may love me now.
This is a huge manufacturer of scales. Their whole entire website is nothing but scales. While you’re buying your weed scale, you can pick one up for the holiday poultry dish, too!
Hey, look! It’s a kitchen website. How innocent…
Scales made for weed. They’re right here, complete with discreet shipping and a section for stealth scales.
What a witty name. And look! Scales! Yep, these people are pros. Let’s give them extra points for the pun.
Wow, these scale people sure love their puns. And judging from this giant collection, it looks like Mr. Knott is quite obsessed with weighing things.
These pocket scales are so simple and easy to use. There are only four buttons, but with all the settings you need.
Dude. Check out the colors that these pocket scales come in. They look so cool! Plus, the name reminds me of Big Hero 6…
As a female, I found it really fun to shop through the different kinds of scales. My favorites are the ones that look really cool and colorful, or the super clever stealth scales. I really like the coffee mug scale, the lighter scale, and the computer mouse scale as far as stealth goes. These are things that don’t really go out of style, and you won’t need to explain why you have them. But I have to admit, the CD scale and ash tray scale are pretty dope, too. And I’m totally digging the brightly colored scales at WeighMax, especially the Rasta-colored RA650. Gotta’ show my love for the Marleys. Also, if you’re totally into respecting nature and being eco-friendly, check out the 500ZH by MyWeigh. It’s made with hemp plastic!
Yes, I’ve heard the rumors: there are apps with which to weigh weed for your smartphone or tablet. I’m gonna’ go ahead and say it: getting one of these is a bad idea. The problem with this is that smartphones don’t have a scale inside of them. This means that the app makers will have to come up with some other way to judge weight, which will probably not be nearly as accurate as a scale. However, give it five to ten years… maybe they’ll come up with some fancy way to correct this accuracy problem.
I actually tested this out for the sake of writing this article. I was going to make a YouTube video of myself testing different weed scale apps for your entertainment. However, I ran into one small problem: I didn’t find any weed scale apps for the iPhone. Therefore, I have no video for you. But, I did have the opportunity to test out an app called Working Scale Free on my friend’s Galaxy S7 using a nickel. At first, it showed 0.4 grams, which is over four-and-a-half grams under the weight of a nickel. Then it started glitching out and just showing random numbers. That’s the only app I tested, so if you have a phone that wasn’t made by Apple, and you have some time, maybe you’ll have better luck.
If you do insist on getting a weed scale app, and you find one that is decent, place your buds very gently on the smartphone or tablet for maximum accuracy. Also remember that these apps are not made for large quantities.
I’m going to throw in a little bonus information, so you don’t have to get out your old school books. Let’s talk about the measurements in which weed is sold. In general, the beautiful buds of the cannabis plant are sold in grams, eighths, and ounces. Grams are the small unit, and ounces are the large unit, so you can get a couple of grams without having to worry about the other two units. However, if you want a larger quantity, here’s how to know how much weed you’re buying:
An eighth of weed is 3.5 grams. If you bought eight eighths of weed, you’d have almost an ounce. That’s why it’s called an eighth.
An ounce of weed is 28.349 grams, to be precise. To put it in perspective, you can roll about 40 joints with an ounce of weed. Now, that’s what I call a high roller.
I am so glad you came to me for all of your weed measuring needs. We’ve gone all Bill Nye together, talking about measurements, weights, and mechanics, and even experimented a little. And hey – we went shopping together! Does that make us besties? No? Ok, it was worth a shot. Anyway, I hope you found this article helpful, and I hope it has answered any questions you may have had about finding the best scale to weigh marijuana. Now, don’t let this information go to waste! Go roll that monster joint you’ve been bragging to all your friends about! Have fun!
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