How Much THC Is in a Dab, a Bowl and a Joint?

Photo By Jeff Standley

Whether you smoke weed, do dabs or vaporize, you may be in the dark about how much THC you actually ingest while you’re getting high. A shot, a glass of wine and a beer all have roughly the same amount of alcohol in them based on the volume they contain, but no such equivalency exists for cannabis.


We’ll start with the bowl—one of the most common ways people smoke weed or otherwise consume cannabis in North America. Bowls can be packed big or small, but most are in the ballpark of a quarter gram.

You can assume good market pot to have 18 percent THC; that is, for every gram of pot you have roughly 180 mg of THC. Accounting for at least 60 percent loss due to burning, you can expect a full bowl to deliver 18 mg of THC. Split it with a friend, and you each get almost 10 mg.


Rolling a joint requires more pot than a bowl, but joints are actually slightly more efficient at combusting THC, by about 10 percent. A pinner with 0.4 grams of weed should deliver roughly 36 mg of THC, while a gram joint will dish out 90 mg of THC.

volcano vape

A good vaporizer will deliver more THC per gram of cannabis than smoking because no combustion takes place, however, efficiencies can vary widely depending on the quality of the device. Research done at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands revealed that the Volcano vaporizer yields 70 percent THC after vaporizing, compared to the joints which yielded around 50 percent.

If you pack the same amount of pot into a vape similar to a Volcano, you’re looking at over 30 mg of THC.


Dabs can be trickier to eye out than pot, and it’s also harder to grab the same size dab every time. However, a dab about half the size of a pot seed should weigh around 20 mg. It’s no Cannabis Cup Judge dab, but it’ll get you just as high.

Assuming your BHO has 70 percent THC, and that losses for vaporizing should only be about 30 percent, you’ll inhale 9.8 mg of THC, call it 10. Dabs can get as big as 50 mg, and scale accordingly. It’s not well understood if higher losses result from doing larger dabs, but the possibility remains.

It looks like most smokers, dabbers or vapers, inhale about 10 to 30 mg of THC every time they get high. Most people associate dabbing with getting higher and ingesting larger amounts, but a small dab holds the same amount of THC as just sharing a modest bowl between two people.

(Cover Photo by Jeff Standley)

Related: The Simple Answer—What Are THC & CBD?

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  1. OK so I usually smoke blunts But here recently I have switch to vape which is 870 mg THC a 130 mg CVD so what does that mean is that better than smoking Rellos or is it the same

  2. I disagree the joint smoking is more efficient. Unlike a bong in which 100% of the smoke goes in your lungs… half or more of a joint can just drift off in the air depending on how quickly you smoke it.

  3. Joints are more efficient than bowls due to the combustion method. I agree you are getting the smoke but there’s actually more loss. They aren’t the same.

  4. lmao high times magazine says 18mg… 10mg if you share the bowl with your friend. what are we 12, finish your own bowl lmao

  5. I’m confused. If you are losing 60% of 180mg, wouldn’t that be 72mg left? Where is the other 54 going?

  6. Jordan, you are correct with your math. However, in the article, he stated that 180mg is around the average for ONE GRAM of flower, while the average bowl pack is around ONE QUARTER GRAM. So we are actually dealing with 45mg THC in an average bowl pack.
    60% loss = 40% profit
    45mg × .4 = 18mg

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