Knowing the Difference is Important in The Black Market

Marijuana is measured by grams and ounces in both legal states and illegal markets. The most common amounts sold nowadays are eighths, followed by quarters, half ounces and full ounces. If you were not aware or didn’t know how many grams are in an ounce, an ounce equals 28.395 grams. Prior to cannabis becoming legal people would have different code words that were assigned to different amounts of marijuana to be more discreet.

The cannabis terminology still lives on in the marijuana world today. In states that have not yet legalized, marijuana dealers still use these terms to sell their product. Terms like nickel, dime, dub or key are used very often to describe the amount of cannabis wanted by the customer. Each of these terms mean a different amount of pot and each of them have a different set price. Today we will go over these cannabis code words so you know what you’re paying for when a dealer uses one of these terms. 

Nickel (Nick)

In the most desperate times, dealers get asked for nicks. Most of the time pot dealers won’t even offer this option, but it just depends on the relationship you have with this person. If you used context clues you could probably figure out that a nick is short for nickel which refers to a half of a dime, or $5 worth of weed. Five dollars should get you a quarter of a gram of cannabis. If the dealer’s stuff isn’t that good you could probably end up getting a half gram for just five bucks. A nick is just enough to pack a few bowls in a one-hitter which is usually the smallest amount a dealer will sell you. 

A Small Amount of Weed on a Rolling tray with rolling papers
A Nick’s worth of weed is perfect for a one-hitter.


When you hear dime you immediately think 10 right? Well congratulations that’s exactly what the code word means. A dime means 10 dollars worth of marijuana. That being said the actual amount of cannabis varies on how well you know the dealer, and how generous they are. Some dimes are close to a gram while others barely fill a single blunt. “Dime bags” are designed to hold in between a half gram and a gram of marijuana. You’ll probably get more bang for the buck if you smoke a bowl or use a weed pipe of some kind.

The actual name comes from dime being a slang word for ten. For example, saying someone is a dime means they are extremely attractive making them a 10/10. 


Similar to the dime, the only consistent thing about a dub is the amount you are paying. In some situations if you have a good relationship with your marijuana dealer, or they are doing a discount they may offer you a “fifteen dollar dub”. Which means the same amount of weed you would get for twenty dollars but for fifteen dollars. Normally a dub refers to twenty dollars worth of marijuana. The quantity is usually a gram or a little bit higher. Now if you are being offered a fifteen dollar dub it will most likely be exactly a gram. A standard dub is usually between 1.1 grams and 1.5 grams of weed. Perfect for loading up a small glass pipe or a bubbler a couple times.

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small amount of marijuana commonly known as a dime.
A Dub of Marijuana is usually about a gram and a half.

The word “dub” has several different meanings in slang terms. Sometimes it means “WIN” using the word dub as an abbreviation for the letter W. In money terms, “dubs” which is a slang term for rims that are at least twenty inches. A dub sack refers to a plastic baggie that holds a gram or more of marijuana that you will pay $20 for.


Most likely if you are purchasing dimes or dubs from a dealer you won’t be looking at the price point of a key, but you never know. Key is a term you’ll only hear when you are around a very large quantity of cannabis or cocaine. Key is short for the world kilo which means a thousand. In this case it is referring to a thousand grams of marijuana or cocaine. One kilo is about 2.2 pounds just to give you some perspective. The price of a key varies and is not consistent like a nickel, dime or dub. A key is considered more for distribution than for personal use as it is way to much to put in your pipe and smoke it!

Large bags of marijuana.
Each of these bags holds 5 “keys” or 11 pounds.

Nick, Dime, Dub, Key 

These are all slang terms used to describe different price points of the illegal marijuana market. Different quantities of weed mean different prices. If you live somewhere where cannabis is legal you may still use these terms to communicate with your budtender. With that being said it will be tough to find anything less than a dub (a gram) at a modern day dispensary.