What Is a Dub of Weed?

Sophia Delphi August 17, 2022 - 7 min read
Fact Checked
Illustration for Dub of Weeds

When someone first gets into weed, there’s a lot they have to learn.

There are differences between THC and CBD; sativa, indica, and hybrids; a head high and a body high; high-quality flower and skunk weed.

Then there are the logistics: how to roll a joint, how to use a bong or vaporizer, how to grind nugs, and depending on whether the source makes it necessary, how to pick out the stems and seeds.

Learning the “how” of pot smoking isn’t difficult, though, especially if you have a couple of experienced friends. (And who doesn’t?)

What can be more confounding is figuring out the “what” – as in “what are these people talking about?”

Weed has a language all its own, and mastering the vocabulary will probably take longer than learning the best way to get high.

For example, one of those experienced friends may mention that they just bought a primo dub sack. “Primo” isn’t hard to figure out, but what’s a “dub sack?” For that matter, what’s a “dub?”

The quick answer: it’s $20 worth of weed.

Why haven’t you heard of it before? And what’s the connection between “dub” and twenty dollars? Read on.

The A-B-C’s of Weed Vocabulary

“B” is for “baked,” “blazed” or “blitzed.” “C” is for “chronic.” Even novice pot smokers know those terms. They’ll probably pick up on “D” for “dank” and “E” for “edibles” pretty quickly, too.

But even many experienced tokers – if they’re on the younger side – may not know that “A” can stand for “a dub of weed.”

What’s up with that?

The term “dub” dates back to the bad old days when the only hookups people could find were their local dealers. (Yes, it remains the “bad old days” in some states, where dealers and customers may still refer to dubs and dub sacks.)

Back then, the underground market gave rise to an entire vocabulary surrounding the sale and use of cannabis.

Reefer and ganja, bomb weed and schwag, nug and flower all have different origins, some dating back generations. Most, of course, are still used today.

But as dispensaries slowly replaced dealers in many parts of the country, other terms that served an important purpose in the illegal marijuana market became obsolete. We’re speaking specifically about the ways that pot used to be packaged and sold – and still is, in some places.

Nickels and Dimes and Dubs – Oh My!

Image of a Dub of Weed inside a Ziplock

A few of the terms that dealers used to describe their wares made their way into popular culture, even if their exact meaning wasn’t clear to those who didn’t indulge.

Most people are familiar with the phrases “nickel bag” and “dime bag.” Those who haven’t bought pot on the black market have undoubtedly heard the terms in movies or on TV, and they have at least a vague understanding that they refer to a quantity of cannabis. The rest of us obviously know that a nickel refers to a $5 bag of weed, and a dime means a $10 bag.

How much is in one of those bags? It varies, depending on the market price and quality of the product. It can also depend on whether the buyer is a regular customer and gets a “bonus” in their bag. (Other dealers might just give good customers a deal, and sell them a dime bag for less than ten bucks.)

Roughly speaking, though, a nickel bag contains about a quarter-of-a-gram of kind bud (there’s another term to learn), or half-a-gram of the low-quality stuff. Double those amounts for a dime bag.

Now that millions of smokers shop at dispensaries, they don’t buy nickel or dime bags anymore. They often can’t ask for “eighths” (an eighth of an ounce), “quarters” (a quarter of an ounce), halves, or ounces (sometimes called a “zip”), either. Most dispensaries sell their products by the gram, although some do package in eighths, quarters, and halves. Buying a quarter before the weekend is now only a regular practice for those who buy from a dealer.

Here are two more terms that are not as common as they used to be.

One is a “key,” which refers to a kilo (kilogram) of marijuana, or 2.2 pounds. Needless to say, only dealers or big-time partiers did deals for keys of weed. The other term is – drum roll, please! – a “dub.”

If a dime isn’t enough to get you through the next few days or a big party, the next step up is a dub. A dub is $20 worth of weed, and a dub sack is the baggie that holds it.

Generally speaking, there’s about a gram of pot in a dub sack. Just as with a nickel or dime, however, there may be less or more than a gram in the sack, depending on prevailing prices, quality, and the dealer’s largesse.

That answers all of the big questions, except one. Why is it called a dub?

Where Did the Name “Dub” Come From?

A nickel bag costs $5. A dime costs $10. Wouldn’t $20 worth of weed be called two dimes, or a twenty, or an “Andrew Jackson?”

It could be, but “dub” definitely sounds cooler. Where did the term come from, though?

You might guess it has something to do with the Internet; “dub” is sometimes used as slang to refer to the World Wide Web, or the www. You might think about sports teams “getting the dub,” meaning they earned a “W,” or a win. Or the phrase “he dubbed me,” meaning “he ignored me,” might come to mind. Or maybe “dubstep.” Good guesses, but all wrong.

Dub is derived from “dubs,” street slang for the 20-inch wheel rims that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And the speculation that started this section wasn’t that far off; back in the 1940s, “dub” actually was used as slang to refer to $20, or two ten-dollar bills.

No one’s quite sure who decided that dubs were a cool term for 20-inch rims, but the name stuck – and soon after that, it was also being used to refer to $20 worth of weed. It became popular in song lyrics and remains popular today, with everyone from Master P to Awkwafina using it as slang for either wheel rims or weed.

You may not hear many people (other than music artists) referring to dubs anymore – but there’s nothing wrong with telling your friends that you picked up a dub sack after stopping by your local dispensary for a gram. It’ll just reinforce your rep as an OG toker.

A Dub of Weed FAQ

Q: I live in a prohibition state and still buy nickels and dimes. Why haven’t I heard of dubs before?
A: For some reason, the term seems to be less common these days, even on the black market. It could be because many dealers now sell in eighths and quarters, rather than nickels and dimes. It’s still used in some areas, though.

Q: Am I taking a chance buying by the price (a dime bag or a dub of weed, for example) since there’s no guarantee exactly how much will be in it?
A: Of course. To be totally honest, you’re always taking a chance when you’re buying from a dealer unless they’re a trusted friend or long-time source. (And even then…) As long as it’s not a sketchy dealer you found on the street or in a park, though, there’s nothing wrong with asking how much is in the baggie.