How much are you spending on weed?
A Reddit user recently posed an intriguing question to the cannabis community:
“I crunched numbers and found I spend 5.37% of my gross income and 7.04% of my net on weed. That’s $3,120 a year! Based in Phoenix, I spend $80 for an ounce every paycheck, totaling $240/month. My girlfriend and I consume about 3 grams a day. Do you think that’s excessive or just lifestyle costs? How does your ‘green budget’ compare? Let’s talk.”
This honest look at their personal cannabis spending relative to income raises interesting points. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of an appropriate weed budget that balances lifestyle enjoyment against costs.
First, we have to consider context. Is $80 an ounce a fair market price for quality cannabis in Phoenix? How does the poster’s usage compare to average? These factors allow us to better assess if the spending is truly excessive or within reason.
We’ll also look at ways to reduce costs if needed through more bulk buying, home growing, or simply moderating usage. Not from an anti-cannabis lens, but a practical one. There are always ways to optimize spending while preserving enjoyment.
It can also be illuminating to compare monthly weed costs against things like alcohol, coffee, eating out, or other hobbies. This provides perspective on it as a chosen lifestyle expense.
Ultimately, it’s about aligning your cannabis budget with your personal values and finances. But thinking critically about it compared to peers and as a percentage of income can be constructive.
Let’s explore the concept further.
What is the average consumption of the typical cannabis consumer?
When assessing if someone’s cannabis spending is excessive, it’s useful to look at average usage statistics. This provides a baseline to compare against, rather than arbitrary moral judgments.
For regular consumers in legal states, total monthly consumption generally ranges from 3-7 grams per week. This works out to roughly an ounce per month for most people. Some may use a bit less or more, but an ounce a month is fairly standard for daily cannabis enthusiasts.
The Reddit user reported total monthly consumption of about 3 grams per day between himself and his girlfriend. Assuming a 31 day month, that comes out to 93 grams total, or about 3.3 ounces.
Compared to the average range, this usage is definitely on the higher end, but not extreme by any means. Plenty of medical patients need much more due to their conditions. And tolerance can factor in as well. But for a recreational user, 3.3 ounces per month verges on the upper boundaries of typical.
Of course, this is the consumption of two people. In reality we should split this in two to create an accurate comparison. In reality, they are consuming 1.65 grams per day, which comes out to about 10-12 grams per week. Which means on average they are consuming each about one and a half ounces of weed per month.
Next we have to consider pricing. The user pays $80 per ounce, which adds up to that $240 monthly expenditure. This is quite reasonable compared to average costs of legal cannabis. In some states, an ounce can run $400+ at the high end.
Given the poster consumes about an ounce more than the common range, but is paying low prices, overall their monthly cannabis spend does not appear egregiously high at all. It’s somewhat above typical recreational usage, but well within reasonable limits for their lifestyle and location.
How Does This Compare to Your Average Beer Drinker’s Spending?
To better contextualize the Reddit user’s cannabis budget, it’s useful to compare it against spending on legal recreational substances like alcohol. While not an apples to apples comparison, it provides perspective.
According to market research, the average beer drinker in the United States spends around $50-60 per month specifically on beer. This would equate to roughly 5 cases of beer each month. Many casual drinkers actually spend much more going out to bars and restaurants.
For all alcoholic beverages combined, average monthly spending clocks in around $100 per month. People tend to underestimate their alcohol expenditures since purchases blending into grocery bills and social occasions. But it adds up quickly.
Coffee presents another apt comparison. Your typical daily coffee drinker spends $40-60 per month at cafes, on average. Even daily home brewers drop $15-30 per month on beans. Most working Americans buy coffee habitually.
Taking these benchmarks into account, the Reddit user’s $240 monthly cannabis budget remains very reasonable for a recreational consumer. It’s just slightly above what an average beer or coffee drinker spends on their regular habit.
And cannabis arguably provides more experiential benefits and health advantages compared to alcohol and caffeine. While not totally equivalent comparisons, looking at spending on legal intoxicants provides useful perspective.
At the end of the day, it comes down to aligning your cannabis budget with your lifestyle and priorities. For some, $50 a month is too much. For medical patients, $500 a month is necessary medicine. There are no universally “right” spending levels.
But relatively speaking, this Reddit user’s weed budget is likely average or only slightly above for a cannabis enthusiast. It’s not irresponsible levels of spending, especially considering they live in a legal state with recreational access. Their costs seem reasonable compared to peers.
How to Optimize Your Weed Spending
For cannabis consumers looking to reduce costs while maintaining enjoyment, plenty of tips exist to stretch your supply further. With some adjustments to consumption methods and frequency, you can optimize spending.
First, consider cutting back on expensive blunts and joints. These continuously burn flower whether you’re hitting them or not. Options like pipes, bongs, and dry herb vaporizers use less per session. A gram in a joint might last one evening – that same gram could provide 3-4 pipe sessions.
Vaporizers are especially efficient. Not only do they activate cannabinoids at lower temps with smaller amounts, but you can save the ABV (already been vaped) bud for edibles or low-dose joint filler. It’s like double usage from your flower.
Strategically limiting the times of day you consume can also help moderate spending. For example, only allowing yourself to smoke at night to unwind prevents constantly firing up. And your first toke of the day will get you highest, so make it count.
Consider setting weekend-only guidelines as well. While not for everyone, cutting back to just Fri/Sat sessions substantially drops monthly usage. You may even find tolerance lowering and appreciation growing from less-is-more moderation.
Tolerances themselves impact budgets heavily. Try taking periodic multi-day breaks to reset your sensitivity if you notice constantly needing more to get high. Bringing dosing back down saves money.
Finally, weigh costs vs benefits of your use case. Are most of your sessions truly enhancing your quality of life? Consider which provide the most value and limit peripheral use. Track spending details to identify waste.
With some mindful adjustments and creative consumption tactics, you can reduce spending while keeping cannabis an enriching part of your lifestyle. Prioritize quality over quantity and find the right balance for your needs.
The Sticky Bottom Line
Based on typical market prices and average consumer usage, monthly cannabis budgets for regular enthusiasts generally fall in the $100-$300 range. This covers around an ounce purchased per month give or take.
On the lower end, $100 affords you budget buds or special deals to keep costs down but still regularly enjoy the plant. $300 monthly provides plenty of top-shelf grams and concentrates for daily connoisseurs. Of course, medical patients may require much more.
For recreational consumers, aiming for $150-$200 monthly is fairly reasonable if cannabis is a regular part of your lifestyle. This allows ample quality supply while keeping costs sustainable long-term. Only you can define what fits your individual lifestyle though.
If you find your expenses trending higher, the tips covered earlier can help curb spending. But also evaluate if the amount you use truly makes your life better, or if patterns lean toward excess. Moderation enables long-term enthusiasm.
For those on tight budgets, growing your own can be a game changer. Around $300 upfront purchases equipment and seeds to start cultivating. Within 6 months you can harvest over 6 ounces, reducing cost to around $30 per ounce! Additional grows just require nutrients and electricity. Take control of your supply.
While enjoying cannabis frequently on a middle-class income, the Reddit user’s reported $240 monthly budget seems within reason. Compared to alcohol and coffee habits, it aligns with being a plant enthusiast. Their costs to live this lifestyle don’t appear detrimental or excessive.
But only you can decide what cannabis spending level is appropriate for your situation. This perspective simply aims to provide some reference points based on typical usage and budgets. Take what serves you and supports moderation.
At the end of the day, being a conscious consumer enables long-term enthusiasm. With so many ways to optimize spending, you can absolutely indulge your passion for the plant while being financially prudent. The two harmonize beautifully when approached intentionally. Just try not to burn through all your greens on green!