The popularity of cannabis is constantly growing, along with the need for everyone to educate themselves about the product. Since it is legal in many states, everyone must know how to read cannabis product labels.
Only then can they understand the elements within each product as shown on the products you buy. This is a guide that should help you in this quest.
Types of Cannabis Strains
Cannabis is basically grouped into two categories: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Strains that fall in the Sativa class are recognized as more mentally stimulating and energizing. On the other hand, strains referred to as ‘hybrid’ usually fall somewhere in the middle.
However, every person’s experience with cannabis is unique. While a particular cannabis flower may be stimulating for one person, it may feel relaxing to the next. In addition, the method of consumption, your body chemistry, and other physical settings can influence your response to cannabis regardless of the strain.
Each plant has unique combinations of active compounds and terpenes. Up to date scientific research suggests that the interaction between these compounds in their different compositions is responsible for the differences in cannabis use experiences.
CBD and THC Content
Cannabis labels have to list all the active compounds in the product. Usually, the two primary cannabinoids in the products are CBD and THC.
CBD is the short term for cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis that is considered to be non-euphoric. Despite having an effect on the brain, it results in a feeling different from the typical ‘high’ generally associated with marijuana. The compound responsible for those euphoric effects is THC. The higher its concentration in cannabis, the more potent the product will be.
THC and CBD are listed on the cannabis labels depending on the product type. Here are the different ways in which you will find the content of the two compounds listed:
- Milligrams or mg/unit (edibles)
- Milligrams per gram or mg/g (cannabis oils)
- Milligrams per gram or mg/unit (softgels, flower)
You will find the specific numbers on the labels printed after ‘TOTAL CBD’ and ‘TOTAL THC.’ The numbers imply the amount of the compounds that are available upon heating via vaporization or smoking.
Packaging and Expiration Dates
The labels for cannabis product packages should indicate the dates on which they were packaged and the date on which they expire (if any).
Dried cannabis is measured in grams, and the weight is printed on package labels. Canada limits users for recreational purposes to 30 grams or less. However, medical users can purchase more, depending on their medical authorization. Still, placing your cannabis product on a scale can reflect a slight discrepancy due to the lack of uniformity in buds. In recognition of this, the government allows producers some leeway in the product weight difference.
When you’re dealing with cannabis that is below 2 grams, the package might have 10% more or less of the listed weight. When it’s more than 2 grams listed, the discrepancy may be anywhere up to 5 %.
The law requires that cannabis products have warning labels. The warnings are for public health, and companies must print one or more warnings on their cannabis packages.
All cannabis growers have to be accredited by the government to cultivate, process, and distribute the product. If the need arises, you should find the information, including contact details of the producers of the cannabis, on the cannabis labels.
Recommendation for Storage Conditions
Medical cannabis products generally need to be stored in cool and dry environments. Light and heat can degrade the active ingredients of cannabis products, gradually compromising their potency. Therefore, your cannabis would be best stored in air-tight and opaque containers. Cannabis should also be stored away from the reach of children and people who might abuse it.
All consumer goods need to have lot numbers. Cannabis lot numbers inform the precise batch of cannabis harvested or extracted for the products. Suppose there is a need to recall some products due to issues with a particular batch, such as contamination. In that case, it is easy for you, the producer, and health officials to identify, sort, and retrieve the products made from the batch.
The lot numbers can be used to access potency information of cannabis too. Cannabis is harvested after every 8 to 12 weeks, and every batch is tested and its THC and CBD contents are recorded and trackable.
Winding Up: Information on Cannabis Labels
The cannabis industry is arguably the most dynamic and fast-evolving of all modern industries, and this is why it is important to keep refreshing your information on cannabis. If you need information on cannabis packaging and labels, you can consult experts in the field.