How to Read Cannabis Labels
19 Augs, 2018 - by John Snow | Technology

How to Read Cannabis Labels

Since cannabis is only beginning to get a positive widespread recognition, many still find reading cannabis labels confusing.Besides, the chemical compositions and labeling may be considered too scientific to a new or even an average user.

If you’re new to cannabis, or still not sure even though you aren’t entirely a first-timer, this guide walks you through the items on cannabis products’ label and explains their meanings.Before we discuss how to read the label on your cannabis products…

While some say cannabis effects are pleasurable, others consider it unpleasant.  However, most For an instance, browsing through Montrose Dispensary, you’d find several products on our shelves.

To select one among the variety may be a bit tricky – except that you understand what the labels say. This way, you can foretell what a product can deliver and match such realities with your expectation. The knowledge of what each item connotes makes the decision making process a breeze.On cannabis labels, you’d find several pieces of information, which can be overwhelming to the uninitiated.

Are cannabis labels important?

For an instance, browsing through Montrose Dispensary, you’d find several products on our shelves.To select one among the variety may be a bit tricky – except that you understand what the labels say. This way, you can foretell what a product can deliver and match such realities with your expectation. The knowledge of what each item connotes makes the decision making process a breeze.

On cannabis labels, you’d find several pieces of information, which can be overwhelming to the uninitiated.The brands reveal through their labels whether your preferred product has mold and residual pesticides. They also unveil the cannabinoids – basically THC and CBD concentrations – mostly represented in percentages.

Consequently, understanding these prints on your cannabis labels serves more of a heads up about the strain’s ‘high‘ potency and its class – whether Indica or Sativa, or Hybrid.For instance, expect strains with say a 3% CBD concentration to deliver a different result from one with zero CBD, even if they both fall under the same strain class.

Understanding cannabis labels

First, and importantly, opt for only products with lab-tested results. By this, you not only have an idea of an expected effect, you’d also stay safe from contamination caused by molds and pesticides.Third-party laboratories usually publish test results online, but you may need to do some homework to find certified laboratories around your region.

However, the test results in itself can be somewhat confusing, but no worries, this guide is specially doctored to help you understand each item and what they represent.

General Information

Some info on your cannabis product is quite general and self-explanatory. Such include:

  • Strain name
  • Breeder’s name
  • Sativa/indica classification
  • Lab test date
  • Laboratory name and information
  • Lab test validity/expiration
  • Product legality within local jurisdiction

Away from the basics, let’s discuss some other more technical items on your label you should understand:

THC Maximum

Also called total THC, THC maximum connotes the total THC concentration in your cannabis product.For most recreational seekers, this is arguably the most interesting item on the labels.Remember that THC is the high-causing component of cannabis. So, the higher the THC levels of your strain, the higher the psychoactive potency. Typically, most cannabis strains contain around 18 to 30 percent THC.

If you’re buying cannabis edibles, the total THC is represented in mg (milligrams). This measurement form can be a bit tricky for many consumers.However, note that the generally recommended dosage for an average user is 10mg of THC.But if you’d be taking cannabis for  more severe conditions like cancer, you may need up to 100+ mg of THC. If all you seek is a good high, 20mg should cut it.

Delta 9 THCA

THCA means tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. In simple terms, this compound is THC in its rawness.THC in this form is non-psychoactive.To get a high from your weed, THCA needs to undergo heating, a process referred to as decarboxylation. This is why we need to smoke, cook, or bake our buds to get high.

On the label of your cannabis product, the total THCA reveals the potential psychoactive level of your strain when heated. Hence, the higher the THCA level of your product, the higher its psychoactive potential when heated up.

Delta 9 THC

As mentioned, heating activates the full potency of cannabis herbs.  But besides heating, the psychotropic component of weed may also be revealed through aging.During aging and curing, some portions of the THCA get converted into THC. Manufacturers usually state the level of THC available in the product and the amount already converted during the drying.

The level of active THC in dried herbs is usually relatively low. You may also lose some when burning the herbs with too high temperature when smoking.The activated THC level may also be printed on labels as THC decarb. Both the THC and THCA percentages accounts for the psychoactivity of your weed.

CBDA

As with THCA and THC, CBDA (also cannabidiol acid) is CBD in its rawness. When heated, CBDA converts to CBD.However, both CBDA and CBD are non-psychoactive. Instead, CBD rich strains are renowned for their medicinal potency.

Also, CBD is thought to reduce THC’s effects. So, the higher the CBD concentration in a product, the milder the high effect.

CBD

The CBD percentage of a product tells you how much CBD you’d be dosing. This fact may be stated in percentage or represented in milligrams.The total of CBDA and CBD in a product collectively determines the possible total amount available to consumers.

Other cannabinoids

Remember CBD and THC are only two of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.Delta-8-THC, CBN, CBG, THCV, and CBC are other common compounds you may find on the labels.

Although rarely appreciated, they deliver their unique health benefits.

Total cannabinoids

You may find the total number of cannabinoids in a product on the label.Strains with higher total cannabinoids are more potent – perhaps not because of their psychoactive delivery, but the different compounds release individual benefits that results in a more promising effect – both recreational and therapeutic.

Remember that each compound has something to offer. So, the more cannabinoids, the more benefits.

Pesticides

Pesticides are an important item to look out for on your cannabis labels. Some labels present the amount of residual pesticide in the herb.The least accepted pesticide presence must not exceed 0.1 parts per million. Anything above this is considered contaminated and unsafe.

Some products may just go over to say whether a product passes the test or not – without mentioning the exact levels found in the test.

Mold/Mildew

Mold and mildews are another concern to check out. Typically, products tested and certified good for the cannabis dispensaries must have passed the microbiology test.The presence of yeast and mold, aerobic bacteria (Salmonella, E. coli etc) and related bacterial colonies are usually seen in the microbiology test.

Some product labels may only say whether or not the herb has passed the standard acceptable level of microbes – others may be specific about the exact concentration levels. Acceptable microbial levels differ across legal and medical marijuana territories.

Other important things to note on the labels

You may only find these details on a handful of cannabis product labels. However, these items are usually found on the website of the testing laboratory.

Terpenes – these account for the aroma and flavor of your buds. They may also come with additional medical gains.

Residual solvent – they are used in producing concentrates like Rick Simpson Oil, BHO, etc

Mycotoxin -this is a substance released by fungus

Now you know there’s more to know about your herbs’ ingredients than you probably ever thought.

Knowing what the individual items represent and their implication on users is as important as knowing what your supplements and other grocery products’ labels say.

Reading labels boils down to one thing: Before you buy, ensure the label says you’re safe.For more helpful guides on how to navigate the cannabis world safely, feel free to explore and exploit our resources.

At Montrose Dispensary, our experts are also ever willing to hold you by the hand and walk you through some exciting products and accessories that’ll help enhance your cannabis experience.

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