If you’ve ever stepped foot inside of a medical or recreational cannabis dispensary, you’ve probably noticed that every product contains a label. Just looking at all of the information displayed can be overwhelming. Reading those cannabis labels, however, can help to ensure that you get the best product for your needs.
General Information By Product
Cannabis labels come in sticker form and are present on every product sold at medical and recreational dispensaries. They’re required by law, although labeling requirements vary from state to state. Some states, including California, even have font size requirements. All products contain some general information, such as:
- The name of the strain
- Whether it’s an Indica, Sativa, or hybrid strain
- The grower’s name
- The harvest date
- The lab testing date and lab name
- The cannabinoid content and terpene levels
- The batch ID
Cannabis edible labels typically contain the same information as flowers, with some additional data. Other information you’ll see includes:
- A list of ingredients, with common allergens, clearly noted
- Nutritional facts
- Cannabinoid content of the entire product and cannabinoid content per serving
- Batch ID
Products must undergo testing for potency, and companies display the results on the labels. While there are numerous cannabinoids present in cannabis, the two that receive the most attention are THC and CBD. Labels typically show the potency as a percentage. Some show the potency as a ratio of THC:CBD. Edibles display cannabinoid potency in milligrams. Knowing the THC and CBD content of the product can give you an idea of the type of experience you can expect to have.
Along with THC and CBD content, some labels will also show other cannabinoids content in the product, such as:
Lab Testing Results
Some states, including California, require cannabis labels to contain lab test results. These results show the presence of contaminants, such as mold, mildew, pesticides, insecticides, and residual solvents. Some labels show the exact results of the tests, while others only state whether the product passes or fails. Licensed dispensaries can only sell products that pass. Some states don’t require these types of tests, which makes it difficult to know the safety of the products you’re purchasing.
The cannabis industry is highly regulated. Every product needs to have the appropriate warnings listed to protect children and adults alike. Common warnings for cannabis products include such statements as:
- This product contains a Schedule I controlled substance
- Keep out of reach of children and animals
- May only be possessed and consumed by persons 21 years of age or older unless the person is a qualified patient
- The intoxicating effects may be delayed up to two hours
- Use while pregnant or breastfeeding may be harmful
In the state of California, cannabis products need to contain the Prop 65 warning. Products also need to have a universal symbol.
Every state has different labeling requirements when it comes to medical and recreational cannabis. Adhering to these requirements keeps dispensaries compliant with state laws and enables you to make more informed decisions about the products you buy.