As overwhelming as it may seem, reading cannabis labels doesn’t have to feel like rocket science. For those who don’t know what they are looking at on the side of their Spinach® packaging, we have created a guide to help decipher all the information.
Strain & Type
Cannabis labels feature details on the specific strain contained within, as well as the plant type (indica, sativa, or hybrid).
You may recognize the name on the label or be intrigued by a previously unheard of proprietary strain.
Different plant types have different effects, so making note of whether the strain is indica, sativa, or hybrid will help you choose the most suitable product for you.
Packaging & Expiry Date
Cannabis labels must contain the date that the cannabis was packaged and some license holders include an expiry date based on stability study data but this is not required.
The packaging date indicates when the product was packaged and not when it was harvested or processed.
If your label includes an expiry date, this pertains to the end of the stability period of a cannabis product when the potency of the contents may be lowered.
The label will also contain information on the weight of the contents, measured in grams or millilitres depending on the type of cannabis product.
Health Canada allows for varying weight differentials depending on the type of cannabis and declared net weight of the cannabis product, so some packages may contain slightly more or less than indicated.
THC & CBD Contents
The labels of cannabis products must include information about the two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD and their acidic forms, THCA and CBDA, respectively.
There are natural variations of cannabinoid content in flower/pre-roll since each plant is different. Even within the same plant, flowers at the top can have slightly higher cannabinoid content than flowers further down.
The theoretical maximum cannabinoid content takes into account the potential conversion of the acidic forms, THCA to THC and CBDA to CBD following decarboxylation (lighting up).
License Holder Information
The name of the company who processed and manufactured the cannabis product is contained on the label, as well as the company’s phone number and email address, which must be displayed.
Health Canada’s health warning messages are displayed on a yellow background in black font, written in both English and French. Another warning, “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN,” must appear in uppercase letters in both English and French.
In addition to the required warnings, a standardized cannabis symbol is also included on every package of cannabis product that contains THC in a concentration greater than 10 μg/g.
Now you’re ready to shop and you’ll know what you’re talking about when your friends ask!