How To Properly Read Your Cannabis Product Labels

California cannabis cultivation at its finest. A close up of the

As cannabis production is slowly being legalized around the globe, countries such as Canada have taken great strides in passing legislation that strictly regulates the packaging and labeling of cannabis products. 

This is to help customers to become aware that they are buying the correct product. When people would buy cannabis products before, the information provided by the local dealers around it can be confusing for first-time consumers as they are too many to sift through. With the new legislation, this concern was addressed to avoid confusion and promote the safe use of these products. 

Luckily, they are now standardized. If you plan on buying these products, always find a licensed cannabis dispensary near you

To guide you better, below are the proper ways to read your cannabis product labels.

1. Weight

The weight of the product is listed in grams. Be mindful that there are small allowances for the weight of the product. For products weighing less than two grams, up to a 10% variance is allowed. In products that weigh more than two grams, the allowance is around 5%. If you weigh your cannabis as soon as you take it out of the package, the variance should not take you by surprise. 

You can also refer to the concentration of cannabis to help you figure out what dosage works for you best.

2. Strain

There are three main categories of cannabis strains: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid. The label will note either of these strains. In some cases, it will say CBD. 

The Sativa strain generally produces effects that will energize you while the Indica strain is used by those more interested in its calming effects. But these effects have been blurred due to the massive production of Hybrid strains. As the Hybrid strains are considered the ‘best of both worlds’, they contain similarly the same levels of Indica and Sativa. 

The Sativa variety is known for growing tall and having long, serrated leaves that have a light green shading. The Indica variety has darker leaves than Sativa and takes on a bushy appearance. 

Most labels will contain the strain type, but some producers will also provide the specific strain name (i.e., pink kush, blueberry yum).

3. Warning labels

Every warning label should state that it is packed in tamper-proof containers that are child-safe to ensure children do not get access to the product.

If the product has more than 10 micrograms of THC (which is intoxicating), the label must reflect a red icon that indicates the presence of THC. There is also a piece of health-related information that is highlighted in yellow beside the red icon.

There are also legal requirements and guidelines on warning labels that you must pay attention to. These include pertinent laws or provisions that the manufacturer satisfactorily complied with to promote the safe use of these products. 

4. Package And Expiry

Cannabis labels need to list the date the product is produced as well as its best-before date. The date the product is sealed and packaged is different from the date that the flower was harvested.

The best before date is when the product will start to lose its efficacy and potency. After the specified date, the terpenes and cannabinoids will begin to degrade. Although it can still be consumed after its best-before date, the experience will be less enjoyable.

5. CBD And THC 

The most common cannabinoids found in cannabis are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Every cannabis label must provide information about the CBD and THC levels.  

Generally, the CBD and THC levels will be low as the product is not ready for use (through heating). The second piece of information is the ‘Total CBD’ and ‘Total THC’ levels. These figures will tell you the active cannabinoid levels when the cannabis was heated for use. 

In oils and capsules, the cannabis has already been heated to the general CBD and THC and the Total CBD and Total THC will be the same. Both are displayed in this case by regulations. 

When choosing a cannabis product, it is essential to check the total THC and CBD because this will tell you of its effects. Choose a product with a low Total THC and a Total CBD which is equal to or above the Total THC.

6. Producer Information

Producer information is a requirement for all labels. The producer must provide their name and contact details. Their email address, phone number, and physical address should be included. This is so that the customers can immediately contact them if any concerns may arise.  

Moreover, there is also a ‘lot number’ which refers to a specific batch of cannabis that may be helpful with quality control issues. This could also be helpful for efficient tracking when customers are interested in buying more of a specific batch of cannabis products.

Furthermore, there should be information about the independent and licensed testing labs where the cannabis products were tested for unwanted harmful ingredients. The testing step is crucial in the quality control process. It assures the consumer that the product is safe and of good quality.

7. Supplementary Information

Depending on the product, especially with cannabis products that were already processed (extracts, edibles, and topicals), there will be a list of ingredients included on the packaging. There will also be a cannabaceutical facts table. 

Some labels also include directions for use and other precautions to ensure the product is taken with maximum efficacy. 

Aside from the warning labels and tamper-proof containers, the packaged product must not look appealing to children. This way, accident use of the product by children will be avoided. 


As a consumer of cannabis, you must understand all the elements included in the label. Your knowledge will help you make an informed decision and will curb the risk of you being dissatisfied with your purchase. Regardless of where you are going to use it, be sure to educate yourself on how to use the product safely. To avoid legal repercussions, always purchase your cannabis products from a licensed distributor.

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