Cannabis Product Label Facts You Should Read
Cannabis product labels offer the essential information Cannabis Regulations require. But sometimes, consumers can feel a bit lost trying to understand everything included on the label.
So what do these cannabis regulations do?
They determine what, where, and how the information will appeal on cannabis product labels. However, there’s more to it than that.
Cannabis Product Label Requirements
Cannabis product label regulations continue to change as these products grow in popularity. Comparable to how alcohol labels must provide alcohol content information, cannabis labels must offer information too.
Here’s what you’ll find on legal cannabis product labels:
- Cannabis strain name
- Date tested
- Lab name and test # confirmation
- Net weight in grams
- Cannabinoid percentages (CBD & THC)
Even though how this information is presented varies from state to state, without the proper labeling, cannabis products can be removed from dispensaries. With this being the case, safety is essential in this budding industry, and this is why it’s crucial to remain compliant with local cannabis labeling requirements.
So why is cannabis product labeling so restrictive? These measures are in place to:
- Avoid another Big Tobacco-like fiasco by lessening the appeal of cannabis products to young people;
- Ensure people see the standardized cannabis symbol and health warning messages by making them prominent on the label;
- Offer accurate information about what’s in each cannabis product to ensure proper dosing and use.
Should You Read the Labels on Your Cannabis Products?
While any brand can say their products have been lab-tested, third-party lab results are the tell-all. Third-party testing is conducted by a lab that’s completely independent of the product producer. Thus, these results offer the proof you need to know that your cannabis products are as potent, pure, and safe as the label says.
In some instances, producers must publish the results on their product packaging. However, sometimes, region-specific cannabis labeling laws allow limited information on the label.
Detailed lab test results – often in the form of a Certificate of Analysis – for product batches are available online at times. Some producers use a QR code that’s scannable to ensure product information is accessible. But other times, you might have to reach out to the brand directly for more information about your cannabis product.
Producers who aren’t willing to offer their lab test results could have a reason they don’t want you to see those results. The unfortunate truth is that accurate data can reveal inconsistencies in testing across the entire industry, and this is why some producers prefer to offer as little information as possible.
Things to Consider While Reading Cannabis Product Labels
Cannabis product labels should include information regarding the potency. This involves highlighting the products’ levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids involved. These are the active compounds that promote a plethora of psychological and physiological effects.
THC and CBD are the most common. However, some other cannabinoids like THCa, THCV, CBDa, CBC, CBG, and CBN could be present too.
Lab test results don’t always include terpene level analyses. However, product terpene content can be outlined on the label.
Terpenes define the flavor and scent of cannabis products. While some product manufacturers remove them from some products, others might add or preserve them in others.
You might see terpinolene, limonene, myrcene, and other terpenes listed on your cannabis product labels.
Residual Solvent Content
In some cases, the methods used in cannabis production leave behind low levels of solvent. This is primarily observed in extractions. Since some residual materials can damage human health if the levels are too high, some analyses will list residual solvent content.
Different regions allow various levels of particular solvents. Some of the most commonly found solvents include butanes, benzene, propane, and xylenes. While some of these solvents are used in the extraction process, the more damaging substances are only present due to contamination.
If your product has a Certificate of Analysis (COA), the label might show the moisture content of the test sample. One of the most common products to receive this testing is cannabis flower or buds.
Moisture-laden buds are at an increased risk of developing fungi and bacteria. This is especially true when the moisture level is above 15%. However, low-moisture content can make cannabis buds dry and brittle, resulting in a less desirable product.
Other safety tests may also impact cannabis product label content. These tests show if a product is safe to consume. For instance, plant treatment agent residues could be in the final product, so testing should be completed for common pesticide compounds.
Microbial growth is also something that commonly comes up in testing. This is particularly essential for products with higher moisture content. Microbial tests can uncover the presence of salmonella, mold, years, and E. coli to keep product standards high.
Cannabis products can also contain heavy metals. These can accumulate in plants through fertilizer or contaminated soil. Since heavy metals are highly toxic to humans because our bodies cannot efficiently remove them, this test ensures these products are safe.
Heavy metal tests identify some of the most problematic heavy metals, like arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. However, others might be documented in the product’s COA.
If you want to ensure your products are safe for consumption, pure, and potent, read the product label. This will give you the insight you need to make a more informed decision.