How to Read Cannabis Labels in Canada

Do you find it confusing to understand the figures written on cannabis labels in Canada? Are you usually scrambling when you read unfamiliar terms or content amounts? If your answer is yes to both of these questions, then you’re probably looking to learn how to read cannabis labels properly. 

While it’s perfectly fine to ask the budtenders working in local dispensaries to explain what the labels are telling you, knowing how to read cannabis labels in Canada is still a skill that could come in handy. 

This is the reason why we have come up with the ultimate guide on how to read cannabis labels in Canada so you don’t have to double-guess next time you come across them. 

Let’s get started! 

Reading Cannabis Labels in Canada: Strain Types

Before explaining how to read the numbers involved in cannabis labels in Canada, let us discuss the strain type, which is indicated clearly on the labels. 

As we all know, cannabis is classified into two major types: sativa and indica. Sativa strains are known to offer high-energy, mentally stimulating effects, while indica is expected to be relaxing, calming, and even sedating. Strains that fall in the middle, or a combination of both,  are classified as “hybrid strains.” 

While cannabis labels in Canada can clearly distinguish what type of strain you’re getting your hands on, it’s important to know that each person’s response to each strain will be different depending on several factors specific to you. Your method of consumption, the setting, and your personal body chemistry all influence the experience and the effects you’ll get. 

Some cannabis labels in Canada include the terpene profiles of the strain, which are the aromatic oils responsible for its smell and taste. Based on the latest research, the body’s interaction with these terpenes, along with the strain’s CBD and THC content, are responsible for the varying body or mind experiences that we get from each individual strain. 

How to Convert THC mg/g to Percent

In October 2019, new regulations were introduced to require licensed producers to switch from percentages (%) to mg per gram (mg/g) when indicating the THC and CBD content of each strain. This baffled a lot of consumers, as they are used to seeing the percentage, rather than a significantly high number without the “%” symbol.

Before you start to get confused, know that the formula for converting the content from mg/g to percent is quite easy. 

Here are a couple of ways to convert the said number:

  1. Divide the mg/g number by 10, add a percent sign (%) at the end or;
  2. Move the decimal one space to the left. 

Here’s a conversation example of a product with a total THC of 194 mg/g: 

Conversion to mg/g to percentage (%)

Method AMethod B
Divide by 10:
Total THC: 194 mg/g
194 divided by 10 = 19.4%
Move the decimal to the left:
Total THC: 194 mg/g
194.0 = 19.40
Total THC: 19.4%Total THC: 19.4%

Understanding THC vs. THC Total

Now that you’ve learned how to convert mg/g to %, you might ask yourself the difference between the THC and THC total. 

As surprising as it might sound, THC is not the most abundant cannabinoid found in a cannabis plant. It’s actually THCA, which is largely present in freshly harvested flowers. When cultivators perform the drying process, some of the THCA turns to THC, but in order to “activate” everything else, the dried/cured plant must go through the process of decarboxylation, meaning it needs to be vaped, cooked, or smoked. 

Total THC and total CBD is the total amount of cannabinoids after the decarboxylation process. On the other hand, THC and CBD in percent tell consumers how much activated cannabinoids were there before the process. Note that THC and CBD percent is usually a smaller number than the total THC and total CBD. The total THC and total CBD are what consumers are looking for, as this number usually matches the descriptions of strains found online. 

Cannabis Labels in Canada: Warnings and Producer Information

By law, all cannabis labels in Canada must include warning labels to serve a public health purpose. Cannabis companies are required to indicate at least one warning on cannabis packages. 

All the products you’ll find in dispensaries are from licensed producers that have gained accreditation from the government to cultivate, process, and distribute. The contact details, including the company name and numbers of LPs are included in the product labels in case you need more information about the product.

Lot Numbers

Lot numbers are specifically important information found on cannabis labels in Canada. They provide information describing the exact batch number of plants that were harvested or extracted to create your product. Lot numbers also serve as a sort of “ID” for you, the producer, and public health officials to find out if the product is problematic. 

Lot numbers also indicate a product’s potency, as cannabis is harvested every eight to 12 weeks. Each harvest batch is tested, and its THC and CBD contents recorded to associate with a unique lot number. 

Quality Bud at Seven Point Cannabis

Seven Point Cannabis carries a long line of cannabis products in our store, serviced by knowledgeable staff who are always ready to answer any questions you may have regarding reading and understanding cannabis labels in Canada. 

If you can’t make it to our High Park dispensary, feel free to visit our online store to browse through our offerings from the comfort of your home. Feel free to get in touch with us in case you need some guidance understanding cannabis labels in Canada or have any questions about percentages of certain strains.

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