Ask a Stoner ~ How do I read the labels?
Dear Label Obsessive,
Unfortunately for number-shy stoners like us, there’s a chemistry component to legal weed labeling. Luckily, though, there’s really not much to it once you know the basics. Let’s take the Beach Daze Sackville & Co. X Goldenseed pre-rolls as an example:
Up top, you’ll see the product name: Beach Daze. This is not, however, the name of the strain— you’ll find that on the second line: Frozen Lemon Margarita. As for describing the pre-roll as “terpene infused” and “full flower,” that just means that Sackville has increased the natural terpenes in the full-flower bud you’re smoking (ie not shake, which is what lower quality pre-rolls often use) in order to improve the flavor and aroma. In this case, beta-caryophyllene and limonene are the most prevalent terpenes — which offer benefits like anti-inflammation and a fresh lemon-y smell, respectively. We then see that the joints are in a five pack, totaling 2.5 g. With some simple math that I certainly can not do in my head, you’ll find that each pre-roll weighs 0.5 grams.
This next couple of lines are where things get just a bit trickier, so stay with me. Sackville & Co’s packaging is actually easier to understand than most, because they’re only including the numbers that will actually be most relevant to you. Sometimes, though, you’ll see something like “27% THC, 33% TOTAL THC,” so let me dive into the lab report a bit to show you how to decode it.
If there are two different numbers being shown for THC, let’s say, the ones that are likely going to be most important to you will say TOTAL in front of them. The THC and CBD percentages (not total) refers to how much of each compound is in the product before you heat it — in this case, 30.81% of THCa and 0.74% of Delta-9 THC. But whether you’re making edibles, smoking, or vaping, you will be heating it, so these numbers don’t really matter.
Now, TOTAL THC refers to how much THC will be available when you do activate it through heat. Here, that’s 27.76%. Sackville & Co’s packaging just cuts out the middleman of unnecessary info. Here’s how it’s calculated:
Finally, the total cannabinoids percentage includes all of the different compounds present in the strain. A higher percentage will indicate a higher diversity of cannabinoids, which basically means that it will be more potent — the more cannabinoids, the greater opportunity for different effects (and health benefits). Here, it’s 31.55%.
I hope this helped you decode your favorite products a little — feel free to bookmark this page for a little cheat sheet at the dispensary when you need it!
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