The FDA is responsible for assuring that foods sold in the United States are safe, wholesome and properly labeled. Over the past few years we have learned to decipher nutritional labels. But, there is no FDA for the Cannabis industry and although every legalized cannabis state requires testing, there is no standardization for cannabis product labeling yet. Making it difficult to review the data.
Laboratory tests commonly include complete Cannabinoid and Terpenoid percentages, Safety & Quality Tests including, Pesticides, Solvents and Mycotoxins, Heavy Metals and Foreign matter. View Nevada Sample Lab Result here.
If you would like further product information, feel free to contact your favorite cultivators to request more in depth lab results.
Every Label will have the following information.
- Strain Name
- Cultivator / Company Name
- Strain Type: Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, CBD
- Warning information required by State
- Nutritional info for edibles
- Ingredient list for edibles
- Cannabinoids Percentages
- THC %
- CBDA %
- CBD %
- CBN %
- Terpene Percentages (any that apply to strain) for example:
This information is in addition to the items above.
- Testing Lab name and information
- Lot Number
- Tested on Date
- Packaged on Date
- Harvested on Date
- Use by Date
Key Info to Look for
The two star cannabinoids are THC and CBD. Cannabinoids are chemicals that interact with our bodies and give cannabis its psychoactive and medicinal properties. Other cannabinoids like Δ8-THC, THCV, CBN, CBG, and CBC may also be present on a label. Though these are less common, they have numerous health benefits.
THC – The total THC content indicates the psychoacyivity of the strain. High THC strains typically have around 18 to 20+ percent total THC.
For edible products, this number is often represented in milligrams. Generally, a dose for an novice cannabis user is thought to be about 5mg of THC.
THCA refers to tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Simply stated, this is the raw form of THC and it is non-psychoactive. In order to experience the psychoactive effects of THC, you need to convert it from its acid form. You do this through the process of decarboxylation or effectively heating the THC. On a cannabis label, the total amount of THCA lets you know how much psychoactive THC there will be once the herb is heated. The more THCA, the more psychoactive the strain when you heat it up.
CBD – The total CBD content indicates the level of medicinal effects of the strain. Higher CBD content strains with lower THC are ideal for people looking for little to no psychoactive effects in their cannabis for illnesses like Cancer, Epilepsy, Auto-immune illnesses and MS.
CBDA – Similar to THCA, the amount of CBDA in a strain tells you its CBD potential. CBDA stands for cannabidiol acid. This is raw CBD. When you heat CBDA, it converts into non-psychoactive CBD.
Pesticides – Not required by all states:
Some labels list the amount of pesticide residue found in the bud. In order for a product to pass a pesticide test, levels must be under 0.1 parts per million. Most labels just state whether or not a product has passed.
As a good rule of thumb, when possible purchase products that have been laboratory tested. Not only will this give you an idea of what to expect from the product, but it will also help you avoid contaminated bud. Also, if you are looking for the highest quality product grown to strict standards choose organically grown cannabis.