Reading Your Legal Cannabis Label
Visiting a medical cannabis dispensary for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry, products are clearly labeled, and cannabis agents are available to assist you.
Under Missouri law, legal cannabis packaging is required to meet certain standards. This ensures that the customer purchasing the product is well informed and has all the pertinent information about their medication.
All medical cannabis labels must contain very specific information. Labels must include the total weight of the product, and depending on the product, this number is expressed differently. For instance, dried flowers are expressed in grams or ounces, while edibles are expressed in milligrams.
Cannabis labels are also required to list dosage amounts and estimate how long the effects are supposed to last as well as list delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) concentrations as a percentage of total weight.
All labels must be clearly marked with the wording “Marijuana” or “Marijuana-infused product” and include the following warning statement: “Warning: Cognitive and physical impairment may result from the use of Marijuana”. Labels are also required to include the name of the strain, all active and inactive ingredients, the name and address of the cultivation facility, product manufacturer information, and the best buy date.
While reading a product label is one thing: understanding the information on the label can prove to be more difficult. Working with an experienced cannabis agent may help determine what type of cannabis medicine is right for you, but knowing the basics about your medicine is important.
Indica vs. Sativa
Indica and Sativa are the two main types of cannabis strains, and there is an easy way to remember the basic difference: Indica makes you feel as though you are “in da couch” and Sativa strains are uplifting.
Indica strains tend to be great for nighttime use as they have sedative, relaxing, and calming properties. Sativa strains are excellent for daytime use as they spark creativity, energize, and uplift.
Cannabis Indica tends to be lower in THC and higher in CBD, while Cannabis Sativa generally has a higher THC content and very little CBD.
Inhalation Versus Ingestion
One of the biggest factors to consider when buying cannabis is how you want to use your medication. Do you want to inhale it or ingest it?
There are many options when it comes to consuming cannabis, including smoking, vaporizing, edibles, oils, tinctures, capsules, and topicals, so try a few out and choose the best method for your individual needs.
Smoking or vaporizing your medication will produce almost instantaneous effects, so it is easy to dose your medication properly. Figuring out appropriate dosing when ingesting your medication may take more time and is usually a process of trial and error. Work with an experienced cannabis agent to determine a good starting dose for edibles, oils, tinctures, and capsules.
Topicals are a completely different entity altogether. As topicals are applied externally, THC does not cross the blood-brain barrier and, therefore, does not make the user feel “high”.
Using medical cannabis is a journey, as it takes time to figure out what products work and are beneficial to your individualized needs. Over time you will discover whether you prefer Indica or Sativa strains and whether you like to inhale your medication or take it orally.
Missouri state laws dictate strict regulations for medical cannabis packaging to inform consumers about their medication adequately. Work with a certified cannabis agent to learn the language of the package and be able to interpret the information for yourself!