Beyond baggies: How to read modern marijuana packaging – GreenState

Menus for The Apothecarium in San Francisco, CA. can be a whirlwind of information. | Photo byLiz Hafalia.

More than 25 million Californians — plus millions more visitors — can enter California’s 250-plus recreational cannabis dispensaries now that commercial sales have begun in 2018.

But how many shoppers actually know how to read a product label and take marijuana safely?

With legalization has come detailed labeling standards, introduced Jan. 1 by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, which also handles enforcement. Even fewer customers can interpret a marijuana label than can a standard food label, we imagine. It’s a disturbing thought. And while no one has died from a marijuana overdose, plenty of people have felt the adverse effects of overdoing it.

Here’s some basic marijuana product label information, so you can have a good time, instead of an unpleasant one.

The label for these mini pre-rolls shows they’re high in CBD. | Photo by David Downs


“15% THC”: The most common marijuana product sold is dried, cured flower buds, called simply “flower.” Flower ranges in potency from about 5 to 25 percent THC. Think of it like the alcohol percentage on a beer bottle. When it comes to THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, up to 8 percent is considered mild, 8 percent to 16 percent is medium strength, and 16 percent and above is for experts only.

“5% CBD”: Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis. It does not cause euphoria, or a high, but can in moderate doses lessen anxiety in some people, as well as treat pain, inflammation and spasms. CBD also dampens the high of THC. If you’re new to cannabis, look for strains high in CBD, anything over a few percent.


“100 milligrams THC”: The second

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