Strict regulation in Canada means that there’s a lot of information on the packaging/labelling of cannabis products and, honestly, making sense of it can sometimes feel overwhelming. So let’s streamline the process! Here we breakdown what you need to know:
1. THC Warning Symbol: Every product that contains THC – even trace amounts – must be labelled with this standard “stop sign” symbol. The only time you won’t see it is if the product doesn’t have THC.
2/3. Logo and Brand/Product Name: Producers are heavily restricted in what’s allowed on labels. On the front of the bag, only the product/brand name and the producer’s brand logo can be shown. In products with THC, the producer’s logo cannot be bigger than the THC symbol.
4. THC and CBD vs. Total THC and Total CBD
This one can be confusing! In products like dried cannabis, most of the THC content is actually THCA. When cannabis is heated via smoking, cooking or vapourizing, the THCA transforms into THC. Total THC shows the amount of THC after the cannabis has been heated and all the THCA has converted to THC. This is also known as potency.
THC and CBD potency may be shown as a percentage, or as milligrams per gram. There are 1000 milligrams per gram, so a THC product with a potency of 250mg per gram is the same as a cannabis product with 25% potency. (see our page on THC EXPLAINED for more information about the differences between THCA and THC).
5. Child-Resistant Closure: All cannabis products sold in Canada must have child-resistant packaging – and for products that are multi-use, that packaging has to be resealable.
There’s some important stuff on the back of the bag, too:
- Licensed Producer Contact Info: Every cannabis producer must provide a phone number and email so that consumers can reach out if they have any questions.
- Expiry and Packaged On Date: Not all cannabis products have an expiry date, but they are all required to show the date that they’re packaged on. Remember that this is not necessarily the date that the cannabis is harvested or processed – just the date that it is sealed in its container.
- Lot Number: Canada requires strict tracking of cannabis products, so all cannabis has to be recorded by a lot number that can be used to trace the cannabis from seed to sale.
- Net Weight: This can be shown front or back. For products other than dried cannabis, this might be listed as “dried cannabis equivalency.” Because there are restrictions placed on how much cannabis an individual can buy per day, “dried cannabis equivalency” is used to show how much dried cannabis an oil, edible or concentrate equates to.