What’s On the Cannabis Ingredient List & What Does It Mean?

Whether it’s your first time buying cannabis, reading the labels is important. When you go into a dispensary, the products there have been tested in a lab, which would have labels that you would normally find on packaged foods at the grocery.

The labels on cannabis products will give you so much information; therefore, you need to know what they really mean.

For one, what’s on the label can say a lot whether the product has been infected with mold. It will also let you know if the product has traces of residual pesticide on the strain. Most importantly, it will tell you the amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that are there.

Here are the main ingredients of cannabis:

  • THC
  • CBD
  • CBN

We’ll dive deeper into these ingredients later on. First, there are a few simple things that you will see on cannabis labels, which are usually self-explanatory. Still, it’s essential you know of them:

  • Strain name
  • Indica/sativa class
  • Who grew the strain
  • The date when the strain was tested
  • Testing lab and information
  • Expiration date of testing results
  • Information on legal compliance with state law

Now, let’s move on to the ingredients that you will see on a cannabis list.

Total THC

Also referred to as THC maximum, this is the total amount of THC that is available for us. The THC content will give you a good idea about the psychoactivity level of the strain. Typically, high THC strains have 18 to over 20 percent total THC. On the other hand, if you’re looking at edible cannabis, the THC is represented in milligrams. However, this kind of measurement is more difficult to judge.


The THCA refers to the tetrahydrocannabinol acid, which is the raw form of THC and it’s non-psychoactive. If you want to experience the psychoactive effects of THC, you will need to convert it from its acid form through the process of decarboxylation.

Don’t worry; that’s a simple process. All you need to do is heat it, that’s why many smoke or bake cannabis to feel that “high.”

However, the amount of THCA refers to the amount of psychoactive THC there will be once it’s heated on the label. Therefore, the more THCA, the more psychoactive the strain when you heat it up.


You will find CBDA on the ingredients list of most cannabis products, which tells you about its CBD potential. It’s the amount of CBDA in a strain, which means this is raw CBD.

When you heat this, it will convert into non-psychoactive CBD, and the more CBD a strain contains, the lighter the overall high will be. Strains that contain higher levels of CBD and CBDA than THC are less likely to be psychoactive.


When you see CBD on the ingredients list, it refers to the percentage or milligram amount of activated CBD present in the product. The totals of CBD and CBDA levels make up the total CBD percentage that is available in the market.

Other Cannabinoids

THC and CBD are cannabinoids, which are plant chemicals that engage with the body and give cannabis its medicinal properties. There may be other levels of cannabinoids that you may found on the level, such as THCV, CBN, CBG, and CBC, which are less common cannabinoids, but they do bring powerful health benefits.

Total Cannabinoids

You may encounter some cannabis labels that list the total number of cannabinoids present in the strain. It includes all THC, CBD, and any other cannabinoids that may be present.

Keep in mind: strains with high numbers of total cannabinoids are potent, and this isn’t because of their psychoactive potential but the sheer number of different compounds available to use.


The pesticide in the ingredients list is important—if it doesn’t come with this, you won’t be able to know whether it’s been contaminated with insecticides or pesticides. There are labels that list the amount of pesticide residue found in the bud. For a product to pass a pesticide test, the levels must be only under 0.1 parts per million. It’s extremely important you check this before you buy the cannabis product.

It’s also important to note that there are some labels that only state whether the product has passed.

Getting the Right Cannabis Product Worth the Money

When you finally decided on a cannabis product, make sure to check the ingredient label. There should be CBD in it so you don’t waste your money. However, it’s essential to remember that some products will list CBD as hemp extract due to the ever-changing laws and regulations.

Also, make sure not to be fooled by products that don’t mention cannabidiol and only list hemp seeds or hemp seed oil. Why? Because these ingredients are not the same as CBD.

In addition to that, make sure you check out all the ingredients to ensure you’re not allergic to anything.

For CBD oils, the product may include a carrier oil to stabilize and preserve the CBD. That’s why you’ll likely come across cannabis products that contain grapeseed oil, olive oil, or cold-pressed hempseed oil as their main ingredient. On the other hand, an edible may contain natural or artificial flavoring or coloring as well.

For full-spectrum products, check the THC percentage to ensure it will meet your needs. It may also list the cannabinoids and terpenes.

Read the Label Before You Purchase

Reading the label of cannabis products is important. However, not everyone can understand them. Use this information to help you understand the ingredients better. That way, you’ll be able to get the product that will suit your needs.

Moreover, it’s crucial that you only buy from reputable companies. With so many cannabis products out there today, you need to research properly. By researching, you’ll be able to find a reliable company or seller that offers high-quality and safe cannabis products that you can truly enjoy. Finally, you should be able to get the most benefits from the cannabis product, regardless of its form.

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