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A Beginner's Guide To Understanding Recreational Marijuana Labels

You walk into a recreational marijuana dispensary and just like that, you have entered a store of the future. More and more states are moving to legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, and as they do, more people are getting the opportunity to walk into a dispensary and walk out with a freshly purchased container that holds a perfectly legal marijuana product.

If you are planning to make your way to a recreational dispensary for the first time, seeing all those cannabis products in legitimate packaging can be a little surprising. So you don't get yourself confused reading all those flashy labels, here are a few things you may need to know when you see them on the label:

Flower Potency Levels 

If you see the phrase "Flower Potency" listed on a container of dried herb, it may be a phrase you're not used to seeing if you've only ever bought cannabis in an unmarked package. In general terms, there are multiple strains of cannabis and each one will have different potency levels of that euphoria-inducing cannabinoid THC. In a dispensary, especially in certain states, you will often see flower potency followed by a percentage; this will tell you how much THC is in that particular product. The higher the number, the more potent the product will be. 


Some cannabis products are labeled with a THC and CBD ratio because CBD (cannabidiol), another cannabinoid, is just as desirable for some buyers as the THC. CBD is most often sought after for its therapeutic properties, and some cannabis strains have higher levels of CBD than THC. If you see a ratio listed on a product package, it will give you an idea of potency levels of either cannabinoid to guide you in your selection process. 

Sativa/Indica Blends

Sativa and indica are two terms you will see used often on cannabis packaging. Back to the strains mentioned earlier, all strains can be more of an indica blend or a Sativa blend, or they can be a perfect collaboration of both. Cannabis Sativa tends to be a more uplifting kind of experience, while strains that are further on the indica side will offer a more mellowed-out experience. Sativa blends are often sought after by those who want the more therapeutic effects of cannabis, but not always. It is a good idea to experiment with several blends to decide what you like.