Label Reading: Buying With Confidence to Find Exactly What You Want

It’s always been the way. See a label with a high level of THC, pay whatever it takes, and enjoy. This is a tried and true way to experience cannabis. It’s fun. It can lead to trying to top each other with levels that hit the ceiling. It gives extra-long smokes/vape sessions that little bit of seasoning as every attempt to explain why their high levels of THC give a better, longer experience.

Been there and done that my friends. We are more sophisticated smokers/vapers now. We are buying products that aren’t bagged in a dark basement. Products come with Game of the Thrones length backstories. Let’s take a look at all the other words on the label around THC and find out what it means to sophisticated people like us. All joking aside, let’s really take a look to find the best products for our needs. Everybody is different and every strain is different. Let’s try to figure it all out.


THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)

The thing we all know and love. It’s the icing on the cake. The seasoning on the burger. The thing that makes you feel all warm and buzzing after taking a monster rip of your favourite strain.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD is a good defenseman in hockey. When they are doing their job well, you’ll hardly even know they’re there at all. CBD does the necessary work to keep high anxiety free and charged for the day. It’s also showing a lot of health benefits, which unlike a defenseman, can make people live cleaner, more productive lives as they deal with the many health challenges facing people in the world today.

CBG (Cannabigerol)

THC and CBD wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for CBG, which acts as a precursor from which all of the other cannabinoids are synthesized. Basically, it’s the big mama of the house. If it wasn’t for her belief and constant motivation to our little friends, CBD and THC, who knows where we’d all be right now. A lot grumpier I can assure you that much.

CBN (Cannabinol)

We’ve all been there. We just pulled a monster hit out of our favourite smoking device. The high sets in and BOOM! It’s freak out time. It’s all good, though, because your buddy CBN is here to help. He’s like that calming friend who will pat you on the back and say, “it’s all good, let’s get some munchies” and you know it will be. CBN is created when oxidation takes place and it appears to help with anxiety. See what I mean about the friend.


Flavours, fragrances, and therapeutic. Besides the high feeling we all know and love, terpenes really bring a lot of the good stuff we are looking for in a session. Terpenes are the newest thing on the block, but separating them the right way can really help make certain strains right for certain situations. Terpenes can help with a number of ailments, but again, it comes down to knowing what makes it something you or something you might want to pass on. Let’s take a look.

Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

It’s been described as producing a distinct piney scent. It’s really something that is noticeable when high levels are produced. It helps with several different ailments, but it really shines by providing relief from respiratory conditions, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and cancer. Relief and health benefits have become one of the main jobs for legal cannabis. This little piece of the pie can be isolated to provide help in certain areas.


All other terpenes bow to myrene. Just joking. The only reason for the joke is myrene overabundance in every terpene profile. In most cases, it makes up nearly 60% of the profile. Growers, users, me, describe the scent as musky and clove-like. Some of the ailments that its been reported as helping with are reducing inflammation and chronic pain. It has also been used as a supplement in certain cancer treatments.


Linalool is the knockout punch of the terpene profile. It boasts a spicy, floral scent. Where it shines is the end of the day sessions. It’s been known to produce a calming effect that helps with sleep. Naturally, this means it can be used medicinally to help with depression, seizures, and insomnia.


Linalool seems to have a lot of effects regularly associated with indica strains. Well, limonene is on the opposite site of the spectrum as it has been reported to improve mood and reduce stress. It also gives the flower a citrusy smell that resembles lemons.


This is the anti-anxiety part of the terpene party. It has also been used to treat certain types of withdrawal.


There you have it. It’s not exactly the end all when it comes to label reading, but this should give you a pretty good idea to get started. A lot goes into each label. I myself admit to being a THC guy right out of the gate, the higher the level, the better for me. It started to change when growers started posting more on the label.
At first, I honestly thought it was a way for the growers to explain what was used when growing the plants. I know, you can laugh. After a while, and some surfing of the world wide web, I started to realize that combining certain strains, or focusing on using some at key points in the day, changed my experience for the better. It also started to help with certain types of health situations.

I’ve always been a light sleeper. I started to look for strains with higher levels of linalool. It worked. I started to set my volcano up with a good fill of a strong strain and within an hour I would be asleep. I was getting better and fuller sleep. Feeling refreshed, I started to focus on strains that would help with my mood throughout the day and keep me focused. My next trip I purchased a few strains with higher levels of limonene and got the effects I wanted.

It’s not a perfect science, but I don’t mind being the guinea pig for my experiments. Personally, my best results came from simply focusing on a good “daytime” strain and a good, you guessed it, “nighttime strain”. It really is about finding the perfect balance. The fun part, you get to enjoy the process along the way.



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