When you’re on the hunt for your next cannabinoid-infused product, your mind is probably already ten steps ahead of you. How fast will the effects kick in? Will I get the munchies? How long does the high last? A lot of these questions and many others are usually a bit difficult to answer, as the effects of the high will be dependent on the consumer’s personal factors. Yet many poignant questions are easily answered by consulting a little panel on the back of your product’s packaging. That’s right, we’re talking about the last thing most people think to check when choosing a new product: the product label. You may have glanced briefly at this label to scour for the serving size and the time it may take to feel the effects, but other than that, the information in the panel is largely ignored. In this article, we’ll be teaching you how to not only read your product label, but things to look for when choosing a premium and potent product. Let’s get started!
The Importance Of Being Honest
As of today, there are currently no regulations set forth by the FDA regarding the labeling requirements of any hemp-derived products. As long as a product remains within the highly-contested 0.3% THC threshold, the products are deemed legal in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill. Unfortunately, many manufacturers resort to unscrupulous methods in order to keep their costs low. The use of inferior materials, cheap extraction materials, and alteration of legit lab tests are only a few of the methods uncovered that bring shame to the entire industry.
Knowing how to read a product label can help bring peace of mind that you’re consuming a pure and potent product. We’ll be talking more about CoA (Certificate of Authenticity) in a future article, but keep in mind that all brands should offer this. Some brands (like TwoHawk Extracts) will provide this information via a QR code or embedded in the product description. Others will only furnish this information on request, while others will simply require you to buy the product beforehand in order to scan the QR code on the packaging. The purpose of having this information available to consumers helps to build trust and assuage fears of what is actually in the product. Now that you understand the importance of the information on the label, let’s dive into the segments you may see on a standard product label.
“I Live But To Serve You, My Liege!” - Paulie Gualtieri
If you can figure out what hit mobster TV series the above quote is from, you deserve a gold star! While the pun may be a bit humorous, there’s nothing funny about serving information. It’s crucial you understand what a recommended serving size is, how much of a particular cannabinoid is in said serving, and how many of these servings are in a single container. Let’s break these down now.
Most manufacturers will list a recommended serving size for their products. Gummies usually range between ½ to a full gummy, capsules range between 1-2 capsules, tinctures typically are a full dropper, and inhalables will usually vary between 1-3 puffs. Because each user is different, the serving size may need to be tailored to your specific needs. Knowing how much the recommended serving size can help you figure out a good starting point on a new product.
Cannabinoid Per Serving
While most brands will list the amount of a specific cannabinoid right on a product label, it doesn’t hurt to confirm the cannabinoid amount within the serving size. For example, some stronger products will list the cannabinoid per serving as 50mg, a dose that is much too high for someone just starting out. Knowing the amount per serving can help you know how much to tailor your dose by, whether that be more or less. For tinctures, this can be a bit trickier since the serving size is usually listed as “1 full dropper.” The amount per serving can help you figure out how precisely to measure in order to give you the best experience possible.
Servings Per Container
The amount of servings in a container is important so you know how often you can use the product before you run out. If you consume the product faithfully every day, the average jar of gummies should last you for a month (or a little less). Here at TwoHawk Extracts, we offer a recurring subscription service that you can tailor for 2, 4, and 6 weeks. Once you know how often you’ll be going through a container, this can help you know how soon to reorder. As an additional bonus, knowing the serving size can help you compare prices and know you’re getting the best price.
What’s In Your Product?
Knowing what your product contains may not seem all that important until you realize the amount of junk that’s commonly found in interior products. If keeping kosher is important to you, many brands use certified kosher products that cater to specific audiences. Quite a few brands (TwoHawk Extracts included) use only vegan products like pectin to cater to a broader audience. Organic products, fruit and vegetable juice for colorings, and natural sweeteners like stevia are becoming more common throughout the industry. Products like tinctures and oils may use water-soluble ingredients, essential oils, and other natural carrier oils like coconut oil or macadamia nut oil for a smooth and natural flavor. Topicals may include ingredients like shea butter, lavender oil, and other plant extracts to deliver a luxurious that is not only good for you, but for the planet! If you’re curious about how your preferred product was created, the ingredient list can give you some excellent insight on just how premium your product is!
The Suggested Use/Directions
It may seem obvious how to use your product once you get it in your hands. Yet aside from popping tasty gummies into your eager mouth or puffing smoothly on a vape cartridge, there are some other factors to be aware of prior to starting your high.
Who Should Consume
Any cannabinoid-infused product has an age restriction on it. There are some states who impose an 18+ age but most companies will simply state 21+ to cover their legal requirements. In order to protect any underage adults from improper use, it’s recommended to keep these out of sight or locked away to prevent accidental consumption.
Avoid Operating Machinery
Common sense dictates that you shouldn’t drive while high, regardless if it’s your personal vehicle, company machinery, a bicycle, or even a skateboard. Your sense of balance may be impaired and you may feel dizzy and disoriented. Your reaction time may be seriously delayed, especially if time seems to slow down.
Don’t Consume Alcohol
The temptation to drink adult beverages is exceptionally strong amongst friends, the the point where it’s actually got a name: crossfading. The practice of drinking and getting high is strongly discouraged, as you can actually feel higher while simultaneously feeling less drunk. This might seem like a good time at a party, but the lingering effects can have some negative consequences once the party dies down. If you’re aware that you’ll be getting high in the very near future, avoid consuming alcohol during that time.
Not Intended For Medical Claims
The FDA mandates that all hemp-infused products have a disclaimer on their products. You’ll find a section on your packaging that says “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” While hemp-infused products may provide short-term relief from a variety of mental and physical ailments, they should never be viewed as a magic healing potion or product that cures everything you’re suffering from.
Depending on the type of product you’re consuming, there may be different storage recommendations. Edibles like gummies and baked goods should be kept in a cool dark place and fully sealed to prevent deterioration or hardening. Oils and tinctures may require refrigeration after opening, but should also be kept in a cool dry place. Inhalables like vape cartridges and disposables and raw flower should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat to prevent them from overheating and degrading.
It might seem incredulous to think of cannabinoid-infused edibles as having calories, carbs, and sugars, but they do! You can find the nutritional information for whatever edible you’re consuming right on the back of the product packaging. You can also view the additional cannabinoids that were used to create the product, which may include CBD, CBG, CBN, etc. There may be additional vitamins and minerals added to help you reach your specific vitamin needs per day.
Time Limit To Feel Effects
While not all brands list this, it’s always a bonus to see the estimated time it will take to feel the effects. You may feel the effects in as little as an hour while some products can take up to 4+ hours to kick in. Even if this information isn’t mentioned, it’s a good idea to check the time right as you consume the product. That way you know for next time how long to expect to wait!
Your cannabinoid-infused product of choice may look harmless enough at first glance, but you should heed the directions specifically mentioned in the warning sections. Topicals are designed specifically for external use, sublinguals should not be vaped or added to vaping devices, and so forth. Additionally, it’s not recommended that pregnant or nursing women consume these products. Always consult your primary care physician prior to consuming any cannabinoid-infused product. Lastly, consider keeping your cannabinoid-infused products hidden if you have small children or pets, as you don’t want anyone accidentally consuming them.
QR Codes and Barcodes
We won’t go into too much detail on this particular subject, but it’s important that you know what it is and what to do with it. Some products have both a QR code and a barcode stamped on the back of the label. If you buy your products online, the barcode won’t mean much. You can try scanning it with your phone’s camera, but there may not be any search results that pop up. The barcodes are typically reserved for internal use, either by the manufacturer or the retail location you’re purchasing it from.
Whew! That’s a lot of information to absorb all at once! Who knew that something like a product label contains so much information? Now that you know how to read the product label, you can understand exactly what you’re consuming, who should consume it, and other various information to be aware of. Cannabis and hemp-derived cannabinoids are not yet regulated, meaning that there are many unknown brands and low-quality products in the industry. Knowing how to read the product label can help you understand the serving size, cannabinoid per serving, ingredients, warnings and recommendations, storage information, and so much more.
Here at TwoHawk Extracts, we strive to deliver products that not only work well, but are crafted with premium high-quality ingredients that deliver a smooth and euphoric high every time. Our vast collection of inhalables and edibles are available in Delta-8 THC, Farm Bill Compliant Delta-9 THC, HHC, and THC-O We’re confident that you’ll find something that tickles your fancy in either a full-size or a sample size! As always, feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below or reach out to us for clarification on anything in this article. In our next article, we’ll be talking about how to read a product's Certificate of Authenticity and all that entails. We hope to see you there!