How to Decode Marijuana Edible Labels

Marijuana labels generally provide information on the product. Some of these labels are not only informative but also edible. Before eating these treats, however, one should read the important information marked on them.

All consumable products in the market always have labels that give the buyers necessary information. Marijuana edible labels, like their non-edible counterparts, are no exception. But what information can buyers get from these candy-like labels?

Note-worthy Marijuana Label Essentials

Marijuana edible labels can tell a consumer whether the product is still safe to consume, whether it has traces of residual pesticide and other chemicals used when growing the plants, and the amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids.

But most of the pieces of information placed on these labels are barely understood by buyers. The texts may be gibberish to an average Joe. Here are common terms that consumers encounter when reading Marijuana edible labels:

  • Strain name
  • Grower or manufacturer
  • Indica/sativa class
  • Date of testing
  • Testing lab name and information
  • Expiration date of testing results (not the expiration date of the product)
  • Information on legal compliance with state law

Some, if not most, of these terms may be self-explanatory, but there are things on the labels that only a scientist could understand. In order to decode these labels, one must be familiar with the other terms.

  • Total THC

Total THC, also known as THC Maximum, is merely the total amount of THC the product contains. Most buyers are familiar with this as it is the number that they look at first. The higher the total THC is the higher level of psychoactivity of the strain.

  • Δ9-THCA

THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the raw, non-psychoactive form of THC. By burning or heating cannabis, it converts THCA into THC through the process of decarbonoxylation,making it psychoactive. On a label, the total amount of THCA tells consumers how psychoactive it is when it is burned or heated.

  • Δ9-THC

When marijuana is aged and cured, some of its THCA breaks down and turns into THC. Cannabis labels usually show the amount of THC that has been converted from THCA through the drying process (sometimes labelled as THC Decarb). However, only few amounts of THCA are being converted. Thus, there are only low amounts of activated THC.

  • CBDA

Cannabidiol acid (CBD), similar to THCA, is the raw form of cannabidiol. When heated, it becomes the non-psychoactive CBD. It is said that the more CBD a strain has, the more medicinal properties it possesses.

  • CBD

It is the total content of activated cannabidiol (CBD) in the product.

  • Other Cannabinoids

THC and CBD are both cannabinoids. These are plant chemicals responsible for the cannabis’ medicinal properties.

  • Total Cannabinoids

Some labels may contain the total amount of cannabinoids in the strain. Strains that have high numbers of total cannabinoids are very potent.

  • Pesticide

This is the most important as this is dangerous to humans. Without these labels, there is no other method of knowing if the strain has traces of pesticides and harmful chemicals.

  • Mold

Another thing that buyers must look out for is the amount of mold, yeast and bacterial colonies. Labels will often tell you whether the product has passed the acceptable amount of microbes or not.


Labels are filled with necessary data that can help keep consumers make smart buying decisions. They are especially useful for marijuana as it is a drug that alters some aspects of the body and mind.