Health Canada places heavy regulations and restrictions on cannabis products and packaging and how they are labeled. An informed consumer allows for choice in cannabinoid content, and keeps Licenced Producers (LPs, who cultivate legal cannabis in Canada), accountable to quality.
Here are a few tips on what you’ll see on your cannabis label from GoHi, and how you can interpret what’s on the label to become the most informed consumer:
Health Canada asks LPs to classify their products as indica, sativa, or hybrid (although as we already highlighted, there is much more that makes up a cannabis strains’ classification!)
Packaging and Expiry Dates
This allows the consumer to ensure they’re getting the most fresh product from GoHi. The packaging date doesn’t indicate when the plant was harvested, but rather when it was placed in its packaging to go out to stores. Expiry dates are not mandatory but many LPs will opt to provide that information
This shows the weight value of your product in grams. It’s important to note that Health Canada does allow a slight variance in weight, which is why your product may weigh a bit more or less than what’s displayed on the package. The allowable variance is up to 10 per cent for products containing less than 2 grams, and 5 per cent for 2 grams or more.
Every package produced in Canada must have two warning labels. The first one indicates that there is THC in the product, while the other displays information about the possible risks associated with cannabis use.
One of the most basic principles of using cannabis is understanding that cannabinoids are only activated by heat over 150 degrees Celsius through a process called decarboxylation. So, in its natural “raw” state, cannabis has a low level of active cannabinoids. When cannabis is decarboxylated, either through heating or processing, its cannabinoid levels increase. This is why you’ll see two sets of numbers on your label. The first numbers, listed as “THC” and/or “CBD”, represent the active cannabinoid levels in the cannabis in its raw, non-decarboxylated form. Dried cannabis will have a low level of active cannabinoids because it hasn’t been heated yet. The second numbers are listed as “Total THC” and “Total CBD.” These figures represent the active cannabinoid levels in the cannabis when activated. NOTE: Because oil and capsule products have been processed (and the cannabinoids heated already), the second and first numbers will be the same between products.
Licensed Producer Information
This is the “who” of your cannabis. What brand and licensed producer has cultivated the products you’re enjoying. LPs must provide their information as well as their email address and phone number. They’re also required to put a lot number on their products to that batches can be traced in the event someone reports a bad product to the Ontario Cannabis Store.
The best thing about cannabis is that there is a way to consume for every preference. It doesn’t have to just be smoked to be enjoyed! Here is an overview of just some of the ways cannabis can be consumed:
A joint involves rolling finely ground flower into papers, either by machine or by hand. At GoHi, you’ll find a selection of rolling papers and tools as well as our vast selection of pre-roll joints, where the LP has taken the work out of enjoying a joint.
Pipes offer a convenient, relatively mess-free way of consuming cannabis. Pipes come in all shapes and sizes, can be small and discreet or sizeable and bold, or made from silicone, glass, metal, or plastic.
Bongs are a larger, less discrete form of water pipe meant specifically for consuming cannabis, and can be made of glass, plastic, or silicone. Bongs filter the cannabis smoke through water, which helps to cool the smoke as well as filter impurities. Some bongs also have sets of chambers and percolators to help filter the cannabis smoke.
Vaporizers or “vapes” come in many different forms, including disposable, pre-filled pen-like vaporizers and portable, pocket-sized units. There are three main types of vaporizers: flower vaporizers, concentrate vaporizers, and hybrid units. Vaporizers contain a coil element that gently heats the cannabis product, whether it be oil, concentrate, or flower, to release the cannabinoids and terpenes. This process is extremely efficient and releases more cannabinoids and terpenes than when you simply just combust or light up flower.
Oils offer a smoke-free method of consumption. Cannabinoid oils are made by infusing a carrier oil (typically MCT or coconut oil) with cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN. Oils can isolate specific compounds, such as THC or CBD, to produce a product with very specific applications, or they can be made as full-spectrum products that contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes and have a broader application. Oils are usually taken sublingually, but also have a lot broader application – just ask what we have in store and how oils can be utilized.
Tinctures are alcohol-based substances that incorporate different cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Unlike oils, tinctures should not be taken sublingually is it will cause a burning sensation within the mouth. Tinctures are a popular way to infuse beverages or foods at home.
Capsules are individual gel capsules (or vegetable-based for vegan consumers) that contain a tincture, oil, or decarboxylated flower mixture. The effects are similar to taking a tincture, oil, or edible and are generally not felt for 60 to 90 minutes.
Edibles are infused foods, such as gummies, cookies, brownies, honey, and other confections, which contain cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. All packages of legal products must contain less than 10mg of THC. With edibles it’s important to start low and go slow with dosing. Edibles take up to 90 minutes to fully kick in, so it is important to be patient and determine how you feel after quite a bit of time before considering consuming more.
Topicals describe any cannabinoid-based product that is applied externally. Topicals come in creams, lotions, face creams, body balm, gels, oils, and even intimate lubricating products. It’s important to note that a consumer will not feel “high” with a topical as they do not cross the blood-brain barrier.
Concentrates are high-potency products that come in a variety of products, including wax, shatter, and rosin, and are generally consumed either through a concentrate vaporizer, or using a dab rig through the process of dabbing. Since it is concentrated cannabinoids, with products ranging around 75% on average, it’s important to note that these are extremely potent and usually less is more with concentrates.
If a consumer feels as thought they’ve consumed too much cannabis, there is one fact they should absolutely know: no one in the history of the planet has ever died from consuming cannabis. No one. Ever.
That being said, it can happen when someone has consumed too much THC, and are feeling a bit uncomfortable. In the cannabis world, this is called “greening out” or “pulling a whitey”, all because of the colour one’s face is said to go when they’ve had too much.
If you are feeling uncomfortable, and want to be brought back down to earth, use CBD! CBD is being shown to be a great antidote to too much THC, helping combat the psychoactive feeling.
Remember you aren’t in any danger with cannabis as long as it’s used responsibly. Go for a brisk walk, drink lots of water, or simply just settle into your couch with your remote and some Netflix.
As we have said, GoHi is a cannabis retail stores licensed to sell cannabis for recreational purposes only. Therefore, we are not permitted to dispense any medical advice or information on how cannabis may affect certain medical conditions.
It should be noted that although cannabis was legalized for recreational purposes in Canada in 2018, medical cannabis has been legal in this country since 2001! Since then, hundreds of thousands of people in Canada have received doctors’ recommendations for medical cannabis, and can purchase cannabis directly though a Licenced Producers’ medical program.
If you’re interested in pursuing your medical cannabis recommendation, please talk to your doctor, or call or visit a medical cannabis clinic near you.
GoHi does not provide cannabis for medical purposes.
Under The Cannabis Act, and subject to provincial or territorial restrictions, adults who are 18 years of age or older (19 in Ontario) are legally able to:
Per The Cannabis Act, 1 gram of dried cannabis is equivalent to:
This is also the purchase limit that one consumer can purchase within a day at our store.
To date, nearly every province in Canada has banned smoking both cigarettes and cannabis in indoor public spaces, public-transit facilities, and at workplaces where smoking could take place.
In Ontario, the law states that people can smoke cannabis where they can smoke cigarettes, with the exception of in vehicles. At GoHi, we always encourage cannabis users to be conscious consumers and consume respectfully within their environment.