The Importance of Medical Cannabis Labels: Not Just a Formality


Upon entering Peninsula Alternative Health, we’ll advise you on the type of medical cannabis strain that’s most appropriate for your qualifying medical condition, the best method of administration, and the suggested frequency of use.

However, what happens when you head home? Where can you refer to in order to regain access to the information you were provided at the dispensary?

The labels on your medication feature an abundance of highly relevant information that guides your cannabis treatment experience. Pay close attention to your medication and its contents for the knowledge that’s necessary to control your medical cannabis experience.

Unlike other treatment modalities, you’re the governing force behind your medicinal administration. As medical cannabis professionals, our PAH staff makes suggestions with the patient understanding that it’s entirely up to you to identify your medication “sweet spot” in order to treat your qualifying condition.

Historically, your physician instructs you to consume traditional medication daily at a recommended dosage. Utilizing medical cannabis is different

Instead, your body and its fascinating components tell you how and how often to dose. PAH Clinical Director Dr. Mary Pat Hoffman has a slogan for beginners, “Start low and go slow.”

In order to gain control over your medication experience, you need a little more information. On every product label is the following:

  • Strain Name. Given the diverse population of genetics within cannabis, the product label features the strain name, such as Ace of Spades or Malawi Gold. Below the product name is the amount (usually in grams) within the package, such as a 3.5-gram package.

Subsequently, information pertaining to the plant’s chemical profile falls below the amount, beginning with cannabinoids.

  • Cannabinoids & Terpenes. A list of featured cannabinoids and terpenes, when administered together contribute to the “entourage effect”. This concept suggests that when consumed in sync, the duo produces a heightened therapeutic benefit through the process of synergy.

Phytocannabinoids and terpenoids are produced in the plant’s secretory cells inside glandular trichomes. Trichomes are most highly concentrated in unfertilized female flowers prior to senescence.

  • Cannabinoids: Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that offer relief to a wide range of symptoms.

  • THC-A: A cannabinoid in the cannabis plant in its raw state, offering anti-emetic (vomiting) and Asperger’s Syndrome relief.

  • THC: The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis positively influences mood, behavior, appetite, sleep, and energy while offering anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relief), appetite stimulation, muscle relaxation, and relief from intraocular pressure.

  • THC-V: A psychoactive compound primarily found in sativa strains, it positively affects blood sugar while decreasing appetite, panic, anxiety, and depression. It promotes bone growth and serves as a neuroprotectant for patients with PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Note: Patients with eating disorders are advised to avoid this compound.

  • CBD: A non-psychoactive compound in hemp and cannabis that increases cannabinoids levels within the body, particularly anandamide, a naturally produced cannabinoid that (in high doses) inhibits psychosis.

CBD serves as an analgesic, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, neuroprotectant, antioxidant, anti-nausea, appetite stimulant, and tumor growth suppressant.

This compound treats attention, myelinating, mood, and anxiety disorders; arthritis; cancer; diabetes; Dravet Syndrome; epilepsy; Huntington’s disease; and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Note: CBD alleviates the negative effects of THC including anxious thoughts, sedation, and increased heartbeat.

  • CBG: A non-psychoactive compound prevalent in low-THC strains, which assists many conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, including analgesic, anti-fungal, antibiotic, and calming effects.

  • CBD, CBN, and CBL: All of these remain under investigation but are suggested to provide similar effects found in the aforementioned cannabinoids.

  • Terpenes: More than 200 unique compounds protect the plant from adverse environmental conditions and are responsible for the smell and taste diversity within different strains.

  • Pinene: It assists with short-term memory retrieval, provides alertness, helps with asthmatic symptoms, and addresses inflammation.

  • Limonene: A citrus terpene that provides stimulation, mood elevation, antidepressant and antibacterial effects. It kills colon and breast cancer cells and is recommended for treating depression, anxiety, and GI issues.

  • Myrcene: The most common terpene, it serves as a sedative, muscle relaxant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial agent. It heightens THC experience.

  • Terpinolene: It serves as a central nervous system depressant as antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal that treats anxiety and insomnia.

  • Linalool: A mildly psychoactive compound that provides anxiety suppression and pain relief associated with insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety, pain, and convulsions. It counteracts negative effects of THC.

Every cannabis product also provides a patient label, which lists physician contact info, dispensary number, and other patient identifiers.

Every medical cannabis product by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is traceable from seed to sale, providing patients with security in their medicine purchase. Contact PAH for more information.