The Truth About Cannabis Labeling: Most Strains Mislabeled

The Truth About Cannabis Labeling: Most Strains Mislabeled

A new study found that labeling like Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid — used to distinguish one variety of cannabis from another — may be deceptive or misleading.

Namely, the study’s results show commercial labels are inconsistent with the product’s chemical diversity.

To determine how similar same-named strains are across the country, researchers compared 90,000 samples from six states based on their cannabinoid and terpene composition.

They discovered that cannabis products usually fall into three categories: those rich in caryophyllene and limonene; those high in myrcene and pinene; and those rich in terpinolene and myrcene. 

However, they do not precisely match the Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid labeling systems. I.e., a sample labeled India is likely to have an indistinguishable terpene profile from one labeled Sativa or Hybrid.

For example, commercial strain names such as Northern Lights, Sour Diesel, and Girl Scout Cookies give customers the idea that if you buy the products in one place, you’ll receive the same goods or at least the identical experience if you buy them elsewhere, which is not always the case.

How so?

Well, while companies must disclose the amount of THC and CBD in their product, they don’t have to provide information about other components, such as terpenes, which can impact the product’s smell and effect.

They are also allowed to name their product whatever they choose.

So, what are the biochemical similarities between products with the same commercial names? It will largely depend on the strain.

For instance, the study shows how certain strains, such as White Tahoe Cookies, are regularly consistent from batch to batch, whereas others, such as Durbin Poison, are regularly inconsistent.