While there are hundreds of components of the cannabis plant, cannabinoids are what give cannabis its effects. While there are 138known cannabinoids in cannabis, the most common are Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol(more commonly known as THC) and cannabidiol (more commonly known as CBD).Other cannabinoids include CBN (cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), and CBC (cannabichromene) and are being researched for their various therapeutic, medicinal, and recreational benefits.
THC is the most dominant compound found in the cannabis plant and has the greatest psychoactive effect on the brain. It's the reason cannabis makes you feel euphoric, happy, and giggly. Always keep in mind that THC can alter your brain, and therefore, one should always start low and go slow.
THC levels at products you’ll find at We’:) will vary in potency, often displayed as Total THC in mg/g format. While THC ranges anywhere from12-20% in stores, many consumers will be surprised to see that some potency levels can reach over 30% on some legal products. It’s important to understand that THC percentage does not always equal a stronger psychoactive effect, which is why understanding terpenes becomes important.
While it’s common to say that CBD is a non-psychoactivecannabinoid, at We’:), we think it’s more accurate to say that CBD isnon-intoxicating. CBD is being used for its calming effects, with manyreporting that it also helps with certain areas of discomfort within the body,which is why it’s being researched more and more.
CBD, while non-intoxicating, may affect the mind with its reported anti-anxiety properties. It will not, however, when used alone cause intoxication, like its intoxicating counterpart THC.
Terpenes are part of the magic of why cannabis is such a special plant and are why cannabis is much more than THC. Terpenes are the botanical compounds found in the essential oils of plants, creating their taste, aroma, and sometimes carrying various therapeutic properties.
Popular uplifting terpenes found in cannabis include limonene and pinene, while more calming terpenes include myrcene and linalool, which is also found in lavender.
The terpene profiles, as well as the cannabinoid content, are what make different cannabis strains (or cultivars) different in their attributes.
When you purchase cannabis from Ontario, the packages will have a set of common attributes designed to inform the consumer on the product’s contents. Here is a breakdown of the information you’ll find on your cannabis package label.
Strain TypeThe type of cannabis purchased will be indicated by “indica”, “sativa”, or “hybrid”, with the hybrids often being broken down into “indica dominant” and “sativa dominant”. For most people, indica or indica-dominant strains are perfect for the end of the day, or for when one needs time for focus or introspection. On the other hand, most people report sativas, and sativa-dominant strains as energizing, uplifting, and euphoric.
The way your cannabis will make you feel is dependent on several factors, including the strain type, the cannabinoid content, and the terpenes that are present within a certain strain, or cultivar.
Packaging and Expiry Dates
Packaging and expiry dates provide an idea of how fresh the cannabis is; however, the packaging date does not refer to when the cannabis harvested, but when the product was put in packages to be sent to the provinces.
Expiry dates are based on the materials of the products inside. For instance, certain oils with food-grade cutting agents may have an expiry date. Flower, while it can degrade over time, typically shows that an expiry date has not been determined.
The Net Weight shows the quantity of cannabis within a product. If you’ve ever weighed your cannabis right out of the packaging, you may have noticed a slight discrepancy in the weight on the package versus the weight on your scale. Health Canada does allow for slight weight variances in dried flower weight. The allowable variance is up to 10 percent for products containing less than 2 grams, and 5 percent for 2 grams or more.
Cannabis products are packaged in child-safe, tamper-proof packaging to ensure that cannabis is not consumed by children or anyone else that shouldn’t have it. Warning labels vary by message and by product, and are put there to notify the user that there are inherent risks associated with ingesting cannabis.
CBD and THC Content
Both CBD and THC content will be displayed on your cannabis label. On package labels, the first numbers, listed as “THC” and/or “CBD”, represent the active cannabinoid levels in the cannabis as purchased, meaning that the cannabis has not been “activated” yet through a process called decarboxylation. The second numbers are listed as “Total THC” and “Total CBD.” These figures represent the active cannabinoid levels in the cannabis when ready for consumption, or when it has been heated, or activated.
Licensed Producer Information
Licensed Producers are accountable to their customers and thus, are open to feedback. In addition to their logo, LPs must provide their name and contact details on the label, including an email address and phone number.
Each product also includes a lot number which refers to a specific harvest, or “lot” of products, which helps trace it back to quality control processes. You’ll want to take note of this number if you have a complaint or a comment, so that the LP can trace it back to its exact originating batch.
The beautiful thing about cannabis is that there is not just one way to consume. The products available at We’:) are diverse, allowing you to choose how you best want to ingest the plant. However, the following methods of consumption are most common:
Smoking a cannabis joint involves rolling finely ground flowers into papers, either by machine or by hand. Papers are available to suit any rolling and smoking style, including rice papers, fine organic hemp papers, and even flavored rolling papers. At We’:), you’ll find products in both flower form, so you can roll your own joints, or the Licensed Producer has done the work for you in the form of a pre-roll.
Pipes offer a convenient, mess-free way of consuming cannabis. They can be small and discreet or sizeable and bold, but whatever the aesthetics of the pipe, the result is the same.
Cannabis is consumed through a pipe by placing a small amount of ground-up flowers in the “bowl” of the pipe, lighting the flower, and inhaling the smoke. Pipes come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from several materials, including silicone, glass, metal, and plastic.
Bongs are a form of water pipe meant specifically for consuming cannabis and are often associated with cannabis culture. Bongs come in all shapes and sizes, just like pipes, although they are larger than traditional pipes and smaller bubblers. The advantage to bongs is that they filter the cannabis smoke through water, which helps to cool the smoke as well as filter impurities. Smoking out of a bong offers the cleanest form of smoking consumption, compared to joints and pipes.One of the downfalls of bongs is that they tend to be sizable and less discreet than joints or pipes. Larger bongs are great for using at home; however, they can be difficult when on the go. Bongs can be made from several materials, including glass, plastic, and silicone. Bongs come in basic form, or can be artistic pieces that you’re proud to display.
Vaporizers are a more modern invention compared to cannabis joints or pipes and 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. The type of vaporizer determines the form of cannabis being consumed. 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 consumption methods which involve combustion (or lighting it up).
Dabbing is the method of consumption that one will usually use with cannabis extracts like rosin, shatter, and wax. Essentially, dabbing involves bringing an extract into contact with an extremely hot surface — which causes it to undergo flash vaporization — and then inhaling the vapour. Dabbing involves using a “rig”, a “banger” (or nail), and a “carb cap”, as well as a torch to heat the surface for the dab to be dropped in and inhaled.First time dabbers will likely want to get someone to show them how to properly take a dab, or you may want to check out how to do it on YouTube, as it can be a technical process involving heating your rig to the exact right temperature to maximize the efficacy of the extract. With dabbing, it’s important to remember that “a little dab’ll do ya”, as cannabis extracts are extremely potent, but the effects are felt immediately.
Oils offer a smoke-free method of consumption. Cannabinoid oils are made by infusing a carrier oil (typically coconut oil or MCT oil) with cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN. One of the benefits to oils is that they can isolate specific compounds, such as THC or CBD, to produce a product with very specific applications. On the other hand, oils can be made as full-spectrum products that contain an array of cannabinoids and have a broader application.
Oils are used by spraying or using a dropper to administer the oil sublingually. The oil is placed under the tongue for maximum absorption, and it’s effects usually take full effect within 60 to 90 minutes. Dosing is more difficult with oils as they take longer to take effect; however, once you determine the appropriate dosage, the results can be replicated time after time.
Edibles are infused capsules or foods, such as gummies, cookies, brownies, honey, and other confections, or beverages that contain cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
In Canada, the maximum dose for edible products in a package is 10mg, which Health Canada has determined to be a “safe” dose.The trick with edibles is 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. Finding the right dose is a process of trial and error, but once you have determined your optimal dose, you can attain the desired effects time after time.
Edibles are extremely discreet and can be taken anywhere.
Topical is a broad term for any cannabinoid-based product that is applied externally. The benefit of this type of product is that it will not make the consumer feel high, as with traditional consumption methods.
When cannabinoids are used topically, they do not cross the blood barrier and never enter the body’s bloodstream, which is why they will not make you high. A cream could contain 100% THC, and it still won’t have the psychoactive effects often associated with THC use. Legal topicals come in a wide variety of products including creams and lotions and even intimate lubricating products. What are my rights, privileges, and responsibilities under The Cannabis Act?
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:
• Possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
• Share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
• Buy dried or fresh cannabis, and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer. Edibles and concentrates were made legal in 2019
• Grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
• Make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
Per The Cannabis Act, 1 gram of dried cannabis is equivalent to:
• 5 grams of fresh cannabis
• 15 grams of edible product
• 70 grams of liquid product
• 0.25 grams of concentrates (solid or liquid)
• 1 cannabis plant seed
In Ontario, the law states that people can consume cannabis where they can smoke cigarettes, with the exception of in vehicles. It is illegal to consume cannabis and drive, or consume cannabis while driving.
Just like alcohol, cannabis is a substance that should be consumed safely and with an overall outcome or intention in mind. While it’s not possible to “overdose” on cannabis, it is possible to ingest too much, where the cannabis experience becomes uncomfortable.
If you feel as though you’ve consumed too much cannabis and want to be brought back down to earth, try consuming pure CBD, as it can help counteract the intoxicating effects of THC.
With any substance, its important to start low and go slow so to see how the cannabis is affecting you. Remember with edibles, the onset may take a while, so it’s best to wait 90 minutes to 2 hours before ingesting more.
If you’re looking to get yourself more educated on cannabis, we encourage you to ask our experienced and knowledgeable budtenders at We’:)all your cannabis questions. We offer a friendly, non-judgemental environment where all can feel comfortable getting their questions about cannabis answered.
We also encourage you to visit the Ontario Cannabis Store(online government cannabis store) website at OCS.ca to see their “Learn” section for a comprehensive guide to cannabis.
Health Canada also provides cannabis consumers a variety of educational resources about cannabis. We also encourage people to read books, articles, and blogs about cannabis that can be found online and in print form. Once one gets into learning about cannabis, they will quickly see that there is quite a lot to learn, and appreciate, about the plant.