How to Read Dispensary Labels

How to Read Dispensary Labels

If you’re someone that would like to know more about your next medical marijuana purchase, consider this your go-to guide to demystifying product labels and terms.

At our Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensaries, we’ve noticed that our MMJ patients often take one of two approaches to browse our products. Some MMJ patients spend several minutes reading every detail of a medical marijuana label, while others only glance at the THC content or strain name before making their decision.

Of course, neither one is the “right” or “wrong” way to shop for MMJ – at FLUENT dispensaries in PA, both approaches are more than welcome. However, we’ve realized that many people are interested in label information but aren’t quite sure where to start. But today, we’re going to be taking the guesswork out of learning how to read a medical marijuana product label.

If you’re someone that would like to know more about your next medical marijuana purchase, consider this your go-to guide to demystifying product labels and terms. So the next time you stop by your local FLUENT dispensary, don’t be surprised if you see medical marijuana labels in an entirely new way.

How to Read a Medical Marijuana Label

Different brands and cultivators might vary somewhat in how they label their products, but there are generally a few key components of an MMJ product label.

Product or strain name

The name of the strain or product is usually the easiest to spot because it’s pretty straightforward and typically the most prominent part of dispensary label packaging. 


The MMJ weight tells you the concentration/mass of a specific item. As you gain more experience as an MMJ patient, you’ll be able to use this information to match up your preferred dosage with certain products.


The cultivator is the company/farm that grew, harvested, and processed the medical marijuana. Some PA MMJ patients have favorite cultivators, so they like to watch for new products or strains from those companies. 

Cannabinoid content

In simplest terms, cannabinoids are naturally-occurring compounds found in the medical marijuana plant. These compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, producing certain effects (and potentially improving specific symptoms). So, your MMJ plan might focus on selecting cannabinoids that align with your needs.

How the cannabinoid content is displayed usually depends on the product type:

  • Flower, extracts, and vape cartridges usually display the cannabinoid content as a percentage.
  • Edibles, topicals, tinctures, and disposable vapes tend to show the cannabinoid content in milligrams (mg).

Although researchers have documented more than 100 different cannabinoids and counting, you’ll usually see just a handful featured on product labels. However, these cannabinoids are the most prevalent, so their effects are the ones most likely to shape your MMJ experience. Some of the most common cannabinoids on medical marijuana labels include THC, CBDTHCa, and CBDa. 


Terpenes are organic compounds present in many plants and foods, including medical marijuana. They are the compounds that are responsible for flavor and aroma, and some MMJ patients discover a preference for certain terpenes over others. Learning about different terpenes can effectively tailor your MMJ experience because terpenes correlate with the outcome. Common terpenes include limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene.

Not all cultivators provide terpene details on their MMJ packaging, but one of the FLUENT team members can provide information as needed.

Harvest date, testing date, packaging date, and use-by date

Four different dates tell you a lot about a specific product or strain, including when it was harvested, tested, and packaged. You’ll also see a recommended use-by date for peak efficacy and freshness. Usually, it is better to enjoy your medical marijuana within a year of being harvested/produced.

Batch number

The intent of a product batch number for an MMJ product is to help our dispensary keep track of all the items produced in that same “batch.” This method of record-keeping is for quality control and tracking purposes.

Testing lab

Regular testing of high-quality MMJ performed by a licensed, independent lab verifies potency, consistency, and purity with the name of the testing facility included on the label.


Products such as tinctures and edibles will contain ingredients in addition to medical marijuana, such as flavoring, sugars, or carrier oils. The ingredients list lets you know everything in a given product, which is especially important if you have any allergies or dietary preferences.

Shop with Confidence at FLUENT’s PA MMJ Dispensaries

Now, you’re ready to navigate your next dispensary shopping experience like a pro – or at the very least, as a more informed consumer! At FLUENT, our team is always happy to help MMJ patients explore various products and strains to pinpoint the options best-suited for their needs. So, even though your newfound knowledge will surely come in handy, you don’t need to study up before a visit to FLUENT.

For an outstanding PA dispensary you can trust for all your MMJ needs, come to FLUENT today.