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Cannabis Extracts and Oils: A Guide on Safe Consumption and Deciphering Product Labels

MedLock | June 13, 2023

Cannabis extracts and oils have gained significant popularity in recent years, offering a convenient and potent way to experience the benefits of cannabis. However, understanding how to dose these products safely and decipher the labels can be a daunting task for newcomers. In this article, we'll explore the world of cannabis extracts and oils, providing essential information to help you make informed decisions and enjoy your cannabis experiences responsibly.

Understanding Cannabis Extracts and Oils

Cannabis extracts and oils are concentrated forms of the plant's active compounds, primarily cannabinoids such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These products are made through various extraction methods, including butane extraction, CO2 extraction, and solventless extraction. Both THC-dominant and CBD-dominant oils and extracts can be used to treat a host of physical and mental ailments. This is largely due to how concentrated cannabis extracts and oils are.

Types of Cannabis Extracts and Oils:

  • THC Extracts: These concentrates are rich in THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with cannabis. THC extracts have more cannabinoids present than what is found in a cannabis plant.

  • CBD Extracts: CBD concentrates contain minimal THC and offer potential therapeutic benefits without the intoxicating effects. CBD extracts are often a great product for insomnia, pain, and mood.

  • Full-Spectrum Extracts: Also called "whole plant extracts". These extracts contain a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds, which helps maintain the full profile of the cannabis plant. These extracts are created in a way that preserves delicate chemical compounds like terpenes and flavonoids.

  • Distillates: Distillates are highly refined extracts that isolate specific cannabinoids, usually THC or CBD, by stripping away the unwanted materials and compounds. This results in a pure and potent product. Distillates are highly versatile as they can be used to vape or dab as well as being mixed into edibles, topicals, and additional cannabis product formats.

Safely Dosing THC Extracts and Oils

Dosing cannabis extracts and oils requires caution and awareness to avoid potential negative effects. Start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed, keeping the following tips in mind:

  1. Know Your Tolerance: Understand your personal tolerance level and start with small doses. If you are a beginner, it's recommended to start with very low concentrations of THC and increase gradually over time. Use graduated oral syringes and dropper caps with graduated pipettes to help with consistent, accurate dosing.

  2. Start Low, Go Slow: Begin with a small dose, especially when trying a new product or brand. Allow sufficient time, at least 1-2 hours, to assess the effects before considering additional consumption. It is also important to take into consideration whether you have eaten recently, what you've eaten, how much water you've had, and whether or not you have consumed any alcohol.

  3. Consult Product Labels: Pay close attention to labels, as they provide crucial information about THC and CBD content, serving size, and recommended dosages. This information can help guide your consumption and ensure safe usage. In Canada, cannabis extracts and oils are limited to 10mg of THC per unit (i.e., dispensed amount).

  4. Make Note of Different Brands & Strains: Not all cannabis extracts and oils are made equal. Some are CBD-dominant, while others are very high in THC. Different brands produce different strains and will therefore affect you differently. Take note of the labels on the products you try and start small with new products. Just because you do well with 0.5ml of one oil, does not mean that volume of another oil is right for you - even if the THC content on the label is the same. Remember, different strains produce different effects.

Understanding Labels

Deciphering the labels on cannabis extracts and oils is vital to make informed choices. Here are some key elements you should understand:

  • THC and CBD Content: Labels typically indicate the percentages of THC and CBD present in the product. This information helps determine the potency and potential effects. The THC content in CBD-dominant extracts and oils is usually quite low, but it is very important to consider your sensitivity to THC.

  • Serving Size: Labels specify the suggested serving size, typically measured in milligrams (mg) of cannabinoids. This assists in understanding how much THC or CBD is in each dose. Cannabis extracts and oils purchased from regulated dispensaries often come with oral syringes to help users easily and consistently titrate the amount of product they are ingesting. CannaLock™ offers our unique ClickDose™ Oral Syringes, which allow users to extract a precise amount of product from a bottle with a PIBA cap. Check out our compliant packaging selection for cannabis extracts and oils.

  • Recommended Dosage: Some labels provide guidance on the recommended dosage for beginners or experienced users. However, individual tolerance and preferences may vary, so it's essential to consider this as a general guideline. Again, this is where oral syringes and dropper caps with graduated pipettes can be very helpful. If you are new to cannabis extracts and oils, starting with 0.1ml increments is the safest way to gauge your tolerance.

  • Strain Information: Some products may include the strain name or information about the genetic lineage of the cannabis used. This can help users anticipate the effects or flavors associated with specific strains. For example, indica-dominant strains usually help with insomnia while sativa-dominant strains tend to be more uplifting and energizing. Hybrids are also a good choice for many users.


Cannabis extracts and oils offer a concentrated and convenient way to experience the benefits of cannabinoids. However, it's crucial to approach these products with caution and understanding. By starting with low doses, gradually increasing, using safe dispensing devices like oral syringes and dropper caps, and paying attention to product labels, you can safely explore the world of cannabis extracts while maximizing the potential benefits and minimizing any unwanted effects. Remember, responsible consumption and education are key to an enjoyable and safe cannabis experience.

Interested in purchasing compliant cannabis packaging for your cannabis extracts and oils? Contact us to request product samples, MOQs, lead times, and more.


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