Missouri Medical Marijuana Dispensary Labeling Guide
Walking into a Missouri medical marijuana dispensary for the first time and choosing between the different types of cannabis may be an overwhelming experience if you’re looking to relieve symptoms of one or more of your medical conditions. For example, the products you see in a Missouri Marijuana Dispensary are subject to strict labeling requirements. The following information must be placed on the label in this exact order:
- The total weight of marijuana in the package
- Dried, unprocessed marijuana indicated on the package in ounces or grams
- Marijuana concentrates indicated in grams
- Marijuana-infused products indicated by milligrams of THC
- Dosage amounts, instructions for use, and time estimates for how long each dose will have an effect on the patient
- Δ9 – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency per dosage, Tetrahydrocannabinol per dosage, cannabidiol dosages, cannabidiol acid dosages, and cannabinol concentration per dosage
- The label must state “Marijuana” or “Marijuana-infused Product”
- The label must include the following warning statement: “ Warning: Cognitive and physical impairment may result from the use of Marijuana”
Other Labeling Requirements (in no particular order):
- All active ingredients
- All inactive ingredients
- No ingredients with generic terms such as “special blend” or “spices”
- The name of the strain (or strains if applicable) of marijuana
- The name and address of the cultivating facility where the marijuana package came from
- The name and address of the marijuana-infused product of the manufacturer
- A “use by” or “best by” date
To help you gain an understanding of the labeling on different types of medical cannabis available in a Missouri Marijuana Dispensary we offer you this guidance. It’s important to know the general characteristics in strains since each type of cannabis has its distinction to help your symptoms in various ways. Some will help you relax and ease your stress, while others will give you energy and uplift your spirits.
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Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are primary types of the cannabis plant used as medicine. Within each of these varieties are a large number of individual strains, each with a different cannabinoid profile and medicinal effect.
Since Indica strains contain more of something called chlorophyll than Sativa strains they tend to grow and mature faster. Cross breeding Indicas with Sativas or a combination thereof creates what are called “hybrids”. Hybrid strains grow, mature and differ medically in relationship to the indica/sativa percentages – contained within each phenotype (genetic characteristics).
Through hybridization marijuana breeders can aim to produce strains that are highly suited to grower and patient needs. Hybrid strains dominate the medical marijuana dispensary market, as most strains have been crossed at some earlier point.
Medicinal marijuana classified as “Pure Sativa” cannabis is rare as these strains are difficult to grow both indoors and outdoors in the northern hemisphere region of the world. Sativa cannabis comes mainly from equatorial regions (Colombia, Mexico and Southeast Asia). Sativa grows rapidly compared to indica strains reaching heights of 20 feet in one growing season. Since pure Sativa effects can sometimes induce paranoia and irregular heart beats, as a medicinal product pure sativas are a rare choice. The positive effects of sativas are in their uplifting capabilities that may aid in depression, pain and nausea. Sativas are the strains popularized in North America during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Although pure sativas are quite rare, marijuana strain breeders seek them for their genetic stability to create designer hybrid strains.
Hash is the resin of the cannabis plant and it is from the Hash producing countries of the world like Morocco, Pakistan, Tibet, and Afghanistan where “Pure Indica” cannabis originates. Indica strains are more suitable for promoting relaxation and relieving stress since they provide a sedating effect Pure Indica are dense short plants, with broad leaves that generally grow a darker green due to having more chlorophyll. Pure Indica do not grow as tall as sativas thus are better for indoor growing. The most pain fighting, sedating and relaxing effect of Cannabis is from the Indica plant. Medical patients covet the Indica strain’s strong sedating and pain blocking qualities.
A subspecies of Cannabis called Cannabis Ruderalis originates from Russia and contains unique and distinguishable characteristics. Ruderalis contains minimal THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) but a high content of CBD (Cannabidiol) driving its popularity as a breeding stock for medicinal strains. When indica or sativa is crossbred with Ruderalis the hybrid strains will very likely have a higher CBD content.
Hybrids provide both indica and sativa strains. Hybrids generally signify a combination of originating seeds from various geographic locations worldwide where marijuana grows. Composed as a mixture of cannabis plants with various characteristics, they offer you the best of both worlds.
If is because of the popularization of hybrid strains that we have shifted away from classifying strains as sativa-dominant or indica-dominant. Instead, at Canna Therapy MD we speak in terms of ratios for the dominant biochemicals in the strain. This leads to 3 main categories: High THC:CBD ratio(Chemotype 1), High CBD:THC ratio(Chemotype 3) and 50:50 blends of THC:CBD(Chemotype 2). You can think of high THC ratio strains as similar to indica-dominant strains and high CBD ratio strains as similar to sativa-dominant strains.
During your appointment at Canna Therapy MD our physicians will sit down with you to discuss which chemotype might work best for your specific medical condition. Each patient is different and each chemotype has its benefits and side effects. It is important to us that we evaluate which chemotypes might work best in your specific clinical picture as each patient and circumstance is unique.
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Cannabinoids’ Role in Strains
As discussed above, much of how we classify strains are based on the ratios of CBD and THC.
- THC: psychoactive delivering a “high” and delivers more sedation
- CBD: a compound producing most of the therapeutic and medicinal properties
When you’re considering a strain to treat a health condition, but don’t want psychoactive effects, look for a strain high in CBD and low in THC. Whereas if you need deeper sedation and relaxation, higher THC ratios may be necessary while monitoring for side effects. THC is a psychoactive compound binding to cannabinoid receptors and producing elevated state of mind sensations known as a “high.” CBD does not produce a high, yet does interact with the body’s various endocannabinoid receptors, primarily CB1 and CB2 recpetors. For both THC and CBD, binding or altering these receptors can result in various symptom-relieving effects.
Not all marijuana is created equal. Some of the hundreds of strains available on the market have a higher THC content than others. Think of it like walking into your local pharmacy. There are different classes of medications to treat various medical illnesses, various side effects and some patients react better to a certain medication while having an allergy to other medications. Medical marijuana is similar in that there are different “classes” of the medication known as chemotypes, side effects can be present and differ depending on the strain and each patient will have a unique experience with what works best for them and what does not work well for them.
Unlike a typical pharmacy prescription medication, medical cannabis is not an FDA-approved medication. This means it has not undergone evaluation by the US Drug and Food Administration for the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis. This is because medical cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug and is federally illegal.
When it comes to potency, most strains have anywhere between 5-25 percent THC. The lower the number, the less psychoactive effect or “high” sensation can be expected. Most customers reach for the strain with the highest THC level that they can get. However, without the proper tolerance, they have the potential to cause negative side effects and an undesirable experience. For all patients, our motto remains the same, “Start low and go slow.” For beginners, this helps to understand how the medication will affect your body. For experienced users, this method helps to prevent building a tolerance.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Shouldn’t Be Ignored
Marijuana rich in CBD is an important chemotype in the medical cannabis world. It has therapeutic benefits while alleviating the anxiety often brought on from too much THC. First-time marijuana users can achieve a more pleasurable experiencing from strains high in CBD.
CBD vs THC
CBD and THC strains can be like Jekyll and Hyde. CBD dominant strains produce a more uplifting effect, while THC dominant strains are soothing and mellow. High CBD ratio strains are the best choice for the cannabis patient looking to treat symptoms while maintaining productivity and alertness. People interested in a deeper relaxation and sedation may benefit from 50:50 blends or at times, high THC ratio strains. Again, each patient and each circumstance is different. Our physicians will work with you to come up with the best treatment regimen for you.
Cannabis edibles are one of the most popular products sold in dispensaries. But they are also the leading reason why some inexperienced pot consumers end up have a negative reaction with paranoia, increased heart rate and dizziness. Patients can end up in the emergency department if they are not careful with dosing and titration of medical cannabis.
Although marijuana has yet to cause a fatal overdose, it can sometimes be difficult to convince a person of this once they start to feel the intense effects of high levels of THC. But most of these products are not intended to be consumed all at once. Instead, they should be consumed in small doses over extended periods of time. Edibles can take anywhere from 60-120 minute to kick in and a common mistake is to take additional edibles before this time period is met.
We recommend tinctures or sublingual sprays as these tend to be easier to dose. However, with any method of ingestion the motto remains the same, “Start low and go slow.” Microdosing, which is taking very small amount of cannabis allows patients to experience the health benefits of cannabis while limiting side effects and psychoactive effects. During your appointment, we will explain how to start microdosing and how to safely titrate to a therapeutic level.
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Legal Waiver: This article contains general recommendations only and is for informational purposes only. It does not serve as a guideline for any specific patient, is not a prescription and should not be used to determine your treatment plan unless under the guidance of a cannabis-trained physician. Cannabis has not been evaluated or approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for safety or efficacy in treatment of ANY medical condition. Please visit a physician who has training in cannabis to determine if this is a good treatment option for you and to discuss any potential side effects. If you experience any negative side effects while taking medical cannabis, you should stop use immediately and seek care by a physician as soon as possible.