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Cannabis Edibles: Clear Up Customer Confusion with Thoughtfully-Designed Labels

The category of cannabis that has undergone the most radical transformation in the past decade is without a doubt concentrates. Up until 2012 the only concentrate that anyone had ever even heard of was old school bubble hash and traditional Moroccan sifted hash. There might be someone who would show up with some black, open blasted honey oil from time to time, but we never thought that looked like a good idea.

With the radical innovations in light hydrocarbon extraction and CO2 extraction, new categories were given a clearer path to the market, including the high-end edible category. According to a research report from ArcView, the cannabis edibles market is expected to hit $4.1 billion by 2022. Today’s upscale edible options range from cannabis chefs cooking infused meals in your house, to luxury chocolate truffles and gummies, to cannabis-infused beverages like coffee, sodas and tonics. While artisan brands have traditionally dominated the market, big food and beverage companies like Mondelez are hinting at making moves in the cannabis space as edibles become more mainstream. 

Why are cannabis edibles so popular? For one, they’re discreet and convenient. They’re also smoke-free, which appeals to a wider audience of potential cannabis consumers, especially those who rely on the medical benefits of cannabis. Anecdotally, older consumers who are coming to cannabis for the first time find the edible experience preferable to rolling or smoking out of pipes. The effects from oral consumption of cannabis are very different from inhalation. And with the recent advances in the cannabis culinary arts and the emergence of distillate, people have more options for consuming cannabis than ever before. 

The new future of edibles

In the past, edibles were difficult to dose and notoriously unpredictable. (We’ve all heard, and MAYBE experienced some of the horror stories.) Thankfully, the industry is moving past the days of highly-unpredictable edible dosing. With the advent of new, lab-based extraction techniques like short-path distillation, it’s now possible to produce more controllable, uniform cannabis edibles. 

Unlike lipid-based extractions, which include a full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, short-path distillation separates and refines compounds to create a pure, potent concentrate. Cannabis oil distillate allows processors to infuse edibles with a much more precise dose of strictly THC, resulting in a consistent effect that’s nearly impossible to expect from lipid-based edibles. And because it has little to no flavor, aroma or color, cannabis oil distillate can be used in a wide array of science-based, repeatable recipes.

Labeling considerations for cannabis edibles

Although cannabis edibles have come a long way, many consumers are still uninformed (or misinformed) about how to safely consume them. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique, and ingesting cannabis is inherently different from smoking dried flower. Adding to that, studies find that many people struggle to read cannabis edibles labels. Novice consumers often have trouble understanding what the THC potency numbers on cannabis labels really mean, or how to identify the correct serving size of a product.  

This is why it’s so important for cannabis edible processors to pay special attention to their product labeling. Like all commercial cannabis products, cannabis edibles must be properly labeled with a detailed description of the ingredients, cannabinoid content and potency levels, lab-testing date, warnings, recommended dosage, instructions for use and more. Fitting all this information on a single label is often a design challenge, especially for smaller cannabis edible packages. Using vivid full-color labels, peel-back labels or even hang tags can keep your packaging clean and on-brand, while ensuring the information presented is as clear and easy-to-understand as possible. Adding QR codes that link to video tutorials and reviews can also enhance consumer-brand trust. 

Ultimately, thoughtfully-designed, high-quality cannabis labels serve a dual purpose: They give cannabis products credibility and compliance and help end-users make informed and confident purchasing decisions in the dispensary. 

Need great-looking cannabis product labels?

At Delta9 Systems, we provide printing and labeling solutions that are tailor-made for the cannabis industry. We partner with cannabis professionals to create high-resolution full-color labels with attractive and consumer-friendly layouts. The printed labels feature outstanding color and crisp lines and edges for text and barcodes. They’re also resistant to abrasion, fading and exposure to moisture—perfect for the cannabis environment. With our on-demand color label printing solutions, you can easily create and print the labels you need, when you need them, without having to carry an inventory of pre-printed labels.

When you’re ready to take your cannabis product labels to a Higher Level, talk to the printing and labeling experts at Delta9 Systems! We have the label printing tools and resources you need to be successful in this rapidly changing marketplace. 

Contact us today  to learn more about our printing and labeling solutions for cannabis professionals. 

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Chris Guthrie
Chris is the General Manager of Delta9 Systems, a division of General Data Co. He is an expert in the cannabis industry, having participated in the birth of the cannabis industry in Washington, and has operated one of the first and oldest medical dispensaries in Seattle. For a decade, Chris has participated in the design and managed the construction of dozens of indoor gardens, and has been involved in cultivation, processing, retail operations, as well as industry activism.
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