TAC vs THC: How to Read Dispensary Labels
Posted on January 4th, 2023 to Education
When you visit a cannabis dispensary for the first time, it is easy to feel a little intimidated or confused when trying to understand the labels on different products. Even people who are new to commercially available cannabis or cannabis products can feel less than confident about understanding different things on a product label.
With different acronyms, terminologies, and other details, you may have a difficult time understanding what you’re looking at. One particular acronym, TAC, is a good example. What is TAC vs THC? What are TAC effects you should know, or does TAC matter? Take a look at the answers below.
What Is TAC?
TAC stands for Total Active Cannabinoids. You will normally see something on flower or on a cannabis product that reads something like “TAC: 23%.” This basically means the product contained this percentage of active cannabinoids when tested. TAC is giving a cumulative number of all active cannabinoids, not just THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This number may also be made up of other cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) and CBC (cannabichromene).
For example, a gram of flower that is labeled TAC: 30% would contain 30 percent “active” cannabinoids. Active cannabinoids are those that will be activated after decarboxylation or heating.
The effects of the total active cannabinoids will depend on the makeup of the plant or the type of cannabinoid included in the product. Cannabinoids yield different effects depending on concentrations and the presence of other cannabinoids due to what is referred to scientifically as the entourage effect. For instance, if a plant has equal amounts of THC and CBD, you likely won’t experience intense intoxicating effects because CBD acts as an antagonist to THC.
What Is THC?
THC is the primary recognized psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. Right alongside TAC on a product label, you will usually also see a THC percentage. For example, in the case of Green State of Mind White Walker flower, the label says: “TAC: 23.74% THC:19.94%.” This means that the flower has over 23 percent active cannabinoids, but only about 20 percent of those active cannabinoids are THC.
THC typically causes high or euphoric sensations, but the degree of these effects varies dramatically depending on the plant, product, and person. The effects of THC can vary depending on several factors, including the presence of other cannabinoids, the terpenes in the plant, and more.
TAC and THC Differences
A good understanding of what you see on a cannabis product label can help in picking the best products for you. THC and TAC are two of the most important attributes to understand while you shop. For a quick recap, take a look at the primary TAC and THC differences:
- TAC is an acronym for Total Active Cannabinoids; THC is an abbreviation for one specific cannabinoid
- TAC percentage explains what percentage of the product is active cannabinoids; THC percentage explains how much of those active cannabinoids are THC
- TAC effects can vary depending on what cannabinoids are present; THC gives you a more straightforward understanding of product potency
At VT Bud Barn, We’re Here to Help You Become an Educated Cannabis Consumer
VT is new to legal weed in all respects, which means you won’t be alone when it comes to feeling a little confused. At VT Bud Barn, we’re here to navigate this new path with you and offer all the best guidance. If you feel unsure about something on a product label, whether it is TAC, THC percentages, strain names, or otherwise, feel free to ask.
As forerunners in the up-and-coming market, we take pride in sharing our knowledge. When we say ask us anything, we sincerely mean it. Be sure to take a look at our blog for more informational insights to help you shop along the way.