Are marijuana varieties really different?

Different varieties of cannabis produce different effects and can therefore be used for different reasons. If marijuana is legal in your state and you want to try it, but you're not sure which strains best suit your needs, we've got you covered.

Are marijuana varieties really different?

Different varieties of cannabis produce different effects and can therefore be used for different reasons. If marijuana is legal in your state and you want to try it, but you're not sure which strains best suit your needs, we've got you covered. The short answer is yes, but scientifically, we don't know how, or why, or even if sativas and indicas exist in pure form. But a new study shows that different strains do different things, the concept can be a little misleading.

No matter what the herb is called, researchers have determined that all variations contain relatively the same amount of THC and CBD. The difference between cannabis varieties lies in their chemical composition. Some strains have a higher THC, others have a higher CBD, and others are fairly balanced. Each strain also has a slightly different profile from other cannabinoids (such as CBC or CBN) and terpenes.

People used to base their preconceptions about cannabis strains on whether they were a “sativa”, “indica” or “hybrid” strain. The reason why it can look and act so differently in the body from one strain to another is because the environment in which the plant is grown can change its flavor and effect profile, while maintaining its genetic base. According to Myles, it is better to think that the herb exists on a spectrum of sativa and indica, and the most accurate way to describe the herb is its THC and CBD content rather than its genetic heritage. At the end of the day, smoking marijuana is an intimate and personal experience, and the impact it has on you has much more to do with the current state of your mind and body than with any wet strain your partner recommends.

In early November, I reported on research that revealed that each variety of marijuana contains practically the same levels of THC and CBD. This may be because, when it comes to the genetic differences between a strain of herb that is supposedly 30 percent indica and 70 percent sativa, or vice versa, science has already strongly suggested that it's a big lie. Whether a dispensary has a menu hanging on the wall, a digital list that customers can view on an iPad, or a physical paper brochure that they can browse through, these informational materials, at a minimum, classify each variety of marijuana as indica, sativa, or hybrid, and may also include information on effects and concentrations of THC from the Sour Diesel or Blue Dream strain, for example. Researchers now know that, at the molecular level, there is no difference between an indica strain and a sativa strain of marijuana, but that was not always the case.

Hybrid strains are also sold and are considered a middle ground between indica and sativa marijuana strains. In addition, the research team found that breeding potent weed strains affects the genetic diversity of a crop; however, it does NOT affect the THC or CBD content. After trying the bud (this actually happened), the hybrid Banana Clip felt suspiciously similar to a strain I had previously tried, which was supposedly an almost pure strain of another variety. In Binske, for example, Pasternack and his team will cross six or seven different varieties of marijuana to create unique strains that only Binske knows and sells.