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Meds Cannabis Species

Baron23

Well-Known Member
http://420intel.com/articles/2017/0...il&utm_term=0_3210cbef52-eaf89604ad-278137401
No clear evidence of ancestry differences between Sativa- and Indica-labelled cannabis


Cologne, Germany
- Cannabis labelled ‘Sativa’ and ‘Indica’ may not come from distinct ancestries, according to a study performed by the Canadian Dalhousie University in cooperation with Bedrocan on the genetic differences between the two types and their hybrids.

In this study 149 Dutch cannabis samples were analysed, correlating the genotype and chemotype to their reported ancestries.

Indica- and Sativa-labelled samples were not as distinct as sub species would be assumed to be, but the genetic differences between them do correlate to their terpene profile (resin fragrance), which could explain the variation between them.

Results of this new study will be presented today on the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM) congress in Cologne, Germany.

Rather goes to the view that we are talking chemotypes rather than genotypes wrt to indica vs sativa.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Sort of goes along with this article that I saw in my NORML feed this morning....

OREGON CANNABIS GUIDE 2017SEP 26, 2017
Please Shut Up About Indica Versus Sativa
You’re Starting to Sound Like You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About
by Lester Black
“Are you looking for an indica, a sativa, or a hybrid?”

Anyone who has walked into a legal weed store has heard this question. The majority of pot stores divide their products into these groups, and people who buy weed are used to the distinction—it’s older than the pot shops themselves. Supposedly, indica sedates and sativa uplifts. But here’s the thing: That’s all bullshit.

The differences between indica and sativa plants are physical. Indicas are short and squat and supposedly come from the mountains of Pakistan. Sativas are tall and thin and supposedly come from the tropics. But according to Ethan Russo, a board-certified neurologist and one of the country’s leading cannabis researchers, these outward physical attributes have no bearing on predicting what kind of high you’ll experience.


“You cannot tell the effects a plant will have based on its shape—the shape of its leaflets, its size, or how tall it is,” Russo says. “What we really should be homing in on is the chemical composition of the plant.”

Looking at a tall pot plant and deciding that smoking its flower will uplift you is like deciding how sweet an apple variety is by examining its tree trunk in June. Wouldn’t it make more sense to decide the apple’s qualities by tasting its fruit in September?

That’s what Russo is advocating for—looking at what is actually in the pot flower to try to predict how it will affect you. There is scientific evidence that certain strains produce wildly different effects, and each strain’s specific effects are complicated by each individual person’s mood, body chemistry, and environment. That’s partly why the indica versus sativa distinction is pervasive—it offers an easy delineation when the reality is complicated.


But we do know this: There are hundreds of active chemicals in weed, called cannabinoids and terpenes, that work together to get you high. Cannabinoids interact with your brain’s endocannabinoid system; THC and CBD are the most commonly known cannabinoids, but close to a hundred others have been identified. Terpenes are aroma compounds found in all plants, and there’s growing evidence that pot’s terpenes play a big role in psychoactivity.

Scientists are just starting to understand how these terpenes affect people and have begun attributing effects to individual terpenes. For example, alpha-pinene, a terpene that smells like pine needles, has been found to induce alertness and memory retention. Limonene, which smells like citrus, can elevate your mood and may be anticarcinogenic.

Both terpenes and cannabinoids can be precisely quantified with simple laboratory tests. Providing these lab reports to consumers would be a big step toward more informed shopping. But it’s more complicated than seeing a terpene on a lab report and being able to predict that strain’s effect. Alpha-pinene might produce alertness by itself, but there’s evidence that each individual chemical’s effect is mitigated and changed by other chemicals in the strain. Jeffrey Raber, a chemist with a PhD from University of Southern California and the scientific director of Bellevue, Washington’s WERC Shop cannabis lab, explained this at a panel on terpenes at Seattle’s Hempfest in August.


“You can’t extrapolate too far from what basic science has done with only one terpene. It’s really whole cannabis compositions that we need to start to understand better,” Raber said. “Terpinolene is known to be a sedative, but it’s typically found with an energetic effect. By itself it might have one response that the rat or rabbit has in a lab, but together with many other terpenes and cannabinoids it’s a very different physiological response.”

Another speaker on the panel, Alison Draisin, CEO of Seattle’s Ettalew’s Edibles, predicted that the indica versus sativa distinction is on its way out.

“As we move forward, there will be no such thing as sativa or indica,” Draisin said. “It’s going to be about education and teaching people to go for the effect rather than go for the term sativa or indica.”

I think it will be stubbornly difficult to move past the indica-sativa paradigm. Arbitrary distinctions are tough to shed, especially when the alternative is complicated and not well understood. But a messy alternative based on real science is superior to an arbitrary distinction made up by ill-informed people who sold pot during its prohibition.
 

herbivore21

Well-Known Member
I and many, many others before me have been saying this for a very long time. I can't wait for the time when we stop talking about 'strains' and indica/sativa. Instead of strains, it would be much better to use the accurate term - 'varieties' and also the phenotype we are dealing with. Anybody with any cultivation experience will appreciate that the same variety can come out with some incredibly different chemotypes and morphologies!

For example:

http://en.seedfinder.eu/strain-info/Blue_Dream/Humboldt_Seed_Organisation/

If we were to look at the phenotypes listed here for Blue Dream grown from these particular seeds, we can see that the same variety (also incorrectly known as 'strains') can have different phenotypes spanning some of the various aspects of narrow and broad leafed morphology and/or associated chemotypes.

1.: short, compact, fastly blossoming, indica-dominant Phenotype #2
2.: short, compact, fastly blossoming, sativa-dominant Phenotype #3
3.: long, stretched, fastly blossoming, sativa-dominant Phenotype
4.: long, stretched, slowly blossoming, sativa-dominant Phenotype #1

One problem here is that since the community's problematic use of the terms 'indica' and 'sativa' conflates morphology and chemotype, it can be difficult to tell whether information from sites like seedfinder refer to one, or the other, or both of these properties.

However, if you look at the phenotypes listed for the above blue dream plants, we can see that the descriptions of known phenotypes do seem to clearly outline both long, stretched plants as well as short, compact plants. What the words 'indica/sativa dominant phenotype' at the end of these phenotype descriptions mean is difficult to determine - does this refer to perceived psychoactivity of the phenotype in question, or actual chemical profile, or just the morphology of the plant (ie: serrated, broad leaves with denser flowers or narrow, less serrated leaves with less dense nugs)?

I look forward to the development of a cohesive taxonomy, as I'm sure this will provide great benefits for adult and especially medical users!
 
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momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
I thought this might be a good place to stick this article...

Why are Cannabis Genetics Important?

Cannabis is an ancient plant with roots all over the world. The earliest species are thought to have grown in the mountainous Hindu Kush region of Pakistan, while others later proliferated in tropical climates. These earliest varieties, called landrace strains, are considered the diamonds of cannabis genetics. Thousands of years of adaptation allowed these strains to express their very best traits for a specific geographical location.

Genetics hold the key to your bud’s effects, flavors, vigor, and growth attributes. Not unlike concentrate production, where the starting material is the most important factor in determining the end quality of each extraction, a cannabis plant’s genetics are the starting material and hold extreme value for each strain to reach its potential. Every strain carries a unique genotype that serves as a blueprint for its growth, as well as a specific phenotype that is influenced by its environmental factors and affect a range of strain attributes like color, smell, structure, and potency.
Just like human and animal offspring, cannabis strains display a mix of traits from their parent strains. This is especially true with hybrid varieties. Hybrid cannabis strains typically show dominant attributes from their lineage. Oftentimes breeders work for generations to isolate or emphasize specific traits from a strain’s parent genetics. For example, Blue Dream provides an uplifting cerebral energy common of its Haze parent, as well as a sweet, berry flavor profile which it inherits from the influence of its Blueberry bloodline.

Just like human and animal offspring, cannabis strains display a mix of traits from their parent strains. This is especially true with hybrid varieties. Hybrid cannabis strains typically show dominant attributes from their lineage. Oftentimes breeders work for generations to isolate or emphasize specific traits from a strain’s parent genetics. For example, Blue Dream provides an uplifting cerebral energy common of its Haze parent, as well as a sweet, berry flavor profile which it inherits from the influence of its Blueberry bloodline.

Pure Marijuana strains
landrace-cannabis-strains.jpg

Also known as landraces or purebreds, pure cannabis strains have been the basis of cannabis breeding over the past decades. These species are endemic from an area, where they have never been crossed (hybridised) with other varieties. There is a large number of landraces from all around the planet, belonging to any of the three families of cannabis, Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis. Nepal is a good example; in this country different pure strains of marijuana (mostly sativa) are grown and you can easily see the differences between genotypes basing on the sea level.

Each variety expresses its genetic code (genotype) with a certain growth and flowering pattern (phenotype), so that pure varieties – with a purest genotype – show great homogeneity, with just few differences between phenotypes. We can expect very little variation between landrace specimens of the same strain, getting plants with very similar growth, organoleptic and psychoactive traits. Good examples of these varieties can be Hindu Kush (Sensi Seeds), Colombia Punto Rojo (Cannabiogen) or China Yunnan (Ace Seeds).

IBL or stabilized cannabis hybrids
Why-are-Cannabis-Genetics-Important-1.jpg

The IBL acronym (inbred line), means that the cross was made using plants with almost identical genotype (inbreeding). On the opposite, outbreeding, to introduce new genes in the variety. Although it happens naturally, self-pollination is a common technique used by breeders to fix desirable traits and thus stabilize the genetic line, either landraces or hybrids. In Cannabis genetics IBL seeds should present a highly uniform growth. Classic IBL examples are Skunk and Northern Lights (Sensi Seeds) or White Widow (Greenhouse). There is a huge effort behind IBL’s like these, since a large number of pure specimens had to be used to select the correct parents. In addition, the breeder must fight against inbreeding depression, the result of crossing parents with very similar genetic information. The reward for this job made properly is a highly stable strain.

If we make a cross between two different landrace or IBL lines (parental A and B) with different genotypes, the resulting offspring will be the F1 hybrid, the first filial generation from the cross of the phenotype #1 (Parent A) with the phenotype #2 (Parent B). Commonly in this kind of crosses we will observe a very uniform offspring, also depending on how stable the parents are. The F1 hybrid between two pure strains or IBL’s will show the socalled hybrid vigor – also known as heterosis or outbeedding enhancement – introducing new genes that will produce “better” specimens.

Varieties like Orient Expres, Red Afro or Eddy would be good F1 hybrid examples. Thus, we call F1 to the first filial generation of any cross, while “F1 hybrid” is used when the parents are different landrace or IBL strains.

Why-are-Cannabis-Genetics-Important-3.jpg


When we cross two F1 individuals (whether landraces, hybrid or polyhybrid varieties), we obtain the second filial generation or F2, and so on with next generations. The second filial generation often gives a more heterogeneous offspring than the F1; we can expect a 25% similar to parent A, 25% to parent B and 50% as an expression of the mixed traits from both parents. As a consequence the stabilization work must continue generation after generation ( F3, F4, F5…) until we find the generation that gives a uniform offspring with the traits that we are seeking.

Many of the seeds that we can find in shops are polyhybrids, crosses between different hybrids. The offspring of such crosses is in many cases quite uneven, producing plants with very different traits. Keep in mind that in these cases, the genetic mix is very varied, so we can not expect polyhybrid offspring to be as homogenous as an F1 hybrid. It is easy to understand how complex it can be to stabilize a cross, since we are mixing different genes from different varieties, which makes the selection and stabilisation process of the different traits a very hard work. The vast majority of hybrids on the market are in fact polyhybrids, like the White Russian (Serious Seeds) or Fruity Jack / Jack el Frutero (Philosopher Seeds).

BX or Backcross
Why-are-Cannabis-Genetics-Important-4.jpg

Backcrossing is a common technique used by breeders to fix certain traits. This is done by crossing one of the progeny (F1, F2…) with one of the original parents (recurrent parent) which has the desired trait. To have an even more stable expression of the desirable trait, you can cross the BX1 again with the recurrent parent to have a BX2 (squaring) and so on with BX3 (cubing), BX4, BX5…

This technique is also used to replicate clones in seed form. It is done by choosing a male parent to cross with the clone only, backcrossing it as many times as needed to get an offspring as similar as possible to the original clone. The Apollo 13Bx (TGA Subcool) is an excellent example of this technique.

S1, feminized cannabis seeds
feminized-cannabis-seeds.jpg

The acronym S1 refers to the first filial generation as a result of crossing the plant with itself. This is achieved by various techniques aimed to reverse the sex of a desired female, get the pollen use it to pollinate itself. If it’s done properly, we get feminized offspring with the same genotype of the parent used.

As always in genetics, the more stable the parent is, the more stable the offspring will be. This technique can also be used as a regular backcross, selecting and fixing traits but starting with just one parent. Thus, we can find S2 or S3 seeds, which have been backcrossed again with the original parent. Examples of S1 are Tropimango, S.A.D. or Trainweck.
 

herbivore21

Well-Known Member
Every strain carries a unique genotype that serves as a blueprint for its growth, as well as a specific phenotype that is influenced by its environmental factors and affect a range of strain attributes like color, smell, structure, and potency.
I should highlight that this claim is problematic, due to grammatical ambiguity. Many varieties (not strains) have multiple phenotypes, very few varieties have a single phenotype, as is the case for most plants and animals. Nature does not typically produce homogeneity within species of animals or varieties of plants. The term 'variety' which is the correct term rather than 'strain', actually implies the heterogeneity of most varieties.

The rest of what I said above after highlighting the ambiguity of the quoted claim is reflected in the remainder of the article Mom shared above, but it is important to clarify that most varieties have multiple, differing phenotypes.
 
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Shredder

Dogs like me
I just started some columbian gold cuts. But I seriously doubt it's the same columbian gold I smoked in the 70's. I loved the nice golden color and the smooth smoke, and of course the potency. I'm not sure I can remember the exact taste, but I do remember the "cat piss" aroma.

The columbian gold I'm starting tastes minty fresh, and green in a good way, not chorlaphyll. Unique and tasty but nothing like i remember. It's a narrow leafed 9-10 week variety, and don't have a clue as to it's genetics, but I doubt it's the same variety of what I had back in the day.

As we learn more I'd like to see a more scientific way to name and classify varieties. And I,m alarmed at the amount of thoughtless pollen chuckers out there just throwing this and that together in a genetic lottery.

When I read growers starting a dozen, two dozen, or more plants of a variety to find a keeper, I wonder about the breeder. One reason I mostly run clones/cuts of trusted varieties.
 

herbivore21

Well-Known Member
When I read growers starting a dozen, two dozen, or more plants of a variety to find a keeper, I wonder about the breeder. One reason I mostly run clones/cuts of trusted varieties.
This can be because the breeder is seeking a particular phenotype from that variety. As the example I provide above illustrates, a single variety can have phenotypes with different chemotypes and morphologies, some which may be preferable to different growers and breeders. For example, say you want to get the purple phenotype from a given variety, or you want a phenotype with a particular taste, or size/shape/density of colas/nugs to provide additional mold resistance in the same variety.

You may seek one phenotype or another from the same plant, and so starting many different plants from seeds, then taking a cutting from each and keeping the cutting of the plant that has the required characteristics makes sense in that scenario. Cloning can preserve those characteristics for generations, until epigenetic/environmental factors etc may cause further changes and end up in a plant with different traits over time (this time period may vary greatly depending on a great deal of variables. In other words, whether or not the above quoted approach makes sense depends on what you are looking for from what variety and how homogenous that variety is, alongside a bunch of other variables. If you can reliably get the traits you need from a stable pheno/variety that you can reliably get clones of, then more power to you my friend! I hope that all of us can similarly access the flower that meets our needs as our favorite plant becomes more available to all!
 

Shredder

Dogs like me
This can be because the breeder is seeking a particular phenotype from that variety. As the example I provide above illustrates, a single variety can have phenotypes with different chemotypes and morphologies, some which may be preferable to different growers and breeders. For example, say you want to get the purple phenotype from a given variety, or you want a phenotype with a particular taste, or size/shape/density of colas/nugs to provide additional mold resistance in the same variety.

You may seek one phenotype or another from the same plant, and so starting many different plants from seeds, then taking a cutting from each and keeping the cutting of the plant that has the required characteristics makes sense in that scenario. Cloning can preserve those characteristics for generations, until epigenetic/environmental factors etc may cause further changes and end up in a plant with different traits over time (this time period may vary greatly depending on a great deal of variables. In other words, whether or not the above quoted approach makes sense depends on what you are looking for from what variety and how homogenous that variety is, alongside a bunch of other variables. If you can reliably get the traits you need from a stable pheno/variety that you can reliably get clones of, then more power to you my friend! I hope that all of us can similarly access the flower that meets our needs as our favorite plant becomes more available to all!

I guess my point is, if you fork over $100 for a pack of seeds, it's not unreasonable to expect some uniformity. If a breeder is introducing a new variety, the phenos should be known and predictable. Maybe not like a clone would be, but still. The breeder should have checked phenos and eliminated undesirable characteristics. Its boring and takes time, space and whatnot, but imho its nessasary. Reputable breeders do this.
 

herbivore21

Well-Known Member
I guess my point is, if you fork over $100 for a pack of seeds, it's not unreasonable to expect some uniformity. If a breeder is introducing a new variety, the phenos should be known and predictable. Maybe not like a clone would be, but still. The breeder should have checked phenos and eliminated undesirable characteristics. Its boring and takes time, space and whatnot, but imho its nessasary. Reputable breeders do this.
I agree man, $100 big ones for a pack of seeds should come with some guarantees wherever possible (and if they aren't able to be guaranteed, then maybe it isn't worth $100, right?). However, there are some wonderful multi-pheno varieties out there that I wouldn't want to see going anywhere, and which are not available in a homogenized single-pheno seed at present. I'd rather have those than not have those, while we wait for a breeder to stabilize.

Some of these multi-pheno varieties (to be fair, probably more than some!) can have multiple phenos which whilst different, each have their own desirable characteristics in each phenotype. Eventually, with some good fortune, we may have stabilized seeds that will give a known pheno and instead of buying one seed that will end up in one of several phenos, you can buy seeds that are known to develop into each of those given phenos and are labelled as such. In the meantime, it'd be a shame if we didn't have access to those varieties that give multiple, but all potentially useful phenotypes - that could be quite limiting for the needs of patients and adult users.

I wonder if what needs to happen is that in either case, we need more information from breeders - ie: what are the known phenos from a given sample of seed? What, if any differences in environmental conditions may have led to the emergence of those phenos? this is the kind of information that'll give folks the information they need to get the results that they want.

I think that the 'sativa'/'indica' language needs to be abandoned, it is not used consistently and conflates a number of concepts that need to be discussed separately; on a per-phenotype basis, not broadly on the basis of the whole variety.

We need to talk instead about the variety and the known phenotypes therein (remembering that undiscovered phenotypes may emerge in time with different conditions). Then on a per-phenotype basis, we need information regarding the morphology (narrow leaf, broad leaf, short/tall plant, denseness of individual flowers), chemotype (cannabinoids, terps etc found in the flowers of a given pheno), average yields of flower on the various phenotypes known, average yields of resin from a given sample of flower for each pheno etc. We have a lot of these properties described to us by breeders at present, but a problem is that this information is not given on a per phenotype basis, and so is ambiguous.
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
I'm not really happy with this article. While it is absolutely true that a "strain" grown in different places by different people and sold in different localities will differ, and while it is true that there seems to be one species only of MJ, it is still to me an undeniable fact that MJ can be "generally" grouped into indica, sativa, hybrid and that there sure as fuck is a difference.

Maybe one of these researchers would like to come over and I'll feed them some Jack Herer right before bedtime...see if they see a difference between that and vaping some Bubba Kush at bedtime. Right?

There is no difference between the effects of indica and sativa marijuana strains, scientists say

When you enter a marijuana dispensary you're met with sterile white walls and glass-encased counters that hold marijuana flower, vape pens, chocolates, gummies, and other psychoactive goodies.
Whether a dispensary has a menu hung on its wall, a digital list patrons can scroll through on an iPad, or a physical paper booklet they can flip through, these informational materials, at the very least, classify each marijuana strain as an "indica," "sativa," or "hybrid," and may also include information on the effects and THC concentrations of the Sour Diesel strain or the Blue Dream strain, for example.
This setup, adopted by breeders, dispensary owners, and consumers, suggests there's a dichotomy of marijuana types: indica, which is said to physically relax the body and give a sedative effect, and sativa, which is said to be energizing and provide more of a head-high. Hybrid strains are also sold and considered a midway point between indica and sativa marijuana strains.
In reality, no scientific evidence supports this dichotomy because on a molecular level, indica and sativa strains don't have pattern differences that set the two "types" apart from each other. As a result, consumers may inadvertently buy marijuana strains that don't actually align with the perceived effects they're marketed to provide.
Still, consumers and retailers still use the classification system because it's the only one available, which makes pinpointing the best strains for each person's end goal a trial-and-error process.
"In the absence of any other useful system to classify marijuana, strain and indica-sativa dichotomy is all breeders and distributors have, kind of like what Winston Churchill said about democracy," Jeff Chen, the Director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, told Insider. "It's the worst system invented, but the best we have."
18th-century researchers originally classified cannabis into two species based on the plant's appearance
"So you see a massive mislabeling of strains, which is often unintentional," Pasternack said.
Researchers now know that on a molecular level, there's no difference between an indica strain and a sativa strain of marijuana, but that wasn't always the case.
In the 18th century, shortly before North American farmers began growing their own cannabis, French biologist Jean Baptiste Lamark proposed a cannabis classification system based on the appearance of the various cannabis plant samples he had been sent from India, according to the journal Cannabinoids.
Through his observations, Lamark decided cannabis indica plants were shorter and firmer stems with thick stubby leaves that grew in alternating patterns, while sativa-type plants were taller with feathery thin leaves. Lamark said each of the two plants, because of their physical traits, had different uses and effects.
Lamark's classification wasn't a perfect approach though, and in the years following, botanists challenged his dichotomy theory, saying there was actually only one cannabis breed, cannabis sativa L, which could adapt and take on various physical traits and provide different brain and body effects, explaining why two cannabis plants can look so different.
But by then, medical professionals interested in the healing properties of cannabis had adopted the sativa and indica dichotomy as a way to make the substance more palatable and less scary-sounding to the mainstream who had become fearful of the mysterious drug.
Still, as new technologies emerged that allowed researchers to examine cannabis at its molecular level, they found even more evidence that the system Lamark created, one that breeders, sellers, and consumers adopted for various reasons over the decades, was inaccurate.
The advent of molecular testing proved the original classification system was inaccurate



A Sour Diesel strain grown in California will smell, look, taste, and cause body reactions that aren't identical to the physical and chemical properties of Sour Diesel grown in Colorado.
When researchers were finally able to look at cannabis plants on more granular levels, they found the plant's looks weren't everything and using its physical traits to determine its effect was too simplistic of an approach.
According to Chen, scientists realized through molecular testing that there is just one species of cannabis, cannabis sativa L.
The reason it can look and act so differently in the body from strain to strain is because the environment in which the plant is grown can change its flavor and effect profile while maintaining its genetic base. Factors like the temperature, humidity, soil nutrients, sunlight, and altitude can all affect how a person who smokes, vapes, or eats a marijuana product from that strain will physically react, Chen said.
So a Sour Diesel strain grown in California will smell, look, taste, and cause body reactions that aren't identical to the physical and chemical properties of Sour Diesel grown in Colorado.
For that reason, some breeders and sellers have started using terpenes to classify marijuana strains. Terpenes are non-psychoactive organic compounds found in marijuana that play a role in the smell and flavor of each strain, but there are over 100 different ones, meaning this system could be just as complicated as a trial-and-error one.
Jake Pasternack, the CEO of marijuana brand Binske, compares this approach to beer drinking: "I know I like pilsners and am simple when it comes to beer, but I didn't know that until I tried other types of beer."
The marijuana industry lacks a governing body to regulate how strains are created and classified
Marijuana plants growing under special grow lights, at GB Sciences Louisiana, in Baton Rouge, La. Views about medical marijuana appear to be changing across the South, where efforts to legalize it have long been stymied by Bible Belt politics. Medical cannabis is legal now in 33 states, but most Southern states remain among the holdouts. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Unlike the old-world wine industry where grape growers must follow a governing body's strict set of guidelines, there isn't a regulatory agency in the marijuana industry that requires cultivars to name their strains a certain way, Pasternack told Insider.
"So you see a massive mislabelling of strains, which is often unintentional," Pasternack said, because many cultivars get sent their marijuana seeds from a massive seed bank and don't always know the exact chemical compositions of those seeds, which eventually grow into the plants they harvest and sell to dispensaries.
Today, cannabis growers or cultivars also crossbreed certain strains to make their own proprietary blends, further complicating the process for consumers who are on the hunt for a specific marijuana-induced effect.
At Binske, for example, Pasternack and his team will crossbreed six or seven different strains of marijuana to create one-of-a-kind strains that only Binske knows the recipe for and sells.
Pasternack tells a dispensary a couple of the strains his team used to give those retailers a general idea of what they're selling with consumers come into the store asking questions.
The marijuana dichotomy has been debunked, but is still widely used
Scientists realized, through molecular testing, that there is just one species of cannabis, cannabis sativa L.
Despite the shortcomings of the indica and sativa classification system, the industry and consumers continue to use it when selling and shopping for marijuana.
"It's a tragic comedy in this space," Pasternack said. "The retail establishment wants to keep it as simple as possible for consumers because they're often coming fresh into the space without knowledge" of marijuana.
An unintended result of keeping things simple, however, could be leaving consumers who are eager to experience the pain-relieving or anxiety-decreasing effects of marijuana feeling confused or defeated because they didn't get what they thought they were getting when they asked for an indica or sativa or hybrid.
If a more accurate system existed, that same group of people could more easily come across a life-changing solution, like realizing a particular strain significantly manages their depression symptoms, and decide they no longer need antidepressants, Chen said.
For the time being, Chen and Pasternack both believe a trial-and-error approach, rather than saying you only like indicas or sativas, is the best way for a person to pinpoint the marijuana strains that work well for their needs.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
I agree: I’m ‘not happy’ with it either, maybe for similar reasons.

I have been given a big stack of reading on the subject...but I find the wholesale replacement of Sativa and Indica with WLD/WLND/NLD/NLND to be nonsensical. It clears up nothing, it is not more useful, it is less useful.

I haven’t plowed through all that reading, so I don’t have an opinion on the science that may be involved, but I swear it sounds to me like a Cheech’n’Chong routine: “Oh, hey, about the reefer? Turns out y’all specified SATIVA, turns out THAT doesn’t get ya high, *THIS* is not illegal!” (Holds up fat dab, huffs it up, coughs for 10, gets arrested)

It doesn’t sound like science, it sounds like a maneuver

UPDATED TO ADD: that yes, there is only the one species, cannabis; ‘sativa‘ and ‘indica’ are in and of themselves varieties, durable phenotypes, genetic variations that are emergent, inherent, despite the many years of underground growing, that underground part means there’s a lot of things we have no idea we don’t know...because we’re only just now realizing how far we are from really understanding cannabis

...AND that breeding practices have been routinely throwing away genetics from male plants, and has utilized a more and more limited genetic set in crossings...the lack of perceived difference between the two Is often cited as homogenized, uninteresting, generic. Which is pretty much what I think about the concentrate in prefilled carts
 
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momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Types Of Marijuana – Sativa, Indica And Ruderalis


One of the many beautiful things about the Cannabis plant is that it comes in many different variations. Not one marijuana type is exactly the same, and they also come in both the male and female variety. Some are tall and skinny, others are short and stout, and still, others are much smaller.

The Cannabis plant is also known for its dioecious nature, meaning that it forms into distinct colonies of male and female plants. This is one of the reasons growers develop issues with male plants invading a grow room. In addition to male and female plants, growers and cultivators are likely to run into (and create!) hermaphroditic and androgynous plants.

Whichever type of marijuana you ultimately choose to grow, it is a good idea to gain some basic knowledge of the variations and the differences between the different species, as well as male and female plants. You’ll also want to understand the reasons why you’d want to separate them.

When you know these things, you can make the best decision for your own growing habits. In this article, we will cover the three species of cannabis, the role of gender in growing as well as hybrid breeds and hermaphrodites.

Historical origins of marijuana types​

There is actually no official scientific evidence that explains the differences between Indica and Sativa strains of marijuana or even confirms that these differences exist. Nonetheless, they are widely accepted facts among the marijuana growing and using crowd.
There are some historical explanations for the beginnings of the Indica strain, also known as Cannabis Indica. It was first classified by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French biologist, in the late 1700s. He also identified the fact that the plants were intoxicating. It was different from the regular hemp crops grown in Europe at the time, as they did not intoxicate the consumer.

Because of the differences between the European hemp crops (then actually known as Cannabis Sativa), Lamarck named his Indian discovery Cannabis Indica to establish its uniqueness from the European hemp. It was considered a therapeutic remedy of sorts in Europe during the 1800s and commonly used in Western medicine.

Marijuana type #1: Cannabis Sativa​

Sativa is the marijuana type that people seem to like smoking the most. This plant grows quite large, reaching up to 15 feet in some cases. While it is not a really thick plant, many growers like it due to how tall it can grow.

Their leaves are long, dainty, narrow, and considering their height potential, these are perfect for outdoor growing. The seeds are soft to the touch, with no spots or markings on them. Do not expect this plant to flower quickly because Sativa takes its precious time, and even shifting the light cycles could have little effect on this.

Sativa is usually found below a latitude of 30° N, in places like India, Thailand, Nigeria, Mexico, and Colombia.

Sativa is often dried, cooked and consumed. While many people either vaporize or smoke this strain, it is the norm for users to use this to get high.

“You are not going to get stoned from using Cannabis Sativa, but it does have an invigorating, pick me up kind of effect that leads to feeling happier, unlike its more sedating counterpart, Indica.”
— Robert Bergman
It also can enhance your creativity, depending on the person. This is the strain you use when you want to be up and active during the day since it raises your energy and opens you up to fresh, new ideas. If you are an artist of some sort, you may love this one. Sativa is known for a high ratio of THC to CBN the two primary active ingredients in cannabis.

Sativa dominant strains are higher in the THC cannabinoid. This makes it less likely to be used for medicinal purposes, but it is still common in Ayurvedic medicine. They also work well to combat the symptoms of:


Growing Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis Sativa is a type of marijuana that typically flowers for longer, has lower yields than Cannabis Indica, and has characteristically long thin leaves. They’re taller plants in general since they come from a region near the equator, which has longer summers (which is also why their flowering period naturally lasts longer).

A good thing about growing Cannabis Sativa is that the vegetative phase is shorter. There are even some Sativas out there bred to have shorter flowering phases. If you’re from a hotter climate or have trouble keeping your grow room temperatures down, then a Sativa might be for you — they can take high temperatures better than Indicas.

Marijuana type #2: Cannabis Indica​


Cannabis Indica is a more solid strain in comparison to Sativa, but it does not have the height Sativa achieves. Indica strains generally grow between 3 to 6 feet tall (1 to 2 meters. It is a bushy plant with round healthy leaves, unlike Sativa. However, they both have marbled colored, soft seeds. Being that Indica is a short plant, this one is perfect for indoor growing.

While Sativa takes some time to flower, Indica flowers much faster and can be influenced a lot easier by adjusting the light cycle to promote this phase. It is most commonly found above 30° N, in countries like Nepal, Lebanon, Morocco, and Afghanistan.

The buds and flowers on Indica dominant strains will usually grow very close to each other and are stickier to the touch than Sativa plants. When you want to make hashish, Indica is the plant you would choose due to the amount of resin it contains.

“Cannabis Indica is a stoner’s favorite since it is more like a sedative and puts your entire body into a deep state of relaxation. It has so much CBN in it that it will surely take you far and beyond just a regular high.”
— Robert Bergman
Cannabis Indica has lovely healing qualities, and helps with:


Growing Cannabis Indica

Cannabis Indica is a strain of medical marijuana that is typically higher yielding, has a shorter flowering time, and has leaves that are shorter and wider than a Sativa’s. They’re smaller plants in general, but they can get quite bushy. Lots of growers prefer growing Indicas for these reasons.

Because of their shorter flowering phase, people who grow in colder climates with shorter winters may want to grow Indicas. Because of their shorter height, growing them indoors is also easy when it comes to growing Indicas.

Marijuana type #3: Cannabis Ruderalis​

You will rarely hear anyone talking about Cannabis Ruderalis, which is one of the primary marijuana types and has a pretty short stature growing between 20-25 inches in height. Similar to Indica, this plant has very thick foliage. This plant is usually found growing in northern regions of the world.

Ruderalis has an extremely early and fast flowering cycle because it grows farther north than any other type of marijuana and so doesn’t have the luxury of a lot of time to mature before cold weather hits. Ruderalis is used to produce autoflowerers.

One of the reasons you hear little about this strain is because it is not known to be highly psychotropic. It is used primarily as a source of additional genetic material by breeders and cultivators. That way, hybrids which flower early can be bred, and certain strains can be adjusted so that they will grow in more northerly climates.

Industrial hemp marijuana types​

Industrial hemp or hemp, typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a type of marijuana originating from the Cannabis Sativa species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago.

It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.

Hemp was a cash crop in America until the passage of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, partially because hemp can grow wild in climates where winter doesn’t freeze the soil and kill the seeds. According to the USDA, hemp has a low THC content and isn’t worth smoking. With THC levels below 0,3%, I totally agree.

Hybrid marijuana types​

In modern cannabis cultivation and breeding, there are a huge number of varieties available. Many years of intense mixing and hybridization have created a huge spectrum across these three primary varieties.

The different mixes all have different characteristics, running the gamut of possibilities relating to flowering cycles, yield, CBN:THC ratios, and disease resistance, among others. In general, the purpose of a hybrid plant is to combine positive characteristics from different strains together.

Some key differences between Indica and Sativa marijuana types are the height of the plants, the length between buds, the size and shape of the leaves, the odor, the quality of the smoke, and the chemical properties themselves. In general, Indica is wide and robust while Sativa is long and thin.

Growing Hybrids

Hybrids can vary greatly, but usually, they have some of the good qualities of both Sativas and Indicas. Because of the range of genes you can find in hybrid marijuana plants, it’s hard to specify a common height, leaf shape, or other distinguishing detail. However, hybrids are often bred to have higher yields and be more pest-resistant, which is great for growers. Hybrids are extremely popular. Most of the seeds available are hybrids. To know what you can expect, be sure to read the growth descriptions before buying.

Male cannabis plants​

When male-sexed cannabis plants finish maturing, the flowering process occurs all across the plant. Tiny racemes (short flower stalks) are formed at the base of the flower itself. When the flowers open, the plant releases a load of airborne pollen which sticks to and is absorbed by the pistil of the female plant.


male-cannabis-plant.jpg


This is a basic explanation of how the fertilization and reproductive process in cannabis plants works. It can be difficult to distinguish between male and female plants at times, but the male usually has earlier sexual development.

Female cannabis plants​

Like male cannabis plants, mature females will also produce racemes. In the case of the female plants, the racemes are a blend of tiny pistils and calyces (calyx). In each of the calyces, there is an ovule, which acts as the receptor for the pollen from the male plant.

When the grains of pollen stick to a pistil, the pistil stalk then pushes into the calyx, and the plant is fertilized. The calyx itself is also the site where cannabis seeds are grown after fertilization.

female-weed-plant.jpg


Each seed will have a mix of characteristics coming from both parent plants, as in other instances of sexual reproduction. The only time this wouldn’t be the case would be if the parent plants were identical, as in the case of certain pure clones or specific hybridizations.

Hermaphrodite cannabis plants​

Although rare as a natural occurrence in nature, many growers might be exposed to the existence of hermaphroditic plants, that is, plants that contain both male and female sex organs. These sorts of plants can fertilize themselves, which is both extremely interesting and potentially quite useful from a breeding perspective.

In general, a hermaphrodite cannabis plantfalls on one of the three points along a sexual spectrum. If the plant is mainly comprised of male flowers or has a roughly equal number of male/female flowers, it is probably of little use to a grower. If the hermaphrodite has mainly female flowers, however, it should definitely be saved.

hermaphrodite-cannabis-plant.jpg


The pollen from these plants can be quite useful, and some growers collect the pollen because even though it is a male part of reproduction, the hermaphroditic pollen is genetically female, and will produce female flowers.

In the ’70s, Indica strains were brought to the USA and mixed with the already present Sativa plants, which set off a long chain of breeding and experimentation with cannabis cultivation and hybridization.

It’s important to note that despite the differences between all of these types of marijuana, they are essentially one species. They can still be bred together. The names Indica and Sativa refer to the areas where the plants are originally from.

The same sort of idea is found in other agriculture, or dog breeds, where there is a wide difference in appearances, but the species are still the same.

Types of marijuana seeds​

There are few aspects of marijuana plants that are more important than the seeds. Everything begins with the seed, so you’d better make the seed count. In other words, you should carefully decide what type of seed you would like to buy. Let’s look at some of the options.

Regular marijuana seeds

Regular seeds are, just as they sound, the normal type of marijuana seed that most people have traditionally grown with. These seeds will come with approximately 50% male and 50% female, so you will have to diligent about removing the males if you are growing with feminized seeds.

Feminized marijuana seeds​

These seeds are ones that will only produce female plants. These aren’t naturally occurring — they need to be created to get them to be all female (which is also a marijuana grower’s dream). Buying feminized seeds is the most efficient option for most marijuana growers.

Autoflower seeds​

Seeds that autoflower are not photosensitive, instead they start to flower based on timing. In other words, they flower automatically. These can work really well for growing all year round, although it doesn’t make much sense for indoor growers who already can decide when they want their plants to begin flowering by manipulating the light cycle.

Once the plant is fully grown you will need to start thinking about harvest time. Our free little Harvest Guide will help you determine the best moment to cut your plants. Download it here.

The Sinsemilla Growing Technique​

Sinsemilla is a type of growing marijuana where only female plants are allowed to blossom. This is done so that male plants don’t get the opportunity to fertilize the females. This is done because many growers don’t want seeds in their plants at all, although there are always exceptions.

It’s highly advised to keep grow rooms and male pollen as far apart as possible unless there is some express purpose for fertilizing the plants. The yield will drop substantially, and the taste of the plant will be ruined.

In general, it’s highly desirable to have unpollinated female plants, because more of the energy is devoted to producing cannabinoids and buds that are valuable to the grower, rather than being expended on sexual reproduction organs and seeds.

Unpollinated plants will have more sugar, THC, and much denser more odorous flowers. This is ideal, especially for medicinal purposes, where the efficiency is very important for any patients who are in need of the active ingredient.

What are THC and CBD?​

You’ve likely heard of CBD and THC before. These two substances are the reason behind all the hype surrounding marijuana. There are some significant differences between the two of them, so let’s look at what each of them does.

THC​

The abbreviation “THC” stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. It provides the psychoactive effects of marijuana, affecting the brain more than the body. Another substance, called anandamide, is mimicked by THC to make the brain function differently with memories, higher cognitive processes, and fine motorics.

It also affects pain, fertility, hunger, and depression. Plenty of people choose strains of marijuana that are high in THC for its medicinal benefits. More about THC in my article What is THC?

CBD​

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another psychoactive substance that is commonly used in medical marijuana. The two interact, with the CBD having an influential effect on the THC, meaning they could strengthen or weaken certain effects of THC. Suppressing the psychedelic effects, for example, can be a big plus in a medicinal strain of marijuana.

These are in no way the only two types of cannabinoids. The other ones, however, are only present in smaller amounts. More about CBD in my article What is CBD?
 

bulllee

Well-Known Member
Freakshow Strain Cannabis Now

PHOTOS Erik Nugshot / Humboldt Seed Company

IN THE MAGAZINE


Freakshow! Weed Gets Weird​

Mutant marijuana finds a commercial seed release.

By
Chris Roberts
Published on December 23, 2021
https://cannabisnow.com/freakshow-weed-strain-gets-weird/#
https://cannabisnow.com/freakshow-weed-strain-gets-weird/#
About six years ago, Jordan was approaching his 40th anniversary as a cannabis grower. He believed he was through — ready to quit a lifelong hobby and ready to liquidate a priceless (and, as it would turn out, wholly unique) seed bank, the product of decades of careful labor — because he was bored.
It wasn’t that the self-described “hillbilly,” whose last name Cannabis Now is withholding at his request, didn’t love weed. He’d had his first hit before he was a teenager, started collecting seeds at 17, and started sprouting huge trays, producing hundreds of seedlings, shortly thereafter. What Jordan didn’t love was what had happened to weed: It wasn’t weird anymore.
Jordan is an autodidact. Beyond cannabis growing, he also taught himself motorcycle repair, garment production, battle-ax construction and year-round permaculture — all useful skills when you live off-grid somewhere in rural California near Yosemite National Park, as Jordan has done for 39 years. Through his self-driven study of cannabis growing, Jordan had seen hints of what the cannabis plant could do. And it was much, much more than everyone else involved with the plant seemed to know or care about. He’d seen the freaks and the weirdos — like the “dwarf plants” no more than three feet tall at maturity, or the plants producing buds on the petioles — and he’d seen what happened to them, discarded, weeded out in favor of something predictable.
“People just want something that’s huge and looks good,” Jordan explained to Cannabis Now via telephone.
Judging cannabis based on expedient looks — bag appeal, or grow-room appeal, whatever you call it — “is such a mistake,” he says. And yet, because of market pressures or because of prohibition, predictability became de rigueur.
With legalization looming six years ago, it also seemed there wasn’t much room for weird in the cannabis industry. Just more homogeneity, more conformity. Companies touted themselves as “the Apple Store of weed,” the “Uber for cannabis.” That meant, maybe, as a grower who’d never done more than “medical cannabis patient numbers,” there wasn’t much room for him. Considering that he’s a lifelong lover of sativas and other narrow-leafed tropical-bred cannabis plants working in an era that prized Afghan-ized broad-leafed indicas, maybe that was always the way.
Doubts, boredom and a looming exit were the shadows flickering on the wall of his mind when Jordan set to work on his latest breeding project. He was attempting to stabilize a particular terpene profile, crossing a mother bred from the strains Big Bud and Skunk #1, with a male plant stemming from Big Sur Holy Bud and Banana Kush, when the plant decided it was time to act out.
It was time to get weird. It was time for Freakshow to make its grand entrance.
In his decades growing, Jordan had already seen some phenotypes produce bizarre, out-of-the ordinary mutations. He says that it wasn’t too rare, but also not too normal, to see mutations in the leaves: serrated leaves so deep that they reminded him of a wood saw or alligator teeth. One of these phenos from the above-mentioned cross, however, produced not only deep serrations, but also extra leaflets — not two or three on top of the usual seven, but “a crazy amount of extras,” he recalled, enough to support a millipede. Intrigued and encouraged, Jordan did the opposite of what you’re “supposed” to do: He threw out all the normies and kept breeding the freaks. He sprouted hundreds of seeds — how many he can’t recall.
“I had never taken time to sit there and try to create a mutant,” he said. “But once I did, it was working… Maybe I got kind of lucky. You can say that for a fact.”
He can say that, because the fact is that a mutant appeared: A cannabis plant with serrated leaves so long they almost look like ferns. He named the plant Freakshow, which has leaves so long they almost look like the cannabis plant has developed arms, like the plant is trying to reach out and grab your attention, give you a hug, or smother you in its embrace.

“As a manipulator of cannabis genetics, [Freakshow] shows you how far we can take things.” — JORDAN
“When I first saw that, it was, ‘Oh man, what have I done?’” Jordan recalled. “That was the moment. I knew right then and there that nobody had ever seen this before.”
A quick Instagram search revealed he was right. Jordan’s son, active online, started circulating photos of Freakshow. Weedheads around the world reacted with disbelief and anger. Surely this was a hoax. Surely this was a Photoshop job. No plant looks like this.
More photos — several generations’ of Freakshow worth — revealed that, no, this was a real plant. Soon shock turned to awe turned to envy. Growers around the world wanted Freakshow for themselves. And now, they can have this rare cannabis in their collection, thanks to a chance encounter with Nathaniel Pennington, the founder and CEO of genetics outfit Humboldt Seed Company.
By the time he crossed paths with Pennington, Jordan had pulled off the other trick of a cannabis breeder: Having “discovered” Freakshow, he’d also “tamed” or domesticated it. He’d breed enough generations of the plant so that its genetics were stable, or stable enough so that when a Freakshow plant produced seeds, those seeds would also reliably produce more Freakshow. Meanwhile, Pennington was running a massive genetics search, what he called the phenotype hunt. He hadn’t yet heard of Freakshow — he was after some other genetics that Jordan had developed — but when Jordan’s kids approached him and told him about this really weird plant, Pennington was intrigued. At the next meeting, at a small cannabis cup event prior to the passage of Proposition 64, Jordan himself appeared — and brought with him a living example, a small Freakshow in a pot.
“Immediately a light went off,” Pennington said. “‘Oh my gosh,’ I said. This is the most unique thing I have ever seen in my life.”
Even better than the weird “random stubby leaves” is the fact that Freakshow actually produces nice buds. It’s also a tough plant, able to do well in regular garden conditions or on the darker side of a house, Jordan and Pennington say.
“It literally could be classified as brand new,” says Jordan. He’s already coined a term (and filed for a United States patent) to classify the plant: Not indica, not sativa — but cannabis monstra. He says it could be the genetic foundation for a whole new breed of plant, a style of ornamental cannabis that you’d pick up at your local nursery.
Classifying the plant, and clarifying whether it qualifies as a subspecies of cannabis sativa or something else, is a job for the nerds and the scientists. More pragmatically, just because a plant is weird and cool doesn’t mean it will “survive” in “the real world.” Even though Freakshow was available, would anyone want to buy it?
Freakshow had what you could call its coming-out party at the Emerald Cup in December 2019, and the results were promising.
“We had a line out of the door to the Great Pavilion,” Pennington said of the thirst for Freakshow seeds. “We had people fly in all the way from London.”
And there was Jordan, signing seedpacks from total strangers who came an awful long way to find the mad genius behind this really freaky pot plant.
Pennington doubts this is the first time Freakshow has appeared on Earth.
“To be honest, I think maybe nine out of 10 breeders have seen those funky weeds — and then immediately gotten those genetics out,” he said. “I think most are like, ‘Uh oh, what did I do wrong? I’m starting to see a mutant.’”
And Jordan himself tends to agree. In Freakshow, he sees echoes of some of the very first cannabis he ever saw. “The first Thai stick, back in the 1970s, had a lot of these small, little serrated leaves,” he says. Maybe the old sativas of his youth, the plants he always loved, decided to return in his hour of need?

Freakshow is neither indica nor sativa – it is cannabis monstra.
Metaphysics and magic aside, the science behind Freakshow — what produced it and how — is evolving in real time. Humboldt Seed Company hopes to publish studies on the strain, produced in concert with botany PhDs and other plant scientists, Pennington said. In the meantime, Jordan himself has some theories, some of which already seem like they’ll be borne out.
Epigenetics, he notes, is the study of how mutations occur not when DNA changes, but when various genes in the same genetic sequences are expressed or suppressed. Think of it as reaching (or suppressing) inherent potential, sometimes in response to stress, other times in response to chemical exposure or another intervention.
In plant biology, a gene called the KNOX1 affects the shape and length of leaves and shoots. Maybe Freakshow has a suppressed KNOX1 gene?
The Freakshow experience also underscores how cannabis breeding should be approached with a sense of urgency given that the commercial industry might be breeding itself “into a dead end,” Jordan notes. Other plants offer ominous warnings, should we bother to heed them. For example, commercial bananas — the standard yellow fruit that most humans not living in tropical climates consider to be “bananas” — weren’t a thing before 1960, when a fungus ravaged the flavorful Gros Michel banana strain and freaked-out banana growers replaced it with the supposedly hardier, less delicious Cavendish.
Jordan also wonders how much he’s in control of Freakshow, about what the untapped potential of the cannabis plant means for the future.
“It far outdid what I set out to do,” he said. “It made me realize, ‘Wow — as a manipulator of cannabis genetics, it shows you how far we can take things.’”
 
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momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

The Retail Fallacy: Stop Buying off THC Percentage


For the first edition of WEIRDOS, our VP of Content kicks off the conversation with a rant on why THC percentages are bullshit, and why you should ignore them. Go buy with your nose!

I figured to kick things off with a bang, for my first segment of WEIRDOS I wanted to rant about one of the most common fallacies in the California retail marketplace today, though it’s certainly an issue that expands far past our borders. That fallacy, and it’s one I know to be frustrating cultivators the world over, is that cannabis with higher THC percentages is of higher quality, or higher potency, than something with a lower THC percentage. That idea, by every measure, is a bunch of bullshit.

High THC Does NOT Guarantee A Stronger High​

Now listen, I understand why it’s so easy for consumers and retailers to point to. It seems like basic math! But here’s the cold hard truth: the plants testing the highest for THC will NOT provide you with the best high. This isn’t just a subjective opinion. Remember distillate vape pens, and their ‘diet’ feeling highs? That’s what you’re racing towards when you buy by THC percentage—because ingesting straight THC doesn’t get you super lit, in fact, it’s one of the more boring highs I’ve experienced!

Also, as a quick aside, have you actually SEEN some of these super high THC testing buds in person? You can barely smell them. They might as well be plastic! We’re literally cutting our nose to spite our face here, people.

Part of what makes the cannabis high so magical are the terpene navigators that roll in tow with your cannabinoids. The aromatics, if you will. I’ve heard it best described like this: if the Cannabinoids in the plant are your engine, the Terps are your nav. The problem is, as people have tried to ‘increase the horsepower of their engines’ so to speak, they often lose terp percentages as a byproduct. You wouldn’t let a blind guy drive your Ferrari, right?

How Did We Get Here?​

Let’s zoom out a bit. This nagging plague dragging down our entire industry is the direct result of poor legislation enacted by a governing body that isn’t entirely sure what it’s doing. The biggest culprit is none other than California’s DOC-required lab testing, which doesn’t require any terpene disclosure whatsoever. While the requirement mandates that brands include both the total THC and CBD percentages, as well as the total cannabinoids, brands are not required to provide the end user with any information about the terp profile of their supposed ‘medicinal’ products. That means that brands aren’t required to even test their products for terpene levels, one of the things we know to be most important to the consumption experience. How can we ever expect to have prescribed experiences if the only real information we’re providing the market is an arbitrary percentage?

Now, lab testing is expensive, so it’s not wholly fair to put the blame on brands for not submitting for these results as well, since as I just mentioned, they’re not required disclosures. From the outside perspective, as a business owner, why would you take on extra expenses, especially with an already thin profit margin, when it’s not required? That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen brands going the extra mile and doing it of course—and I can not stress enough that when it is seen in the wild it should be a clear sign to potential consumers that this brand cares about your experience—but it’s far from the norm right now, and that’s not a big surprise given the way the system is set up today.

But Don’t Just Take My Word For It​

These shitty requirements aren’t just bad for the end user. It’s limiting the exciting genetics that will ever make it to market. In conversation with one of my favorite cultivators, Keith Healy, the founder of Fig Farms and the recipient of MANY Emerald Cups this year, explained:

“From the grower side I hate it, I have to select genetics based on THC most of the time. The highest THC plant is not [always] the favorite plant in the pheno hunt selection,” He tells me.

“But the lab game… Every lab is different in their selection process to get their sample. Then you have THC numbers varying lab to lab. If you know the lab’s typical process you could find lots of ways to cheat. You get people peppering the sack, throwing kief on the top layer of a bag…” He continued. “You get a bunch of fake numbers in the market.”

So not only are we losing access to genetics with more expressive terp profiles, we’re not always even getting as high of a THC percentage as the label claims? Color me shocked.

“Ultimately THC numbers are so inflated or potentially faked the consumer is basing their purchase on who’s the best cheater.” Keith laments.

(Let it be known that while these are widely known tactics to cheat the game that Keith has provided, Fig Farms flower clearly never needed a peppered sack. I’d gladly stand their flower against anyone else in the world’s.)

What You SHOULD Care About​

Now, if you’re reading this you’ve undoubtedly heard about ‘the entourage effect’ before, but at the very least you’ve seen me briefly explain the importance of terpenes already. Terpenes are what provide the actual effect of your high, and though the science is still early on specifics for the terpenes we’re interested in, and given that none of it has been certified by the FDA or whoever, we can’t get that far down that rabbit hole yet. However, just like lavender has anti-inflammatory properties (hello linalool), each of these different smells and tastes provides different effects, and those effects differ from person to person, so it really is a trial and error process to finding your thing. That said, it’s one of the less risky trial and error processes out there—worst case you’ll end up a bit paranoid for a bit or with a heavy case of the munchies. You won’t however, ever feel like you can fly, like the propaganda all promised.

So, where possible, your best guide to finding the best high is actually your nose. As you’ve surely heard before, the louder the better. A strong aroma is a sure sign of something powerful, and as long as it doesn’t smell kinda like hay or grass, it’s a great measure of how the bud was prepared post cultivation. While it’s easier to fake the look and feel of quality, it’s much harder to fake the funk, if ya’ smell me.

But Jon, I just want the Dank!​

Now, I know. Post-COVID very few markets are opening up their jars for you to stick your face in. Some have those puffer boxes, some are skirting the rules and have a sample on display (usually a better example of what the product looks like after being left out for a few days than what it will be fresh), but this is where the budtenders are the most crucial. As your store’s eyes, they should have the most hands-on experience with the floor’s products. Ask ‘em for the stinkiest, or for your favorite aroma if you’re more experienced. It’s hard to trust strain names these days.

That said, if your budtender points you to the product with the highest THC and not something with the most interesting nose, or vibrant looking buds, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Simple and plain, but it’s true. Ask them how often they smoke, and what they’ve actually tried in the store. If they don’t have a good grasp of what’s there, respectfully ask if they have a colleague who hangs.

Finally, remember folks, when buying cannabis there are a lot of different reasons for the pricing, several of which have little to do with the original cultivator, so do your best to look past the numbers altogether. No matter your budget, your nose will clue you in on the best bang for your buck…
 

bulllee

Well-Known Member
The growers and dispensaries are responsible for this crap and now they're crying about it :rofl: They're the ones that started the marketing hype, at first the pricing was fairly even across the board here in Arizona . We didn't have mandatory testing for 4 or 5 years so most people at first didn't have a clue about THC %, it was like the old day's, you could go in and smell it , hell they use to let you handle the buds. But as things progressed the hype was out about THC and they started charging more for higher %'s based on their own hyperbole ( Americans are notorious for "if a little is good, then a lot is better " ) . Things got even worse with recreational. Now everything is pre-packaged in sealed plastic, Mylar, or glass, then they put the best buds in glass and charge out the ass. You don't even get to smell stuff anymore. They should just have decriminalized it and have medical access going recreational was all about the $$$ .
Finally, remember folks, when buying cannabis there are a lot of different reasons for the pricing, several of which have little to do with the original cultivator, so do your best to look past the numbers altogether.
Again just my experience but, here the dispensaries had to grow their own . They're the ones who had factored in "those reasons for the pricing". I feel little sympathy , The dispensaries and growers are worth how much now ? The thing most people want from growers and dispensaries is transparency, and fair pricing . That's it. And keep your eye's on all the numbers ! Start demanding better test results, wait that'll just drive the price up another $10 a gram :yikes::rofl:
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

8 Cannabis Qualities More Important Than THC Percentage


For so long, the THC percentage has been the only metric for judging high-quality cannabis. However, there are many other qualities that matter more than potency. For both cultivators and shoppers, we’ll discuss why using THC percentage is the incorrect way of judging cannabis and eight indicators of high-quality cannabis that you should be looking for.
Quality is one of the biggest buzzwords in cannabis. Whether cultivating plants or purchasing cannabis products, it’s the guideline that tells us which cannabis we should buy.

At this point, there has never been any accurate scale for judging cannabis quality. Much of the shopping experience throughout recreational cannabis dispensaries in the USA, coffeeshops in the Netherlands, and cannabis seedbanks revolve around THC content.

Without terpene analysis and cannabis expertise, the average person is looking for the simplest way to select the highest quality strain, and the THC percentage is just that.

What is THC?​


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychotropic chemical compound found within the cannabis plant.

THC and CBD are the primary cannabinoids that people are most familiar with. However, many other cannabinoids contribute to the feelings that cannabis provide, and this is referred to as the entourage effect.

The THC percentages on cannabis packaging come from analytical laboratories that test cannabis products for cannabinoids, terpenes, and contaminants. The THC content indicates how hard a specific cannabis genetic might affect your endocannabinoid system. For example, a strain with a 28% THC content will undeniably have a more intense feeling than a strain with 10% THC.

Unfortunately, the thought of how hard a strain hits you is often the measure of quality, and many people pay the most attention to THC content when buying cannabis.

This also influences growers as they want to be working with the products with the highest THC percentage, so when purchasing seeds online, they’ll often skip over lower testing strains like Ruderalis Indica, Black Harlequin, and Big Bud. It’s a travesty because everyone knows that Black Harlequin and Big Bud are incredible strains!

Which factors determine THC levels?​

When cultivating cannabis plants, several factors can determine higher THC levels:

  1. Genetics: The range of THC a flower can produce depends mainly on genetics. Some strains are more inclined to produce higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes than others.
  2. Harvest time: When a plant is allowed to mature longer, the THC percentages will be higher.
  3. Light cycles: Generally speaking, more light means more potency. The used light cycles (indoors) or the hours of daylight (outdoors) will affect the THC levels in the end product.
  4. Attention to detail: Attention to detail comes up a lot when discussing “craft cannabis.” Craft cannabis is grown in small batches, allowing growers to pay attention to each and every plant as they progress throughout the growing cycle. With attention to detail, craft growers can make sure their plants are healthy, and more importantly, correct any issues (like overwatering, pests, stress, etc.) that happen as early as possible.

8 Cannabis qualities that are more important than THC​

When it comes to each different cannabis cultivar, you should be focusing on more than potency to decide what to purchase. Whether you’re buying cannabis at a dispensary, coffeeshop, or seeds from a seed bank, here are some indicators of quality that are much more important than how high the product tests for THC.

1. How it was grown​

One of the most essential things in deciding the quality of cannabis is how it was cultivated?

It doesn’t matter if your dried flower has a 28% THC content if it’s covered with pesticides, heavy metals, or anything else that could make you sick.

Whether you’re purchasing indoor or sun-grown cannabis, it is always best to know how well you know the company you’re buying cannabis from:

  • What are the company’s standards, and what are their cultivation practices?
  • Where do they grow their plants – indoors or outdoors?
  • Are they commercial growers or craft cannabis farmers?
  • Are they experts that know how to grow and pay attention to the plant’s needs?
To truly trust the quality of your cannabis, you should only purchase it from reputable stores, brands, and seedbanks.

2. Aesthetics​

The way a cannabis flower looks is an excellent indicator of quality. More specifically, it’s a great indicator of health.

The plant’s colouring; the texture of its buds; the bud structure; whether the flowers should be fluffy and light or tight and dense; the colour of the pistils and trichomes stuck to them; are all details to pay attention to when judging cannabis. When cannabis is grown correctly, you will see vibrant colours with a sticky structure covered with trichomes.

3. Trichome density​

Trichomes are the glandular resin glands of the cannabis plant. They are the milky white crystals that are stuck to cannabis buds. Trichomes are essential because they house the cannabinoids and terpenes that create the complete experience we feel after vaporising some cannabis. When you see a plant that lacks trichomes, you can assume that it is immature and is not as potent.

4. Terpene profile​

Right after the plants’ aesthetics, you’ll see aromas and flavours, which make up the strains terpene profile. The five primary terpenes found in cannabis are myrcene, caryophyllene, humulene, linalool and limonene. Cannabis can have a wide range of aromas and flavours such as:

  • Citrus
  • Pine
  • Berry
  • Earthy
  • Chocolate
  • Orange
  • Cheese
  • Skunk, and many more.

Terpene-profile-1536x925.jpg


These scents are guiding lights towards the effects we may feel from cannabis. Strains high in limonene are expected to be uplifting, gassy terpenes found in humulene are expected to be potent, and floral linalool terpenes are relaxing.

Terpene profiles must be loud and clearly defined. If you cultivate a strain that doesn’t have an exciting terpene profile, chances are it’s not going to be wanted by anyone. Even if it gets you super high, people care more about the aroma and taste in the entire experience.

5. Drying and curing​

If you’re buying or growing cannabis, you should know that the plant didn’t go straight from the ground into your jar. While growing, cannabis plants are full of water and nutrients they’ve taken up from the soil. So once they are done flowering and ready to be harvested, they still have to be flushed of all of these materials. This happens during the dry and cure stage of growing cannabis.

This is why people who smoke joints are so concerned with burning white ash. White ash is believed to signify that a plant was grown correctly, dried, and cured. Many companies take shortcuts to hurry up and get their products on the shelves during these stages. Often, those plants will feel moist to the touch, produce a harsh smoke, taste like grass cuttings, and have an incredibly poor burnability.

6. Burnability​


Burnability is crucial when it comes to discussing the quality of cannabis. Sometimes you roll a joint, and then you have to keep lighting it because the cannabis inside won’t burn right. That is a massive indicator of the quality of the cannabis used. Even if your plant tests at 30% THC, it’s not worth the money or time if you can’t even get the joint to stay lit. Again, this comes down to a proper dry and cure.

7. The Entourage Effect​

Cannabis plants have over 400 different cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. The Entourage Effect is the idea that cannabis is more effective when these compounds are used together rather than in isolation. Instead of focusing on a product with the highest THC possible, like a THC isolate, you’ll find much better quality in one that contains an adequate amount of THC, along with CBD, CBN, CBG, and the rest of the cannabis compounds. Again, the terpene profile is essential.

In addition to contributing to the smell and taste of cannabis strains, terpenes are believed to indicate the type of high we will get from those strains. To get the most out of your cannabis, you don’t need to maximise THC; you need to maximise all of those cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

8. The overall experience​

Lastly, when it comes to the quality indicators of cannabis, the overall experience is what matters most. It is way more important than how potent cannabis is. When people consume cannabis, they aren’t just focused on how high they are an hour after vaporising it.

Instead, they ask themselves: Did it taste good? Did it burn well? Did it make you feel the way you wanted to feel? Is it worth telling other people about? Would you repurchase it? All of these questions decide the true quality of a cannabis product, and all of their answers are more important than the overall THC content. The potency of a product is invaluable if it didn’t make you:

  • Feel happy when you need a morale boost
  • Feel uplifted and energetic when you were tired
  • Relax the mind and body when you were feeling stressed
  • Calm you down when you were feeling anxious
  • Or if it didn’t provide relief when you were in pain.
Maybe, it’s time for the cannabis industry to acknowledge that and update its metrics for judging cannabis quality.
 

bulllee

Well-Known Member

8 Cannabis Qualities More Important Than THC Percentage


For so long, the THC percentage has been the only metric for judging high-quality cannabis. However, there are many other qualities that matter more than potency. For both cultivators and shoppers, we’ll discuss why using THC percentage is the incorrect way of judging cannabis and eight indicators of high-quality cannabis that you should be looking for.
Quality is one of the biggest buzzwords in cannabis. Whether cultivating plants or purchasing cannabis products, it’s the guideline that tells us which cannabis we should buy.

At this point, there has never been any accurate scale for judging cannabis quality. Much of the shopping experience throughout recreational cannabis dispensaries in the USA, coffeeshops in the Netherlands, and cannabis seedbanks revolve around THC content.

Without terpene analysis and cannabis expertise, the average person is looking for the simplest way to select the highest quality strain, and the THC percentage is just that.

What is THC?​


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychotropic chemical compound found within the cannabis plant.

THC and CBD are the primary cannabinoids that people are most familiar with. However, many other cannabinoids contribute to the feelings that cannabis provide, and this is referred to as the entourage effect.

The THC percentages on cannabis packaging come from analytical laboratories that test cannabis products for cannabinoids, terpenes, and contaminants. The THC content indicates how hard a specific cannabis genetic might affect your endocannabinoid system. For example, a strain with a 28% THC content will undeniably have a more intense feeling than a strain with 10% THC.

Unfortunately, the thought of how hard a strain hits you is often the measure of quality, and many people pay the most attention to THC content when buying cannabis.

This also influences growers as they want to be working with the products with the highest THC percentage, so when purchasing seeds online, they’ll often skip over lower testing strains like Ruderalis Indica, Black Harlequin, and Big Bud. It’s a travesty because everyone knows that Black Harlequin and Big Bud are incredible strains!

Which factors determine THC levels?​

When cultivating cannabis plants, several factors can determine higher THC levels:

  1. Genetics: The range of THC a flower can produce depends mainly on genetics. Some strains are more inclined to produce higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes than others.
  2. Harvest time: When a plant is allowed to mature longer, the THC percentages will be higher.
  3. Light cycles: Generally speaking, more light means more potency. The used light cycles (indoors) or the hours of daylight (outdoors) will affect the THC levels in the end product.
  4. Attention to detail: Attention to detail comes up a lot when discussing “craft cannabis.” Craft cannabis is grown in small batches, allowing growers to pay attention to each and every plant as they progress throughout the growing cycle. With attention to detail, craft growers can make sure their plants are healthy, and more importantly, correct any issues (like overwatering, pests, stress, etc.) that happen as early as possible.

8 Cannabis qualities that are more important than THC​

When it comes to each different cannabis cultivar, you should be focusing on more than potency to decide what to purchase. Whether you’re buying cannabis at a dispensary, coffeeshop, or seeds from a seed bank, here are some indicators of quality that are much more important than how high the product tests for THC.

1. How it was grown​

One of the most essential things in deciding the quality of cannabis is how it was cultivated?

It doesn’t matter if your dried flower has a 28% THC content if it’s covered with pesticides, heavy metals, or anything else that could make you sick.

Whether you’re purchasing indoor or sun-grown cannabis, it is always best to know how well you know the company you’re buying cannabis from:

  • What are the company’s standards, and what are their cultivation practices?
  • Where do they grow their plants – indoors or outdoors?
  • Are they commercial growers or craft cannabis farmers?
  • Are they experts that know how to grow and pay attention to the plant’s needs?
To truly trust the quality of your cannabis, you should only purchase it from reputable stores, brands, and seedbanks.

2. Aesthetics​

The way a cannabis flower looks is an excellent indicator of quality. More specifically, it’s a great indicator of health.

The plant’s colouring; the texture of its buds; the bud structure; whether the flowers should be fluffy and light or tight and dense; the colour of the pistils and trichomes stuck to them; are all details to pay attention to when judging cannabis. When cannabis is grown correctly, you will see vibrant colours with a sticky structure covered with trichomes.

3. Trichome density​

Trichomes are the glandular resin glands of the cannabis plant. They are the milky white crystals that are stuck to cannabis buds. Trichomes are essential because they house the cannabinoids and terpenes that create the complete experience we feel after vaporising some cannabis. When you see a plant that lacks trichomes, you can assume that it is immature and is not as potent.

4. Terpene profile​

Right after the plants’ aesthetics, you’ll see aromas and flavours, which make up the strains terpene profile. The five primary terpenes found in cannabis are myrcene, caryophyllene, humulene, linalool and limonene. Cannabis can have a wide range of aromas and flavours such as:

  • Citrus
  • Pine
  • Berry
  • Earthy
  • Chocolate
  • Orange
  • Cheese
  • Skunk, and many more.

View attachment 37256

These scents are guiding lights towards the effects we may feel from cannabis. Strains high in limonene are expected to be uplifting, gassy terpenes found in humulene are expected to be potent, and floral linalool terpenes are relaxing.

Terpene profiles must be loud and clearly defined. If you cultivate a strain that doesn’t have an exciting terpene profile, chances are it’s not going to be wanted by anyone. Even if it gets you super high, people care more about the aroma and taste in the entire experience.

5. Drying and curing​

If you’re buying or growing cannabis, you should know that the plant didn’t go straight from the ground into your jar. While growing, cannabis plants are full of water and nutrients they’ve taken up from the soil. So once they are done flowering and ready to be harvested, they still have to be flushed of all of these materials. This happens during the dry and cure stage of growing cannabis.

This is why people who smoke joints are so concerned with burning white ash. White ash is believed to signify that a plant was grown correctly, dried, and cured. Many companies take shortcuts to hurry up and get their products on the shelves during these stages. Often, those plants will feel moist to the touch, produce a harsh smoke, taste like grass cuttings, and have an incredibly poor burnability.

6. Burnability​


Burnability is crucial when it comes to discussing the quality of cannabis. Sometimes you roll a joint, and then you have to keep lighting it because the cannabis inside won’t burn right. That is a massive indicator of the quality of the cannabis used. Even if your plant tests at 30% THC, it’s not worth the money or time if you can’t even get the joint to stay lit. Again, this comes down to a proper dry and cure.

7. The Entourage Effect​

Cannabis plants have over 400 different cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. The Entourage Effect is the idea that cannabis is more effective when these compounds are used together rather than in isolation. Instead of focusing on a product with the highest THC possible, like a THC isolate, you’ll find much better quality in one that contains an adequate amount of THC, along with CBD, CBN, CBG, and the rest of the cannabis compounds. Again, the terpene profile is essential.

In addition to contributing to the smell and taste of cannabis strains, terpenes are believed to indicate the type of high we will get from those strains. To get the most out of your cannabis, you don’t need to maximise THC; you need to maximise all of those cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

8. The overall experience​

Lastly, when it comes to the quality indicators of cannabis, the overall experience is what matters most. It is way more important than how potent cannabis is. When people consume cannabis, they aren’t just focused on how high they are an hour after vaporising it.

Instead, they ask themselves: Did it taste good? Did it burn well? Did it make you feel the way you wanted to feel? Is it worth telling other people about? Would you repurchase it? All of these questions decide the true quality of a cannabis product, and all of their answers are more important than the overall THC content. The potency of a product is invaluable if it didn’t make you:

  • Feel happy when you need a morale boost
  • Feel uplifted and energetic when you were tired
  • Relax the mind and body when you were feeling stressed
  • Calm you down when you were feeling anxious
  • Or if it didn’t provide relief when you were in pain.
Maybe, it’s time for the cannabis industry to acknowledge that and update its metrics for judging cannabis quality.
This is some OG Kush 20%, some of the terpiest stuff I've had in some time, killer high. I found myself returning to vape it frequently. A very enjoyable high.

1653923068920.png


Here's a picture of some Mendo Kush tested at 25 %. It's an ok high, but minimal on the terpenes and taste . Nowadays in the dispensaries you can't smell anything before you buy :doh: . It's all wrapped up in plastic ,and glass. Ever wonder where all the plastic, and mylar bags go :wink: . Why is it that they list the THC percentages first on test results instead of cannabinoids or terpenes ?

1653923300461.png
 

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