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Meds What’s in a Strain Name?

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I just get bags of crap! hahaha Well, even now that our legal MMJ program has finally opened, I really have no way to tell at all that the SFV OG that I can buy is the same strain/phenotype/chemotype as that bought in southern CA, right?

And even perhaps within CA there is probably GREAT differences from different sources unless you somehow are buying from the originator of the strain (and one could presume that if you developed it then by definition the strain you have is the name you gave it, right?).


We don't really know, do we?

What’s in a Strain Name? A Lot, Actually—but Only if It’s Accurate

When it comes to understanding the cannabis experience, conventional wisdom says strain names are one of the best places to start. Northern Lights might engulf you in dreamy euphoria, while Sour Diesel might rev up your engine. The common notion that strain labels accurately tell consumers what to expect, however, has recently come under sharp scrutiny.


A new analysis of state lab testing data found a mess of inconsistencies in strain qualities from lab to lab.
“Scientifically speaking, most weed strains are bullshit,” a Motherboard article said last year. “The most accurate way to describe weed,” the piece concluded, “is its THC and CBD content rather than its genetic heritage.”

A report published Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports, co-authored by Leafly principal research scientist Nick Jikomes and Harvard graduate student Michael Zoorob, seems to corroborate the ingredients-based approach. At the same time, it strengthens the idea that particular effects can be predicted by a strain’s name—as long as the strain is accurately identified.


RELATED STORY
How Does a Cannabis Strain Get Its Name?

Analyzing publicly available cannabis-testing data from Washington state, the researchers compared THC and CBD results from various state-licensed laboratories. Looking to identify areas of inconsistency, they compared results for a selection of popular strain names. What they found: a mess of inconsistencies.

The Three Chemotypes
Cannabis strains, the report says, can be divided into three chemotypes: THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, and balanced. The proportion of CBD to THC that ends up in a given strain is a function of two different enzymes that act on the molecule CBGA during the plant’s life cycle. One of the enzymes converts the molecule to CBDA, which can then be converted to CBD. The other converts CBGA into THCA, the precursor for THC. How much of each enzyme a given strain has—and thus the relative THC and CBD levels—is determined by its genetics.


RELATED STORY
How Strain Genetics Influence THC:CBD Ratios

In the Washington data, Jikomes and Zoorob found that many samples labeled and sold under a specific strain name in fact yielded test results well outside the range of the chemotype they were associated with.

“If a strain name is going to mean anything, you can’t have multiple chemotypes” associated with it, Jikomes said. More simply put, if a product claiming to be the famously high-CBD, low-THC strain Charlotte’s Web comes back from the lab with a CBD-to-THC ratio of less than 5:1—the threshold for the CBD-dominant chemotype, as defined in the report—it can’t functionally be what we know as Charlotte’s Web.

Two Labs, Two Very Different Results

These two charts compare the THC:CBD ratios in popular strains, as analyzed by two different Washington state-certified labs. (Scientific Reports)
One Strain, Two Labs, Differing Data
Does this mean strain names are meaningless? Far from it.

As it turns out, strain names actually can explain quite a bit of the variation in THC:CBD ratios, especially once results outside of a strain’s chemotype are filtered out.

“The strain name is much more explanatory to the THC and CBD levels than I would have guessed ahead of time,” Jikomes said. “If we add in the terpenes, presumably we’d be able to identify differences between strains more clearly.”


RELATED STORY
Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types?

In other words, while the most accurate way to predict a cannabis experience might be by knowing its cannabinoid profile, strain names can actually be a pretty good indicator of that. This is especially true when the data under analysis comes from a single lab.

Why so many inconsistencies in the state data? “Presumably, some of this, probably a fair amount of it, is mislabeling, intentional or unintentional,” Jikomes speculated. “Maybe a breeder got a seed and someone said, ‘This is Charlotte’s Web,’ and it wasn’t Charlotte’s Web.”



THC Levels for Each Strain Exist Within a Range

(Scientific Reports)
Needed: Biochemical Profiles
To combat inaccurate strain names, “what we really need is to have biochemical profiles of the material that people are buying,” says Dr. Ethan Russo, the director of research and development at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute. (Russo was a peer reviewer of Jikomes and Zoroob’s report.)

Unfortunately, Russo and the report both point out, most of those profiles don’t exist.


RELATED STORY
How California Lab Testing Could Change the Way We Talk About Cannabis

In order to have accurate biochemical profiles of cannabis, even ones limited to THC and CBD, data coming from the labs have to be accurate. Not only does that mean labs must be consistent from sample to sample, it also means results have to hold from lab to lab. “The adoption of universal industry testing standards will be crucial for comparing data across the many existing testing laboratories,” the report notes. “However, standardized procedures have yet to be adopted, and controversy exists about whether all laboratories are accurately measuring and reporting cannabinoid content.”

The authors cite a recent Leafly News investigation showing that one Washington lab, Peak Analytics, showed THC results consistently higher than those from its peers. Jikomes and Zoorob’s analysis found the same inconsistencies, even after controlling for confounding factors like mislabeled strains or inconsistent samples.

Amid the discrepancies, however, was promising news. Data from some of the labs the report looked at had similar characteristics, suggesting the different companies are already using sufficiently similar methodology. These labs, Jikomes said, tended to be those he and Zoorob had classified as “low-THC reporting” and whose results were closer to the data produced by independent researchers.


RELATED STORY
Leafly Investigation: Is Washington’s Top Cannabis Lab Inflating THC Numbers?

When it comes to drawing conclusions from the data, a few bad apples can spoil the whole lot. “I wanted to be able to do chemotyping using this type of data on a large scale,” Jikomes said. “But I realized I couldn’t just take the data from anywhere. Even if every single lab shared data with me, I would actually be worse off as a data scientist, because the measurements are so different between labs.” That roadblock inspired him to do the report, which he hopes will be a call to action for lab reform.

Testing Guidelines Exist, but Aren’t Enforced
As the researchers note, there isn’t any real roadblock to lab reform. Both the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Americans for Safe Access provide testing guidelines for cannabis. The obstacle, the report concludes, is a matter of those guidelines not being implemented or enforced:

“Reliable cannabis laboratory testing is an attainable goal. In the absence of federal regulations in the United States for the foreseeable future, it will be incumbent on state regulators to implement universal testing standards for cannabis laboratories. But states have extensive experience in this arena, regulating laboratories that analyze drinking water and evidence from crime scenes. They need only hold cannabis laboratories to similar standards.”

To do that, the report recommends, states should mandate that labs adhere to standards like the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia’s, as well as obtain third-party accreditation from groups like the International Organization for Standardization. To ensure compliance, the report recommends that states conduct regular “round-robin” audits of facilities.

The goal is to reach a point where a strain is the rough equivalent of a wine grape. You know what flavor profile you're getting with a pinot noir, but each producer can put their own stamp on it.
The entire issue of testing accuracy is something of a chicken-and-egg problem, Russo said. Cannabis consumers haven’t demanded chemically accurate profiles of their cannabis, and so the industry hasn’t provided them—and state governments haven’t mandated them.

“Standards don’t happen unless there is either a mandate to do it or it’s demanded by the consumers,” Russo said. “What I tell people when I speak is, ‘You need this information and you need to ask for it.’”

Lab standardization, the scientists said, would allow researchers to begin the arduous but important task of mapping strain names to their non-arbitrary characteristics, like cannabinoid and terpene content—and then, theoretically, to the effects produced by those components.

The end goal, Jikomes said, is to reach a point where a strain is the rough equivalent of a particular wine grape—you generally know what kind of flavor profile you’re getting with a pinot noir, but each producer can still put their own stamp on it.


RELATED STORY
List of Major Cannabinoids in Cannabis and Their Effects

The Human Factor Adds Complexity
When it comes to predicting effects, researchers have the added variable of the human endocannabinoid system, which is unique from person to person, but nailing down what compounds are in a given strain and what effects they’re associated would still be a huge step forward.

“We ought to be able to segment cannabis products by what they’re made out of,” Jikomes said. “You would at least be able to make the experience consistent for each person, even though the experience wouldn’t be identical for any two people.”

Given how many moving parts are involved, developing an understanding of how cannabinoids and terpenes produce the specific effects they do might take a long, long time. But accurately measuring those cannabinoids and terpenes doesn’t have to, Russo said. “If people are really interested in having the accurate information, the technology is clearly there. We could have this so it means something, and people could have a good idea of what they’re buying. But so far it hasn’t happened here.”

“It’s all within reach,” he said, “it just requires that people want to do it.”
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
If I see diesel added to the name I don’t buy. I usually can taste diesel in a strain. I have bought strains where I know it was missmarked. That was back in the medical dispensary days. I bought a GrapeApe that I know was a diesel strain. I complained the next time I went back.

Often we wouldnt know if something was miss marked unless you are really familiar with the strain you are using. I wonder about them adding flavoring like lemon to enhance the vapor taste. I wouldn’t want that.
 

Alegre

I want them all
The only time I've had the "real" version of a particular strain was when I grew it myself...and even then, without anything else to compare.....dunno.

All the dealers around here are just pulling strain names out their ass.

That's what we get in a non legal.....you get what you get regardless of what they're calling it.
 
Wow! Thanks @Baron23 for this great compilation of information. I'm going to have to read it three times tonight to soak it all up and I'm very interested that people are looking into the science of it all.

I don't care one bit about strain names and personally think that they are mostly bullshit in the retail market. All I care is that I can connect the dots between a cloned plant, prior analytical test results, and the specific individual mother plant it originated from.

If cannabis was tomatoes, we'd have five hundred names for essentially the same pear shaped yellow cherry tomato.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
That's what we get in a non legal.....you get what you get regardless of what they're calling it.
If cannabis was tomatoes, we'd have five hundred names for essentially the same pear shaped yellow cherry tomato.
I find that that 'name calling' of strains is no different in this legal state. I've purchased the same strain... Gelato springs to mind... and it is different from each place I've purchased it from.

Add that they seem to come up with names for strains that change like the wind... much like nailpolish colors and paint samples? I don't know that we ever truly know what we're getting (unless grown personally).
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
How to Assess THC and CBD Levels in Cannabis Strains and Products


How much THC does your favorite cannabis product contain? The answer may not be as straightforward as reading the “total THC” number that is (hopefully) printed on the label. There is no official industry standard for calculating the total THC of a cannabis product, and different producers and testing facilities calculate it in different ways. As a consumer, what you’re really after is the amount of THC or CBD that will be available for your consumption, which will depend on the content of the product, the route of administration, and the method of consumption.

Let’s take a closer look at the different ways you can estimate THC levels in cannabis products (the same logic applies to CBD).

THCA, THC, and Decarboxylation
If you want to know how potent a cannabis product is, it helps to understand the difference between THCA and THC, and how one gets converted into the other. Cannabis does not make THC, it makes THCA, which is a non-intoxicating compound that can be converted into THC through decarboxylation. This typically occurs in the presence of heat energy applied by the consumer. When your lighter, vaporizer, or oven heats up your cannabis product, THCA gets converted into THC. Many people talk about “activated” vs. “inactive” THC. This is what they mean.


Figure 1: THC-acid is produced by the cannabis plant. With the application of heat energy, the acidic residue of THCA is removed, producing the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Cannabis flower normally contains very low levels of THC. The heat applied by consumers converts most of the THCA into THC. (Amy Phung/Leafly)
THCA, THC, and Reading Cannabis Product Labels
Most cannabis products sold legally in the US are required to be tested and labeled for THC and CBD content. However, when you examine a typical label, you’re likely to see several numbers, such as CBDA, CBD, THCA, and THC percentages, and perhaps things like “Total THC” and “Total Cannabinoids.” Let’s look at a real-life example from Washington state:


Figure 2: Example label of a cannabis flower product sold in Washington state (Platinum Cookies by Western Cultured). Notice the numbers listed under “Potency Analysis.” This product contains 23.2% THCA and 1.0% THC by dry weight. “Total THC” represents the total potential THC level of this product—the amount of THC present if all THCA is successfully converted into THC. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)
Let’s focus on three numbers under the “Potency Analysis” of the above label: THC, THCA, and total THC. On this label, the THC level is 1.0%. Most labels will display a low number like this because the plant contains mostly THCA, which needs to be decarboxylated (“activated”) by heat. In this case, we see 23.2% for the THCA level.

Things get tricky when we look at the “total THC” level, which is 21.35% here. Total THC is supposed to refer to how much THC will be present as a percentage of dry weight after the THCA has been converted into THC. On this example label, “total THC” is 21.35%. But wait, if we have 1.0% THC and 23.2% THCA, why isn’t total THC 24.2%? Shouldn’t we just add the THC and THCA percentage levels together, since THCA will get converted into THC? Nope. There are a couple things that make this tricky.



First, THC isn’t quite as heavy as THCA, so we need to account for that. This makes sense if you look at the chemical structures for THCA vs. THC (Figure 1). THC is just THCA after a piece gets chopped off. So, THC is lighter—it’s 87.7% of the molecular weight of THCA. That’s why total THC on the above label is 21.35% instead of 24.1%. When you see something like “Total THC” on a product label, they should be getting that number using a calculation that takes this into account (see Method 2 in Figure 3 below).

Second, the process of turning THCA into THC is not 100% efficient—not every THCA molecule will be converted into a THC molecule, and at very high temperatures, some of the THC may degrade into CBN. Our friends at Steep Hill Labs estimate that 75% is a representative upper limit for what fraction of THCA will end up as THC. In that case, for every four molecules of THCA that get heated during consumption, only three get successfully converted to THC.

While this type of calculation provides a more accurate estimate of final THC levels, in practice it’s very difficult to know what your THCA to THC conversion efficiency will be; it will depend on how long your flower is exposed to heat, the exact heating temperature, and the device you’re using.


Figure 3: Three different examples of how people estimate total THC levels. Method 1, which just adds together THCA and THC percentages, is too simplistic and greatly overestimates THC content. Method 2 is the correct way to calculate the maximum potential THC content. Something like Method 3 can be used to account for the fact that not all THCA will end up as consumable THC, but in practice it’s hard make this calculation. The 0.75 value is what Steep Hill labs uses, but the exact number will depend on several other factors. (Amy Phung/Leafly)
Final THC Levels Depend on Consumption Method
“Heating of cannabis extracts at 200°C for five minute results in almost 100% decarboxylation of THCA to THC, without forming CBN.”
Dr. Rudolf Brenneisen, University of Bern, Switzerland
To better understand how different consumption methods affect decarboxylation rates and the final THC content in cannabis products, Leafly spoke with Rudolf Brenneisen, PhD. His lab at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, has extensively studied how decarboxylation rates and THC availability are influenced by different products (specifically, vaporizers) and routes of administration.

Dr. Brenneisen emphasized that “Decarboxylation efficiency/rate depends on heating temperature and time, as well as the vaporizer design and technology.” His lab has specifically studied how different vaporization temperatures and products affect how efficiently THCA is converted into THC in both flower and cannabis extracts. “Heating of cannabis extracts at 200°C for five minute results in almost 100% decarboxylation of THCA to THC, without forming CBN,” he said.



Decarboxylation of THCA to THC starts occurring at around 180°C. As you increase the temperature from there, other compounds like terpenes will begin to vaporize, each at a different temperature. At even higher temperatures, you’ll start to get combustion. This will affect not only levels of THC and other cannabinoids, but also terpenes. Moreover, combustion can produce byproducts that may be hazardous to your health.

“Burning of cannabis (not tested and validated in my lab) at >700°C will probably result in a higher decarboxylation rate, but also more degradation to CBN and the production of potentially harmful byproducts. In addition, temperatures that are too high lead to loss of terpenes, which are important ‘entourage effect’ compounds,” Dr. Brenneisen explained.


Figure 4: Different consumption methods will influence the cannabinoid and terpene levels that consumers ingest. Vaporization occurs at lower temperatures than combustion, and is less likely to cause further breakdown of THC into CBN or destroy terpenes. However, the cannabinoid and terpene content of vapor will vary with different vaporization temperatures. (Amy Phung/Leafly)


There isn’t an exact, magic number for the temperature at which cannabis flower starts to combust, but the temperature range of most commercial electric vaporizers should be below this threshold. Traditional smoking methods that directly ignite flower are a different story. The temperature of a typical Bic lighter flame will be well over 1,000°C, which would be expected to cause degradation of THC into CBN and some destruction of terpenes. These factors will naturally influence the nature of your experience.

The Takeaway
You want to know the theoretical maximum percent dry weight value for the THC content of your product. The same logic applies to CBD. If the product is labeled well, this value should appear as “total THC” or something similar, and should be calculated as follows:

Total Potential THC = (0.877 * %THCA) + %THC

This is the theoretical maximum amount of THC present in your product. It accounts for the weight difference between THCA and THC, and assumes 100% conversion of THCA into THC. But the conversion efficiency may not be 100%, which is why this is a maximum estimate. The real amount of THC available for your consumption will probably be lower than this number. Estimating exactly how much lower is tricky because, as we explored, it depends on the details of your consumption method. And of course, all of this depends on having a cannabis product that has been honestly and accurately measured. It’s entirely possible that certain cannabis products on the market today have not been accurately tested, and the numbers on the label may be inflated. If you’re new to cannabis, be sure to ask a budtender to recommend quality products from trusted sources.


References:
Dussy FE, Hamberg C, Luginbühl M, Schwerzmann T, Briellmann TA. Isolation of Delta9-THCA-A from hemp and analytical aspects concerning the determination of Delta9-THC in cannabis products. Forensic Sci Int. 2005;149(1):3-10.
Elzinga S, Ortiz O, Raber JC. The Conversion and Transfer of Cannabinoids from Cannabis to Smoke Stream in Cigarettes. Nat Prod Chem Res. 2015;3(1). PDF
Lanz C, Mattsson J, Soydaner U, Brenneisen R. Medicinal Cannabis: In Vitro Validation of Vaporizers for the Smoke-Free Inhalation of Cannabis. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(1):e0147286. PDF
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
All I care is that I can connect the dots between a cloned plant, prior analytical test results, and the specific individual mother plant it originated from.

Absolutely but I don't see where in a legal state you will have access to that type of info on your flower purchases. I don't in MD's MMJ program. I'm no expert on this, but for example we have two different legal cultivators in my state that are both offering The Guice, and dispensaries are listing them separately because...well, they really aren't identical.

If cannabis was tomatoes, we'd have five hundred names for essentially the same pear shaped yellow cherry tomato.

I agree 100%!!
 

GreenHopper

20 going on 60
As a cannabis cultivator the strain names do affect my seed or clone purchasing decisions.

For me strain names are useful but only for the big names from reliable breeders.

I'm not really after an exact replication of a strain but more the dominant traits. I know the terps / thc / cbd etc... levels are going to fluctuate from grow to grow depending on all kinds of variables and that is going to result in different flavour/effects but as a grower I'm just as interested in the grow profile.

For example, my last grow was 'Gorilla Glue #4' by 'Fast Buds' (auto). I knew I wasn't getting the original GG#4 as that was bred by 'Dark Horse Genetics' (DHG) as a non-feminised photoperiod. However I knew 'Fast Buds' were attempting to replicate the originals traits but as an auto bloom.

I knew the traits I was after thanks to descriptions of GG#4 so I took a shot with 'Fast Buds' and they delivered:
  • High yielding plant (450 to 650 gr/m2)
  • Short
  • High THC Yield
  • Frosty, good for making concentrates
  • Hardy (doesn't need babying during the grow)
  • Auto
Just as the description of DHG's version minus the auto.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Not sure if to put this here or in the Strain thread under Cannabis subforum...so maybe in both places! LOL

More support for "all strain names do is give you something to call it" view. Again, in MD I know of three different MMJ regulated growers who all sell a strain named Guice and I can tell you that while of a similar vein, they are all different and not an identical product.

The main argument, IMO, for continuing non-profit genenome analysis is that the more genetic data that's in the public domain, the less there is for large pharma to try to lock up.


How mapping marijuana DNA could change the future of cannabis


Scientists hope that a "cannabis genome" could mean better results for growers and patients – but will it allow big pharma to take over?

Scientists are currently in the midst of exploring uncharted territory: The cannabis genome. Unlike with other plants, researchers don't have a long history of closely analyzing the genetic makeup of the plant. But for the past seven years – as more and more states legalize medical and recreational pot – researchers have been working on producing a high-quality marijuana genome. Everyone from low-level researchers to larger companies are part of this effort, and they say mapping the cannabis genome could be highly beneficial to people who grow or use cannabis.

"No one has any idea what they're smoking. Everything is name draw, so consumers and patients don't know what they're getting," says Mowgli Holmes, co-founder and CEO of Phylos Bioscience, which has been working on its cannabis genome for over two years. "DNA sequencing uniquely identifies a plant, which allows growers to really tell their customers what plant they're actually getting."

Phylos Bioscience released its first reference genome for cannabis at the end of 2016. A team of Canadian researchers had released a cannabis genome in 2011, but, Holmes says, Phylos' genome was far more complex and detailed. Though it's been utilized by scientists around the world, Phylos is currently working to release an even more comprehensive genome.

In order to analyze a strain's DNA, researchers put ground cannabis into a container and then add something called a lysis solution to release genomic DNA from the plant's cells. From there, the researchers use several other solutions to separate out the different kinds of molecules in the cell so that DNA can be isolated for sequencing.

Phylos has a program where cannabis growers can send samples of their plants to the company to get the plant's genetic information, which helps growers, and also helps the company add more genetic data to its genome. "We've now sequenced thousands of different plants, and we have by far the biggest database of individual plant data," Holmes said.

Beyond just learning which plants most benefit growers and their customers, creating a comprehensive cannabis genome advances our understanding the medicinal properties of cannabis itself. Once scientists know how the DNA of the plant produces different compounds that can be used for medical purposes, says Holmes, they can breed medical marijuana for more specific purposes.

"The plants genetics control what chemicals they're going to make," Holmes says.

Though mapping cannabis' genome is a large effort, the plant is relatively simple compared to the DNA sequence of other plants. Nolan Kane, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who has worked on the cannabis genome, tells Rolling Stone that other genomes he's worked are far more complicated.

"The genome itself doesn't bring challenges that are insurmountable or unique, in the sense of the technical challenges," Kane said. "It's actually on the smaller side for a plant genome."



An employee works in an indoor cultivation facility of Cannabis sativa plants at Medropharm GmbH, pictured in Kradolf-Schoenenberg, Canton of Thurgau, Switzerland, on October 18, 2017.

Kane says the sunflower genome is "3.5 Gigabases" – a measure of the plant's nucleotides, or its genetic building blocks – which is nearly five times the size of cannabis' genome. He says plants like pine trees and spruce trees have genomes that are 40 times larger than that of cannabis.

Of course, with all this information there could be some drawbacks. Many worry that certain cannabis strains could be patented by large agricultural or pharmaceutical companies, which could do harm to smaller cannabis growers who fear the legal ramifications of butting heads with their larger counterparts. One of the leading companies that is researching the cannabis genome, Sunrise Genetics, is fully aware of people's patenting concerns and shares some of those worries.

Some broad patents were given to those looking to protect strains they have developed, and Sunrise argues knowing more about cannabis DNA could actually help invalidate those broad patents.

"One major concern of our company, and in the field in general, is that some of the most recent patents granted for cannabis appear too far-reaching," says C.J. Schwartz, CEO of Sunrise Genetics. "A recent example is a patent claiming unique combinations of cannabinoid and terpene profiles. How can you say something is unique when there is nothing to compare it against? What if you get those same profiles with a different strain (and a different combination of genes)?"

Sean O'Connor, a law professor who focuses on intellectual property at the University of Washington, says that cannabis patenting by large companies is definitely on the way. "If we get federal legalization… you're definitely going to see both recreational and pharma folks coming in and trying to patent what they can, and then there is going to be competition and lawsuits," he says.

O'Connor points out that pharmaceutical companies will be able to isolate strains of cannabis DNA and then create compounds found in cannabis in the lab, and that will result in them patenting many drugs based on their creations.

"Some of the most exciting but controversial research is in isolating and identifying cannabinoids and particular chemical compounds, not THC that gets you high but other things that could have therapeutic benefits, and then folks will… just generate that chemical," O'Connor said. "They don't need the whole cannabis plant. What you'll see is a pharmaceuticalization of medical marijuana."

With all of the patenting concerns in mind, Holmes of Phylos Bioscience is actually already working to fight off future cannabis patents. An archive of over 1,000 strains he helped create called the Open Cannabis Project is documenting the different strains Holmes and others have sequenced. Since there is evidence these particular strains already exist, it could help prevent those strains from being patented. If someone tries to patent a strain that can be easily found in the database, the patent office would likely not grant the patent, because there would be evidence it's not new.

"We can't stop the way patenting works in the world," Holmes says. "All we can do is make data public and make it hard for people to patent stuff they shouldn't patent."



 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Yep, I'm finding names and I, S, or H (I or S) to be useless and have found strains within my little newly legal MMJ state from different growers to be very different products. Its a complete and utter mess and strain names, which are proliferating like house flies lately, ain't going to cut it, IMO.


What’s in a Name? Researcher Finds Inconsistent Qualities Among Marijuana Strains


Strains by the same name sold at different dispensaries have significant genetic variations that could result in inconsistent physiological effects on consumers, according to recently released research.

Doctoral candidate Anna Schwabe, who is studying population and evolutionary genetics at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, tested 122 strains of cannabis in Washington, Colorado and California. She tested strains that were widely available — including strains like Golden Goat, Blue Dream, Purple Kush and Green Crack, among others — and compared their genetic makeup which often varied widely.

Her results were surprising, considering many growers think they’re getting clones of the same plant.

“I think, especially for cannabis, you need to know what you’re starting with,” Schwabe said. “It’s going to change from growhouse to growhouse. We want to reduce the chance for variability.”

In her research, Schwabe also did not find a significant genetic difference between indica and sativa species.

The genetic variation between cannabis products that are labeled the same is problematic for both growers and consumers who often expect one product with expected physiological effects and instead receive another, depending where they’re buying their products.

“I use the examples of Skittles and M&Ms. If you reach in a bag of M&Ms and get a Skittle, you’re going to be really surprised,” Schwabe said. “For me it’s really important that what’s outside the package match what’s inside the package.”

Schwabe faced significant hurdles while performing her research. Working on a shoestring budget, she traveled to Washington and California during her spring break. Because she couldn’t legally transport the cannabis across state lines, Scwabe ground up the plant material and used centrifuges at labs where friends worked. She also couldn’t bring the product intact onto campus, and had to prepare the samples off campus for later testing at the university.

Schwabe used an inexpensive dehydrator to dry her samples. Because the cannabis didn’t need to be spun all that quickly to extract the DNA, at times she used a salad spinner when a centrifuge wasn’t available. After dehydrating and spinning the strains, she brought vials of the prepared samples onto campus for genetic testing.

“It’s grassroots,” Schwabe said. “You have to get creative when you don’t have any funding.”

The lack of uniform strains that are replicated isn’t just worrisome for consumers who could be getting a different product each time they enter a different dispensary.

Growers can’t benefit from making proprietary, unique strains because cannabis is labeled as a non-eligible commodity by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and therefore not qualified for the same protections that farmers who grow a unique type of tomato or apple receive.

“They’re making these stellar new breeds and anybody could steal a cutting and grow it and call it something else,” Schwabe said. “Anybody can say they had it.”

Schwabe’s research was first presented to the Institute of Cannabis Research in April of 2017. Her work was made available to the public in late May of 2018.

“When dispensaries are taking things for testing, they’re taking the right thing, but maybe the customer isn’t always getting what was tested. That’s another point of my research,” she said. “I think it’s a cautionary tale. Just because the strain is called this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the same everywhere.”
 

Maddox

New Member
I'm planning to buy this Bubblegum Kush I've seen on this article because it says it gives satisfaction and happiness like candy does.It is also known for its appetizing flavor and aroma. Does someone here has tried this Candy? I'd love to hear your advices.
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
I've wondered about this. Last year I was buying clones and asked for Blue Dream. The bud tender asked which type, which confused me, so she explained they had it from four nurseries, which one did I want? I didn't know, so I didn't buy Blue Dream. I didn't know if different nurseries had varied growing techniques, or if they were calling different plants Blue Dream. Now I follow various farms on IG, and will buy from sellers that carry specific farms seeds and clones, if I'm fortunate to ever be in a position to grow again. I'm getting the idea that if a strain is popular enough for me to have heard of it, it probably isn't what it was any more.
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
Great article, @Disrupt. I find myself writing cannabis a lot, as some people on another site get worked up if you say marijuana or weed, feeling it's disrespectful to the plant. I think it's worse for people to try and sanitize the name for profit, and don't think the plant cares what it's called. Now it looks like calling it cannabis plays into corporate agenda.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I've wondered about this. Last year I was buying clones and asked for Blue Dream. The bud tender asked which type, which confused me, so she explained they had it from four nurseries, which one did I want? I didn't know, so I didn't buy Blue Dream. I didn't know if different nurseries had varied growing techniques, or if they were calling different plants Blue Dream. Now I follow various farms on IG, and will buy from sellers that carry specific farms seeds and clones, if I'm fortunate to ever be in a position to grow again. I'm getting the idea that if a strain is popular enough for me to have heard of it, it probably isn't what it was any more.
In my med legal state, we have multiple growers cultivating the same "strain" but they are different. Just slightly different genetics results in different plant/effects.

Cross Blueberry and Haze and you get Blue Dream. Cross different Blueberry and Haze plants and you get different genetics. See the same thing in kids from the same parents...often, some real differences in genetics.

Blue Dream is not attributed to a specific grower....seems like some strains have a known originator and I guess if you want the real thing 100% you would need to buy them from that source...maybe...???

Also, there are different phenotype, right? Like here we have GG #1 and GG#4 and #4 is more indica leaning.


Now I don't grow (not legal here) and so my knowledge of all of this can be written on the back of a pack of matches. Take it with a grain of salt!
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
In my med legal state, we have multiple growers cultivating the same "strain" but they are different. Just slightly different genetics results in different plant/effects.

Cross Blueberry and Haze and you get Blue Dream. Cross different Blueberry and Haze plants and you get different genetics. See the same thing in kids from the same parents...often, some real differences in genetics.

Blue Dream is not attributed to a specific grower....seems like some strains have a known originator and I guess if you want the real thing 100% you would need to buy them from that source...maybe...???

Also, there are different phenotype, right? Like here we have GG #1 and GG#4 and #4 is more indica leaning.


Now I don't grow (not legal here) and so my knowledge of all of this can be written on the back of a pack of matches. Take it with a grain of salt!
I think you get the gist, @Baron23 . When you can go to six dispensaries and get six different Blue Dream 's, then something is going on. I won't order seeds online anymore. When you grow out something that doesn't bear a resemblance to the description of the seeds you ordered, you lose faith as well as money. What do you call that you grew, if you don't think it's what it should be? What you ordered, and mislead any people you share with? Make up a name? What about bag seed? The name of what you bought, not knowing the other parent strain? I do get that some things come down to the grower, but when you can buy a packet of tomato seeds and grow what is promised, it is disheartening to pay much more for seeds that could be anything the company decides to send. You have to trust the seed company, they have to trust the supplier, who has to trust the breeder. Same with clones, except clones, not seeds of course. I don't know of a solution. I expect that it's much worse when you have to trust "a guy", as many do, and/or have nothing to do with the grow at all.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I think you get the gist, @Baron23 . When you can go to six dispensaries and get six different Blue Dream 's, then something is going on. I won't order seeds online anymore. When you grow out something that doesn't bear a resemblance to the description of the seeds you ordered, you lose faith as well as money. What do you call that you grew, if you don't think it's what it should be? What you ordered, and mislead any people you share with? Make up a name? What about bag seed? The name of what you bought, not knowing the other parent strain? I do get that some things come down to the grower, but when you can buy a packet of tomato seeds and grow what is promised, it is disheartening to pay much more for seeds that could be anything the company decides to send. You have to trust the seed company, they have to trust the supplier, who has to trust the breeder. Same with clones, except clones, not seeds of course. I don't know of a solution. I expect that it's much worse when you have to trust "a guy", as many do, and/or have nothing to do with the grow at all.
Personally, I think its all BS unless and until a specific genome for a "strain" is established, published, and adhered to. And we ain't even close to that yet.
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
Personally, I think its all BS unless and until a specific genome for a "strain" is established, published, and adhered to. And we ain't even close to that yet.
Right, but then what do you call, or should dispensaries call the strains they sell? Or breeders, seed companies, etc?
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Right, but then what do you call, or should dispensaries call the strains they sell? Or breeders, seed companies, etc?
Right now, they can call it any damn thing that they want. That's all there is too it.

Here in MD, I take note of not only the strain but the cultivator....if I like a certain flower I bought, I seek that (strain/grower) and don't assume that they are the same when from different sources.

That's it.
 

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