A Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Strains | 2020 Updated
Visiting a legal marijuana dispensary for the first time and encountering a plethora of different strains, all grandiosely named, can be quite confusing as well as intimidating. Scientifically speaking, marijuana strains are different breeds or varieties of the three different species of the plant genus Cannabis. Not all cannabis is the same in effect, aroma or flavor. Different strains cater to different purposes of marijuana consumption and your cannabis experience is largely dependent on the kind of marijuana strain you smoke, eat or drink. In this post, we will introduce you to the world of marijuana strains for both therapeutic and recreational uses and also share some preliminary tips on how to choose the best strain for yourself.
How many cannabis strains are there?
You’ll be surprised to know that currently there are over 2300 legitimate marijuana strains recognized by the cannabis experts and the list is fast growing. There are two main species of cannabis – Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. There is also a third species, Cannabis ruderalis, which is not commonly used for recreational or medicinal purposes. The strains are either different pure varieties of indica and sativa or various hybrid combinations of the three species. Depending on the lineage, the hybrid strains show traits of either one or both of the parent species and produce customized or balanced highs. For example, while the Irish Cream is a perfect example of the popular indica dominant strains, the Blue Dream is one of the sativa dominant ones. On the other hand, the Purple Kush is said to be a pure indica strain whereas the Destroyer is a hundred percent sativa strain.
How are the different strains born?
The huge number of existing marijuana strains is undoubtedly a result of the centuries of passionate and skilled experimentations in cannabis growing. The history of cannabis cultivation is as old as human civilization itself. In modern times, both professional, as well as amateur cannabis growers, have been successfully experimenting with hybrid strains since the 1960s. It is said that during the 1970s and 80s, cannabis connoisseurs from the USA and Europe traveled across the world to collect landrace strains and cultivate them in their own local gardens. In the following decades, new hybrid strains were bred from those original strains known as the‘heirlooms’ and were propagated throughout Europe and North America. With the advancement of agricultural technology in recent times, experimental cannabinoid researches are creating more and more viable strains every year.
Growing a new strain not only requires advanced knowledge of agricultural sciences and plant genetics but also involves complicated cultivation techniques. Due to these difficulties, most of the amateur experiments usually turn into sheer failures. Still, the ever-increasing demand in the cannabis market and the indomitable enthusiasm of the cannabis aficionados make sure that the database of different marijuana strains never stops growing. Often, a popular hybrid strain gives birth to a family of different new strains, as happened with the Haze or Sour strains.
How to choose from the different marijuana strains?
Before choosing the perfect strain for you, first, you need to clearly identify the specific purpose of your consumption. Is it therapeutic or just purely for recreational reasons? Different pure or genetically designed hybrid marijuana strains are bred to give the consumer very different effects or highs. They act quite differently on the human body and mind. Some strains are more effective for certain medical conditions than others. As it is commonly believed, indica gives you a relaxing and sedating effect while sativa is more energizing and euphoric.
According to the marijuana community, indica contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) which has great medicinal value. Indica strains are commonly used for various therapeutic purposes such as treating inflammation, body pain, insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, and other health issues. The calming effect of the indica heavy strains like L.A. Confidential, Godfather OG or the Irish Cream makes them extremely useful for pain management, treating sleep disorders and other medicinal purposes.
On the other hand, sativa comes with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which ensures its stimulating psychoactive effect. This makes sativa dominant strains like the Blue Dream or Acapulco Gold more popular among recreational users. While choosing from the thousands of strains in the market, it is imperative that you are sure of the type of high or effect you’re looking forward to before purchasing your buds. There are strains like Gorilla Glue or GG which, being an exact 50:50 hybrid of indica and sativa, would give you just the right balance of an exhilarating high and a mellow soothing effect. It is also an amazing strain to help with pain management, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Be a little careful while selecting a strain
Though different marijuana strains differ from each other in terms of flavor, aroma and most importantly effects, you should always keep in mind that even the same strain could produce different effects on different consumers. Always know the potential side-effects of a particular strain before using it. Whether pure or genetically modified, cannabis can also adversely interact with the medicines you are taking. It is always good to check with your doctor if you are on medication or want to use a particular cannabis strain for medicinal purposes.
Over the last years, passionate cannabis enthusiasts and marijuana consumption, in general, have steadily grown all over the world. In Canada, online cannabis dispensaries have made different popular cannabis strains more accessible to people. In response to the growing demand in the marijuana market, the recent advancements in DNA sequencing and gene technologies have radically revolutionized the methods of cannabis strain cultivation like never before. Each year, more and more new and exciting strains are coming up in the market. Take a cue from this post and start exploring the amazing world of the marijuana strains NOW! Follow our tips to find out the perfect strain for yourself and head to your nearest store to find just the right dose for your needs.