Why Do Different Strains of Marijuana Exist?

You may have noticed that there are many different strains of marijuana on the market today. Even though some look similar, they can produce noticeably different effects on your body. Wouldn’t it be great if …


You may have noticed that there are many different strains of marijuana on the market today. Even though some look similar, they can produce noticeably different effects on your body. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick a strain and know what you were going to feel like after?

The reason why different strains exist is that the number of consumers is growing at a rapid pace. People around the world have different preferences and they want something to help cater to their needs. Because of an increase in demand and the rate at which marijuana is becoming accepted merely by being legalized in certain states, there have to be more varieties created to fit individual desires.

State of Cannabis Today

Nowadays, when it’s legal in just about every state for medical use (and in many of those states, for recreational use), it’s not so much a matter of escaping from the law or from anti-drug campaigners. Not only do people have to deal with controlling the odor — which is a huge challenge for anyone growing indoors — but there are other environmental factors to worry about.

The answer is that the difference comes from how cannabis is cultivated. There are many diverse ways to cultivate a plant and that method can significantly affect its appearance, taste, smell, and cannabinoid content. That’s why you will notice different strains which emphasize specific characteristics of this magical herb.

Some of the first cannabis strains were accidentally created because of where they grew. By learning about marijuana genetics you will be able to better understand why, for example, some Sour Diesel plants grow shorter than others or why some Afghan Kush buds are very dark yet other lots are lighter in color. Some people choose to alter their weed by spraying it with chemical additives, while others prefer to control the potency of their weed by growing it themselves trying to increase the amount of THC in their weed.

There are a lot of funny names given to cannabis cultivars, but the truth is that there are far fewer distinct types of cannabis than these names would imply. Especially when we talk about varieties of Type I chemotypes producing high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This variation in chemical composition is due to the fact that different chemotypes, or classes of cannabis plants, produce different amounts of terpene essential oils. These oils can modify the effects of THC and produce different psychoactive effects. For instance:

  • Many purple strains of cannabis contain a high amount of terpene myrcene.
  • Most kush varieties produce limonene, caryophyllene, and myrcene — all chemicals combine to contribute to the strong “entourage effect.”
  • Green Crack is a hybrid strain consisting of terpene ocimene and terpene myrcene.
  • Cookies have a high level of caryophyllene, followed by limonene and little myrcene.
  •  Jack Herer and Trainwreck have a terpinolene-heavy terpene profile.

We’ve all heard it before: “Sativa is for energetic, creative, and social highs and Indica is for pain relief when you relax.” In fact, the sedative effects of myrcene-rich strains of cannabis, particularly at moderate or high doses, are likely caused by terpene myrcene. With its earthy tones and herbal, fruity aroma, myrcene is one of the most prevalent terpenes found in the cannabis plant. Myrcene, which can make up as much as 65% of the total terpene profile, has a lot to offer those who enjoy cannabis. In other words, if you’re looking for a strain with a more “Indica” effect, look for strains with high myrcene levels.

How to Tell the Difference Between Different Types of Marijuana Strains?

The more experience you have with something, the more knowledge of it you gain. The first step to knowing which strain is best for you is to be familiar with the different kinds of marijuana. This makes it difficult for first-time consumers to figure out which strain is best for them. Familiarity can come from frequently gazing at pictures of different cannabis strains or when you buy a specific strain of marijuana at a dispensary, you can learn a lot about it by closely examining the product and comparing it to other cannabis products that are available.

Second, you need to have experience dealing with this strain yourself. Visual cues offer another way to give information. When identifying buds, learn to distinguish between red hairs, trichomes, and various shades of green.

Third, veteran smokers can often identify the strain of marijuana they’re smoking just by actually inhaling its smoke. Sativa tends to hit you quickly, while Indica takes a little longer to get going. In addition, a smoker can discern between strains of cannabis by not only the effects the smoke has on him, but also by the taste of the smoke. The flavor of a particular strain of cannabis is determined by the terpene profile.

And the last but not least, when you buy a strain of marijuana, simply ask the dispensary associate which strains you are purchasing. When you are looking to get cannabis, it is usually through personal recommendations. If you’re curious about getting dipper into the knowledge of different strains, ask your weed-smoking friends. They are most likely will happy to share their experience with you.


Strains can be a pretty confusing topic. When most people think of cannabis they think of THC content and how strong the high will be. The problem is this really doesn’t give you a full understanding of the plant. The different strains of any given cannabis plant depend on how it was grown. The plants you grow will depend on how they were nurtured. With just a bit of care in the growing process, you can create an amazing flavor profile or choose the high you want.

If you’re looking for the latest strains, growing tips, or want to dive into the culture of cannabis, you can find them by visiting AskGrowers. Here you will find a friendly community of experts and enthusiasts who are ready to provide you with helpful content.

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