Cannabis cultivar, also referred to as a “strain,” is essentially the variety of versions of the cannabis plant that has resulted from hundreds of years of cross-breeding, both by the forces of nature and the genetic manipulations of scientists and growers around the world.
Different cultivars offer different effects, flavor profiles, resin production and cannabinoid profiles (the specific amounts of cannabinoids within a cultivar), among other differences. Each unique cultivar can present a specific experience unique to that plant, and the various versions of each cultivar are even more nuanced.
5 Questions To Ask About Cannabis Cultivars:
- What is the genetic lineage? This will help you recognize familiar cultivars. Note that there is a large variety of phenotypes within a cultivar, so shopping by name alone won’t necessarily get you what you’re looking for.
- Which leaf variety does it possess? Sometimes this is visually discernible, other times you may have to ask. Big, bulbous, fat buds are likely to have BLV traits and genetics. Longer, thin buds with matching leaves will lend themselves towards NLV cultivars. Hybrids are best identified with the help of your Happy Valley Host.
- What effects do consumers typically report experiencing? The goal here is to get an idea of whether or not other consumers are finding success with this cultivar for needs similar to yours. While each person’s endocannabinoid system differs, others who experience similar effects are a good place to start when looking for a post-consumption review.
- What do the lab test results reveal? This will help you discern the potency of cultivars from a THC, CBD and terpene profile standpoint. You can then search for cultivars with similar profiles.
- What terpenes are in this cultivar, and in what concentrations? Some states such as Nevada have mandatory testing for terpenes, while others may have brands that elect to add terpene testing. In lieu of testing, budtenders may be able to guide you through identifying the aromas that you notice. Recognizing which terpenes are pleasant to your body will help you identify cannabis products that will work well to maintain your homeostasis.