Marihuana Strain Names Are Meaningful



Enjoying marijuana strains like wine enthusiasts do.

A foremost cannabis expert, who held a federal government exemption to grow any kind of cannabis he wanted, claims marihuana strain names are meaningful. Bud name’s provide people an opportunity to identify cannabis characteristics that should be associated with a particular kind of pot.

Recent reports by LA Weekly stating Marijuana Strains Like OG Kush Are Meaningless, Expert Says are schwag and conducted with questionable science. I’m an expert too, having reviewed, photographed and in some cases grown some of the 150 cannabis strains in Marijuana Smoker’s Guidebook.

Growers will tell you, cannabis has distinct characteristics that make strains unique. Unfortunately prohibition plays a tremendous role in distorting everything – especially cannabis science. PhD chemist Jeffery Raber sounds like a smart fellow, but he doesn’t take into account prohibition in his thesis. Many of his discoveries can be easily explained. Prohibition is hard to account for scientifically, unless it’s counting people in prison.

Raber argues and I do too by the way, “what’s being sold as OG Kush in one shop could be something completely different in another.” There are plenty of possibilities, prohibition being one, that Raber discovered these differences.
The science is easy, you don’t need a PhD from USC to do your own strain study. Raber purchased different kinds of OG Kush strains from various California dispensaries. Naturally a nug novice would think they would all be similar – after all they’re labeled OG Kush.

However, you don’t need a PhD to know what happened next, readers of Marijuana Smoker’s Guidebook know, “Every dealer has it [OG Kush] even when they don’t.” In world when every brand faces fakery, even OG Kush has its knockoffs.

Prohibition ensures pot shops and dealers aren’t beholden to anyone when it comes to their labeling and for that matter neither are marijuana seed companies. Mislabeling is not happening everywhere, but it is a seedy industry. There’s a percentage of med pot on dispensary shelves knowingly or not mislabeled.

Then there is this even bigger possibility. An easy Seed Finder search turns up eight different types of OG Kush being offered by cannabis seed breeders. At the very least a dispensary could offer eight different types of OG from reputable seed breeders.

I agree there’s plenty of wrongfully named OG Kush marijuana strains. It’s a seedy industry!

Growing up in the Garden City I learned all about grapes. There are several varieties of grapes, but there are even more wineries to varieties. Much like a winery, dispensaries and seed breeders are offering their take on OG Kush.
Taking a wine enthusiasts approach to cannabis opens our eyes to marijuana strains in ways that can only be documented through human skills. These skills are easily developed and honed over time by toking (and growing) a variety of cannabis. 

Only the most popular of pot will achieve multiple knock off status. Granted this confuses the marketplace and people like Raber, but there are ways to overcome this shortcoming.

By becoming an educated cannabis enthusiast you will learn what to expect from something labeled OG Kush, Trainwreck, LA Confidential or Chocolope. An in the known enthusiasts seeks out specifics that should be found in the strain. Cannabis consumers can educate themselves about what to expect from a strain labeled OG Kush, LA Confidential or Exodus Cheese.

There are numerous marijuana review sites, people documenting their tokes on Tumblr and YouTube and my own guidebook. All three marijuana strains have distinct aromas, effects, and flavors that people would be able to tell and experience the difference.

Applying science to strain sampling is akin to applying science to wine sampling. It doesn’t work because there are some things science can’t measure and toking is one of them.

Naturally, you’re going to find tremendous amount of differences with a strain like OG Kush and it isn’t even the most replicated – Skunk #1 and White Widow have even more versions. Raber should find less retail difference from strains that do not have multiple seed breeder offerings.

The strain hunt would be way more challenging. A person would have to purchase, an LA Confidential at one place, document it, then find an LA Confidential at another dispensary and do the same. Repeat. They should find similarities and a few subtle differences based on grower technique, medium and nutes. Give two different growers the same clones and they’ll come back with slightly different results.

Marijuana strains may not be distinguishable using Raber’s science, but then again he’s a chemist and the study of plants is botany.

8 thoughts on “Marihuana Strain Names Are Meaningful

  1. bcainw

    The long term answer will be through mapping the genome. In the short term spectroscopy can “at least” let us know the presence and distribution of the various cannabinoids, terpnes etc.

  2. Nathan Arnold

    Even overlooking the continental and species variants occurring in the cannabis species, it is hard but to stand in awe of what this plant has done for society and is still able to thrive despite our near-total renouncement of it. If Dr. Raber had originally committed more effort to research in the actual producers of the cannabis than towards consuming as a participant of the market, his results would likely be drastically different. There would be more control over constraints and other unmentioned variables which affect the product line of the cannabis from seed to consumer and the current system of operations allows for a large volume of distortion and noise into that market, with only the assistance of these relatively new chemical composition tests. As a superior and powerful herb, cannabis ‘marijuana’ has so many dynamic features in its natural expressions, medicinal consumption is but one of the avenues from which we might remember these great truths.

  3. excellent detailed response. thank for your comment.

  4. Dj FarrOut

    This article sucks ass…..A LOT is left out as far as variables that lead to the final product of which you speak……. A MAJOR issue is phenotypes…..Since EVERY strain can have MANY different phenotypes…And furthermore depending on strain and age of cutting some cuttings will NOT express themselves until after they have popped roots and vegged a bit. Meaning you can take 10 cuttings off of a plant that is say 4 months old and in some cases you’ll get 3 different phenotypes back in the 10 cuttings….. I read the term “phenotype” NOWHERE in this “article”…

    Furthermore….for a “strain” to have 100% potential to be whatever it is that it can have the potential to become….. ALL PRIOR GENETIC STRUCTURES OF THE STRAIN WOULD HAVE TO BE FROM BOTH A MALE AND A FEMALE THAT WERE BRED THAT WERE ALSO PUREBRED IN THEIR GENETICS

    NO one ever talks about this shit….but peep game….. EVERY time seeds are produced that are “feminised” THOSE seeds are created with female pollen which is used to fertilize the fruit of a female plant thus giving female dominate seeds (My experience is like apx 85% female and apx 15% hermies) Anyhow, my point being at ANY point that female seed is in the blood line of the final product…….THAT product has lost the MALE influence on phenotype of THAT strain…pretty much….Yes could be a bit of latent material left in the plant as a whole from many years of “correct” breeding……however…what is left outside of the rarity of spontaneous expression from the build up over time and many generations of little bits of the male variables that get to a point that it expresses itself dominantly in that one odd plant four generations down the road…OUTSIDE of THAT people are limiting the possibilities of just what is possible by not understanding and breeding CORRECTLY…..each seed would NEED to come from a male plant pollinating a female plant….and be like THAT EVERY TIME …….. Which explains how its possible for 5 different OG Kushes to be offered that in theory that “SHOULD” be extremely close to the “same” genetics as the “original” (Which as you correctly point out in the real world isnt the case if one looks at the “facts” and compares the products on the market)

    Also…..NOT trying to be a dick here…..Its just….if Im going to take my time and read your entire article…. I expect your article to be factually informative of the entire situation… I dont know … Im not MEANING to “sound” like a dick……but I am just sounding like even MORE of a dick to myself….So..I’mma leave it here then….. 😉 NO DISRESPECT INTENDED Bless Up –

    Dj FarrOut — UGS Productions — Chronic Monkey Productions — Team Irish Yardies
    Breeder/Creator of Dead Man Genetics …. 😉

  5. Dj FarrOut

    “‘marijuana’ has so many dynamic features in its natural expressions” – BINGO!

  6. Dj FarrOut

    AGEED that mapping the genome will help put a more complete perspective of what is what..genetically……To be completely complete will have to record ALL variables that influenced the final product such as what nutes , temperatures, feeding regiments , atmospheric variables, lighting used , how its cut,dried,cured etc etc etc….. sooooo many variables

  7. albertyne

    Strain Name: AK47

    Grade: A

    Type: Sativa dominant; Hybrid
    Looks: Bright green all throughout. Every nug looks almost the same as the others. About half dollar size buds.

    Smell: Pretty great smell. If you’ve smelled AK then you’ve smelled AK. The smell never seems to change no matter where it comes from.

    Taste: Nice taste. I always want the first green hit. Hahaha. Really has a nice smooth marijuana taste

    Effects: It might make you stupid for the first minute or two. Really good head high. Gets me motivated.

    Potency: 8/10..

    Good Strain For: Everything. It’s AK for God’s sake.


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