Cannabis strains

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Cannabis strains are either pure or hybrid varieties of the Cannabis genus of plants, that encompasses the species C. sativa, C. indica and C. ruderalis.

Varieties are developed to intensify specific characteristics of the plant, or to differentiate the strain for the purposes of marketing or to make it more effective as a drug. Variety names are typically chosen by their growers, and often reflect properties of the plant such as taste, color, smell, or the origin of the variety.[citation needed] Cannabis strains commonly refer to those varieties with recreational and medicinal use. These varieties have been cultivated to contain a high percentage of cannabinoids. Several varieties of Cannabis, known as hemp, have a very low cannabinoid content, and are instead grown for their fiber and seed.

Types of varieties[edit]

  • Clone-only variety: e.g. G13 (myth but generally accepted and actually available in seed form only in hybrids e.g Mr. Nice = G13 x Hasplant ( or g force from fld, chemo, chem, both apparently stolen clones from government breeding projects for medical use against common ailment and both very high in THC amongst many more (around 12) reasons vary yet commonly the grower did not expect such a wonderful plant and didn't pollinate it so seeds can only be hybrids or back crossed if the original parent is known usually this is not the case. The grower may distribute genetically identical clones of the plant. A clone is the only way to propagate a plant while retaining its exact genetic makeup. Nevertheless, the conditions under which the plant is grown will still greatly affect the final product. It is of note however that although clones are genetically identical they somtimes vary to a great enough degree that they might be mistaken for being from a different parent plant compared to the mother plant, the large female kept in vegetative growth as a source of offspring due to her desirable genetic phenotypical traits or a clone from said mother. An example is that one of ten may show purple leaves during later growth or spontaneous variation in height or vigor. This was first noted in only some strains however has become increasingly noted as normal. It might arise from the fact that cannabis plants have 4 Sets of chromosomes , e.g BBpp where B IS BIG P purple thus a plant with BbPp may if either B big b small P purple p Green, be able to express eG Purple color a gene often which often can be brought to light through exposure to cold (10 celcius or close) Temperatures unlike man who has only two chromosomes e.g. XX or Xy so variation can be seen in "Clones when genetic expression is greater and environmentally controlled. Yet it is still not the norm. Clones will mostly be identical, more so if grown in identical circumstances.
  • Stable seed variety: Creating a genetically stable variety involves selectively choosing male and female cannabis plants and breeding them over the course of multiple generations. Or 4 generation where each one is crossed back to the still living original F1 plant (see square law) e.g. F1 first seeds grown, second generation F2, F2 backcrossed, etc, at f4 a phenotype which has been selected will be "locked down" so the following seeds called as F1 will exhibit said trait e.g. white pistils. Final generation's seeds reliably grow into plants that exhibit the desired characteristics, though some genetic variation will still occur, these are typically called IBL, meaning In Bread Line. IBL are skunk #1, afghan #1 Big Bud, haze, and more these are good building blocks for future crosses or breeding projects. A popular cross is Thai x afghani a rather hard to stabilize variety. Difficulty depends on how different the parent plants are. Since Thai is a sativa, Afghan #1 a true indica if there ever was one.
  • Unstable seed varieties: Unstable varieties are produced without numerous generations of breeding. Although they can be produced quickly, plants grown from these seeds may have widely varying characteristics. Commercial seed retailers generally do not distribute unstable seed varieties, though some disreputable shops might. Amateur and third-party growers may, whether knowingly or not, produce unstable derivatives from well known varieties by crossing purchased seeds not IBL and cross them this results in a wide variety of phenotype differences since the seed bank bred them specifically so they cannot just be proliferated through a single pollinated set of parents stable varieties will however create stable offspring. The reasons for the variations in f1 crosses are best understood through research of genetics and slight complicated.
  • Wild varieties or landraces: Some varieties, such as Colombian and Thai and these from the kush mountains more on the Russian side refer to plants found growing wild as landrace, all countries have their own wild stable cannabis plants as plants grown by man which then escape the garden are almost impossible to prevent . generaly referred to a Ruderalis associated with cold regions boardering Russia and Pakistan or Afghanistan they are generally low in thc and very hardy and can even grow in snow. Scientists dispute whether ruderalis is a separate strain or a variation of indica or sativa true ruderalis is however stable and not a broad term for any given landrace. Moreover they are auto-flowering, short, bushy and have broad wide leave a with few fingers (not more than 5). Some think ruderalis is the only true wild cannibis var. Cannibis Ruderalis. The only uncaptured (better word?) variety that escaped the grasp of man and is only now being used to breed auto-flowering (often auto-feminized) high THC, short, fast-flowering indica sativa ruderalis hybrids for cold or short northern summers.

Major variety types[edit]

The two species of the Cannabis genus that are most commonly grown are Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.[1] A third species, Cannabis ruderalis is very short and produces only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and thus is not commonly grown for industrial, recreational or medicinal use. However, because Cannabis ruderalis flowers independently of the photoperiod and according to age, it has been used to breed autoflowering strains.[2]

Pure sativas are relatively tall (reaching as high as 4.5 meters), with long internodes and branches, and large, narrow-bladed leaves. Pure indica varieties are shorter and bushier, have wider leaflets. They are often favored by indoor growers for their size. Sativas bloom later than indicas, often taking a month or two longer to mature. The subjective effects of sativas and indicas are said to differ, but the ratio of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD) in most named drug varieties of both types is similar (averaging about 200:1). Unlike most commercially developed strains, indica landraces exhibit plants with varying THC/CBD ratios.[3] Avidekel, a medical marijuana strain developed in Israel, has a very low content of THC but a high content of CBD, limiting its recreational value but maximizing medical effect.[4]

There has been a recent movement to characterize strains based on their reported subjective effects. For example, WoahStork has used machine learning algorithms to classify strains into six Distinct Activity groups.[5]

It is impossible for a hermaphrodite to create any male only plants. A hermaphrodite may create female only seeds and hermaphrodite seeds. Also the female only seeds may carry the hermaphrodite trait.[6]


A flowering cannabis plant
White Widow

In addition to pure indica, sativa, and ruderalis varieties, hybrid varieties with varying ratios of these three types are common. For example, the White Widow hybrid containing about 60% indica and 40% sativa ancestry. These hybrid varieties exhibit traits from both parental types. There are also commercial crossbred hybrids which contain a mix of both ruderalis, indica and/or sativa genes, and are usually autoflowering varieties. These varieties are bred mostly for the medicinal cannabis market, since they are not very appreciated by recreational cannabis users because ruderalis varieties are lower in THC and impart a slightly unpleasant taste. "Lowryder" was an early auto-flowering hybrid that retained the flowering behavior of ruderalis plants, while also producing appreciable amounts of THC and CBD. Autoflowering cannabis varieties have the advantage of being discreet due to their small stature. They also require shorter growing periods, as well as having the additional advantage that they do not rely on a change in the photoperiod to determine when to flower.

Breeding requires pollinating a female cannabis plant with male pollen. Although this occurs spontaneously and ubiquitously in nature, the intentional creation of new varieties typically involves selective breeding in a controlled environment.

When cannabis is cultivated for its psychoactive or medicinal properties, male plants will often be separated from females. This prevents the fertilization of the female plants, either to facilitate sinsemilla flowering or to provide more control over which male is chosen. Pollen produced by the male is caught and stored until it is needed.

When a male plant of one strain pollinates a female of another strain, the seeds will be F1 hybrids of the male and female. These offspring will not be identical to their parents. Instead, they will have characteristics of both parents. Repeated breeding results in certain characteristics appearing with greater regularity.

A common technique to stabilize a cannabis variety is called "cubing".[citation needed] A breeder seeking specific traits in the hybrid offspring (for example, greater resin production or tighter node spacing) will breed hybrid plants most exemplifying these characteristics with a parent plant. The same traits are sought in the new inbred offspring, which are then again bred with the original parent plant. This process is called cubing because it usually repeated across three, or possibly more generations before the variety's genetics are acceptably stable.


In a retail market that is decriminalised such as in The Netherlands, (wholesale production is illegal but prosecutions are not always enforced because of the contradiction of the law that is recognised by the courts[7]), competition puts pressure on breeders to create increasingly attractive varieties to maintain market share. Breeders give their strains distinct and memorable names in order to help differentiate them from their competitors' strains, although they may in fact be very similar.

Popular strains are incorporated into new hybrids, which often bear a similar name to their parent. This phenomenon has occurred with Haze and Sour varieties, amongst others.

Black-market cannabis dealers sometimes claim their products are of a certain strain to capitalise on that strain's success or reputation.

Acapulco Gold[edit]

Acapulco Gold is a golden-leafed Cannabis sativa strain originally from the Acapulco area of southwest Mexico.[8][9][10]


Bedrocan is a medicinal cannabis variety cultivated from a Dutch medical marijuana Cannabis sativa L. strain, having a standardized content of THC (22%) and CBD (1%). It is currently cultivated by Bedrocan Nederland, Bedrocan Canada and Bedrocan Česká Republika. It was first introduced in 2003 and is dispensed through pharmacies after prescription from a physician.[11]

Blue Dream[edit]

Blue Dream is a hybrid cannabis strain widely used for both medical and recreational purposes. First developed in 2003,[12] it was the most popular strain in the United States as of 2016.[13] However, some critics have pointed out that it is likely the most-counterfeited strain in the nation.[14]

Purple Kush[edit]

A head of Purple Kush

Purple Kush is a 100% Indica strain of Cannabis. This plant, "forms a short squat bush with very dense internodes and large fan leaves, staying in the 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 ft) height range while grown indoors. Purple Kush's foliage exhibits a classic indica growth pattern: a sturdy bush with dark green hues and sometimes hints of purple toward ripeness."[15][unreliable source?]


Skunk is a Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica hybrid strain. Skunk #1 is the most common hybrid approximately equally indica and sativa and has been stable as an IBL since the 70s when it was hybridized from Afghan, Columbia Thai and other landraces including the infamous haze. Named Skunk due to it being similar to the smell of the spray from a skunk. Skunk was bred in the 70s by hippies and the amongst the parent strains of Skunk are Afghani, Acapulco Gold, and Colombian Gold. Acapulco Gold was a later addition. Many take credit for creating skunk but in truth, it is unknown who created skunk, or whether all strains of skunks are the same. Moreover, it has become a general term for cannabis especially in Britain, evidence of this being that many potent varieties smell like cheese skunk or garlic during flowering either for a time or end up with this smell not at all unpleasant just like the Thai fruit banned in most hotels which some think stinks others smell as pleasant. Many old tru indices have a garlics arome ang laughing buddahqs cheese is highly popular in the U.K. All somewhat represent similar lineage to skunk number one or original skunk and it is said by books such as the breeders bible to be an IBL ( Greg green, breeders bible) =Leafly|accessdate=2017-06

Tom Cruise Purple[edit]

Tom Cruise Purple is a strain of cannabis sold in California by select licensed cannabis clubs. The strain is potent, and is packaged with a picture of the actor Tom Cruise laughing. Tom Cruise Purple is sold by cannabis purveyors in Northern California.[16] Cruise sought out legal advice regarding the product, and considered a lawsuit against its manufacturers.[17][18][19][19][20][21][22][23]

Chemical Constituents[edit]

The chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant are called cannabinoids. There has been over 85 different cannabinoids found in the plant. The most famous of them all is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main psychoactive chemical found in cannabis.Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. THC attaches to these receptors and activates them and affects a person's memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception.[24] As THC is the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. CBD has gained prominence in the past decade through scientific research and has been found to be responsible for many of the therapeutic and medicinal properties associated with medical marijuana. Terpenoids also known as Terpenes are organic chemical compounds produced by many different plants and generally carry aromatic or flavonoid properties. Terpenes are an essential component of resin and are usually a major factor in the essential oils produced by a plant.[25] Terpenes are responsible for the smell and flavor of each strain. While both strains share the same cannabinoids, they vary in levels of THC, CBD, and Terpenes that classify them as Sativa or Indica. Sativa’s cannabinoid profile is dominated by high THC levels and low or no CBD levels. Indica's chemical profile shows a more balanced mix, with moderate THC levels and higher levels of CBD.[26] Indica strains relax muscles and work as general analgesics, also helping with sleep. A cancer patient hoping to relieve the pain from chemotherapy may benefit from the effects of an Indica plant. Sativa strains produce more of a euphoric high, lifting the consumer’s mood and therapeutically relieving stress, indicating Sativas may be useful at relieving anxiety and depression.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Small, E.; Cronquist, A. (1976). "A practical and natural taxonomy for Cannabis". Taxon. 25 (4): 405–435. doi:10.2307/1220524. 
  2. ^ Greg Green (2001). The Cannabis Grow Bible (4th ed.). p. 47. 
  3. ^ Hillig, Karl W.; Mahlberg, Paul G. (2004). "A chemotaxonomic analysis of cannabinoid variation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 91 (6): 966–975. PMID 21653452. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.6.966. 
  4. ^ Halverson, Nic (July 6, 2012). "Marijuana That Doesn't Get You Stoned". Discovery Channel. Discovery Communications, LLC. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ Reggente, Nicco (February 15, 2016). "WoahStork's Strain Activity Groups". WoahStork. WoahStork. Retrieved March 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Selfing - Cannabis Grow Bible". Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  7. ^ Oct 20, 2014 (2014-10-20). "Dutch court refuses to punish illegal cannabis growers". Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  8. ^ Partridge, Eric (2006). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: A-I. Taylor & Francis. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-415-25937-8. 
  9. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (13 December 2013). The CIA World Factbook 2012. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-62873-181-1. 
  10. ^ Green, Jonathon (2 October 2013). Dictionary of Jargon. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-317-90818-0. 
  11. ^ Frederike K. Engels; Floris A. de Jong; Ron H.J. Mathijssen; Joëlle A. Erkens; Ron M. Herings; Jaap Verweij (2007), "Medicinal cannabis in oncology", European Journal of Cancer, 43 (18): 2638–2644, doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2007.09.010 
  12. ^ Backes, Michael (September 9, 2014). Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana. Black Dog & Leventhal. pp. 124–125. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  13. ^ Downs, David (April 27, 2016). "America's trendiest marijuana strains mapped". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Rosenthal, Ed (2007). More Marijuana Varieties from the World's Great Seed Breeders, p. 134. ISBN 9780932551795.
  16. ^ Krugman, Milt (April 8, 2008). "Tom Cruise fuming". Bucks County Courier Times. Levittown, Pennsylvania. 
  17. ^ "Lanzan producto de marihuana con la imagen de Cruise". (in Spanish). April 13, 2008. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Tom Cruise 'goes to pot' over marijuana link". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. April 7, 2008. 
  19. ^ a b "Medical high jinks leave Tom Cruise camp fuming". New York Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. April 4, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  20. ^ Reardanz, Karen (April 4, 2008). "Cruise Fumes Over Marijuana Association". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  21. ^ Saar, Mayrav (April 4, 2008). "TomKat in a Huff over Tom Pot". E! Online. E! Entertainment Television, Inc. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  22. ^ WENN (April 4, 2008). "Cruise fumes over marijuana association". World Entertainment News Network. Comtex. 
  23. ^ "Report: 'Tom Cruise Purple' Medical Marijuana Has Actor Smoking Mad". Fox News Channel. Fox News Network, LLC. April 4, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  24. ^ Bradford, Alina (May 18, 2017). "What is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)?". Live Science. 
  25. ^ Escondido, Nico (February 25, 2015). "Understanding the Effects of Indica vs Sativa". High Times. 
  26. ^ Yablan, Jeffrey (June 11, 2012). "What Are the Differences between Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa, and How Do They Vary in Their Potential Medical Utility?". ProCon. 

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