Some Goo’d Ol’ Strain Knowledge That All Cannabis Users Should Know

At Goo’d Extracts, we’re all about strains, as you can tell.  A big part of starting your cannabis journey is finding a strain that suits your needs, and as you might have noticed, there are literally hundreds to choose from these days.  But, at the same time, the strain world can be pretty intimidating to newbies, and besides that, there are lots of people out there who are specifically looking for a certain effect, whether it be physical relief, euphoria, or what have you.

Because of all of that, we want to instruct you to help you find your strain sweet spot, so that everyone can land on the cultivar that works for them.

What Does the Cannabis Strain Even Mean?

Now, before we dive into different strains and what they do, let’s talk about what strains even are.  Each strain of cannabis is its cultivar, and there are hundreds out there.  Strains occur naturally, because cannabis grows wildly throughout the world.  The unique soil composition, climate, and other conditions to which any given cannabis plant is exposed will affect its chemical composition, thus creating a new strain.  That’s something we’re going to come back to in a little bit.

Each strain has a unique profile of cannabinoids and terpenes, to be more specific.  Now, in hemp, you’ll get CBD as the dominant compound, and in marijuana, you will get THC as the dominant compound – that’s something that’s not going to change.  But different strains yield different amounts of these compounds, which is why some strains, like Sour Tsunami, have no more than 10% THC, while others, like Gorilla Glue, max out at about 30%.

More importantly, it’s the terpenes that vary a lot from one strain to the next.  There are literally 100+ terpenes in the cannabis plant, and how they’re configured, so to speak, is going to be different depending on the cultivar.  

The History of Cannabis Strains

The history of cannabis strains is rich and diverse, reflecting the plant’s journey across different cultures and regions.

Ancient Origins

Early Use and Domestication:

  1. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, with archaeological evidence suggesting its use as early as 10,000 years ago in what is now Taiwan.
  2. Early domestication likely occurred in Central Asia, where the plant was used for its fiber (hemp) and seeds.

Spread to Ancient Civilizations:

  1. Cannabis spread to ancient China, India, and the Middle East.
  2. In China, it was used for making rope, textiles, and medicine as early as 2700 BCE.
  3. In India, it became an integral part of religious rituals and Ayurvedic medicine.

Middle Ages to Early Modern Period

Spread to the Middle East and Africa:

  1. By the Middle Ages, cannabis had reached the Middle East, where it was used for medical purposes and recreationally in the form of hashish.
  2. Traders and travelers spread cannabis to Africa, where it adapted to different climates and evolved into unique landrace strains.

European Awareness:

  1. European explorers and traders encountered cannabis in their travels to Asia and Africa.
  2. Cannabis was introduced to Europe, primarily as hemp for industrial uses like rope, sails, and clothing.

19th and 20th Century Developments

Introduction to the Americas:

  1. Cannabis was brought to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists in the 16th Century.
  2. In the 19th Century, cannabis extracts were widely used in Western medicine for various ailments.

Prohibition Era:

  1. In the early 20th century, cannabis faced increasing legal restrictions and eventual prohibition in many countries, including the United States.
  2. Despite prohibition, cannabis culture continued to thrive underground, with breeding and cultivation techniques evolving.

Modern Cannabis Strains

Emergence of Hybrid Strains:

  1. In the 1960s and 70s, cannabis culture experienced a resurgence, particularly in the United States.
  2. Growers began crossbreeding different landrace strains to create hybrids with specific characteristics, leading to the development of many modern strains.

Medical and Recreational Legalization:

  1. In the late 20th and early 21st Centuries, the legalization movement gained momentum, first for medical use and later for recreational use in several states and countries.
  2. Legalization spurred significant advancements in cannabis breeding, cultivation, and the creation of a wide variety of strains tailored for specific effects and flavors.

Notable Cannabis Strains

Landrace Strains:

  1. Original, naturally occurring cannabis strains adapted to their local environments.
  2. Examples include Afghan, Thai, Durban Poison (South Africa), and Acapulco Gold (Mexico).

Iconic Modern Strains:

  1. Skunk #1: One of the first stable hybrids, known for its strong smell and potency.
  2. Northern Lights: Renowned for its resinous buds and potent effects.
  3. OG Kush: Famous for its distinct aroma and powerful effects, a staple in California’s cannabis culture.
  4. White Widow: Known for its balanced effects and heavy resin production.

Contemporary Cannabis Culture

Breeding Innovations:

  • Breeders continue to develop new strains with unique terpene profiles, cannabinoid ratios, and specific effects.
  • The focus has expanded to include CBD-rich strains for therapeutic use.

Consumer Preferences:

  • Today’s cannabis consumers have a wide variety of strains to choose from, each offering different flavors, aromas, and effects.
  • The industry has also seen the rise of boutique and artisanal strains, catering to connoisseurs and medical users alike.

What Kinds of Cannabis Strains are There?

There are three main types of strains, and hundreds belonging to each category.  If you’re a beginner, it can help to understand what these 3 strain types are, as that will help you narrow down what it is you like the most.

Indica

Indica strains are known for being really chill and mellow.  Many give you a strong body high that can put you into a state of couchlock – in other words, an effect in which your limbs are so heavy that you struggle to get off the couch.  Indica strains are great for nighttime, because they can cause drowsiness that can get you into a nice, cozy state as you get ready to lay down.

Physically, indica strains are characterized by their short and bushy appearance – a great way to tell them apart from sativa strains.  Indica strains have high levels of the terpene myrcene, which is why indica gets its unique effects.  

Sativa

Sativa strains are the opposite of indica strains.  They’re tall and slender, and they often need to be supported a lot of the time because of how top-heavy they can get.  Sativa strains are also known for their daytime effects – that is, they give you a boost of focus and energy that can be great for those earlier hours.  Sativa strains are also known for their buzzy cerebral effects, and most strains that give you that classic hazy feeling are going to be sativas.

Hybrid

Finally, we’ve got hybrid strains.  Hybrids have both indica and sativa strains in their genetics, and so they give you something of a balance between the two.  While lots of 50/50 hybrids exist (Apple Fritter, Do-Si-Dos, etc.), not all of them are evenly split between the two.  Basically, a hybrid is considered any strain that has up to a 90/10 ratio of indica-to-sativa, or sativa-to-indica.

Landrace vs. Breeder Strains

Let’s talk about landrace strains versus breeder strains, two primary categories of cannabis strains often come up in discussions amongst hemp users.  By understanding the differences between these two types of strains, enthusiasts and professionals alike can appreciate the rich tapestry of cannabis genetics and make informed choices that align with their preferences and goals.

Landrace Strains: The Untamed Originals

Landrace strains are the original, wild cannabis varieties that have naturally adapted to their environment over thousands of years.  These strains are native to specific geographical regions and have not been crossbred with other strains.  They represent the purest form of cannabis genetics, carrying the unique characteristics of their native habitats.

Landrace strains can be found in various parts of the world, each adapting to the local climate, soil, and growing conditions.  For example, Hindu Kush originates from the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, while Durban Poison hails from the subtropical climate of South Africa. Other notable landrace strains include Thai, Colombian Gold, and Acapulco Gold.

The primary allure of landrace strains lies in their genetic purity and stability.  These strains exhibit consistent traits, including growth patterns, flavors, and effects, making them highly predictable for cultivators and consumers alike.  Landrace strains are often more resilient to pests and diseases due to their long-term adaptation to specific environments.

Breeder Strains: The Crafted Hybrids

Breeder strains, on the other hand, are the result of human intervention and selective breeding.  Professional breeders cross various cannabis strains to create new hybrids that possess desired traits such as enhanced potency, unique flavors, and improved growth characteristics.  This meticulous process involves selecting parent plants with specific attributes and breeding them over multiple generations to stabilize the desired traits.

The development of breeder strains has revolutionized the cannabis industry, leading to an explosion of diversity and innovation.  Modern strains like Girl Scout Cookies, Blue Dream, and Gorilla Glue are all products of careful breeding programs, combining genetics from multiple landrace and hybrid strains.

Breeder strains offer a vast array of options in terms of flavors, effects, and growth characteristics.  These strains can be tailored to meet specific needs, whether it’s for medical use, recreational enjoyment, or cultivation efficiency.  Breeder strains often exhibit higher cannabinoid content, with THC levels frequently exceeding those of landrace strains.  Additionally, breeders can introduce novel terpene profiles, creating unique and desirable aromas and flavors.

Comparing Landrace and Breeder Strains

Let’s further dive into how they stack up against one another, shall we.

Genetic Stability vs. Diversity

One of the most significant differences between landrace and breeder strains is genetic stability.  Landrace strains, having evolved in isolation, possess a high degree of genetic stability.  This means that their traits remain consistent across generations, making them reliable for cultivators who seek predictability.

In contrast, breeder strains are designed to introduce genetic diversity.  While this can result in exciting new combinations of traits, it also means that some hybrids may exhibit variability.  Breeders work to stabilize these hybrids, but the process can take several generations to achieve the desired consistency.

Effects and Potency

Landrace strains typically offer a balanced cannabinoid profile, with moderate levels of THC and CBD.  Their effects are often predictable and well-rounded, providing a reliable experience for users.  For instance, landrace sativas like Durban Poison are known for their uplifting and energetic effects, while landrace indicas like Afghani offer deep relaxation.

Breeder strains, however, can be tailored for specific effects. High-THC hybrids like Bruce Banner deliver potent psychoactive effects, while CBD-rich strains are prized for their therapeutic benefits without the high.  The ability to breed for specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles allows for a more customized user experience.

Cultivation and Adaptability

Landrace strains have adapted to thrive in their native environments, making them resilient and relatively low-maintenance for outdoor cultivation in similar climates.  However, they may struggle in different conditions, requiring growers to replicate their natural habitat closely.

Breeder strains are often designed with adaptability in mind.  Through selective breeding, these hybrids can be optimized for various growing conditions, including indoor and greenhouse environments.  This makes breeder strains more versatile and accessible for a wider range of cultivators.

The Role of Landrace Strains in Modern Breeding

Despite the popularity of breeder strains, landrace strains remain crucial to the cannabis industry.  They serve as the genetic foundation for many modern hybrids, providing the raw material from which breeders create new varieties.  By preserving and studying landrace strains, breeders can maintain a diverse gene pool, ensuring the continued evolution and improvement of cannabis genetics.

The Future of Cannabis Genetics

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, the interplay between landrace and breeder strains will shape the future of cannabis genetics.  Advances in genetic mapping and breeding techniques will allow for even greater precision in creating new strains with specific traits.

Furthermore, the increasing legalization of cannabis worldwide provides opportunities for more extensive cultivation and preservation of landrace strains.  This not only ensures the survival of these ancient genetics but also allows for the continued exploration and utilization of their unique characteristics.

What is the Legality of Growing Cannabis Strains Then?

The legality of growing cannabis strains in the United States varies widely depending on the state.  So, it’s crucial to check the specific laws and regulations in your state regarding cannabis cultivation, as they can vary significantly.  Additionally, federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means cultivation is illegal under federal law even if it’s allowed by state law.

Still, several states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis, which often includes provisions allowing individuals to grow a limited number of plants at home.  States like California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and others fall into this category.

Also, many states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes.  In these states, registered patients may be allowed to grow a limited number of plants for personal medical use.  States like Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania are examples.

Now, there are states where cannabis isn’t legalized for either medical or recreational use, so growing cannabis plants is generally illegal and can lead to legal consequences.

Can Certain Cannabis Strains Influence Drug Testing Results?

Yes, certain cannabis strains can potentially influence drug testing results, primarily due to their varying levels of cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Drug tests typically look for THC metabolites, which can be detected in urine, blood, saliva, or hair samples.  Strains with higher THC content are more likely to result in a positive drug test if used recently, while strains with lower THC levels or higher cannabidiol (CBD) levels might not trigger a positive result or may do so at higher consumption levels.

Factors such as frequency of use, method of consumption, and individual metabolism also impact how long THC and its metabolites remain detectable.  Therefore, individuals subject to drug testing should be aware of the specific strains they consume and their THC content to better understand potential testing outcomes.

How Does the Cannabis Strain Affect the Flavor?

Each terpene in cannabis brings unique effects into the mix, which is why some strains are more soothing, some more uplifting, and so on.  Basically, it’s all about which terpenes are dominant in any given strain.  

But there’s another aspect, which is flavor.  Each strain has its own flavor molecules.  In fact, terpenes are in all plants, and do determine the taste of each one.  This is why each strain tastes totally unique.  Some strains taste like sweet lemons, some like buttery cake, some like flowers, some like diesel, and some even taste like garlic.  Now, flavor is not necessarily the most important thing to base your strain of choice off of, but it is fun to explore different cannabis flavor profiles, and then determine a palate for the nuances between different strains.

Choosing a Cannabis Strain that Matches Your Vibe

Sine you stuck around this long, let’s talk about choosing the right strain for you.  First off, you need to ask yourself what it is that you’re trying to get out of cannabis.  We discussed how indica, sativa, and hybrid strains all affect you differently, so like we said, that’s a great starting point.  Once you establish which one makes the most sense for you, start to think of the specifics.  Are you seeking out a strain to help you focus better?  Are you trying to release some tension in the muscles?  Trying to get a better night’s sleep?  Or are you simply looking for a really strong buzz that makes you feel blissful for hours on end?  Figuring out your strain goals can help you narrow down different cultivars, so you know what to gravitate toward.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to really research strains before buying them, to see what people use them for the most.  Fortunetly, there are lots of online databases that provide detailed info about each strain, from its breakdown of terpenes to its flavor profile and therapeutic uses.

What Kinds of Products Come in Different Cannabis Strains?

Not every cannabis product comes in a variety of strains, so let’s take a look at the ones that do:

  • Vapes: Come in huge strain options, and that applies to bottled e-liquids, vape cartridges, and disposable vape pens.  A lot of people prefer vapes because they’re more discreet, low-maintenance, and portable than smoking flower, all while offering the same effects and strain selection.
  • Dabs: These are super high-potency concentrated products, and you should only dab them if you have a high tolerance.  Dabs are vaporized at high temps using a dab rig or electronic dab kit, and there are different kinds, like shatter, wax, liquid diamonds, and more, each with its own consistency and potency.
  • Flower: Available in tons of strains, and that sorta goes without saying.  You can go with loose buds or pre-rolls, with the latter being convenient if you want an effortless smoking session.
  • Gummies: Not all gummies come in strain choices, but those that do are really worthwhile, since gummies and other edibles deliver effects that can last for many hours at a time – 8 or less, basically.

Strains Make the Cannabis World Go Round!

It’s hard to top an awesome cannabis strain that provides those effects you’re looking for, so that at the end of the day, you can feel utterly satisfied.  If you’re ready to embrace the world of strains, we’ve gotcha covered at Goo’d Extracts, as our products come in loads of must-try strains.  Plus, we’ve got lots of different products to explore so that your needs will be met no matter what it is that you’re seeking out.  Explore our strains today, and then treat yourself to the terpene profile of your dreams!

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