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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Marijuana Solely Based on the Strain Name

Updated: Mar 3

Have you ever wondered why marijuana strains are named the way they are? You’re in luck — we’re here to tell you.



When purchasing marijuana, many people stay true to a certain strain name, thinking that even if it’s made by different brands, the quality and outcome will remain the same. However, that’s not necessarily true. Strain names typically originate from their cultivators, often leaving buyers confused when it comes to what effects they can actually expect from the product. For example, “OG Kush” products are very common in California, but they’re not all made by the same company. That means one strain could be completely different from the next depending on what environment the grower grew the strain in, which leads to varied compositions of terpenes to cannabinoids. Most current strains have been hybridized through selective breeding — the only exception is Landrace strains. These strains have never been hybridized, evolving naturally through elements in their environment, so you can be more certain of what you’re getting. Some strain names might hint at characteristics you can expect from the product, such as a certain type of smell. However, a lot of the naming is solely for marketing purposes, so take that information with a grain of salt and consult with dispensary employees or use the Weedmaps Verification system to learn more before making a decision. All in all, it’s important to find a brand that meshes well with you as an individual and stick with it rather than looking for a specific strain. Check out the full article by Weedmaps below.


Every other day a new cannabis strain with a new name pops up. Strain names for marijuana have become confusing, due in large part to the fact that they don’t convey much more than a marketing message.


Some strains are proprietary and their genetics have been protected by those involved in the plant’s creation. You can only get Mega Wellness from one authentic cultivator, for example. These growers keep tight control of their inventory and can verify the markets where their products can be found. But the name “Mega Wellness” alone doesn’t tell you anything about the effects you can expect. You can only determine that if you’re familiar with the cultivator. In other words, the names for marijuana strains alone will not reliably signify effects. The Weedmaps Verification system helps you discover authentic brands with verified products. This helps people make better buying decisions instead of simply shopping by strain name.


Let’s use OG Kush as the next example. It’s one of Southern California’s most popular strains and can be found in nearly every dispensary, but the effects from one dispensary to the next can be completely different. This is primarily due to the fact that the growing conditions from grower to grower can vary and alter the resulting composition of cannabinoids and terpenes. “Annie’s” OG Kush can be drastically different from “Johnny’s” OG Kush. So if you want the same experience, make sure you are buying it from the same cultivator or brand.


Due to the legal landscape of cannabis throughout the world, most current strains that are found have been hybridized through selective breeding by breeders. Landrace strains are the exception. They’re cultivars of cannabis that have never been crossed and have evolved naturally due to prolonged exposure to elements in their natural environment. Known landrace strains originated in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jamaica, Mexico, Africa, South and Central America, and Asia.


Where and how cannabis is grown, harvested, and processed directly contributes to the composition of terpenes and cannabinoids found in the final product. If you’re looking for consistent quality, everything starts with the source (the brand) — not the strain. So it’s important to explore your options to find the right flower that works for you based on what’s in it and who made it, rather than the strain name alone.


The names for marijuana strains can be inconsistent and have primarily been developed to add marketing appeal, though some value can be garnered from them. For example, you can expect a bright, fresh aroma from the California Orange, Tangie, and Sour Tangie strains, all of which share a fragrance of citrus fruit. Sour Diesel, NYC Diesel, and Blue Diesel strains all have, to some degree, a gasoline-like pungence, as suggested by the word “diesel” in the names. Strain names may lack uniformity and overall structure, but can add insight to some of a strain’s characteristics.


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