What is the Difference Between Cannabis Strains?

[We open to a Zoom screen with five people: Tom Fontana, Dr. Staci Gruber, Will Jones III, Leah Berkenwald, and Denezia Fahie. Leah Berkenwald leaves the Zoom screen.]

Denezia Fahie, BTW Peer Educator: Thank you so much. So to begin, our first question is, is there a difference in cannabis strains and what are their purposes? We're going to direct this to Dr. Stacy Gruber first, and then other panels may add.

[Denezia Fahie leaves the screen.]

Dr. Staci Gruber: So that's a great question. And long ago, and far away there was probably a slightly easier answer. Cannabis is not one thing. And we tend to talk about cannabis as if it's one thing. And in fact, it's comprised of hundreds of constituents. The plant is remarkably and rather magically complex. So there are over a hundred phytocannabinoids, things within the plant that interact with our own system of chemicals and receptors throughout the brain and the body. The primary constituents the compounds that we all talk about and we know about extensively are TH Delta9, very important Delta9 THC. You just had a question about Delta8. We'll get to that later. Delta9 THC, that's the primary intoxicating constituent and cannabidiol CBDA primary but not the only non intoxicating constituents. So the question is, are there differences in all of these strains? And there is many strains and names as there are people really on your block at this point across the globe. Trust me when I tell you that. There is a fair amount of discussion in the in the field about whether or not there's such a difference between the common strains here and in our part of the world are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. These two are ostensibly different species different strains if you will have different amounts of... how shall I say this in a succinct way? Let's put it this way, cannabis sativa or the sativa strains ostensibly are the euphorigenic ones. They make the ones that get you very high and very happy. It's sort of a cerebral thing, right? Sort of a head high you wanna go out, you wanna make things, you wanna do things, you might wanna eat a lot. That's the low. Indica strains, the so-called indica strains are a ostensibly more of a whole body feel, okay? Relaxing chill whatever. The truth of the matter is when you talk to most people who do a fair amount of the genetic breeding and genetic sampling and testing from our perspective is there's almost no such thing these days as a pure indica or pure sativa strain. That's important to know. That doesn't mean there's there's not a lot of difference between strengths, and actually the things that make the strains most importantly different from each other are the amounts of terpenoids the essential oils that give cannabis it's characteristic scent and flavor profile, also have behavioral effects. One of the things that gives you that chill, I just wanna sit here and eat and relax is not necessarily a THC it's actually a terpenoid called musing, that causes couch lock if you will. So these are really important things to keep in mind. And when people talk about the reason for different strains different constituents, that is THC, CBD and lots of other minor cannabinoids, CBC, CBN, CBG all of which appear in different amounts and terpenoids Beta-Caryophyllene which is really important for things like preventing seizures. We could go on and on. Trust me when I tell you there's lots of different varieties available, and there is something to be said for trying to identify the real impact of some of these lesser known cannabinoids and terpenoids on the outcome that is what you feel. And people will tend to gravitate towards things that make them feel whatever they're looking to feel over time, because they've tried it and they come back to it. But in terms of the indica versus sativa question there's very little evidence anymore that there's a pure indica couch lock and pure sativa I'm out there at about. I don't know if that's helpful answer or not but we could talk about this for four hours. I bet Tom has more to say and probably Will too.

Tom Fontana: Yeah, I think that's a perfect succinct answer. And I would just add in that there's a practical kind of like maybe marketing value to strains, particularly a few years ago before there was really a retail market, your dealer would always be telling you I've got some OG Kush from the West coast. They would always wanna tell you it's some quality shit, higher in THC than something else, when really maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but there's kind of a value of adding a lot to the names. You hear the name show up in music and different things. And so it's certainly out there. But there is a broad tool that you can either get a lot of THC and lower CBD or high CBD and lower THC or the hybrid. There's kind of a chemical limit. You can't really get beyond 33% of all things the plant can't hold much more than that. And so you're just not gonna get 30% THC and 30% CBD. You're gonna max those out at around 12 or you're gonna get in the twenties with one or the other. Just in that sense.

Dr. Staci Gruber: In flower product, not in the derived concentrates.

Tom Fontana: But we're going on a flower. Exactly that.

Dr. Staci Gruber- Yeah, yeah, Sure.