Buyers Guide Part 2: Choosing Cannabis Varieties

Updated: Sep 6

Unless you have a specific strain you absolutely need for medical purposes, I would downplay the idea of shopping across brands for a particular phenotype or strain. I put far more weight on the company growing my cannabis and producing my hash, than worrying what strain to choose. This isn't to say cannabis varieties do not have different effects, because they most certainly do, but without genetic testing to identify strains, you are taking a company's word for it when choosing to purchase from a particular brand. It's much easier to locate the best brands and explore their genetic library by whatever happens to be fresh and available.

Despite thousands of strain names, cannabis genetics are not as varied or diverse as everyone may think. Decades of prohibition breeding reduced variation and keyed in on all the same genetic traits. So, while thousands of cannabis varieties appear on retail shelves, there's very little distinction between most modern cannabis strains. In Cannabis Pharmacy, Michael Backes says, "these new varieties have been chosen and bred for one thing: their ability to produce THC. And while this has made for some extraordinarily psychoactive varieties, it has also resulted in some highly inbred cannabis." This clearly isn't entirely the case for certain cannabis producers, but shows how important it is for brands to have diverse genetic libraries, that take years if not decades to acquire. Backes continues to say that "modern cannabis has very little that is unique, and quite a bit that is identical" in medical applications. For recreational concentrate use, we're @herefortheflavor.

Regardless of which strains they have available, 710 Labs, Papas_select, and Kalya are some of the only brands I trust for solventless hash. They're also the only brands I've given money to over the last two years. Having found brands like those mentioned, I shop confidently knowing that whatever I take home, I'm sure to enjoy. I trust my ganja farmers and try to experience all the varietals they bring to the market, especially in a solventless form.

With every crazy name possible for strains, only widespread genetic testing can actually prove if the strains are what they claim to be. Until the industry makes some serious progress it's really on the consumer to figure out and organize the noise. The best way for this to happen is to learn about each brands practices, methods, and techniques as you narrow down the winners. Its strange that of all the industries, cannabis is the one where brand matters most.

And no place in cannabis is this clearer than in the world of cannabis concentrates, where a limited number of cannabis varieties are ever offered at one time. Small batch quality brings a rotation of strains to always keep things fresh from top brands like 710 Labs. This rotation and evolution of strains is like a collection of fine wine. You want to try each one.

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