Buyers Guide to Retail Cannabis Part 2: Choosing Cannabis Varieties

Updated: Mar 4

Unless you have a specific genetic 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 variety 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 them, 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 names, cannabis genetics are not as varied or diverse as everyone may think. Decades of prohibition era 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 cuts. 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 isn't entirely true for certain cannabis producers, but it 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," especially in medical applications. For recreational concentrate use, we're @here4theflavor.

Regardless of which cultivars they have available, 710 Labs, @Papas_select, and @Kalya are some of the only brands I trust. They're also the only brands I've given money to over the last two years. Getting hung-up on finding a specific cultivar in today's market doesn't work so well. New varieties are concocted all the time, with past flavors disappearing as quickly as they came. 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 in a solventless form.



Solventless Rosin from @papas_select

With every crazy name possible for cannabis types, only widespread genetic testing can actually prove if the cultivars 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 brand' s practices, methods, and techniques as you narrow down the winners. Most hash brands give credit to their breeders, using trusted names in the industry. Its strange that of all the industries, cannabis is the one where brand names matter most.



And no place in cannabis is this truer 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 cuts to always keep things fresh, from top brands like 710 Labs. This rotation and evolution of cultivars is like a collection of fine wine. You want to try each one, with new varieties coming out fast.



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