When you visit an UpTop dispensary, there is a wide variety of cannabis products to choose from. Products have differing levels of CBD and THC based on which cannabis strain they are derived from. But what exactly is a cannabis strain, and how are new strains created? Read on to learn more.
What are Cannabis Strains?
All cannabis plants also contain cannabinoids. The most common, naturally-occurring compounds are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main psychoactive compound that produces that “high” sensation typically associated with cannabis. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that can help you feel relaxed without experiencing that “high”.
There are three major categories for cannabis plants: indica, sativa and hybrid.
Some sativas may have CBD and others have higher doses of THC. Indica does not necessarily have a lower dose of THC, but it does have higher levels of CBD. Hybrid strains are specially bred combinations of sativa and indica, and each hybrid plant will have unique CBD-THC ratios.
Another way to break down these categories is by type:
- Type I: high THC
- Type II: THC/CBD combined
- Type III: high CBD
Each strain provides a different experience based on its overall THC-CBD ratios. When developing new strains, it’s important to consider the THC-CBD ratio of the plant that is being bred.
Growing New Cannabis Plants
Like any plant, cannabis plants can be either male or female. Female cannabis plants are the ones that produce the buds we use, but male plants are needed to pollinate female plants. Pollinated female plants produce seeds that contain the genetic material from both the male and female parents, and these seeds are grown to produce new strains.
The plants grown from these seeds will vary thanks to phenotypes – the unique, individual traits all organisms have. Plants grown from these new strain seeds will have a mix of traits from both parent plants, which can include plant size and structure, color, smell, and the effects the buds have when consumed by humans.
This process takes time to breed the best qualities for a new, hybrid strain. Afterwards, these new plants can be bred to bring a strain to market for consumers to enjoy.
Finding the Right Strain for You
When you’re looking to purchase a product at a marijuana dispensary, it’s important to consider what experience you’re looking to have. At UpTop we have very knowledgeable Budtenders that are always willing to help you learn more about the best cannabis product for you. Visit us online or at one of our Massachusetts dispensary locations. We’re happy to help you!