Cannabis Strains Explained
If you’re somewhat familiar with the wonderful world of cannabis, you may have come across the term ‘cannabis strain,’ referring to any specific breed of the cannabis plant. Unique strains are specially cultivated to look, taste, and make us feel a certain way—based on their phenotype (physical appearance), chemotype (chemical composition), and associated benefits. The two most widely known categories of cannabis, energizing sativa and chill indica, are just the tip of the iceberg: There are countless cannabis strains already in-market, and new varietals are dreamed up all the time.
We talked to Central Retail Marketing Manager, Taylor Grove, about what goes into developing a new strain at Verano, and how to choose the right option for you. Here’s what we learned.
Cultivating New Strains
If you’ve ever pet a yorkipoo, eaten a boysenberry, or thought a little too hard about which traits you inherited from either parent, you’ve come across a genetic cross: Combinations of two existing parent strains. Same goes for cannabis: Verano cultivators select two strains with desirable benefits and breed them together to create a cross, a.k.a. a new cultivar. For instance, our beloved G-Purps strain, known for its violet hue and euphoria-inducing cannabinoid profile, is a blend of our sativa-forward G6 strain and our indica-forward Purple Punch strain. The resulting combination is a harmonious fusion of its parent strains (or progenitors): A stunning purple color and caryophyllene terpenes from Purple Punch, and an intoxicating aroma and limonene terpenes courtesy of G6.
According to Taylor, this cultivation process is equal parts art and science—and nobody beats the Verano cultivation team. “Verano only works with top genetics,” Taylor shared, “and will only bring a strain into the product portfolio once it’s gone through multiple harvests and tests.” Then, and only then, do we release our new strains into the market for you to enjoy.
The Right Strain for You
When it comes to finding your ideal cannabis strain, Taylor says there’s no perfect answer—it all depends on your preferences. As always, Taylor recommends talking to a budtender who can guide you towards the features and benefits you seek. But remember that you’re the expert on you. “Self exploration is key,” noted Taylor. “Use the products in a comfortable environment, take notes on how a given strain makes you feel and how long that feeling tends to last… for example, try using sativa during the day, when you don’t have something planned and you can take the time to observe how you react.”
Taylor also had a surprising tip: “If you like the way a product smells, that product may work well for you,” she shared. Evidence that this works is only anecdotal, of course, but the point is that your body probably knows more than you think it might. After all, you’re sort of a hybrid strain of generations upon generations of ancestral wisdom, right? Right! So have fun with it, and consider saying yes to a new strain experience at your local dispensary.