Any seasoned cannabis user knows that the effects you feel after consuming your preferred products have to do with the strain of cannabis you are using. From an uplifting, energetic experience to a calm night on the couch (that’s the essence of indica vs. sativa), the strain you choose to enjoy can offer a specific feeling to match your needs. But what makes a good cannabis strain?
It’s in the Genes
The strain of any particular cannabis plant is determined through selective breeding that has taken place over recent years and decades. Just as humans have bred other common crops to better suit our needs, cannabis has been molded and nurtured by human hands and technologies into the potent and diverse crops grown around the world today. We have manipulated these plants on a genetic level to use them for our advantage – and we’ve done the same with cannabis.
This selective breeding results in a plant that is bred to display specific characteristics over others. And in the world of cannabis, this comes down to breeding plants with particular chemical profiles in the form of certain cannabinoids and terpenes that provide the bulk of how the effects are experienced when consumed. Over many years, plants have been bred with these desired characteristics in mind, and this led to the immense amount of strains available today.
Today, you can get your hands on a particular strain at any step of the production line—from an online seed bank to buying flower in a dispensary. These options allow for a diverse choice of effects that a consumer can enjoy recreationally or use for a particular medical condition.
If you intend to grow your own plants, knowing the strain of your seeds is important. If you know the type of feel you are looking for (i.e., the kind of high), you can ask a budtender, and they will direct you towards strains that can deliver just that.
But the question remains…
What Makes a Good Strain?
A good strain is a somewhat subjective description. When you find a particular variety of cannabis that you enjoy and meets your desired effects, that’s always good. But there are other factors to consider when choosing a strain. High-quality is a better way to think of it than merely ‘good.’
Several important factors come into play during a cannabis plant’s life cycle with quality of strain in mind. These can range from the conditions that the plants are grown alongside what types of fertilizers and nutrients were used during the process. Generally, you want to avoid pesticides and other toxic chemicals when looking for a quality strain.
Another common qualifier for a good cannabis strain is potency. Again, this can vary from person to person as some people like a potent strain, while others only wish to experience slight effects.
All things considered, the ultimate deciding factor in a good cannabis strain is you. If you find an option that makes you feel your desired effects and you’re sure that it has been grown without the use of any toxic chemicals, you have a strain worth keeping.
About the Author
Emily Kind is a freelance cannabis writer with bylines in several popular publications. A trichome-covered gun for hire; a flower child born a few decades too late. When not covering the latest cannabis industry news, you can find her on beautiful Colorado trails with her Australian Shepherd, Dutch. Follow her on Twitter: @kind_xo