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New Study Points to Confusion Behind Cannabis Strains

By Oscar Pascual |

That delicious OG Kush you smoke may not come from a kush plant at all.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Dalhousie University in Canada published a study on Wednesday after conducting the first large-scale study of the genetic diversity of cannabis plants, reports the International Business Times.

“We chop all those genomes into about 14,000 small pieces and use a method to compare those pieces across different samples,” Sean Myles, a study co-author and agricultural geneticist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, said in an interview with wired. “After looking at the same parts of DNA in all the samples, you can get an idea of ​​how related they are.”

Researchers examined the genotypes of 81 marijuana strains and 43 hemp samples for plant-to-plant relationships. They say that the three different types of cannabis plants — C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis — are often mislabeled by growers.

“Cannabis breeders and breeders often quote the percentage of Sativa or Indica in a cannabis strain, but they aren’t very accurate,” Jonathan Page, study co-author and botanist at the University of British Columbia, told IBT. “The genetic difference between marijuana and hemp has legal implications in many countries. Currently, the genetic identity of a marijuana strain cannot be accurately determined by its name or reported parentage. Ultimately, we need a practical, more accurate and reliable classification system for this plant.”

Researchers took into account the characteristics of each plant, such as the calming effects of Indica on the body compared to the more cerebral effects of Sativa. They found only a moderate correlation between the ancestry of a breeder-noted species and the ancestry information gathered by the plant’s DNA. An example of Jamaican Lamb’s Bread was touted by breeders as a Sativa strain, although the genetics are nearly identical to an Indica strain from Afghanistan.

The study shows that regulation is desperately needed in states with medical marijuana laws, where the difference between the health benefits of Indica and Sativa is crucial in treating different types of symptoms or conditions.

“What’s important is that the medical community claims that Indica is good for some things and Sativa is good for others, but that must all be bullshit because the Indica/Sativa labels don’t correlate well with genetics,” Myles said. wired.

Photo credit: Flickr.com/gazeronly

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