What’s a Strain of Cannabis?

Did you know there are thousands of different named cannabis strains that flood markets around the world? If youve ever browsed a dispensary or its website, you likely have had a hard time deciphering between all of the strains. In this post, well go over everything you need to know about cannabis strains.

What is a Strain?

Strainis a slang term that refers to a particular variant of the cannabis plant. Popular strains ebb and flow with consumer demand. But, some longstanding favorites include Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, and GSC (Girl Scout Cookies). Keep reading to learn more about cannabis strains.

Whats in a Name?

The strains name has much more meaning than just a cute or funny saying, its used to describe the lineage of each variety, a major aromatic component, or a potential side effect. As a result, strains are commonly marketed based on the characteristics their names advertise.

Take Afghani and OG Kush — these are strain names that signify their origins in Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. Whereas Tangie and Girl Scout Cookies allude to their aromas, Amnesia Haze conveys how the strain will make users feel.

How Cannabis Strains Differ

Youve likely also heard the terms indica,’ ‘sativa,and hybridwhen talking about cannabis. These three types refer to the different plant shapes and structures — these features are extremely important for growers. 

There are three main biological subspecies of the cannabis plant:

  1. Cannabis Sativa
  2. Cannabis Indica
  3. Cannabis Ruderalis 

Today, cannabis classification more or less operates in the following categories:

  • High-CBD, low-THC (a more clear-headed)
  • High-THC, low-CBD (a more euphoric high)
  • Balanced CBD and THC (a mildly euphoric high)

Each of the chemotypes mentioned above offers unique medical benefits and effects.

Most of the major differences between stains are the flavor and effects. Here are a few basic characteristics to help you tell the difference:


  • Known for being relaxing and sedative.
  • Great for pay relief, anxiety, insomnia.
  • The plants are typically short and stocky with large dense, sticky buds.
  • Indica plants leaves are short, fat, and close together.
  • Tasting notes of earth, pepper, pine, berries, lavender, hops, and banana.


  • Known for being energizing and creative.
  • Commonly used for depression, art, and other activities that require productivity.
  • Best for daytime use.
  • Plans are tall with small, light buds.
  • Sativa plant leaves are long, slim, and far apart.
  • Tasting notes of light florals, cherry, citrus, and other tropical fruit.

Hybrid Strains

Then there are hybrid strains that take a best of both worldsapproach and can be uplifting, mellow, or in between. Hybrid strains are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their versatility as people enjoy being able to feel relaxed without passing out.

We hope this post has served as a useful guide to help you tell the difference between cannabis strains. Dont forget, you can always count on your neighborhood budtenders for strain and product recommendations. Also, dont hesitate to reach out to us with any further questions!