A new study could put a strain, so to speak, on the love affair between cannabis consumers and their favorite flower.
Researchers in Nevada collected 2,662 samples of cannabis flower and employed a third-party testing laboratory to measure the chemical profile. They found only three chemical varieties of cannabis were sold in the Nevada dispensaries between January 2016 and June 2017, despite roughly 397 strain names appearing on product packaging.
The study, co-authored by Las Vegas-based GB Sciences and Digipath Labs, along with Chaminade University and Makai Biotechnology, both in Honolulu, was published in the Mary Ann Leibert Inc. journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in February 2019.
The study’s authors claim that the findings reveal an “extremely low chemical diversity” within the cannabis varieties sold in Nevada during the state’s medical-only phase.
More than 93% of the samples tested were from a single chemical variety, high in THC, but without significant amounts of other cannabinoids, according to the study.
“The three chemovars and twelve genotypes reflect low medical diversity on the market in Nevada during its ‘medical use only’ phase,” the study found. “Furthermore, the 396 breeder-reported sample names within this set imply a false sense of diversity of products in Nevada dispensaries.”
What’s That Strain?
Some strains are proprietary and their genetics have been protected by those involved in the plant’s creation. OG Kush, for example, is one of Southern California’s most popular strains, but the effects from one dispensary’s stock to the next can be much different. This is primarily due to the fact that the growing conditions and methods can vary from grower to grower, which in turn alters the resulting composition of cannabinoids and terpenes.
“The big-picture takeaway is that states should not be relying on breeder-reported strain names to regulate and label cannabis products, because